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Supplementary Material for: Ulcerative Colitis: Disease Burden, Impact on Daily Life, and Reluctance to Consult Medical Professionals: Results from a Japanese Internet Survey

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posted on 03.02.2020, 14:27 by Hibi T., Ishibashi T., Ikenoue Y., Yoshihara R., Nihei A., Kobayashi T.
Background and Aim: The prevalence of ulcerative colitis has increased in Asian populations in recent years. This Japanese internet survey investigated the symptoms, impact, and treatment of ulcerative colitis, and communication between patients and medical professionals. Methods: This was a non-interventional analysis of responses from participants with ulcerative colitis who had regularly visited medical providers for their disease in the past year. Results: In 501 evaluable participants, the mean age was 39.8 years and mean disease duration was 7.6 years. Ulcerative colitis had a “significant impact” on daily life in 43.5% of participants who experienced bowel urgency and 48.6% who experienced bowel incontinence. Although the prevalence of bowel urgency and bowel incontinence was associated with higher stool frequency and rectal bleeding scores (p value for trend <0.0001), they still existed even in patients without frequent stools or rectal bleeding. Around 30% of participants hesitated to discuss symptoms such as bowel incontinence with a medical professional. Approximately three-quarters preferred to use websites for medical information. Most participants (78.0%) had used topical treatments. However, 25.7% were hesitant to use such treatments due to concerns about discomfort (48.1%) and administration difficulty (47.3%). Conclusions: Ulcerative colitis significantly affects daily life, largely due to symptoms such as bowel urgency and bowel incontinence. Despite desiring to improve bowel incontinence, patients are embarrassed to consult physicians or nurses. Therefore, medical professionals should make an active effort to draw out patients’ individual concerns, including symptoms that patients may not initially feel able to talk about openly.