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Sense of Coherence in People with and without Inflammatory Bowel Diseases – Is there a Difference?

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Timna Naftali1, Adi Eindor-Abarbanel2, Nahum Ruhimovich1, Ariella Bar-Gil Shitrit3, Fabiana Sklerovsky-Benjaminov1, Ido Laish1, Shay Matalon2, Haim Shirin2, Yael Milgrom3, Tomer Ziv-Baran4, Efrat Broide2

1) Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Meir Medical Center, affiliated with the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv
2) The Kamila Gonczarowski Institute for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, affiliated with the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv
3) Digestive Diseases Institute, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem
4) Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15403/jgld.2014.1121.281.coh

Background & Aims: Sense of coherence (SOC) is a theoretical concept reflecting a person‘s resources and orientation, which enable individuals to cope with stressors in a health-promoting manner. In several multifactorial chronic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus and systemic lupus erythematosus, SOC was correlated with disease development. It was also related with the emotional distress in patients with inflammatory bowel
disease (IBD).The aim of this study was to investigate the possible correlation between low SOC scores and the presence of IBD.
Methods: A total of 183 Crohn’s disease (CD) and 71 ulcerative colitis (UC) patients completed questionnaires including demographic data and the 13 items for the SOC questionnaire. The IBD patients were matched to 124 healthy people according to age, gender, education, employment status and marital status.
Results: In the CD cohort, 96 patients were matched to the healthy cohort according to the propensity score value, and in the UC cohort 57 were matched. Patients with Crohns’ disease had a median SOC score of 63 (IQR 56-71), and healthy matching controls of 62.5 (IQR 55.25- 68.75) p=0.369. Patients with ulcerative patients had a median SOC score of 66 (IQR 56-73) and healthy controls 62 (IQR 55-69) p=0.354.
Conclusions: In our study SOC was not related to the development of IBD. The question of whether SOC is associated with the development of chronic disease and particularly with IBD remains open.
Key words: inflammatory bowel diseases – sense of coherence – Crohn‘s disease – ulcerative colitis.
Abbreviations: CD: Crohns’ disease; IBD: inflammatory bowel disease; SLE: systemic lupus erythematous; SOC: sense of coherence; UC: ulcerative colitis.