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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 159-166

Work and school absenteeism in inflammatory bowel disease patients in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: A cross sectional study

1 Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine; Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research Group, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
3 Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research Group; Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mahmoud H Mosli
Department of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_79_20

PMID: 34084107

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Background: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which can have a considerable effect on quality of life, productivity and performance, is typically diagnosed during periods of life in which patients have academic and career-related responsibilities. Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the effect of IBD symptoms on work and school absenteeism in patients from Saudi Arabia. Patients and Methods: This cross-sectional survey included patients diagnosed with IBD, aged >8–60 years, at King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The validated 32-question IBD quality-of-life questionnaire was used to elicit information regarding quality of life and another 9-question validated questionnaire was used to assess work and school absenteeism. A logistic regression analysis was used to identify possible determinants of absenteeism. Results: A total of 123 IBD patients were included, with a 1:1 male-to-female ratio. The median age at presentation was 26 years (range: 8–59 years), 56.9% had Crohn's disease, and 43.1% had ulcerative colitis. Further, 58 (47.2%) were employed, 49 (39.8%) were students and 16 (13%) were unemployed. Forty-seven (43.9%) participants reported absenteeism: 26 were employees (55.3%) and 21 were students (44.7%). A binary logistic regression analysis identified IBD subtype (P = 0.006) and the presence of perianal disease (P = 0.028) as clinical predictors for absenteeism from school or work. A feeling of abdominal pain (P = 0.015), fatigue (P = 0.015) and difficulty taking part in social engagements (P < 0.001) were also significantly associated with absenteeism. Conclusions: A sizeable proportion of the participants reported absenteeism owing to the effects of IBD. IBD subtype, perianal disease, presence of ongoing abdominal pain, fatigue and difficulty in social engagement were strongly associated with nonattendance.

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