An integrated model of care for inflammatory bowel disease sufferers in Australia: Development and the effects of its implementation

Antonina Mikocka-Walus, Deborah Turnbull, Gerald Holtmann, Jane Andrews

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    36 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Psychological comorbidities are associated with poor outcome and increased healthcare utilization in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, a model of care addressing the biopsychosocial dimension of disease is not routinely applied in IBD. This review describes the development of such a model and the effects of its implementation in a hospital-based cohort of patients with IBD. Methods: Three different approaches were used: 1) collecting baseline epidemiological data on mental health comorbidities; 2) raising awareness of and targeting mental health problems; 3) examining the effects of the model implementation. Results: High rates of anxiety and depressive symptoms (36% and 13%, respectively) that are maintained over time were identified in IBD patients presenting at a metropolitan teaching hospital. Patients with documented psychological comorbidities were more likely to be hospitalized than those without (odds ratio [OR] = 4.13, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.25, 13.61). Improvements in disease activity, anxiety, depression, quality of life, and coping have been noted when cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) was provided to patients. A drop in the use of opiates (P = 0.037) and hospitalization rates (from 48% to 30%) in IBD patients has been noted as a result of introduction of the changed model of care. In addition, the mean total cost of inpatient care was lower for IBD patients than controls (US$12,857.48 [US$15,236.79] vs. US$ 30,467.78 [US$ 53,760.20], P = 0.005). Conclusion: Our data to date suggest that an integrated model of care for patients with IBD may yield superior long-term outcomes in terms of medication use and hospitalization rates and reduce healthcare costs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1573-1581
    Number of pages9
    JournalInflammatory Bowel Diseases
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


    • biopsychosocial
    • health systems
    • inflammatory bowel disease
    • integrated model of care
    • mental health
    • psycho-gastroenterology


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