Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of adjusting to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is dealing with the fluctuations from active to inactive phases of the disease. In this issue, Graff et al. report findings from a comparative analysis of factors associated with the psychological health of participants in active and inactive IBD phases, and with matched healthy controls without IBD. Their intriguing findings regarding differences in psychological adjustment between these groups suggest several possible explanations for why those with inactive IBD may enjoy a quality of life that is in some ways similar to those without IBD, and highlight the importance of control perceptions for adjustment to IBD. These results underscore the need to consider disease activity when assessing adjustment, and further suggest the need for longitudinal research into whether perceptions of control ebb and flow in parallel to disease activity as well as the possible role of individual differences.
Comment On: Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 Dec;104(12):2959-6919755973