The Gap Between Flare-Up Recognition and Judgment of Need for Physician Visit in Patients With Ulcerative Colitis

Makoto Tanaka, Aki Kawakami, Yasushi Iwao, Tsuneo Fukushima, Yukari Takai, Noriko Yamamoto-Mitani


Background: Although patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) recognize that their conditions are worsening, they do not always visit a doctor immediately. Our aim was to investigate how patients recognize a flare-up of UC and how significant a gap there is between symptoms recognized as a flare-up and symptoms judged to require physician visit.

Methods: Questionnaires were distributed to 1,641 Crohns and Colitis Foundation of Japan members and returned by 426, with 260 UC patients subsequently analyzable (Crohnns disease patients were excluded). Symptoms recognized as a flare-up of UC and symptoms judged to require physician visit were collected as free descriptions. A gap was determined if descriptions of symptoms judged to require physician visit contained expressions of prolonged symptoms, aggravation of symptoms, or critical symptoms. Furthermore, obvious delay was also determined if described symptoms contained critical symptoms.

Results: Blood in stool was the most significant flare-up symptom recognized in patients with UC. A gap was observed in 134 cases (56.8%) and obvious delay was present in 70 cases (29.7%). Moreover, 52% of subjects debated whether to consult with a doctor when their conditions became subtly worse. Conversely, approximately 50% subjects also reportedIf my condition subtly worsens, I want to visit a doctor immediately.

Conclusions: Although patients with UC recognized flare-ups accurately, a gap was observed in half of our subjects. Our data are important evidence that health professionals must educate patients effectively to improve patient outcomes.



Ulcerative colitis; Inflammatory bowel disease; Self care; Patient education; Self monitoring

Full Text: HTML PDF

Browse  Journals  


Journal of Clinical Medicine Research

Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics


World Journal of Oncology

Gastroenterology Research

Journal of Hematology


Journal of Medical Cases

Journal of Current Surgery

Clinical Infection and Immunity


Cardiology Research

World Journal of Nephrology and Urology

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Research


Journal of Neurology Research

International Journal of Clinical Pediatrics



Gastroenterology Research, bimonthly, ISSN 1918-2805 (print), 1918-2813 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
The content of this site is intended for health care professionals.

This is an open-access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted
non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Creative Commons Attribution license (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International CC-BY-NC 4.0)

This journal follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals,
the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

website:   editorial contact:
Address: 9225 Leslie Street, Suite 201, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 3H6, Canada

© Elmer Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the published articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors and Elmer Press Inc. This website is provided for medical research and informational purposes only and does not constitute any medical advice or professional services. The information provided in this journal should not be used for diagnosis and treatment, those seeking medical advice should always consult with a licensed physician.