Targets for health interventions for inflammatory bowel disease-fatigue

Micol Artom*, Wladyslawa Czuber-Dochan, Jackie Sturt, Christine Norton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aims: Fatigue is a complex, multifactorial, and multidimensional phenomenon. Recognition of modifiable correlates of fatigue can provide a further understanding of this phenomenon in patients with inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] and aid in the development of interventions tailored towards fatigue with potential for efficacy. Our aims were to systematically search and synthesise available evidence on potentially modifiable factors contributing to IBDfatigue and what advances in the management of fatigue in individuals with IBD have been made. Methods: The process of selection of citations was based on an earlier review by Czuber-Dochan et al. [2013] and was undertaken in two phases: I] searching for new studies published since August 2012, using seven electronic databases; ii] re-selection of papers included in previous review according to the aims of the current review. Results: A total of 43 studies met the inclusion criteria. IBD-fatigue was consistently associated with disease activity, depression, anxiety, and sleep difficulties. However, most studies were crosssectional; thus the direction of causation remains unknown. The relationship between biochemical factors, such as anaemia and inflammation, and fatigue was inconsistent. Solution-focused therapy, thiamine, and exercise showed promising effects on IBD-fatigue. Interventions continue to be sparse, with methodological limitations and only short-term effects reported. Conclusions: The review identified a number of psychosocial and physical factors which could potentially be modified through targeted health interventions and improve fatigue in IBD. Research utilising prospective observational studies and randomized control trial [RCT] design is required to develop and test interventions to reduce fatigue, most likely within a biopsychosocial model of care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)860-869
Number of pages10
JournalJournal Of Crohns & Colitis
Issue number7
Early online date22 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Fatigue
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Management


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