Covid-19InterviewPrioritizing Emotional Wellbeing When Faced With Chronic Disease

Recent Survey Showed Men and Women Experienced Impact of Living with Chronic Inflammatory Disease to a Different Degree

Working, maintaining relationships and juggling family responsibilities can be difficult while dealing with many chronic illnesses, and this can be especially true for those living with the potentially unpredictable nature of ulcerative colitis (UC), an inflammatory bowel condition also known as UC.

A global survey of 1,254 gastroenterologists and 2,100 adults with a self-reported history of UC suggested both men and women experienced impacts on day-to-day life, including emotional wellbeing.

Laurie Keefer

Most of those surveyed (84%) reported that UC can be mentally exhausting. Some reported feeling embarrassed (41%) or isolated (32%) during a flare, meaning a period of time where one experiences an increase in UC symptoms that is different than what you typically experience.1 The survey also found that men and women were impacted by the disease to a different degree.1 Despite the impacts, these topics may not always addressed during medical appointments.1,2

With the added challenges of dealing with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, focusing on emotional wellbeing is more important than ever. It’s important for people living with the disease to know that being more open about how they are feeling, may help them work better with their healthcare team to manage their UC.


Laurie Keefer, PhD, a psychologist with Mount Sinai Hospital’s IBD Center in New York City who specializes in the psychosocial care of patients with chronic digestive diseases, most notably Crohn’s and UC, and Allyson, who is living with UC, to discuss the connection between UC and emotional wellbeing. Dr. Keefer and Allyson will also offer guidance for those living with UC to have more effective conversations with their healthcare team. Dr. Keefer and Allyson have been compensated by Pfizer.

1 Data on file. Pfizer Inc, New York, NY. [UC Narrative Patient Survey. 2018.]

2 Data on file. Pfizer Inc, New York, NY. [UC Narrative Physician Survey. 2018.]

Interview courtesy: Pfizer

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