LAS VEGAS — In this exclusive video perspective from Crohn’s & Colitis Congress 2019, Marla Dubinsky, MD, and Laurie Keefer, PhD, both of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, discuss how ulcerative colitis impacts women with the disease and how physicians can better care for their patients’ emotional wellbeing.
Dubinsky and Keefer are both part of the advisory panel for the UC Narrative program, which was created by Pfizer to learn more about the lives of people with UC. One of the program’s first initiatives was an international survey.
“One of the most compelling things to me was the way patients talked about the emotional and psychological burden of the disease,” Keefer said. “Particularly with respect to feeling emotionally exhausted, mentally exhausted, not just physically exhausted.”
Keefer said patients are hesitant to discuss the emotional impact of their disease with their health care providers because they do not want to create any extra burden. Dubinsky said physicians need to try to engage their patients about their mental wellbeing despite their already heavy workloads and time constraints.
“There’s often a push for us to be moving forward, and sometimes we forget to just take a minute to say ‘so, how are your kids? How are you doing,’” she said. “We are very focused on how much pain or how their stools are looking, very focused on physical symptoms, I don’t think we take the time to address the emotional health.”
Disclosure: Dubinsky reports she is a consultant for AbbVie, Janssen, Pfizer, Salix and Takeda. She also has an ownership interest in Mi Test. Keefer reports she has ownership interest in MetaME Health and is a board member for the Rome Foundation. She receives speaking and teaching fees for Janssen and Pfizer, and she is a consultant for Takeda. She also has a financial relationship with AbbVie.