In Spain, between 85,000 and 150,000 people are living with ulcerative colitis, a disease for which patients require better access to multidisciplinary units and more effective treatment. This is stated in the White Paper on Ulcerative Colitis, which presents other proposals for improving the approach to the disease.
Ulcerative colitis causes discomfort with daily activities. EFE/David Krosling
The ulcerative colitis that patients suffer from is chronic inflammatory bowel disease and multifactorial origin, which mainly affects the colon. According to the data collected in the report IBD4 epidemicconducted in 108 Spanish hospitals, and in a multicentre prospective study of Sais-Chumillas published in 2022 in Spain, between 3850 and 4300 new cases.
Hiris consulting together with Galapagos Biotechnology Company compiled a white paperUlcerative colitis in Spain and suggestions for improvement‘, in which they conduct research and a systematic review of the disease and possible strategies for its improvement.
Among the main conclusions drawn from the report stands out at least two thirds of patients with Ulcerative colitis patients state that they are troubled by their symptoms and demand interdisciplinary departments and more effective treatments.
Symptoms of patients with ulcerative colitis
This pathology can develop at any age, although according to surveys conducted for this report, more 63% of patients started with symptoms under the age of 30 years, with an average age of diagnoses of 29.7 years.
The most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis are mainly diarrhea, blood in the stool, abdominal pain, urgency and rectal tenesmus who has a constant need to defecate and is usually manifested by periods bursts of activity and periods of remission.
Up to 30% of patients with this disease have severe exacerbations requiring hospitalization. during its evolution.
According to the latest Clinical Practice Guidelines (GPC) published by the Spanish Working Group on Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis (GETECCU), the prevalence is at least 20 to 30 times the incidence.
In addition, GETUCCU data confirms that today in Spain from 85,000 to 150,000 patients with ulcerative colitis.
Impact on quality of life
Two-thirds of patients are constantly bothered by symptoms disease, and every third associates it with worse quality of life and more fatigue.
Except, 40% of respondents Regarding the study, he believes that mental health is the aspect most affected by ulcerative colitis. Another 50% believe that pathology negatively affects in their social, work or school life, making it difficult to maintain a routine.
Although it is a disease with low mortality, it has a high incidence and is permanently present in the lives of those who suffer from it.
Treatment of ulcerative colitis
Drugs are often required to treat ulcerative colitis, many of which have been developed in recent decades.
more than 90% of patients Respondents interviewed as part of the White Paper believe that the appeal they are currently receiving symptoms improved the main thing in illness.
However, almost half of patients say that modern methods of treatment worst side effects.
Requirements and achievements
Despite advances, there are still many barriers that patients with ulcerative colitis must overcome in order to achieve disease control.
Among the main barriers they face are barriers to the very process of caring for these patients, related to diagnosis, treatment and long-term follow-up.
In accordance with 70% of patients considers necessary that primary care physicians have more knowledge this disease in order to better control and treat.
On the other hand, almost half of the respondents cite the reduction of queues for a consultation with a specialist as one of the priority measures.
Insufficient knowledge of society and the patients themselves about this disease makes it very difficult to detect, treat and prevent it.
For this reason, one third of patients suggest the creation of multidisciplinary medical teams for a comprehensive approach to solving all health problems people with this disease.
As shown in the report, the barriers that represent the greatest obstacle in the treatment of patients with ulcerative colitis are, on the one hand, the difficulty of obtaining diagnostic confirmation, and, on the other hand, access to effective treatments.
Best Practice Guide for Improving the Unified Communications Approach
A report prepared by Hiris Consultant and Galapagos Biopharma Spain, which includes the main barriers faced by patients and healthcare professionals, as well as unmet needs, served as a guide for the preparation list of suggestions and best practices that allow us to improve our approach to disease.
According to experts, one of the most important measures is connected with the healthcare system and care process, for example:
- Standardization of the referral process from primary health care to specialized consultations.
- Approach to patients of specialized departments of inflammatory bowel diseases.
Other proposals focus on improving and controlling disease and patients’ quality of life:
- Promote patient empowerment through educational strategies, assistance tools, and psychological reinforcement.
- Achieving greater patient participation in decision-making about treatment options, and setting and monitoring clinical goals and quality of life.
Professionals especially emphasize this last point and argue that involving patients with ulcerative colitis in decision-making related to their disease, will contribute to their expansion and will allow you to focus much more effort on your needs.