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How Should Pain, Fatigue, and Emotional Wellness Be Incorporated Into Treatment Goals for Optimal Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
Gastroenterology  (IF22.682),  Pub Date : 2022-01-04, DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2021.08.060
Laurie Keefer, Alyse Bedell, Christine Norton, Ailsa L. Hart

Early diagnosis and the optimal control of inflammation, with a continuous cycle of assessment, treatment, monitoring, and adjustment of therapy, is best practice for the management of inflammatory bowel disease. However, patients express frustration with ongoing challenging symptoms, often discordant with inflammation, including abdominal pain, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and emotional wellness; these are often not optimally addressed by inflammatory bowel disease clinicians due to lack of time or resources. This review will highlight the burden of these symptoms and issues, suggest ways of assessing these in clinical practice, highlight the importance of acknowledging and validating the symptoms and issues with patients, reassuring them that they are being heard, and discuss different possible models of service delivery for psychosocial support, from fully integrated gastropsychology models to referral pathways that optimize community support. We suggest the importance of the treat-to-target concept, where the target is not only control of inflammation but also emotional wellness.