Monograph: Updated Strategies for the Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Making a Difference in Patient Outcomes

Approximately 3 million U.S. adults have ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn’s disease (CD), the most common forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD. Each year, up to 70,000 American adults are diagnosed with IBD, and the incidence is climbing. Most affected individuals are diagnosed before 30 years of age, with a second peak between the ages of 50 to >60 years. PAs in primary care settings should be prepared to evaluate patients who present with symptoms that may signal the presence of IBD, then make referrals as indicated for further diagnostic testing. PAs should also have a thorough understanding of the range of medications used to treat IBD to facilitate assessment of response to therapy and monitoring for potential adverse effects. Through collaboration with gastroenterologists, PAs can play a pivotal role in assuring that patients derive the greatest benefit from their treatments, helping them achieve a better quality of life.

Educational Objectives
At the conclusion of this activity, the PA should be better able to:
  • Recognize patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) presenting in the primary care setting and understand the differentiation between ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD).
  • Refer patients with suspected IBD to confirm diagnosis.
  • Apply knowledge of the classification of disease severity to support initial patient evaluation and to evaluate response once on therapy.
  • Identify pharmacologic options for UC or CD tailored to patients’ severity of disease and considerations for the management of side effects.
eCase Challenge #1 and eCase Challenge #2 also available.