Background and Aims: Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common in individuals with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Living with a medical condition has been linked to the development of PTSD and to adversely impact patient outcomes. The aim of this study is to extend the common sense model (CSM) and evaluate trauma as an additional psychosocial process in the relationship between IBD symptoms and quality of life (QoL).

Method: A cross-sectional online study exploring trauma and IBD was performed.

Results: 68 (32.2%) of the sample met the criteria for PTSD. Of this trauma group, 37 (54.4%) reported IBD related trauma, 21 (30.9%) reported non-IBD related trauma and 10 (14.7%) did not identify the trauma type. A structural equation model (SEM) based upon the CSM was found to have an excellent fit (χ2 (3)=1.10, p=0.35, RMSEA=0.02, SRMR=0.02, CFI=1.00, GFI=0.99). Results showed that trauma symptoms partially mediated the relationship between illness perceptions and QoL and fully mediated the relationship between maladaptive coping and QoL.

Conclusion: This study extended the CSM and found that trauma symptoms functioned as a mediator between IBD activity and QoL. These results highlight the need for a holistic approach including psychological assessment and intervention in IBD.


post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma, inflammatory bowel disease, common sense model