Body image dissatisfaction in patients with inflammatory bowel disease: a systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
247 Downloads (Pure)


Background and aims Little is known about the relationship between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and body image. The aim of this systematic review was to summarise the evidence on body image dissatisfaction in patients with IBD across four areas: (1) body image tools, (2) prevalence, (3) factors associated with body image dissatisfaction in IBD and (4) association between IBD and quality of life.

Methods Two reviewers screened, selected, quality assessed and extracted data from studies in duplicate. EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO and Cochrane CENTRAL were searched to April 2018. Study design–specific critical appraisal tools were used to assess risk of bias. Narrative analysis was undertaken due to heterogeneity.

Results Fifty-seven studies using a body image tool were included; 31 for prevalence and 16 and 8 for associated factors and association with quality of life, respectively. Studies reported mainly mean or median scores. Evidence suggested female gender, age, fatigue, disease activity and steroid use were associated with increased body image dissatisfaction, which was also associated with decreased quality of life.

Conclusion This is the first systematic review on body image in patients with IBD. The evidence suggests that body image dissatisfaction can negatively impact patients, and certain factors are associated with increased body image dissatisfaction. Greater body image dissatisfaction was also associated with poorer quality of life. However, the methodological and reporting quality of studies was in some cases poor with considerable heterogeneity. Future IBD research should incorporate measurement of body image dissatisfaction using validated tools.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000255
JournalBMJ Open Gastroenterology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2019


  • body image
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • quality of life
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Body image dissatisfaction in patients with inflammatory bowel disease: a systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this