An aid to support people with Ulcerative Colitis choosing between medical and surgical treatment



This research will help people with UC make the treatment decision that leads to an improved quality of life based on what matters most to the individual.

Prof Alan Lobo
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

What is this research looking at?  

Ulcerative colitis can be managed with drug therapies or surgery.  Around a third of people with UC will have surgery. This is usually because ongoing symptoms are not improved by medication or because of the unpleasant side effects of drug therapy.  Making the choice to continue with medical treatment or have surgery, and the type of surgery to have, can be complex and difficult. 

To help people make the decision that is right for them, the researchers aim to develop and test a patient decision aid (PtDA). This is a tool to help people think about their own views, attitudes to risk and personal preferences. It includes high-quality information about the risks and benefits of the treatment options. Decision aids have been shown to promote structured conversations with health professionals and improve the quality of decisions.     

The researchers will develop the decision aid in partnership with healthcare professionals and people with UC. This will ensure the decision aid is relevant and user-friendly. It will focus on making choices between continuing drug therapy or having surgery, and choosing the type of surgery, stoma or pouch. This will then be tested in two clinical centres.   

What do the researchers think this could mean for people with IBD? 

The aim of the decision aid is to improve knowledge before the decision, explore risks and benefits of options, lead to improved decision-making and increase satisfaction with the decision. This will help people with UC make the treatment decision that leads to an improved quality of life based on what matters most to the individual.  

Who is leading the research: Professor Alan Lobo, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals 
Award amount: £119,967 
Duration: 36 months 
Official title of the application: The development and pilot testing of a patient decision aid to better support patients with ulcerative colitis choose between ongoing medical treatment and surgical treatment options.