Research Ideas  

Welcome to IBD Partners Research Ideas Page!

In this area you will be able to:

  • Propose, vote on, and discuss research ideas
  • View current studies
  • View published research

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You are an active participant in  IBD Partners research prioritization process! Have you ever had a question about IBD that you wish science could answer? Tell us what research is important to you!

Here, you can submit a research idea to the community, cast your votes, and discuss research ideas proposed by other members. Please make your research question as specific as possible. Other members will vote on your research idea, and we will prioritize research ideas with the most votes.

You are allowed to vote for your own proposed research idea if you want. However, you can only vote for a total of five research ideas. If you have already cast your five votes and an idea you like even more is proposed, you can change your votes at any time to reflect your current preferences.

The research team will review all submitted ideas and provide a response to you and to the community. If your idea leads to an IBD Partners Study, you will have the opportunity to serve as a patient collaborator on the research team for that study.

We encourage you to prioritize the ideas that are most important to you, even if the research team determines that your idea is not a good fit for IBD Partners. We will share ideas labeled “Not a Good Fit” with researchers outside of our network when appropriate. We want to make sure all of your votes count!

Thanks for your participation in this important platform to help the IBD research community understand what research questions are important to patients. We are passionate about finding answers to your questions!

Published Studies

Year Publication Categories
Impact of Obesity on Disease Activity andPatient-Reported Outcomes Measurement InformationSystem (PROMIS) in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases


The rate of diagnoses has increased for both obesity and IBD, and some research suggests that obesity may play a part in the development of IBD. About 15-40% of patients with IBD are obese, which is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. However, there has been little research on how obesity might affect outcomes in patients with IBD. In this study of nearly 7300 patients with IBD, we found that about one in 5 patients with IBD were obese. Obese patients were more likely to have active symptoms related to IBD, as compared to patients with normal BMI. Over a period of 12-18 months, we obs erved that obese patients with active disease were significantly less likely to achieve remission. Similarly, among patients in remission at baseline, obese patients were 2-3 times more likely to relapse on follow-up, as compared to patients with normal BMI. Obese patients with IBD were more likely to have anxiety, depression, fatigue, and experience pain. They were also less satisfied with their ability to participate in social roles. These effects were seen in patients with both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Future studies to find out whether treating obesity may improve outcomes in patients with IBD are needed.

Full Scientific Manuscript

Obesity, promis, disease activity

Patient-Reported Outcomes and Quality of Life in Patients with Ileal Pouch-Anal Anastomosis (IPAA)


Between 20-35% of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) have had a colectomy (surgery to remove part or all of the large intestine). The most common type of colectomy is called a “restorative proctocolectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA)”. This is a surgery to remove the large intestine and rectum and to create a small pouch out of the small intestine that is connected to the anus. This pouch is used to store stool and is often called a “J-pouch” (It is shaped like the letter “J”). Pouchitis (inflammation of the pouch) is the most common complication of this type of surgery and consists of symptoms of diarrhea and urgency. In this study, we wanted to know how many CCFA Partners participants have experienced pouchitis and what medications and characteristics are common among this group. To answer these questions we looked at survey responses submitted by more than 15,000 CCFA Partners participants. We found that 248 patients reported having an IPAA at some point in time. Of these patients, 82% also reported at least one episode of pouchitis. Patients with a history of pouchitis were more likely to use antibiotics. Patients who reported a recent episode of pouchitis (within the past six months) were more likely to report worse quality of life, depression, fatigue, and dissatisfaction with their social role. The majority of patients who have had a colectomy develop pouchitis at some point. During episodes of pouchitis, patients experience worse quality of life.

Full Scientific Abstract

IPAA; Ileal Pouch Anal Anastamosis

Lifestyle; Surgery; Medication
Achieving Synergy: Linking an Internet-Based Inflammatory Bowel Disease Cohort to a Community-Based Inception Cohort and Multicentered Cohort in Inflammatory Bowel Disease


Cohort studies follow groups of people to understand disease. They are difficult to organize and often do not focus on patient-reported outcomes. Internet-based cohort studies provide new opportunities to study patient-reported outcomes; they are also efficient and can easily include large numbers of people. Linking an Internet-based cohort study, like CCFA-Partners, to a traditional cohort study can be beneficial to both studies and add a tremendous amount of information about a disease. Therefore, we aimed to link CCFA-Partners with the Ocean State Crohn's and Colitis Area Registry (OSCCAR) and The Sinai-Helmsley Alliance for Research Excellence (SHARE), both of which are traditional cohort studies. OSCCAR is a cohort of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Rhode Island. SHARE is a cohort across 7 academic medical centers around the United States. Both cohorts collect specimens, like blood and stool, from participants. OSCCAR enrolled people with IBD from 2008 to 2013. SHARE started enrolling people with IBD in July 2012 and enrollment is continuing. People in the cohorts who had access to the Internet were told about CCFA-Partners by the study coordinators and encouraged to enroll.

In the OSCCAR cohort, 243 of the 320 participants consented to join the CCFA-Partners cohort. However, only 44 participants completed enrollment in CCFA-Partners. OSCCAR participants who completed enrollment were better educated than those who did not complete enrollment. In the SHARE cohort, 436 participants completed enrolment in CCFA-Partners. SHARE participants who completed enrollment were more often women and white. If they had Crohn’s disease, those who completed enrollment had fewer disease symptoms and if they had ulcerative colitis, those who completed enrollment had less extensive disease. Linkage of CCFA Partners with cohorts such as OSCCAR and SHARE may be a cost-effective way to expand opportunities for research. Although linkage is possible, participant’s willingness to complete the linkage is the limiting factor. Asking participants in a traditional cohort at the time of enrollment may be a way of maximizing linkage to CCFA-Partners.

Full Published Manuscript

cohort; Crohn's Disease; Crohn's; CD; population; patient-reported outcomes; symptoms; physical health; social health; psychosocial health

Research Methods, Study Updates, Health Maintenance
Medication Utilization and the Impact of Continued Corticosteroid Use on Patient-Reported Outcomes in Elderly Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease


Older patients with inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, often have higher rates of hospital stays and disease complications. Past studies have shown that medical treatment plans for older IBD patients may be different than those for younger patients. One difference is that treatment plans for older IBD patients involve increased use of 5-aminosalicylates (5-ASA) and corticosteroids. It is not known how continuous use of steroids by older patients affects anxiety, depression, sleep, and fatigue. Using data from CCFA Partners surveys we wanted to 1) describe medication use in older versus younger IBD patients and 2) determine whether continuous use of steroids by older patients leads to differences in anxiety, depression, sleep, and fatigue. We found that medication use is different among older patients. Older patients with Crohn's disease have more continued steroid use than younger patients. Continued steroid use was associated with worsened anxiety, sleep, and fatigue. Also, steroid use alone in older Crohn's disease patients was associated with increased depression and anxiety. As in younger IBD patients, our findings support limiting the continuous use of steroids for treatment of IBD in older populations.

Full Scientific Manuscript

geriatric; elderly; age; steroid; corticosteroid; drugs

Medications, Lifestyle
Evaluation of the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System in a Large Cohort of Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases


Patient-reported outcomes, or PROs, can give useful information to doctors and researchers about patient health. In a study of over 7000 patients with inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, PROs showed that IBD patients had more anxiety, depression, fatigue and sleep disturbance, and less social satisfaction than the general population. Using corticosteroids made all of the outcomes worse. These results showed that IBD patients, like patients with other chronic illnesses, were lower functioning than the general population.

Full Published Manuscript

social health; comorbidity

Lifestyle, Mental Health

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