Developing a fatigue intervention for adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease: development phase of the MRC complex intervention framework


This project is composed of 3 streams of work packages, ultimately, aiming to develop the evidence needed for a fatigue intervention among adolescents with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). IBD is a life-long condition causing inflammation and ulceration of the lining of the gut. Patients with this condition usually suffer from abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and other systemic symptoms, such as fatigue. However, fatigue in adolescents with IBD is understudied with very limited clinical options.

The project aims to address this evidence gap using the development phase of the complex intervention framework. Primarily through:

  1. Systematic review – I will be doing a systematic review of fatigue interventions in other paediatric chronic conditions. Since, there is a dearth of evidence specific to adolescent IBD, I will use the evidence on fatigue interventions established from other paediatric chronic conditions.
  2. Longitudinal survey – I will administer a three-point survey among adolescents diagnosed with IBD. I will use a battery of questionnaires that measures fatigue and associated bio-psychosocial variables (i.e. physical activity, pain interference, sleepiness, social and family relations and mood). I will compare it with a normative reference group to provide context. This empirical evidence will help me identify the elements needed for the developing intervention.
  3. Focus group using Lego Serious Play – in this work package, I will conduct focus group sessions among three different stakeholder groups – adolescents with IBD, their parents and clinicians. The purpose is to model the processes and outcomes of the developing intervention based on the perspectives of these stakeholder groups. The perspectives will also provide the needed context for the intervention. I will use Lego Serious Play as a facilitation tool during these sessions.

Principal Investigator

Prof. Nick Croft, Co-Investigators: Hilarious de Jesus, Prof. Christine Norton and Dr Lesley Dibley

Start date and duration

January 2018 TBC

Partners and Collaborators Involved

Crohn’s in Children’s Research Association (CICRA)

Barts Health