Abstract

Crohn's disease is a destructive, inflammatory condition. The recent IMPACT survey showed that it has a major impact on quality of life including fatigue, relationships and employment. Although patients are generally satisfied with healthcare services, improvements are needed in the timeliness of diagnosis and in communication between patients and healthcare professionals. Evidence is lacking about what constitutes quality of care and value to patients. Moving forward, value should become the primary goal of healthcare delivery, which is likely to require new treatment goals. Indeed, goals are already evolving beyond symptom control towards deep remission, which encompasses clinical remission together with mucosal healing. The ultimate goals are to prevent bowel damage, reduce long-term disability and maintain normal quality of life. A new treat-to-target approach, with increased monitoring and tighter control of symptoms and inflammation, will be needed. This approach will be enabled by use of biomarkers and new indices such as the Lémann score, which assesses the extent and severity of bowel damage at a specific time-point and over time, and a new disability index for patients with inflammatory bowel disease. These principles have been adopted for managing rheumatoid arthritis where there is now a focus on treat-to-target to achieve early remission. Lessons from rheumatoid arthritis can be translated to Crohn's disease.

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