Groundbreaking Study Finds Link Between Resilience and Improved Patient Outcomes

Scientific Publications | October 19, 2020

Research links higher levels of resilience to lower disease burden and higher quality of life in patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

Study Published in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Journal

The first-ever study examining the association between resilience and IBD symptoms and surgical outcomes as published in the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Journal. The study, which was conducted by Trellus Health’s co-founders, Dr. Marla C. Dubinsky and Dr. Laurie Keefer, showed that higher levels of resilience — defined as the inherent and modifiable capacity of an individual to cope or recover from adversity — are associated with lower disease activity and better quality of life in patients with IBD. In addition, the study suggests resilience may be a modifiable factor that can risk-stratify IBD patients prone to poor outcomes including surgery.

Stress and depression have been found to increase the frequency of unplanned care, resulting in high health costs in a wide range of diseases, such as IBD. One of the costliest chronic conditions, IBD costs the U.S. healthcare system alone over $30 billion a year. IBD is a life-long chronic condition, affecting approximately three million patients in the United States with over 70,000 new cases diagnosed in the country each year. The condition is highly stressful due to unpredictable flares and surgeries, and requires continuous adaptation of self-management skills, including adherence to complex medication regimens and management of the disease’s potential harmful effects ofbowel damage, fatigue, and disability. This constant stress can significantly impact patients’ lives, leading to additional psychological challenges, such as anxiety and depression.

“Today, there is a clear and critical gap in the care provided to patients with IBD,” said Laurie Keefer, PhD, Trellus Health co-founder, Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry and Director for Psychobehavioral Research in Mount Sinai’s Gastroenterology Division. “This study proves there is an opportunity to better support the most vulnerable patients living with this condition by addressing it from both a clinical and psychosocial point of view. Identifying patients with low resilience enables clinicians to develop individualized treatment plans that focus on resilience-building, which lead to better overall health outcomes and decreased costs.”

“Trellus Health’s exclusive license to the patent-pending GRITTTMmethodology from Mount Sinai enables us to apply Dr. Keefer’s psychosocial resilience assessment to risk stratify IBD patients and generate personalized care plans to build resilience,” explained Monique Fayad, Trellus Health, CEO. “We are thrilled to be the first company to apply a resilience-driven approach to care delivery and improve outcomes for complex chronic conditions, starting with IBD.”

“Increasing resilience is key for patients with chronic conditions to feel empowered as life throws challenges at them,” explained Marla C. Dubinsky, MD, Trellus Health co-founder and Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Chief of Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and co-director of Susan and Leonard Feinstein IBD Clinical Center at Mount Sinai. “Resilience can fluctuate depending on life’s circumstances, so building a support network and personalized plan based on a specific individual’s needs is paramount in turning a patient into a warrior.”

Trellus Health founders, Dr. Dubinsky, and Dr. Keefer served as investigators for this study. Additional researchers included: Priya Sehgal, MD, MPH, Ryan C. Ungaro, MD, MS, Carol Foltz, PhD, Brian Iacoviello, PhD.

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