For information about the design and data-weighting of the UC Narrative Global Survey, click here.
Doctors’ visits are valuable, so try to make the most of each and every one. Your gastroenterologist (GI) is a resource, a reference, and likely the medical professional who’s most familiar with your specific situation.
It’s important that you’re as open and honest as possible with your doctor. If your gastroenterologist (GI) isn’t asking questions that get to the impact UC is having on your life, you’ve got to volunteer the information. Communication with your GI is a two-way street. To guide you in the best possible direction, you’ve got to be forthcoming about all the ways ulcerative colitis symptoms have affected your life since your last visit.
Sometimes it may feel like your appointment just isn’t enough time to cover everything you’d like to discuss with your GI.
of people living with UC in the UC Narrative Global Survey said they wish they had more time with their GIs.
The UC Narrative Global Survey results also found that 49% of patients living with UC regret not saying more during their appointments. That is why it’s important to prepare for your next doctor’s visit.
Come prepared. Don’t count on being able to remember everything in the few moments you have with your gastroenterologist. Write down all the questions you can think of ahead of time, and take them with you to your next appointment.
Set goals. Work with your doctor to develop management goals and lifestyle goals during your appointment to ensure that you are both on the same page. Knowing your goals beforehand may help your GI map out a way to help you achieve them.
Set expectations. At the beginning of the appointment, let your GI know that there are specific things you’d like to discuss. That way, you can be sure to dedicate some time during the appointment to talk through those issues.
Elaborate. When setting goals with your GI, be sure to discuss when your UC symptoms have caused you to cancel plans, miss work, or significantly change your lifestyle. Provide your doctor with as much context as you can to give the fullest picture of your current situation.
Take notes. Doctors’ appointments can cover a lot of information in a short amount of time. Trying to remember details later can be difficult. Whether it’s things you want to follow up on, research, or specific goals you want to track before your next appointment, be sure to take detailed notes about all that you discuss. Consider bringing a loved one or friend with you as well. It never hurts to have that extra bit of support in the appointment.
Follow up. It’s not uncommon to remember questions later that you forgot to ask during your appointment. Find out the best way to communicate with your GI and their team. They might suggest that you send an email or talk to a nurse. Remember, you and your doctor are partners in your health. Establish the most productive relationship with your gastroenterologist possible and set goals that are right for you. This will help you understand your ulcerative colitis and its impact on your life.
IS YOUR APPOINTMENT COMING UP?
Get the most out of your doctor’s visit by having a list of questions ready.
Here are some suggestions:
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The UC Narrative patient survey was conducted online and via telephonei by Harris Poll on behalf of Pfizer between August 23, 2017, and February 9, 2018, among 2,100 adults ages 18+ residing in Australia (215), Canada (215), Finland (105), France (169), Germany (210), Italy (210), Japan (210), Spain (214), the United Kingdom (251), and the United States (301) who have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC), have had an endoscopic procedure to confirm their diagnosis, have not had a colectomy, have been to a gastroenterologist or internist’s officeii in the past 12 months, have ever taken a prescription medication for their UC (excluding those who have only ever taken 5-ASAs), and provided informed consent to complete the research. Raw data were not weighted at the individual country level, and are therefore only representative of the individuals who completed the survey.
The primary goal of the survey was to characterize the experiences of UC patients who are believed to be living with moderate to severe disease or those who may be living with poorly controlled disease. The choice to focus on these patient types was based on the assumption that these groups (versus those with milder disease) were more likely in need of support and resources, which the survey could help better identify.
To achieve the goal of focusing on those with moderate to severe disease, self-reported medication history was used as a proxy for disease severity. Patients with “moderate to severe” disease were defined as those who have ever taken a biologic or immunosuppressant for their UC, or have taken steroids for four or more of the past 12 months. Patients with a “milder” form of the disease were defined as those who have never taken a biologic or immunosuppressant, and those who have taken steroids for three or fewer months of the past 12 months. The research excluded patients who have never taken a prescription medication for their UC or have only ever taken a 5-ASA to control their UC. More than 80 percent of total completes were from patients whose disease was classified as “moderate to severe,” using this definition, with “milder” patients capped at no more than 20 percent of total survey completes. Results from the UC Narrative patient sample survey may not reflect the experiences of the broader UC population.
The UC Narrative physician survey was conducted online and via telephonei by Harris Poll on behalf of Pfizer between August 23 and February 9, 2018, among 1,254 adults ages 18+ residing in Australia (90), Canada (80), Finland (17), France (154), Germany (152), Italy (157), Japan (151), Spain (151), the United Kingdom (153), and the United States (149)iii who practice as a gastroenterologist, internist with a gastroenterology focus, gastroenterology internist, or gastroenterology surgeon,iv do not primarily practice in a long-term care facility or hospice setting, see at least 10 patients with UC each month (or a minimum of five patients with UC per month in Japan), with at least 10 percent of these patients currently taking a biologic medicine for their UC (physicians were asked to think about their experiences treating patients in their practice whose UC is moderate to severe throughout the survey), and provided informed consent to complete the research. Physician results in the United States were weighted by region, years in practice, and physician gender. In all other countries, physician results were weighted by age and gender to ensure alignment with the actual proportions in the population of gastroenterologists in each country.v UC Narrative physician sample survey may not necessarily reflect the experiences of all gastroenterologists.
For both patient and physician data, for the global, 10-country total, a post-weight was applied to adjust for the relative size of each country’s adult population within the total adult population across all countries surveyed. The unweighted sample sizes reflect the total number of patients and physicians who completed the survey in each country, while all reported percentages are calculated based on the weighted global total described here. Proportionate weighting for combining multicountry data into a single total is a common practice because it relies on externally recognized population data to achieve a global total that more accurately represents the real-world relative to the adult populations surveyed. There are limitations to this approach; when countries surveyed have widely varying population totals, the data from smaller countries may get weighted down within the total, thus reducing their share of voice when grouped together with the larger countries.
In the United States, the research method and survey questionnaires were reviewed and received institutional review board (IRB) approval from WIRB-Copernicus Group.
Language referencing data of those who agree with the statement, includes those who indicated both "strongly agree" or "somewhat agree" within the survey.