Patients with Ulcerative Colitis More Concerned About Complications of Their Disease than Risks of Medication Side Effects - Emmi

July 13, 2016

Patients with Ulcerative Colitis More Concerned About Complications of Their Disease than Risks of Medication Side Effects

New study informs development of multimedia decision aid

Chicago, IL – July 13, 2016 – New research published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases reveals a higher percentage of patients are more concerned about the complications associated with their ulcerative colitis (UC) than the risk of side effects from medication. The study, led by researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) was conceived to inform a multimedia decision aid produced by Emmi, a provider of interactive patient engagement solutions.

In 2014, a web-based survey was distributed to UC patients throughout the U.S. and Australia to assess the issues more important to those living with the condition and their interest in making more informed treatment decisions with their doctors. Of the 460 respondents, 98% of patients indicated a desire for more than a basic understanding of their disease, with 51% preferring an in-depth understanding. The survey also found 87% want to participate in treatment decisions with their doctors. The survey also examined patient concerns, with 37% and 29% of patients respectively listing the risks of colorectal cancer and the possible need for an ileostomy as their greatest concerns, while only 14% of patients were most concerned with the side effects of their medication

“As clinicians, we spend a great deal of time helping patients with Ulcerative Colitis understand the risks and side effects of the medication options,” said Corey Siegel, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. “However, these findings help us recognize that those may not be their greatest concerns. We need to make sure we are helping patients understand how the disease will affect their future and help them make informed treatment decisions.”

Based on the findings, Emmi collaborated with a team of physicians from Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) and other hospitals, patients and a decision scientist to develop a web-based, multimedia decision aid designed to simplify the complexities of UC management and to help facilitate shared decision making. The tool is designed to help patients understand their treatment options so they can have better conversations with their providers. During development, a focus group was conducted to test the decision aid’s clarity and effectiveness to ensure it effectively addressed the anxiety associated with understanding surgical treatment options. After viewing the program, the focus group participants were more open to surgical options.

“I felt a little relieved watching the surgery options, because I’ve always been so scared of that,” said one focus group participant. “I didn’t think the risks associated with these surgeries were any greater than any other surgery. You can have a normal life afterwards.”

“Effectively engaging patients in their health requires an intimate understanding of people,” said Devin Gross, CEO of Emmi. “Studies like this help us create effective programs and tools specific to the needs and concerns of real patients. Only then can we truly empower people to make informed decisions in their care.”

ABOUT DARTMOUTH-HITCHCOCKDartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) is a nonprofit academic health system that serves a population of 1.9 million in New England. D-H provides access to more than 1,000 primary care doctors and specialists in almost every area of medicine, delivering care in Lebanon, NH at its flagship, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, one of only 45 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation; the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock; affiliate hospitals in Lebanon, Keene, and New London, NH, and Windsor, VT, and through the Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and at 24 Dartmouth-Hitchcock clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. The D-H system trains nearly 400 residents and fellows annually, and performs world-class research, in partnership with the Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT. In 2016, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center was named one of “100 Great Hospitals in America” by Becker’s Hospital Review.

About Emmi
Emmi® delivers interactive patient engagement solutions by combining an intimate understanding of people with expertise in behavioral and educational science. Emmi’s integrated, web-based programs and automated call campaigns, expertly designed through a rigorous development process and a human-centered approach, provide a scalable way for healthcare organizations to engage individuals to be participants and partners in their care, while improving operational and financial performance. Emmi creates empowered people, improved relationships and healthier populations. For more information, visit, or follow the company on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Media Contact:
Barbara Correll
Vice President, Marketing