Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School

Health Sciences

Committee Member

Stephen Sonstein, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Peter D.R. Higgins, MD, PhD, MSc


The aim of this study was to determine which symptom domains in ulcerative colitis (UC) are important in the evaluation of disease activity. An important symptom is that which 1) occurs during flares, 2) improves during effective therapy, and 3) resolves during remission. Twenty eight symptom domains were evaluated. Sixty subjects were surveyed, rating each symptom on three criteria with a 100 mm Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Important symptoms were defined a priori as those whose median VAS rating for all 3 criteria was significantly greater than 50. Thirteen of the 28 symptom domains proved to be both frequent in UC flares and responsive to changes in disease activity. Seven of these were novel symptoms derived from UC patient focus groups. In conclusion, development of survey measures of these symptom domains could significantly improve the assessment of disease activity in UC.