Publication Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Academic Program

Master of Science in Clinical Investigation


General Surgery

First Thesis Advisor

Dr. Jeremy T. Aidlen


Crohn’s disease, Noncompliance, Pediatric



Treatment compliance in children with Crohn’s disease is associated with higher levels of symptom remission. We hypothesized that the management, comorbidities, and complications for children with Crohn’s disease would differ based on a diagnosis of noncompliance.


Using the Kids’ Inpatient Database for 2006-2012, we identified young patients (<21 >years) with a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease. Diagnoses and procedures were analyzed according to a recorded diagnosis of noncompliance. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the association between noncompliance and the outcomes of interest.


There were 28,337 pediatric Crohn’s disease hospitalizations identified with 1,028 (3.6%) hospitalizations having a diagnosis of both Crohn’s disease and noncompliance. The mean age of the study population was 15.9 years and 48.9% were girls. Black patients ( multivariable adjusted odds ratio, aOR,2.27; 95% CI:1.84-2.79) and those in the lowest income quartile (aOR 1.57; 95% CI:1.20-2.05) had an increased likelihood of a noncompliance diagnosis than respective comparison groups. Noncompliant patients had an increased likelihood of concurrent depression, nutritional deficiency, and anemia. Patients with a diagnosis of noncompliance had lower rates of intestinal obstruction (4.0% vs 6.3%), intraabdominal abscesses (2.0% vs 4.2%,), and underwent fewer major surgical procedures (aOR 0.40; 95% CI:0.31-0.53) and large bowel resections (aOR 0.44; 95% CI:0.31-0.64) than patients without this diagnosis.


We found significant differences in socioeconomic status and race among hospitalized children with Crohn’s disease with, as compared to those without, a diagnosis of noncompliance. Children with noncompliance have different comorbidities, disease-related complications, and are managed differently. Possible explanations for observed treatment differences include a reluctance to offer surgery to those with a diagnosis of noncompliance, a refusal of intervention by noncompliant patients, or implicit bias. Further investigation is warranted to better define noncompliance in this population and to determine the implications of this diagnosis.



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