Module A: Prevalence, Economics & Pathophysiology

CE Credits: 1.5

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This module offers an introduction to two major, chronic and idiopathic inflammatory bowel diseases: ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD), both of which cause inflammation and swelling of the digestive or gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In tracing how the illnesses came to be known, the module shows how these illnesses are, in their way, sleeper diseases: more common than many people realize, and more costly. The module differentiates between UC and CD (for instance, how UC tends to cause inflammation and ulcers in the lining of the rectum and colon, while CD tends to occur in portions along the entire digestive tract), and how IBD manifests among children as well as different ethnic groups. Finally, the module looks at some possible causes of IBD, such as genetic and environmental factors, diet and smoking.

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Learning objectives: After completing this module the case manager will be able to:
» Describe benchmarks and key characteristics among pediatric, adolescent and adult patients
» Review occurrence rates
» Identify socioeconomic impact
» Discuss etiology and risk factors

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Advance your professional practice:: Patients with UC and CD will likely experience bouts and flares with their disease for many years. By understanding how the two different diseases present, case managers can educate and engage patients in treatment plans to help them manage their illnesses with a minimum of flare-ups.

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Improve organizational performance: Even though it may seem like a milder condition than asthma or diabetes, IBD actually causes great financial hardship, through hospitalizations and a wide range of over-the-counter and prescription medications. By fully understanding the diseases, case managers can intervene with patients to avoid wasteful spending and prevent hospitalizations.