BACKGROUND: This study assessed the effects of infliximab (IFX) treatment failure on patient-reported outcomes and explored the influence of using personalized treatment in this situation.
METHODS: Sixty-nine Crohn's disease patients with IFX treatment failure were randomized to an intensified IFX regimen (n = 36) or personalized treatment defined by IFX and anti-IFX antibodies (n = 33). Health-related quality of life evaluated with the Short Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (IBDQ) and productivity evaluated with the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire (WPAI:CD) were assessed at treatment failure and after 4, 8, 12 and 20 weeks.
RESULTS: Median IBDQ score at manifestation of IFX treatment failure was 40 and improved markedly in responders by 11 at weeks 4 and 8 (p < 0.001) and by 13 at weeks 12 and 20 (p < 0.001). Non-responders improved modestly at weeks 12 and 20 (increase of median 4, p < 0.05). Overall activity impairment was high at IFX failure (median 70%) and decreased substantially in responders (40-50%, p < 0.001) and to a lesser extent in non-responders (15-40%, p < 0.05). In employed patients (55%), absenteeism was negligible during the entire study period. However, median presenteeism was 40% at manifestation of IFX failure and decreased only among responders across time (decrease 10-30%, p < 0.05). Although anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) therapy was discontinued in most patients handled by personalized treatment, IBDQ and WPAI:CD scores were similar in these patients compared with patients routinely dose-intensified on IFX.
CONCLUSION: Regaining low disease activity after IFX failure is necessary for minimizing patient impairment and indirect disease-related costs. A personalized treatment strategy does not have a negative influence on patient-reported outcomes.