Cultural barriers and mental health can “break your back” for IBD sufferers.

January 24, 2022

watch 1 min



Oprakash A. APPs: Improving IBD Treatment Outcomes. Presented at: Crohn’s and Colitis Congress; 20-22 January 2022 (virtual meeting).

Disclosure: Oprakash reports on consulting for AbbVie, Arena, Boehringer Ingelheim, Hollister Inc., Janssen and Takeda.

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In an exclusive Healio video Tina Aswani Omprakash, a presenter at the Crohn’s and Colitis Congress, shares her experience of cultural literacy in relation to mental health and inflammatory bowel surgery.

“Surgery is not a last resort,” said Oprakash, a Crohn’s patient advocate and founder of the blog Own Your Crohn’s. “It was never meant to be. It should always be considered as a treatment option and not become an emergency.”

Oprakash said she is still affected by cultural stigma and decisions about her care. “It’s something I live with every day,” she says. “How much these cultural aspects touched me. I speak about this because I want things to change. I don’t want future generations of patients to have to go through this. These are strongly intertwined with the psychosocial aspects of our care.”

Omprakash said cultural aspects — in addition to IBD, surgeries and mental health — can be very “breaking.”

“There are cultural barriers to care, and physicians, nutritionists and mental health providers need to understand that different cultures have different barriers that may prevent patients from pursuing certain therapies.”

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