Health-related quality of life is increasingly recognized as an important factor in evaluating the impact of a disease on an individual or assessing the risks and benefits of a treatment. Investigators have developed numerous instruments that aim to assess global quality of life and disease-specific quality of life. Colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and Hirschsprung's disease are 3 colorectal conditions that have been the subject of much quality of life-related investigation. In addition to symptomatology, patients' social support structures, expectations, and level of communication with caregivers are all factors that impact an individual's perceived quality of life in colorectal disease.
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