miGut-Health: Personalised blueprint of intestinal health

Health

BACKGROUND

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects more than 3 million people in the EU. IBD represents an important socio-economic problem, imposing a significant financial and resource burden on healthcare systems worldwide. Besides clinical management strategies (diagnosis, monitoring, treatment) active patient engagement strategies in health and self-care management (monitor symptoms, effectiveness of therapy, and non-disease-related factors) have been implicated to be one of the crucial, but stillunderstudied areas in IBD care. 

However, cross-sectoral solutions for health promotion and disease prevention by engaging citizens is limited due to the lack of clear personalized health engagement strategies and prevention measures, effective digital tools for monitoring and maintenance of health status in IBD patients and high-risk individuals.

GOALS

The primary objective of miGut is to identify the key molecular and non-molecular signatures associated with gut inflammation progression from the early asymptomatic stages of disease to IBD, thus also guiding the development of health monitoring technologies, citizen health engagement strategies, as well as proposing novel gut health and disease prevention strategies.

miGut pursues the following three aims:

1) Identification and validation of gut health markers through integrating state-of-the-art knowledge and extensive omics data and non-molecular from IBD patient cohorts, IBD high-risk individuals, and longitudinal and high incidence population cohorts and by performing systems-level biology analysis to identify the actionable biomarkers of chronic inflammation important in the transition from health to inflammatory bowel diseases;

2) Evaluation of personalised prevention measures for gut health improvement by pioneering human dietary intervention studies in IBD high-risk individuals to evaluate the impact of diet on modulation of intestinal inflammation and suitability for disease management, prevention/reversion. We will exploit the impact of microbiome derived diet-associated metabolites on gut inflammation reversion and restoration of barrier integrity and function using complex co-culture system of primary human intestinal organoids and sorted immune cell subsets

3) Development of citizen health engagement in gut health promotion strategies and digital tools by developing and implementing personalized health and self-care engagement strategies for IBD patients, IBD high-risk individuals, and the general population.

In addition, we will develop and deploy innovative technologies for analysing the influence of lifestyle factors on the disease course and patient reported outcomes in patients with IBD and we will develop tailored web-based learning methods for lifestyle changes.

OUR TASKS IN THE PROJECT

EngageMinds Hub leads WP5: Patient & Citizen health engagement.

Today measuring and promoting patient and citizen health

engagement is considered a crucial asset in order to

improve the care experience of patients.

The EngageMinds HUB (UCSC) research group has developed a psychological model (Patient Health Engagement Model – PHE) to assess and promote patient engagement that has demonstrated effective in predicting patients’ empowerment, patients’ quality of life and patients’ health literacy.

The model has been widely applied to the experience of IBD patients by demonstrating how it predicts wellbeing and quality of life, further then patients’ resilience and good self-management also in a situation of emergence. Furthermore, within the scope of the scientific debate about Patient Reported Experience Measurement, we have developed a specific scale (WeCare IBD Score) thanks to the involvement of patients’ representative and this measure is maximally reliable and sensible to patients’ needs. Based on this methodological framework, in order to ensure these goals in our task two sample from the different target groups (high risk group, and patients) will be recruited and asked to fill an online survey aimed at profiling participants according to their sociodemographic characteristics clinical status, lifestyle and psychological factors identified in the literature review as possible risk factors.

The survey will be addressed to the 7 countries (each country we will involve at least 300 persons) involved in the consortium and translated into the corresponding languages. Based on these data, a k-means cluster analysis will guide the development of 3-6 “Personas” for each target group based on their peculiar psychological characteristics, levels of engagement, educational needs, and food involvement factors.The aim of these packages will be to improve each target’s health and quality of live. For each Persona description, a different, tailored information package will be co-designed by a group of relevant stakeholders.

At least 1 multidisciplinary co-design online workshop (with patients, clinicians, patients’ relatives that are considered at high risk) will be held in the different countries and moderated by local researchers.

Finally, a series of 7 interactive webinars (one in each country of the consortium) will be held with the purpose of raising the awareness and sharing evidence-based knowledge with patients and high-risk individuals about key topic regarding health engagement.

The aim is fostering health promotion, engagement, and disease prevention/management. A blueprint for personalized health engagement initiatives will be developed through a consensus process involving all the relevant stakeholders. This process will consist of a Delphy process involving at least 30 stakeholders’ representative of the different groups of stakeholders in the different countries. This process will aim to provide clinically useful points to design and implement health education initiatives for individuals with or at risk of developing IBD.

Team

 

 

Guendalina Graffigna

Guendalina Graffigna

Direttore del Centro di Ricerca EngageMinds HUB

Serena Barello

Serena Barello

Coordinatrice Divisione Health Care

Marta Acampora

Marta Acampora

Junior Researcher

Lorenzo Palamenghi

Lorenzo Palamenghi

Esperto in Analisi quantitative