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New In Their Shoes Experience Simulates Short Bowel Syndrome with Intestinal Failure

How can we truly understand the impact of chronic conditions from a patient’s point of view – how they feel, how they deal with certain scenarios, the ups and downs of daily life – when we haven’t walked in their shoes?

In Their Shoes, a Takeda-created simulation, is now offering a powerful first-hand experience of living with short bowel syndrome with intestinal failure (SBS-IF).

The new SBS-IF experience, developed alongside patients, carers and healthcare professionals, allows participants to experience the challenges, choices and impact that real patients face every day. The simulation aims to enhance empathy and understanding of SBS-IF, while promoting confidence to talk about the condition.

“After over 25 years of nursing, this has been one of the most insightful experiences… it has blown me away.” – Participant quote/testimony

The SBS-IF version of In Their Shoes follows the award-winning simulations of inflammatory bowel disease and complex perianal fistula in Crohn’s disease launched in 2015 and 2019, respectively.

What is SBS-IF?

Intestinal failure (IF) is the rarest form of organ failure. There are a wide range of causes, all of which prevent the body from absorbing the nutrients, fluids and electrolytes needed for survival due to significant loss of function of the gut. The leading cause of IF is short bowel syndrome (SBS), which results from loss of intestinal absorptive capacity due to underlying anatomic or functional causes.1,2,3

People living with IF need parenteral support as it provides the necessary nutritional and fluid requirements to maintain adequate health and/or growth.1

Despite being highly debilitating, IF is often overlooked, and under-recognized by healthcare professionals, payers and policy makers, as well as large patient groups, which leads to fragmented care in IF.

The In Their Shoes Experience

The simulation is delivered through a real-time mobile app and accompanying ‘kit’, challenging the participant both physically and emotionally. Although fictional, the experience aims to give you a glimpse of the reality of living with SBS-IF, revealing symptoms and care needs, as well as highlighting the impact on personal relationships, travel, work, nutrition, and sleep. It involves live interactions with over-the-phone actors including time-specific challenges requiring immediate responses.

“My ‘illness’ is over. What about the patients who have to live with it forever? I have a huge amount of respect for them!” – Participant quote/testimony

Getting Involved

At Takeda, we strive to close the gap on new areas of unmet needs for patients and appropriate solutions for battling complicated conditions like SBS-IF. Evidence suggests that immersive learning, like In Their Shoes, enhances empathy and understanding of the patient experience of illness.4 Many of our employees have found great value from participating in the simulation.



1 Pironi L, Arends J, Bozzetti F, et al. ESPEN guidelines on chronic intestinal failure in adults. Clin Nutr. 2016;35;247-307.

2 Pironi L, Arends J, Baxter J, et al. ESPEN endorsed recommendations. Definition and classification of intestinal failure in adults. Clin Nutr. 2015;34;171-180.

3 Buchman A, Scolapio J, Fryer J, et al. AGA technical review on short bowel syndrome and intestinal transplantation. Gastroenterology. 2003;124;1111-1134.

4 Halton C, Cartwright T. Walking in a Patient’s Shoes: An Evaluation Study of Immersive Learning Using a Digital Training Intervention. Front Psychol. 2018;9:2124.