Half of all Americans over 60 years of age have diverticulitis, a swelling or infection in the small pouches that line the digestive system. Symptoms may include stomach pain, nausea, fever or chills.

Diverticulitis is now the leading cause for elective (non-emergency) surgery to remove all or part of the colon. However, both doctors and patients often have a difficult time deciding when elective surgery is the best treatment option for this condition.

In recent years, CERTAIN has been actively researching current trends and assessing the appropriateness of surgical care for treating diverticulitis. 

Our Study

DEBUT is a study to better understand how diverticulitis affects quality of life for patients. We want to know how doctors and patients make treatment decisions as well as how these decisions ultimately affect patients’ lives.

The study examines both clinical and non-clinical reasons for pursuing elective surgery. Ultimately, this patient-centered approach will help us understand how treatment decisions affect a patient’s quality of life, work, and symptoms. It will also help us to give the best treatment recommendations for diverticulitis patients in the future.

DEBUT was developed from questions raised by our Washington State Surgical Collaborative (SCOAP Colon and Rectal Surgery Work Group) and will be carried out in clinics and hospitals across Washington state, Oregon, and California. Patients who are considering surgery or who have received treatment for diverticulitis will be recruited for study participation.

Study participants will be asked to respond to a confidential survey around the time they join and then every three months afterward for up to four years. These surveys will ask questions about their overall health and how diverticulitis affects their life.

Coordinating Institution

The University of Washington’s Surgical Outcomes Research Center (SORCE) in Seattle, WA, is serving as the administrative unit for the study. Investigators at SORCE are coordinating the study at hospitals and clinical sites in Washington state, Oregon and California.


The DEBUT study is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.