The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is moving from the Crohn’s disease activity index to patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and objective measures of disease, such as findings from endoscopy. PROs will become an important aspect of assessing activity of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and for labeling specific drugs for this disease. PROs always have been considered in the management of patients with rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis, and have included measurements of quality of life, disability, or fatigue. Several disease-specific scales have been developed to assess these PROs and commonly are used in clinical trials. Outcomes reported by patients in clinical trials of IBD initially focused on quality of life, measured by the Short-Form 36 questionnaire or disease-specific scales such as the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire or its shorter version. Recently considered factors include fatigue, depression and anxiety, and work productivity, as measured by the Functional Assessment Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue, the Hospital Anxiety Depression, and the Work productivity Activity Impairment Questionnaire, respectively. However, few data are available on how treatment affects these factors in patients with IBD. Although disability generally is recognized in patients with IBD, it is not measured. The international IBD disability index currently is being validated. Importantly, none of the outcomes to be reported by patients with IBD were developed according to FDA guidance for PRO development. PROs will be a major primary end point of future trials. FDA guidance is needed to develop additional PROs for IBD that can be incorporated into trials, to better compare patients’ experience with different therapies.