Document Detail

Impact of irritable bowel syndrome on personal relationships and working practices.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11692059     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of irritable bowel syndrome on personal relationships and working practices. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A 60-item questionnaire about personal relationships, working practices and treatment was sent to 3090 subscribers of the IBS Bulletin, a quarterly educational publication. A total of 1855 completed questionnaires were returned. Analysis was restricted to 1597 questionnaires (86.1%), returned by respondents in whom the diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome had been made by a general practitioner or hospital specialist. RESULTS: Of these respondents, 57% were aged 55 or over and the male to female ratio was 1:3.4. On average, respondents had suffered from irritable bowel syndrome for 16.6 years, with 57% reporting their symptoms daily, 25% weekly and 14% monthly. Of the married or cohabiting respondents, 19% stated that their partner experienced difficulties in having a personal relationship with them and 45% stated that irritable bowel syndrome interfered with their sex life. Irritable bowel syndrome had caused 12% of respondents to give up work altogether, while 47% of employed respondents reported having lost time off work, although only 35% of these respondents gave irritable bowel syndrome as the reason. In contrast employers, when informed of the diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome, accepted these symptoms as a valid reason for absence in 61% of instances. Over half of those employed (53%) suffered embarrassment using toilets at work and 32% stated that irritable bowel syndrome had stopped them from applying for promotion or a new job. At the time of completing the questionnaire, 80% of respondents were actually taking some form of treatment. Smooth-muscle relaxants and fibre supplements remained the commonest treatments prescribed. CONCLUSION: Irritable bowel syndrome impacts significantly on personal relationships and working practices. Items that stimulate responsiveness in the areas of personal relationships and working practices should be included in the construction of disease-specific questionnaires used to assess the impact of new treatments for irritable bowel syndrome on health-related quality of life.
D B Silk
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  European journal of gastroenterology & hepatology     Volume:  13     ISSN:  0954-691X     ISO Abbreviation:  Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol     Publication Date:  2001 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-11-05     Completed Date:  2002-01-29     Revised Date:  2009-10-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9000874     Medline TA:  Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1327-32     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Gastroenterology & Nutrition, Central Middlesex Hospital, The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust, London, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Colonic Diseases, Functional / psychology*,  therapy
Interpersonal Relations*
Middle Aged

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