March 31, 2014
1 min read

Non-GI issues exert most powerful influence on IBS patient ‘wellness’

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact

Non-biomedical factors exerted a stronger effect on the self-reported health of patients with irritable bowel syndrome than disease symptoms themselves, according to new data.

Researchers at the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences administered a test battery to 234 Rome III-positive irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients (average symptom duration, 16.2 years; mean age, 41 years; 78.2% women). In addition to gathering self-reported health (SRH) data, researchers used psychometrically validated measures to gauge well-being in three domains: somatic, psychological and social.

jeffrey lackner 

Jeffrey M. Lackner

Most strongly correlated with SRH were somatization, depression, fatigue, stress, anxiety and medical comorbidities (P<.05). IBS symptom severity was weakly associated with SRH (P<.05). A final regression analysis linked 41.3% of the SRH score variance (P<.001) with significant predictors including fatigue, medical comorbidities, somatization and negative social interactions.

“We were actually surprised there was not a stronger relationship between IBS symptoms and self-reported health,” Jeffrey M. Lackner, PsyD, director of the University of Buffalo Behavioral Medicine Clinic, said in a press release. “Oftentimes, patients’ perceptions are at odds with medical reality. It’s a much more complex, cognitive process that factors in a number of medical and social factors that are not necessarily on a physician’s radar screen.”

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.