Determinants of Quality of Life in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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ObjectivesHealth-related quality of life (HRQOL) is a main outcome in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but most studies have been conducted on moderate-severe patients. We sought to ascertain the relative contribution of severity, anxiety, and personality to impairment of HRQOL in a sample representative of the entire IBS spectrum.Materials and MethodsIBS consulters, IBS nonconsulters, and controls were invited to complete questionnaires designed to measure severity of IBS (Functional Bowel Disease Severity Index), anxiety (State-trait Anxiety Inventory), personality (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2), and HRQOL [Short Form 36 (SF-36)]. The SF-36 scores of the study groups were compared, and a multiple regression model was constructed.ResultsSixty-six IBS consulters, 70 nonconsulters, and 117 controls were studied. All 3 groups differed in terms of SF-36 physical (46.5±9.4 vs. 50.5±8.0 vs. 54.5±6.0) and mental composite scores (38.2±12.5 vs. 43.2±12.0 vs. 46.7±10.6). Although physical scores were linked to hypochondriasis (β=−0.39; P<0.001), severity of pain (β=−0.28; P<0.001), and age, mental scores were associated with state anxiety (β=−0.36; P<0.001) and trait anxiety (β=−0.40; P<0.001).ConclusionsHRQOL is impaired in all subgroups of IBS sufferers, with the degree of impairment depending mostly on symptom severity and psychologic factors (hypochondriasis and anxiety).

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