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Health-related quality of life and symptom classification in patients with irritable bowel syndrome

Smith, Graeme D; Steinke, Douglas T; Penny, Kay I; Kinnear, Moira; Penman, Iain


Graeme D Smith

Douglas T Steinke

Kay I Penny

Moira Kinnear

Iain Penman


Background.  Previous research has established that health-related quality of life can be adversely affected by irritable bowel syndrome IBS. Irritable bowel syndrome has been classified to subgroups by predominant bowel symptom: constipation, diarrhoea or alternating between the two. Little is presently known about the specific impact of irritable bowel syndrome on health-related quality of life within disease sub-groups across time.

Aims.  To examine the health-related quality of life in a cohort of individuals with irritable bowel syndrome to explore the association between quality of life and disease subtype classification.

Setting.  The general population of the UK.

Design.  Longitudinal cohort survey was conducted.

Methods.  Individuals with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome were recruited via a UK-wide newspaper advertisement. The health-related quality of life was measured using a battery of validated questionnaires.

Results.  Data on 494 participants with a Rome II confirmed diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome were examined. Measurement of generic health-related quality of life revealed lower median scores (poorer quality of life) in anxiety/depression and pain/discomfort domains of health.

Conclusion.  Health-related quality of life is impaired in community based individuals with IBS. Patients appear to fluctuate between sub-groups when irritable bowel syndrome is classified across time. This study suggests that the impact of irritable bowel syndrome may be greatly underestimated.


Smith, G. D., Steinke, D. T., Penny, K. I., Kinnear, M., & Penman, I. (2010). Health-related quality of life and symptom classification in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Journal of Nursing and Healthcare of Chronic Illness, 2, 4-12.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2010
Deposit Date Mar 21, 2012
Print ISSN 1752-9816
Electronic ISSN 1752-9824
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Pages 4-12
Keywords Disease classification; health-related quality of life; Irritable Bowel Syndrome; logistic regression
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