Evaluating the relationship between irritable bowel syndrome and stress


Seyed Mehrdad Solati dehkordi 1 , * , Ghorbanali Rahimian 2 , Amir Ghamrani 3

1 Assistant Professor Department of psycheatry, Shahr Kord University of Medical Sciences, Shahr Kord, Iran.

2 Associate Professor Department of internal medicine, Shahr Kord University of Medical Sciences, Shahr Kord, Iran.

3 Instructor Department of Psychology, Shahr Kord University of Medical Sciences, Shahr Kord, Iran.

How to Cite: Solati dehkordi S M, Rahimian G, Ghamrani A. Evaluating the relationship between irritable bowel syndrome and stress, Hormozgan Med J. 2008 ; 12(1):e88832.


Hormozgan Medical Journal: 12 (1); e88832
Published Online: December 13, 2007
Article Type: Research Article
Received: June 18, 2006
Accepted: December 13, 2007


Introduction: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional disorder of the
gastrointestinal system characterized by special gastrointestinal symptoms without
organic cause. The etiology of IBS is not clearly known but individuals with IBS
mainly report symptoms compatible with psychopathologic disorders, abnormal
personality traits and psychological distress. Objective of this study was to evaluate
relationship between life event stress and IBS.
Methods: This is a case-control survey performed on 76 patients with gastrointestinal
disturbances with a diagnosis of IBS and were compared with the control group. The
control group were randomly selected from all individuals without previous history of
gastrointestinal disorder or referral to an internist and matched with the case group.
Research tools included Paykel life event stressor test (with some modification),
diagnostic criteria checklist foe IBS (Rome II), a checklist for demographic information
and clinical interview. Data analysis was done by SPSS software.
Results: There was a significant correlation between stress and IBS (P=0.002). In
other words, the rate and severity of stress in IBS group was higher than control
group. Other findings showed that among 65 life event stressors in IBS patients, the
most severe stressor was related to consort death and the least severe was mild
physical disorder. The most frequent stress in this group was increasing of life
expenses which was reported by 50% of patients as one of the most prevalent life
stressor, whereas it was 42% in the control group.
Conclusion: Psychological distress and life event stressors are important components
of IBS patients' life, which should be considered in designing therapeutic strategies.



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