Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Study Links Submissive Interpersonal Style with More Severe IBS Symptoms: Broad Range of Problems Studied. (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Study Links Submissive Interpersonal Style with More Severe IBS Symptoms: Broad Range of Problems Studied. (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

Article excerpt

Orlando, Fla. -- Identification of irritable bowel syndrome patients with certain interpersonal problems could help clinicians target those at higher risk of more severe disease, according to a presentation at the annual Digestive Disease Week.

"Most people who have IBS have a kind of submissive, nonassertive style; difficulty making their needs known to others; and difficulty being firm with others," said Jeffrey M. Lackner, Psy.D., of the University of Buffalo (N.Y.) School of Medicine.

IBS is a common gastrointestinal disorder with no physical cause per se, Dr. Lackner said. It is aggravated by psychological factors, especially stress, which can alter gut function and change perception of pain. Recent research suggests that interpersonal stress, in particular, is associated with IBS (Am. J. Gastroenterol. 95[4]:974-80, 2000). "Most previous research looked at one particular stressor. Our study looked at a broad range of interpersonal problems."

Dr. Lackner and his colleague Michael B. Gurtman, Ph.D., assessed interpersonal problems in 109 consecutively referred patients. All of the patients had previously participated in an National Institutes of Health-funded study for moderate to severe IBS. The enrollees in the current study were 17% male, 83% female, and met Rome II criteria for IBS. …

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