In this study, researchers from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, determined whether psychological distress, life event stress, or social support is associated with functional GI disorders.
The team performed a nested case-control study using a self-report bowel disease questionnaire which was mailed to a population sample in Minnesota.
They invited respondents who reported symptoms of nonulcer dyspepsia (NUD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to complete a series of questionnaires.
|Total life event stress was associated with functional GI disorders.|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
The questionnaires measure psychological distress, life event stress, social support, current symptoms, and physician visits.
Respondents who reported no GI symptoms were also invited to complete the questionnaires, these participants were the controls.
The researchers found that functional GI disorders were more likely to be reported by those with higher scores on each of the 9 scales used to measure psychological distress.
Using multiple logistic regression, the team found that somatization, interpersonal sensitivity, and total life event stress were independently associated with functional GI disorders.
Dr Richard Locke's team concluded, "Contrary to current dogma, psychosocial factors were significantly associated with functional GI disorders in this community sample".
"This suggests that these factors may be involved in the etiopathogenesis rather than just driving health-care utilization".