Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a prevalent functional gastrointestinal dysmotility disorder.
Dr Maarten ten Berg and colleagues estimated the burden of illness of a patients suffering from IBS in the Netherlands.
Patients identified at community pharmacies, using mebeverine as a proxy for IBS, were given a questionnaire.
The questionnaire included the Rome II criteria for IBS, questions on the predominant type of stool during complaints, and severity of symptoms.
Questions were also asked about generic and disease-specific quality of life, current health status, and loss of productivity.
The research team identified 375 users of mebeverine, of which 169 patients met the Rome II criteria for IBS, and were included in the study.
| The loss in productivity of IBS patients was about 2 days per month|
|European Journal of Gastroenterology|
The team noted that 58% of the IBS patients reported severe abdominal pain and complaints.
The researchers found that generic and disease-specific quality of life outcomes showed impairment on all dimensions.
Current health status in IBS patients using the Euro quality of life-5D score was perceived on 62% of full health.
A calculation of health status in these patients based on the Short Form-6D algorithm showed a comparable score of 0.67, with 1 being full health.
The team observed that the loss in productivity of IBS patients was about 2 days per month.
Dr ten Berg's team commented, “This study confirmed that the burden of illness of IBS in the Netherlands is substantial.”
“IBS patients treated with mebeverine experienced low quality of life, and suffered from severe pain.”
“Based on these results, more attention for the diagnosis and treatment of IBS seems to be justified.”