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Psychosocial problems at work more serious in women with IBS

Females with IBS report more problems in their daily functioning in the workplace than men with IBS, finds this month's American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Everyday psychosocial functioning and quality of life are both known to be reduced for patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

However, few previous studies have analyzed associations with functioning in working life.

Accordingly, Dr Åshild Faresjö and colleagues from Sweden examined quality of life, and psychological complaints in IBS patients.

The team assessed perceptions of working conditions, and functioning in the workplace among the patients.

The research team compared the results with 1041 age- and sex-matched controls randomly selected from the general population.

The researchers used a case-control study design based on 347 IBS patients from general practice.

Female IBS patients reported more long-term sick leave
American Journal of Gastroenterology

A survey was performed including validated questions concerning job strain, quality of life.

In addition, the researchers enquired about absence because of illness, depression, anxiety, and sleeping habits.

The team found that the IBS patients reported more often that their daily performance in working life was affected by their gastrointestinal problems.

Male IBS cases only reported less authority regarding decisions on their working pace.

The team observed that female IBS patients reported less decision authority regarding planning their work.

The researchers noted that female IBS patients reported fewer learning opportunities at work, and more long-term sick leave than their controls.

The female IBS cases also reported lower quality of life in all dimensions than their controls.

Dr Faresjö's concluded, “In particular, female IBS patients reported lower authority over decisions at work and problems in their daily functioning in the workplace.”

“These associations persisted after adjustments for possible confounders such as mood, sleeping problems, and perceived health.”

Am J Gastroenterol 2007: 102(2): 371
07 February 2007

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