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Psychiatric aspects of irritable bowel syndrome

Author: 
Taher Abdelraheem Sayed and Mohamed Abdelaziz
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common functional gastrointestinal disorder and its epidemiological aspects and psychiatric comorbidities have not been properly investigated in Al Ahsa city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The aim of the study was to explore the epidemiological features, personality traits and psychiatric comorbidity of IBS, among Saudi adult patients. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of 127 Saudi adult patients diagnosed as IBS and 127 age and sex matched normal individuals living in the eastern province (Al Ahsa city) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Demographic data had been gathered including socioeconomic status (El-Gilany socioeconomic status scale). Personality characteristics were assessed using Minnesota II Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2) and the common associated psychiatric disorders (depression and anxiety) were evaluated using Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition (BDI-II) and Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A)respectively. Results: IBS is more common in females (57%), in the age group ≤ 30 years (42%), in divorced people (34%), low socioeconomic class (46%) and low educated people (32%). Scores of MMPI-II of IBS patients on hypochondriasis, depression, psychoasthenia and social introversion (93±4, 94±3, 83±5 and 94±3 respectively) were higher than the control group (87±3, 85±4, 77±3 and 89±3 respectively). Depression and anxiety were more common in IBS patients (57.48% and 45.67% respectively) than the control group (36.22% and 30.71 respectively). Conclusion: It is common to find hypochondical complaints, psychoasthenia symptoms and social introversion as abnormal personality characteristics in patients with IBS. High prevalence of psychiatric comorbidities especially depression and anxiety among IBS patients necessitate the simultaneous addressing of both somatic and psychological needs in those patients.

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