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Irritable bowel syndrome in general practice: an overview.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder that is frequently seen in gastroenterological practice. Population-based studies have shown that at any point in time IBS symptoms are present in about 3%-22% of the general Western population. In general practice, half of all new patients have functional disorders and IBS is responsible for about five consultations per week. General practitioners (GPs) manage the majority of IBS patients, but most knowledge (and research) is based on the smaller percentage of patients managed in secondary care. There is a paucity of literature on differences or similarities between these two groups with regard to clinical characteristics or diagnostic approach.

METHODS

The literature published in English about IBS in general practice was reviewed.

CONCLUSIONS

Irritable bowel syndrome is frequently encountered in primary care. Primary care IBS patients, compared to secondary care patients, are likely to be young, female and to have less severe symptoms. But this is only true for some symptoms; for example, non-abdominal complaints are equally reported in both groups. The disorder can be diagnosed safely using internationally agreed symptom-based criteria, such as the Rome II criteria. Additional diagnostic measures will be necessary to support the diagnosis in only a minority of situations. Many primary care IBS patients can be managed given adequate reassurance and education, frequently without additional pharmacological treatment.

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Authors+Show Affiliations

,

Dept. of Gastroenterology, University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands.

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Source

MeSH

Health Care Costs
Humans
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Primary Health Care
Quality of Life

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

15696844

Citation

Oberndorff-Klein Woolthuis, A H., et al. "Irritable Bowel Syndrome in General Practice: an Overview." Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. Supplement, 2004, pp. 17-22.
Oberndorff-Klein Woolthuis AH, Brummer RJ, de Wit NJ, et al. Irritable bowel syndrome in general practice: an overview. Scand J Gastroenterol Suppl. 2004.
Oberndorff-Klein Woolthuis, A. H., Brummer, R. J., de Wit, N. J., Muris, J. W., & Stockbrügger, R. W. (2004). Irritable bowel syndrome in general practice: an overview. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. Supplement, (241), pp. 17-22.
Oberndorff-Klein Woolthuis AH, et al. Irritable Bowel Syndrome in General Practice: an Overview. Scand J Gastroenterol Suppl. 2004;(241)17-22. PubMed PMID: 15696844.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Irritable bowel syndrome in general practice: an overview. AU - Oberndorff-Klein Woolthuis,A H, AU - Brummer,R J M, AU - de Wit,N J, AU - Muris,J W M, AU - Stockbrügger,R W, PY - 2005/2/9/pubmed PY - 2005/5/6/medline PY - 2005/2/9/entrez SP - 17 EP - 22 JF - Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology. Supplement JO - Scand. J. Gastroenterol. Suppl. IS - 241 N2 - BACKGROUND: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder that is frequently seen in gastroenterological practice. Population-based studies have shown that at any point in time IBS symptoms are present in about 3%-22% of the general Western population. In general practice, half of all new patients have functional disorders and IBS is responsible for about five consultations per week. General practitioners (GPs) manage the majority of IBS patients, but most knowledge (and research) is based on the smaller percentage of patients managed in secondary care. There is a paucity of literature on differences or similarities between these two groups with regard to clinical characteristics or diagnostic approach. METHODS: The literature published in English about IBS in general practice was reviewed. CONCLUSIONS: Irritable bowel syndrome is frequently encountered in primary care. Primary care IBS patients, compared to secondary care patients, are likely to be young, female and to have less severe symptoms. But this is only true for some symptoms; for example, non-abdominal complaints are equally reported in both groups. The disorder can be diagnosed safely using internationally agreed symptom-based criteria, such as the Rome II criteria. Additional diagnostic measures will be necessary to support the diagnosis in only a minority of situations. Many primary care IBS patients can be managed given adequate reassurance and education, frequently without additional pharmacological treatment. SN - 0085-5928 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15696844/Irritable_bowel_syndrome_in_general_practice:_an_overview_ L2 - http://www.diseaseinfosearch.org/result/3876 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -