Physician perception of IBS management in women and men.
Division of Gastroenterology, The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20037, USA.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a common gastrointestinal disorder that is manifested by abdominal pain and an alteration in bowel habits. It is estimated to occur in approximately 20% of the US population and is diagnosed more frequently in women compared to men. The principles of management do not differ based upon gender. However, there is not data that has evaluated physician perception of IBS diagnosis and management. This study evaluated internal medicine physicians' perception of IBS in women and men. Sixty internal medicine physicians (30 men, 30 women) completed anonymous surveys evaluating their perception of the ease of diagnosis and management of IBS. A database was created and analyzed using Epi Info. Statistical significance was determined with chi-square tables that generated P values. IBS was more frequently diagnosed in women. There was a statistically significant difference in women with IBS being not easy to diagnose when compared to men with IBS (P = 0.0003). There was also a statistically significant difference in men with IBS being reported to be not easy to manage when compared to women with IBS (P = 0.0014). This study revealed that physicians perceive a difference in the ease of diagnosis and management of IBS based upon gender. Further research is necessary to gain insight into the influence of patient gender upon this disorder.
PMID: 11837728 [PubMed - indexed for MEDL web page INE]