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An international study of irritable bowel syndrome: Family relationships and mind-body attributions
06/04/06 12:28 PM

Social Science & Medicine 62 (2006) 28382847

An international study of irritable bowel syndrome: Family
relationships and mind-body attributions

Mary-Joan Gersona,, Charles D. Gerson, Richard A. Awad, Christine Dancey, Pierre Poitrase, Piero Porcellif, Ami D. Sperberg

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal illness, characterized by potentially debilitating symptoms without pathologic findings, often associated with psychological conditions. Little is known about the psychosocial aspects of this condition on an international scale. A total of 239 patients in eight countries were given a series of psychological and medical questionnaires, including IBS activity, relationships with significant others, beliefs regarding the etiology of symptoms, and assessment of quality of life. There were highly significant associations between IBS severity and all other measures. Symptoms were worse if relationship conflict was high and if attributions about illness were physiological rather than psychological. Symptoms were less severe if relationship depth and support were high, and illness was viewed as psychological. Implications for treatment are discussed.

r 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Full study is available in PDF format. Mind Body Survey

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