IBS Patient-Reported Outcomes Tied to Symptom Severity Ratings

Psychological factors of pain catastrophizing, somatization affect patient-reported outcomes

FRIDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Pain catastrophizing and somatization affect patients' judgments of pain, bloating, and/or bowel habits, which impact patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to a study published in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Jeffrey Lackner, Psy.D., Ph.D., from the State University of New York in Buffalo, and colleagues evaluated the overlap between two scales for IBS symptom severity, and their association with symptoms, including pain, bloating, and altered defecation. They also investigated the psychological factors which influence PRO ratings by affecting patients' interpretation of IBS symptom severity. A total of 98 patients, diagnosed with IBS on the basis of Rome III criteria, completed the multi-component IBS Symptom Severity Scale and the single-item, University of California Los Angeles Symptom Severity Scale. Pain; bloating; bowel habits; somatization; sensitivity to arousal symptoms (anxiety sensitivity); and a negative thinking style, called pain catastrophizing, were assessed.

The investigators found that the two global scales were associated with each other (r = 0.56). Each of the scales showed the strongest correlation with variation in abdominal pain. Pain catastrophizing and somatization influenced one or more of patient's judgments of pain, bloating, and bowel habits, thereby affecting the PROs.

"Depending on their structure and format, PROs can have different levels of sensitivity to core IBS symptoms and be influenced by psychological and somatic complaints that are beyond the aim of therapy and labeling claim," the authors write.

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