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  1. Ringstrom, Gisela RN
  2. Agerforz, Pia RN
  3. Lindh, Anette RN
  4. Jerlstad, Pernilla RN
  5. Wallin, Jenny RN
  6. Simren, Magnus PhD, MD


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder for which many patients experience a lack of information. By using a questionnaire, we aimed to explore how much knowledge these patients have, and what they find important to receive information and explanation about. Eighty-six subjects with IBS diagnosed in primary care and referred to a gastroenterologist completed the questionnaire before meeting the gastroenterologist. Approximately 80% had knowledge about IBS, although 55% stated that their knowledge was "just vague." According to visual analogue scale measurement, knowledge as well as satisfaction with knowledge was poor. Most patients had correct knowledge about IBS. Only 15% considered themselves to be thoroughly informed, and 24% stated that they had not received any information at all. The most important issue they wanted information about was what to do to improve symptoms. Many IBS patients seem to have correct knowledge about IBS; however, they do not consider themselves to have that knowledge, and therefore probably do not feel confident in using their knowledge. Encouraging and supporting patients with IBS could contribute to an increased ability to use their knowledge in a more appropriate way.