Evaluation of Treatment-Seeking Behavior among the Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome Based on Their Psychological Profile
Keywords:Rome III, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12), Treatment-seeking behavior, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Background: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder associated with adverse mental status, impaired health-related quality of life (QOL), and high medical expenses. So, the impact of psychological factors on treatment-seeking behaviors in patients with IBS is not clearly defined. The aim of our study was to investigate the potential relationship between psychological factors and treatment-seeking behavior in patients with IBS.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was a part of the SEPAHAN research project and was conducted on 4763 non-academic staff of 50 different academic centers in Isfahan Province, Iran. From among the study population, 1024 individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were evaluated. This process was repeated 15 days and a week before the distribution of the questionnaires. The demographic questionnaire, Rome III questionnaire, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12), and treatment-seeking behavior checklistâ€Ž were completed for each participant and the results were compared between participants with and without IBS.
Results: The participants with and without IBS were significantly different in terms of frequency of insurance coverage, visiting the doctor [general physician (GP) or specialist], leaving work because of somatic problems, leaving work because of gastrointestinal (GI) problems, visiting the GP, visiting the GP because of GI problems, visiting a specialist because of GI problems, and using medications (P < 0.001). Prescription of imaging and visiting a specialist were not significantly different between the two groups (P = 0.014).
Conclusion: It was found that treatment-seeking behavior had a relation with socioeconomic status and comorbid psychiatric disorders. Moreover, patients with IBS who presented more treatment-seeking behavior experienced more anxiety and depression.