The The respective impact of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) on patients? health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is perceived to be different because their etiologies are so different; IBS is a functional disorder, whereas IBD is an organic disease. The impact on HRQOL of these 2 conditions, however, may not be so different after all, according to the results of a study conducted by Fabio Pace, MD, et al, published in the October 2003 issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology.
Three questionnaires were administered to 80 patients with IBD and 85 patients with IBS in the outpatient department of an Italian hospital. Researchers found that HRQOL was similarly reduced in both disease groups, and that the overall severity of psychological symptoms was not statistically different between the 2 patient populations. In fact, the severity of recent stressful life experiences was perceived to be greater by patients with IBS, compared with psychological symptoms.