Symptom Severity, Mood, and Healthcare Use Are Associated With Satisfaction in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Singh P1, Ballou S2, Katon J1, Takazawa E1, Rangan V1, Mukherjee R1, Iturrino J1, Nee J1, Lembo A1. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020 Feb 11. pii: S1542-3565(20)30170-1. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2020.01.045. [Epub ahead of print]


Author information

1 Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

2 Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address: sballou@bidmc.harvard.edu.


BACKGROUND & AIMS: Patient satisfaction is an important, but largely overlooked, component of management of functional gastrointestinal disorders. We aimed to identify demographic, clinical, psychosocial, and health-care use factors associated with satisfaction of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

METHODS: We collected data from consecutive patients at an outpatient gastroenterology clinic of a tertiary care center from 2017 through 2019; the patients completed an electronic symptom survey at their initial visit and 3-6 months later. Patients were included in the study if they met Rome IV criteria for IBS with no organic cause for their symptoms. Patient satisfaction was measured using the irritable bowel syndrome satisfaction with care scale. We collected demographic, clinical, psychosocial, and healthcare use information from survey responses and review of medical records.

RESULTS: Of the 137 patients who completed the study, most were satisfied a great deal (34.9%) or completely (18.6%), whereas 6.2% were not satisfied at all and 14.7% were a little satisfied. Among the 5 satisfaction subscales, the highest proportion of patients were satisfied with connection with their provider (93.4%). The subscale benefits of the visit had the lowest satisfaction rate (70.8%). Factors associated with overall satisfaction scores in the 3-6 months after initial consultation included decreased severity of IBS, higher number of follow-up gastroenterology visits, higher number of diagnostic tests during the follow-up period, and higher number of recommendations made at initial visit. Additionally, lower depression score at initial visit associated with higher satisfaction after 3-6 months.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on a survey of 137 patients with IBS, factors associated with satisfaction 3-6 months after establishing care with a gastroenterologist include reduced IBS severity, lower depression score at initial visit, higher number of recommendations, and higher number of follow-up gastroenterology visits.

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