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Work Productivity and Activity Impairment in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): A Multifaceted Problem

Journal article
Authors Åsa Frändemark
Hans Törnblom
S Jakobsson
Magnus Simrén
Published in American Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 113
Pages 1540-1549
ISSN 00029270
Publication year 2018
Published at University of Gothenburg Centre for person-centred care (GPCC)
Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition
Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Pages 1540-1549
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1038/s41395-018-...
Subject categories Nursing, Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Abstract

© 2018, American College of Gastroenterology. Objectives:: Patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are more likely to be both absent from and impaired at work compared to non-IBS patients. We investigated the impact of IBS on work productivity and activity impairment and the relationship to disease specific and general health measures. Method:: In total, 525 patients with IBS completed questionnaires assessing work productivity and activity impairment, IBS symptom severity, IBS-related quality of life and GI-specific anxiety. In addition, 155 of the patients completed questionnaires assessing severity of somatic symptoms, depression, anxiety and fatigue. Uni- and bivariate analyses were performed, as well as linear regression to determine factors independently associated with the work productivity and activity impairment measures. Results:: Of employed patients, 24.3% reported absenteeism and 86.8% reported presenteeism because of their IBS. With increasing severity of IBS symptoms and GI-specific anxiety, higher degrees of work impairment were seen. Work productivity impairment in IBS was also associated with low quality of life. GI-specific anxiety was independently associated with absenteeism (R2 = 0.23; p < 0.05), IBS-symptom severity and general fatigue with presenteeism (R2 = 0.40; p < 0.05), IBS-symptom severity, general fatigue and GI-specific anxiety with overall work loss (R2 = 0.50; p < 0.05), and IBS symptom severity and somatic symptoms with activity impairment (R2 = 0.38; p < 0.05). Conclusion:: Work impairment is a substantial problem in patients with IBS. A combination of IBS and somatic symptom severity, fatigue and psychological factors influence patients’ ability to be present, active and productive at work. Based on this, a multidimensional treatment approach for patients with IBS seems logical.

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