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Int J Psychiatry Med. 2007;37(3):245-55.

Depressive and anxiety symptoms, dysfunctional attitudes and social aspects in irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary. kovzoli@psych.sote.hu



Biopsychosocial models for both organic and functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders have been described in the recent literature. The objective of this study was to give further data to this model by assessing stressful life events, social support, psychopathological symptoms, and dysfunctional attitudes in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and healthy subjects.


Age- and gender-matched IBS and IBD patients presenting at a tertiary care gastroenterological center completed self-reported questionnaires on stressful life events, social support, depressive and anxiety symptoms and dysfunctional attitudes. For comparative purposes, data from an age- and gender-matched healthy control group were obtained.


No significant differences were found between the groups regarding stressful life events and social support. Both patient groups had higher depressive and anxiety symptoms compared to healthy subjects, and IBS patients had higher depressive scores compared to IBD patients. IBS patients had more dysfunctional attitudes compared to both IBD and healthy subjects, while IBD and healthy subjects did not differ on dysfunctional attitudes.


GI patient status is associated with depressive and anxiety symptoms, in addition IBS patients have more severe depressive symptoms and depressogenic dysfunctional attitudes. The fact that functional GI patients are characterized by more severe psychological, but not social parameters, supports the hypothesis that IBS might be related to the range of depressive disorders.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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