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Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2015 Apr;107(4):202-10.

The irritable bowel syndrome care process from the patients´ and professionals´ views.



This study assessed the experiences of irritable bowel syndrome patients with the healthcare system. Specifically, this study focused on the barriers that patients found.


Three focus groups were conducted with the participation of 19 patients and 10 healthcare professionals. From this information a script of questions was designed and 33 structured interviews were conducted. Finally, a scale for evaluation of the perception of patients was designed for primary care (14 items) and gastroenterology (13 items). Internal consistency and construct validity were calculated.


The difficulties of accessibility, to clarify doubts, concerns regarding uncertainty, reduced information about prognosis and its social and labour effects were the most cited by patients. Low adherence and persistence in the treatment plan were the problems cited most often by professionals. The items of the scale for primary care were grouped into 4 factors (explained variance, 73%), while those for gastroenterology were grouped into 3 factors (explained variance, 67%). The internal consistency was 0.84 and 0.82, respectively. A total of 29 (88%) patients were satisfied with the care provided in gastroenterology, while 24 (73%) declared themselves satisfied with the primary care physician (Chi-square 2.4, p = 0.21). This study was carried out from November 2013 to July 2014.


This study describes the most relevant problems in the assistance received by these patients.

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