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Pubmed-Cognition of abdominal pain and abdominal discomfort in Chinese patients with irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea

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Biopsychosoc Med. 2023 Sep 8;17(1):31. doi: 10.1186/s13030-023-00286-1.


BACKGROUND: In Asia, the proportion of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with abdominal discomfort alone is significantly higher than that in western countries. The purposes of this study are to understand the cognition of abdominal pain and abdominal discomfort in Chinese patients with IBS and to compare the clinical characteristics of patients with abdominal pain alone and with abdominal discomfort alone.

METHODS: Patients with IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D) who met the Rome III diagnostic criteria and had episodes of at least one day/week were consecutively enrolled. The cognition of abdominal pain and abdominal discomfort were investigated through face-to-face unstructured interview. Patients were divided into a pain group and a discomfort group according to the cognition interviews, then the characteristics and severity of symptoms (IBS symptom severity scale, IBS-SSS), IBS quality of life (IBS-QOL) and psychological state were compared between groups.

RESULTS: A total of 88 patients with IBS-D were enrolled. Most of the patients with self-reported abdominal pain described their pain as spasm/cramping; patients with self-reported abdominal discomfort had as many as 24 different descriptions of discomfort. Most patients having abdominal pain and discomfort could accurately distinguish the two symptoms. The degree of abdominal pain in the pain group was higher than abdominal discomfort in the discomfort group (P = 0.002). There was no significant difference in IBS-SSS, extra-intestinal pain, IBS-QOL, and psychological state between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS: For Chinese patients with IBS-D, abdominal pain and abdominal discomfort are two different symptoms, but they have similar clinical features.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ChiCTR, ChiCTR1900028082. Registered 11 December 2019 - Retrospectively registered, http://www.chictr.org.cn .

PMID:37684670 | DOI:10.1186/s13030-023-00286-1

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