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Pubmed-A follow-up study of anxiety and depressive symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome

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Indian J Psychiatry. 2024 Feb;66(2):142-147. doi: 10.4103/indianjpsychiatry.indianjpsychiatry_732_23. Epub 2024 Feb 12.


BACKGROUND: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder and is closely linked to stress. Psychiatric morbidities such as anxiety and depression are common in IBS. Long-term follow-up studies on anxiety and depressive symptoms in IBS and the impact of treatment are lacking in the Indian scenario.

AIMS: This study aimed to assess the various subtypes of IBS according to the Rome IV criteria, assess anxiety and depressive symptoms in patients with IBS at baseline and also at various phases of follow-up over one year, and see the impact of the treatment of both IBS and associated anxiety and depressive symptoms if present, in the severity of IBS and other psychiatric symptoms.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with IBS, aged between 18 and 65 years, were enrolled for the study. Subtypes and severity of IBS were assessed. Anxiety and depressive symptoms were assessed by the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAM-A) and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D), respectively. The patients were treated with conventional treatment of IBS with concomitant treatment of anxiety and depressive symptoms and were followed up for 1 year.

RESULTS: Thirty-seven patients completed a 1-year follow-up. The mean age was 38.4 ± 11.6 years. The majority were males (81%), and IBS-D (84%) was the most common subtype. Stressful life events (67.6%) and chronic stressors (64.9%) were present in the majority of the patients. The patients had moderate-to-severe anxiety at baseline (HAM-A score 27.8 ± 6.4) and moderate-to-severe depression at baseline (HAM-D score 19.7 ± 6.6). The improvement over 1 year was statistically significant (P = 0.000, two-tailed). A positive correlation between the severity score of IBS and HAM-D (r = 0.604) and HAM-A (r = 0.536) scores was present.

CONCLUSION: There is a high prevalence of anxiety and depression in patients with IBS. With adequate treatment of both IBS and concomitant anxiety-depressive symptoms, there is a significant decrease in the severity of IBS, anxiety, and depression.

PMID:38523769 | PMC:PMC10956588 | DOI:10.4103/indianjpsychiatry.indianjpsychiatry_732_23

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