Aims: Heath-related quality of life (QoL) is decreased in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) but the relationship between symptom intensity of IBS and QoL remains largely unknown. The aim of this prospective survey was to investigate the relationship between intensity of IBS and changes in QoL.
Methods: Eight hundred and fifty-eight patients with IBS, according to Rome II criteria, completed a symptom questionnaire to measure intensity of IBS, and the gastrointestinal quality of life (GIQLI) questionnaire, which is a general QoL measure in patients with gastrointestinal disorders.
Results: 37.2% of the patients had constipation-predominant type IBS, 37.3% had diarrhea-predominant IBS and 25.4% had alternating diarrhea and constipation type symptoms. IBS was considered to be in remission or mild in 8.3% of patients; 41.3% had moderate IBS and 50.4% had severe IBS. The mean GIQLI score was 88 +/- 20. There was a significant correlation between symptom intensity and changes in QoL. Other significantly related factors were the type of bowel abnormality and gender.
Conclusion: In IBS patients, symptom intensity and type of IBS have a negative impact on health-related QoL.