Patient knowledge and perspective on irritable bowel syndrome: development of a survey instrument

Dig Dis Sci. 2008 Jan;53(1):284-95. doi: 10.1007/s10620-007-9855-8. Epub 2007 Jun 28.


Purpose: A questionnaire measuring patient knowledge of, and concerns about, irritable bowel syndrome could improve patient care. The aims of this study were to operationalize the constructs used by patients to understand their symptoms and to develop a reliable, validated questionnaire.

Results: A total of 153 patients with irritable bowel syndrome completed the questionnaire. 119/153 (77.8%) completed a second identical questionnaire. Questions with high reliability and validity had responses with similar metrics. Reliability was more easily established in questions where the responses had no option for uncertainty. Test-retest reliability had a mean concordance of 0.8. Alternate form reliability had a mean concordance of 0.97. Inter-item reliability had Cronbach's alpha ranging from 0.57 to 0.86.

Conclusion: The survey instrument was found to be reliable, valid and usable. It provides descriptive data on patient knowledge, fears, and concerns surrounding irritable bowel syndrome. This easily administered questionnaire should provide novel information to improve patient care.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires