Quality of life in persons with irritable bowel syndrome: development and validation of a new measure

Dig Dis Sci. 1998 Feb;43(2):400-11. doi: 10.1023/a:1018831127942.


How irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and its treatment affect quality of life (QOL) is important. To develop a quality-of-life measure specific to irritable bowel syndrome, items were generated using a conceptual model and qualitative interviews with persons diagnosed using the Rome criteria. Symptom frequency and bothersomeness indices were created. Psychometric evaluation methods involved an initial cross-sectional survey followed by a repeat survey. The resulting 34-item measure demonstrated high internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.95) and high reproducibility (ICC = 0.86) with average time of seven days (SD = 1). For discriminant validity: number of symptoms (P < 0.05), self-reported severity of symptoms (P < 0.001), and the functional bowel disorder severity index (P < 0.001) significantly predicted IBS-QOL scores. Convergent validity and analyses confirmed predictions that scores are more closely related to psychological well-being (0.45) than to function (0.36). We conclude this measure meets established psychometric criteria for reliability and validity; testing of its responsiveness is warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional*
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reproducibility of Results