Perceptions of gastroenterologists and nurses regarding irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease

Ram Dickman, Michal Segev, Sigal Levi, Rebecca Reicher-Atir, Adam Steinmetz, Nechama Horev, Yaron Niv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have similar symptoms, and both adversely affect patients' quality of life. The objective of this study was to compare the perceptions of physicians and nurses regarding IBS and IBD. METHODS: The Illness Perception Questionnaire Revised, adapted for medical staff, was sent at random to 300 physicians and nurses of gastroenterology departments and outpatient clinics nationwide to assess perceptions of IBS or IBD. Responses were statistically analyzed by illness and professional group. RESULTS: Fifty-five physicians and 43 nurses returned the questionnaire (response rate, 32.6%). Fifty-two questionnaires pertained to IBS and 46 to IBD. More physicians than nurses stated that the course of both illnesses does not improve over time (P<0.05). Both groups showed that medical treatment is of greater benefit for IBD than IBS (P<0.05) and that patients with IBD better understand their illness than patients with IBS (P<0.05). CONCLUSION: Physicians and nurses hold different attitudes to and perceptions of IBD and IBS in terms of chronicity, severity of the consequences, treatment efficacy, personal control, and illness coherence. These differences may have important effects on the patient-health provider relationship and should be addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-817
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


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