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|Title:||Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: relations between psychosocial factors, symptoms and sensorimotor disturbances|
|Authors:||Bennett, Ethelle Jeanette|
|Keywords:||functional gastrointestinal disorders;life stress;psychological;symptoms;sensory and motor disturbances|
|Publisher:||University of Sydney. Psychological Medicine|
|Abstract:||Although a vast literature attests to the belief that psychosocial disturbance is an important component of functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID), the relation of life stress, psychological distress and personality to the development of these disorders is poorly understood. The broad objective of this thesis is to provide data on relations between psychosocial factors and FGID, especially irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional dyspepsia (FD), in representative outpatient samples. Issues not previously addressed are examined in a series of studies. The first two studies are concerned with relations between psychosocial factors, extraintestinal (somatic) symptoms and the number and type of FGID syndromes present at consultation and, in IBS patients, the prospective relation of psychosocial factors to changes in symptom intensity over 16 months. The last three studies relate psychosocial factors to gastrointestinal (GI) transit, motor, and sensory function in FGID, abnormalities in these parameters representing the putative origin of symptoms in FGID. In total, 350 patients participated, representing a 95% participation rate. Important features of the methodology include the use of a recently standardised symptom-based classification system for FGID, an objective and reliable interview-based life stress instrument (The Life Events and Difficulties Schedule), and sophisticated and sensitive technologies to assess GI transit, motor and sensory function. Novel measures, which conceptually take into account the chronic, fluctuating and recurrent course of IBS and FD syndromes, and the tendency of these syndromes to coexist, are also included. Thus, measures of symptom outcome assess the number of syndromes present, while the symptom intensity variable reflects the severity and frequency of both FD and IBS symptoms, if both are present. Similarly, with respect to altered transit, and motor and sensory function, physiological outcome variables reflect not only the presence of an abnormality but the number of regions affected, and the type and number of abnormalities present. Cross-sectional findings showed for the first time that psychosocial disturbance is associated with FGID symptomatology in a quantitative manner, that chronic life stress threat is central to this process and this stress-related process is a prominent feature of a particular group of syndromes (ie IBS/FD) defined primarily by the presence of pain and discomfort. A combination of psychological, social and biological factors combined to predict the number of FGID syndromes present at entry into the study. Prominent among them was an angry, reactive and anxious (neurotic) personality, chronic life stress threat, increased coping, poor emotional support and increased age. In addition to a greater number of FD/IBS syndromes, individuals with an anger-reactive response style had experienced more intense pain and discomfort, and displayed more complete sensorimotor disturbance. Longitudinal data demonstrated (also for the first time) the strength, consistency and unequivocal direction of the relation of chronic threat to symptom intensity over time. Almost all of the within subject variance in symptom intensity levels (assessed on 3 occasions over a 16 month period) was explained by the severity of chronic threat during the previous 6 months or more. For 76% of IBS patients, the presence vs the absence of one or more highly threatening chronic stressors predicted with considerable precision, the long-term clinical outcome. Thus, no patient exposed to even one such stressor improved clinically (ie by at least 50%) over the follow-up period, while in contrast, all patients who improved clinically did so in the absence of such a stressor. For 24% of patients, however, failure to improve clinically could not be explained by any psychological, social (including life stress) or demographic factor included in this study. Key risk indicators of a poor outcome at 16 months were identified - chronic life stress threat, the severity of baseline GI symptomatology, and female gender. Life stress is important because it alone determined the magnitude and direction of change in symptom intensity over time, while the severity of baseline GI symptomatology revealed the extent of improvement required to achieve a recovery, and female gender predicted the presence of a larger number of FD/IBS syndromes in women long-term. Widespread hypomotility, which was almost exclusive to women in this study, represents one factor that may inhibit improvement (or rate of improvement) for women over time. Finally, these findings have identified a psychophysiological subgroup, with underlying psychosocial, motor (and perhaps also sensory) dysfunctions that are more specific for women than men, and which does not seem to be distinctive of any particular FGID subgroup.|
|Rights and Permissions:||Copyright Bennett, Ethelle Jeanette;http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/copyright.html|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
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|adt-NU2000.001606REFERENCES.pdf||117.71 kB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
|adt-NU2000.001602INTRODUCTION.pdf||277.94 kB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
|adt-NU2000.001605DISCUSSION.pdf||109.62 kB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
|adt-NU2000.001603METHODS.pdf||134.84 kB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
|adt-NU2000.001601FRONT.pdf||49.76 kB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
|adt-NU2000.001604RESULTS.pdf||124.54 kB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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