Psychosocial variables in irritable bowel syndrome: A review and proposal

Morgan T. Sammons, Paul Karoly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an uncertainly defined gastrointestinal disorder which accounts for a large proportion of all medical referrals from the general population. In the vast majority of cases of IBS, no organic pathology is found and the mortality rate is essentially nil. A number of psychological variables (notably depression and anxiety) and personality characteristics have been hypothesized to be significant in the etiology of the disorder, yet their role remains poorly understood. The lack of an adequate conceptual model may be the primary factor precluding a better understanding of IBS. The argument that IBS may represent a type of "learned-illness behavior" is examined. A multi-dimensional model of IBS, incorporating critical life events, hereditary factors, environmental facilitators, and self-maintenance processes is presented. The role of health psychologists in the evaluation and treatment of the disorder is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-204
Number of pages18
JournalClinical Psychology Review
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1987

Fingerprint

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Psychology
Illness Behavior
Personality
Referral and Consultation
Anxiety
Depression
Pathology
Mortality
Health
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Psychosocial variables in irritable bowel syndrome : A review and proposal. / Sammons, Morgan T.; Karoly, Paul.

In: Clinical Psychology Review, Vol. 7, No. 2, 1987, p. 187-204.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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