Article

Understanding gastrointestinal distress: a framework for clinical practice.

Department of Gastroenterology, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, California, USA.
The American Journal of Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 9.21). 03/2011; 106(3):380-5.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We describe a framework to help clinicians think about health-related quality of life in their gastrointestinal (GI) patients. We introduce "GI distress" as a clinically relevant concept and explain how it may result from physical symptoms, cognitions, and emotions. The GI distress framework suggests that providers should divide GI physical symptoms into four categories: pain, gas/bloat, altered defecation, and foregut symptoms. We describe how these physical symptoms can be amplified by maladaptive cognitions, including external locus of control, catastrophizing, and anticipation anxiety. We suggest determining the level of embarrassment from GI symptoms and asking about stigmatization. GI patients may also harbor emotional distress from their illness and may exhibit visceral anxiety marked by hypervigilance, fear, and avoidance of GI sensations. Look for signs of devitalization, indicated by inappropriate fatigue. When appropriate, screen for suicidal ideations. Finally, we provide a list of high-yield questions to screen for these maladaptive cognitions and emotions, and explain how the GI distress framework can be used in clinical practice.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
81 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Prior estimates suggest that up to 40 % of the US general population (GP) report symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). However, symptoms in the GP versus patients seeking care for gastrointestinal (GI) complaints have not been compared. We estimated the prevalence and severity of GERD symptoms in the GP versus GI patients, and identified predictors of GERD severity. We hypothesized that similar to functional GI disorders, psychosocial factors would predict symptom severity in GERD as much, or perhaps more, than care-seeking behavior alone. We compared the prevalence of heartburn and regurgitation between a sample from the US GP and patients seeking GI specialty care. We compared GERD severity between groups using the NIH PROMIS(®) GERD scale. We then performed multivariable regression to identify predictors of GERD severity. There was no difference in the prevalence of heartburn between the GP and patient groups (59 vs. 59 %), but regurgitation was more common in patients versus GP (46 vs. 39 %; p = 0.004). In multivariable regression, having high visceral anxiety (p < 0.001) and being divorced or separated (p = 0.006) were associated with higher GERD severity. More than half of a GP sample reports heartburn-higher than previous series and no different from GI patients. Although regurgitation was more prevalent in patients versus the GP, there was no difference in GERD severity between groups after adjusting for other factors; care seeking in GERD appears related to factors beyond symptoms, including visceral anxiety.
    Digestive Diseases and Sciences 05/2014; · 2.26 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS(®)) is a standardized set of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) that cover physical, mental, and social health. The aim of this study was to develop the NIH PROMIS gastrointestinal (GI) symptom measures.METHODS:We first conducted a systematic literature review to develop a broad conceptual model of GI symptoms. We complemented the review with 12 focus groups including 102 GI patients. We developed PROMIS items based on the literature and input from the focus groups followed by cognitive debriefing in 28 patients. We administered the items to diverse GI patients (irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), systemic sclerosis (SSc), and other common GI disorders) and a census-based US general population (GP) control sample. We created scales based on confirmatory factor analyses and item response theory modeling, and evaluated the scales for reliability and validity.RESULTS:A total of 102 items were developed and administered to 865 patients with GI conditions and 1,177 GP participants. Factor analyses provided support for eight scales: gastroesophageal reflux (13 items), disrupted swallowing (7 items), diarrhea (5 items), bowel incontinence/soilage (4 items), nausea and vomiting (4 items), constipation (9 items), belly pain (6 items), and gas/bloat/flatulence (12 items). The scales correlated significantly with both generic and disease-targeted legacy instruments, and demonstrate evidence of reliability.CONCLUSIONS:Using the NIH PROMIS framework, we developed eight GI symptom scales that can now be used for clinical care and research across the full range of GI disorders.Am J Gastroenterol advance online publication, 9 September 2014; doi:10.1038/ajg.2014.237.
    The American Journal of Gastroenterology 09/2014; · 9.21 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: IBS is estimated to have a prevalence of up to 20% in Western populations and results in substantial costs to health-care services worldwide, estimated to be US$1 billion per year in the USA. IBS remains difficult to diagnose due to its multifactorial aetiology, heterogeneous nature and overlap of symptoms with organic pathologies, such as coeliac disease and IBD. As a result, IBS often continues to be a diagnosis of exclusion, resulting in unnecessary investigations. Available methods for the diagnosis of IBS-including the current gold standard, the Rome III criteria-perform only moderately well. Visceral hypersensitivity and altered pain perception do not discriminate between IBS and other functional gastrointestinal diseases or health with any great accuracy. Attention has now turned to developing novel biomarkers and using psychological markers (so-called psychomarkers) to aid the diagnosis of IBS. This Review describes how useful symptoms, symptom-based criteria, biomarkers and psychomarkers, and indeed combinations of all these approaches, are in the diagnosis of IBS. Future directions in diagnosing IBS could include combining demographic data, gastrointestinal symptoms, biomarkers and psychomarkers using statistical methods. Latent class analysis to distinguish between IBS and non-IBS symptom profiles might also represent a promising avenue for future research.
    Nature Reviews Gastroenterology &#38 Hepatology 07/2014; · 10.81 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
7 Downloads
Available from
Dec 10, 2014