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The relationship of functional gastrointestinal disorders and psychosocail comorbidities in patients at a rural public health clinic

1 August 2002


Objective: Psychological and social disturbances are prominent features of gastrointestinal disorders and can have an impact on illness severity, healthcare seeking behavior, and outcome. Methods: Patients who had been to the clinic at least once during the past year for either a gastrointestinal illness or psychosocial illness were studied. These patients' records were reviewed over the previous five years for the presence of other psychiatric or gastrointestinal disorders. The data was collected using standardized methods. Results: Patients with GI disorders also have psychiatric comorbidities. Depression is the most common psychological illness associated with GI disorders. The majority of patients with lBS have a psychosocial illness, predominantly depression. Women have greater health seeking behavior for both GI illness and depression than men. Conclusions: This study was a descriptive study on a population of patients who visited the Tillamook County Health Department. The results correlate with other studies that show a strong relationship between FGID and psychosocial disorders. This knowledge should guide the practitioner to provide appropriate intervention and treatment modalities in order to provide optimum patient care.


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