Practical Evaluation and Handling of Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Bodil Ohlsson

Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Internal Medicine, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Disclosure: No potential conflict of interest.
Received: 19.07.13 Accepted: 06.12.13
Citation: EMJ Gastroenterol. 2013;1:48-53.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disorder by unknown aetiology. Several reviews are written about pharmacological and psychological treatment of the disease. Nevertheless, healthcare professionals consider these patients difficult to handle in daily practice. There is an uncertainty about how to measure symptoms and to evaluate the effect of any given treatment. In the absence of objective markers, professionals feel unsure of how to manage the condition and the patients do not feel that they are taken seriously. The development of the short, self-reported questionnaire, Visual Analogue Scale for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (VAS-IBS), offers a practical guide to objective measurement of symptoms and effect of given treatments into numerical values in the daily practice.

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