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258 DOES THE INITIAL HEALTH PERCEPTION OF IBS PATIENTS, RECORDED AT THE TIME OF DIAGNOSIS, CHANGE OVER THE FOLLOWING TWO MONTHS, AND HOW VALUABLE IS THIS HEALTH PERCEPTION IN PREDICTING OUTCOME? A PILOT STUDY
C.L. Rutter1, S.G.R.G. Barton2, D.R. Rutter1.1Centre for Research in Health Behaviour, Department of Psychology, University of Kent at Canterbury, Canterbury, Kent; 2Department of Gastroenterology, Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Canterbury, Kent, UK
Introduction: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common condition affecting up to 30% of the population. The determinants relating to the uptake of primary and secondary medical care are unclear although IBS patients referred to secondary care have been found to have greater severity of symptoms, greater psychiatric-comorbidity and more negative health beliefs about their illness such as death phobia and catastrophizing. It is unclear whether these health beliefs are pre-existing or develop in response to the symptoms or perhaps in response to having negative test results. This study analyses the health perception (Leventhal et al. 1980; 1984) of IBS patients at the time of diagnosis and again two months later.
Methods: Thirty-five patients with IBS were recruited from the out-patient clinic of the Gastroenterology Department of the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Kent. Each patient was recruited on their first visit to the gastroenterologist and completed a brief demographic questionnaire. A diagnosis of IBS was determined after taking a complete history of the patient, and receiving clear test results from barium enema or colonoscopy and from bloods. Patients completed the illness perception questionnaire within the first couple of weeks of receiving their IBS diagnosis. Two months later, these patients were contacted again and asked to complete the illness perception questionnaire, the hospital anxiety and depression scale and questions relating to their perceived quality of life and satisfaction with health.
Results: The individual components of the health perception: psychological cause, external cause, timeline, consequences and the possibility for cure / control did not change significantly over the two time points, suggesting …
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