Determining patient treatment preferences for management of acute pain episodes in irritable bowel syndrome

Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2021 Dec;33(12):e14145. doi: 10.1111/nmo.14145. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

Christopher V Almario 1 2 3 4 5, Samuel Eberlein 3, Carine Khalil 3, Brennan M R Spiegel 1 2 3 4 6


Author information

1Department of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA.

2Karsh Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA.

3Cedars-Sinai Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CS-CORE), Los Angeles, California, USA.

4Division of Health Services Research, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA.

5Division of Informatics, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA.

6Department of Health Policy and Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, California, USA.


Background: Many patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) experience acute and unexpected pain episodes over and above chronic background symptoms, and there are emerging medications designed to treat such pain. We aimed to use conjoint analysis-a technique that elucidates how people make complex decisions-to examine patient preferences for emerging medicines for breakthrough IBS pain.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional conjoint analysis survey among patients with Rome IV IBS and recurrent episodes of acute pain to assess the relative importance of medication attributes in their decision-making. We also assessed what respondents would require of subcutaneous (SQ) therapies to consider their use.

Key results: Among 629 patients with Rome IV IBS, 606 (96.3%) reported ≥1 acute pain episodes in the past month. For the 461 participants with multiple attacks who completed the conjoint analysis, they prioritized medication efficacy (importance score 34.9%), avoidance of nausea (24.3%), and avoidance of constipation (12.2%) as most important in their decision-making. These were followed by route of administration (10.3%), avoidance of headache (9.3%), and avoidance of drowsiness (8.9%). Moreover, 431 (93.5%) participants would consider SQ therapies for their acute pain; they had varying expectations on the minimum pain decrease and onset and duration of pain relief needed for considering their use.

Conclusions and inferences: The vast majority of patients with IBS experience breakthrough pain, and when selecting among therapies, they prioritize efficacy and most are willing to use a rapid-acting SQ treatment. These results support development of novel, effective medications-oral or SQ-for management of acute pain attacks.

© Copyright 2013-2023 GI Health Foundation. All rights reserved.
This site is maintained as an educational resource for US healthcare providers only. Use of this website is governed by the GIHF terms of use and privacy statement.