Impact of Rome IV Irritable Bowel Syndrome on Work and Activities of Daily Living

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2022 Jul 6. doi: 10.1111/apt.17132. Online ahead of print.


Vivek C Goodoory 1 2Cho Ee Ng 3Christopher J Black 1 2Alexander C Ford 1 2


Author information

1Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St. James's, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.

2Leeds Gastroenterology Institute, St. James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK.

3County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, Durham, UK.


Background: Few studies have demonstrated the impact of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) on work and activities of daily living.

Methods: We collected demographic, gastrointestinal symptom, psychological health and quality of life data from 752 adults with Rome IV-defined IBS. We used the work productivity and activity impairment questionnaire for irritable bowel syndrome and the work and social adjustment scale to examine the degree of both impairment at work and in activities of daily living, as well as factors associated with these.

Results: Of 467 individuals who were employed, 133 (28.5%) reported absenteeism, 373 (85.6%) presenteeism and 382 (81.8%) overall work impairment. A mean of 1.97 hours of work per week was lost due to IBS. Extrapolating this across the entire UK, we estimate that between 72 and 188 million hours of work are lost per year due to IBS in individuals of working age. Among all 752 participants, 684 (91.0%) reported any activity impairment with 220 (29.3%) reporting impairment in home management, 423 (56.3%) in social leisure activities, 207 (27.5%) in private leisure activities, and 203 (27.0%) in maintaining close relationships. Severe IBS, higher levels of anxiety, depression, somatization and gastrointestinal symptom-specific anxiety, and lower levels of IBS-related quality of life were associated with impairment in both work and activities of daily living.

Conclusion: Patients with IBS experience a substantial impact on their work and activities of daily living because of their IBS. Future studies should assess the impact of medical interventions on the ability to work and participate in social activities.


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