1Sarah Blagden, MBChB, BMedSc, is Foundation Year Two Doctor, Sandwell and West Birimingham Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, West Bromwich, United Kingdom. Thomas Kingstone, MSc, is PhD Student, Primary Care and Health Sciences, University of Keele, Staffordshire, United Kingdom. Andrew Soundy, PhD, is Lecturer in Physiotherapy, School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom. Rhonda Lee, MBBS, MPh, is Holistic Physician, C/O Freshwinds, Prospect Hall, Selly Oak, Birmingham, United Kingdom. Sukhdev Singh, MD, FRCP, is Consultant Gastroenterologist, Good Hope Hospital, Rectory Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, United Kingdom. Lesley Roberts, PhD, is Professor of Medical Education and Pro Dean Education, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder; however, it remains poorly understood. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic, organic bowel disease characterized by young age of onset, debilitating symptoms, and invasive and toxic treatment options. This study aimed to determine the impact of IBS and IBD on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and the ways by which these conditions affect HRQoL, with the purpose of informing nurse specialists in gastroenterology who are best placed to support HRQoL improvements. Quality of life, symptom, and demographic data were collected from patients with IBS and IBD and tabulated and examined. Analysis of data demonstrated that HRQoL is significantly lower in IBS than in IBD. However, the ways by which these two conditions affect HRQoL differs, with greater impairments in social and emotional aspects of life in individuals with IBS. Bowel symptoms were the same or worse in IBD.