Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation Patients Frustrated With Limited Treatment Options Interview with:

Eamonn M.M. Quigley, M.D. Director, Lynda K. and David M. Underwood Center for Digestive Disorders Houston Methodist Hospital

Dr. Quigley

Eamonn M.M. Quigley, M.D.
Director, Lynda K. and David M. Underwood Center for Digestive Disorders
Houston Methodist Hospital What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The BURDEN IBS-C (Better Understanding and Recognition of the Disconnects, Experiences, and Needs of Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation) Study was designed to develop a better understanding of the experiences and attitudes associated with IBS-C.

This study consisted of more than 1,300 individuals who met IBS-C criteria (mean age 46 years; 73 percent of respondents were female) and completed the author-developed, IRB-approved online questionnaire. The study also evaluated, through an approximately 45-minute long questionnaire, more than 325 healthcare providers who treat patients with IBS-C.

Notably, the study found many patients experienced stress, lost productivity and described a feeling of frustration with their condition. HCPs recognize this frustration, yet underestimate how many patients have “accepted” their condition. Both patients and healthcare providers (HCPs) also noted a lack of satisfaction in currently available prescription treatments for IBS-C.

Detailed findings can be found here. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: IBS-C is a chronic, often disabling disorder affecting millions, about 4-5 percent, of the U.S. population. Results from the BURDEN IBS-C Study highlight the frustration people with IBS-C often experience living with this disorder, and suggest that patients and HCPs alike feel current treatments do not sufficiently address IBS-C symptoms. In fact, among patients currently using a prescription IBS-C treatment, 78 percent of patients were not completely satisfied with these treatments.

Additionally, more than half (55%) of HCPs were not satisfied or completely satisfied due to inadequate efficacy and 41 percent cited medication-related diarrhea as a significant challenge. These results point to real challenges with the current management of IBS-C and signal the need for a more productive dialogue between HCPs and people living with IBS-C about their health and treatment options. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: The BURDEN IBS-C study is important because there is limited published literature comparing the experiences and perceptions of patients with IBS-C to those of HCPs who treat these patients. While these data were not intended to inform clinical studies, it does support the need for continued research and development for new treatments for IBS-C. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: IBS-C affects more than 33 million Americans and is one of the most prevalent functional gastrointestinal disorders. While there are prescription treatment options available, not all patients find complete relief. It is important that patients seeking treatment for IBS-C and the HCPs who treat them engage directly and frequently about each individual patient’s health and treatment goals.

Dr. Quigley has served as a consultant to Allergan, Ironwood, Salix, Shire and Synergy. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


World Congress of Gastroenterology (WCOG) at American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) presentation:

BURDEN IBS-C Study (Better Understanding and Recognition of the Disconnects, Experiences, and Needs of Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation)

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.


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Last Updated on November 6, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD