Effective Doctor-Patient Communication is Essential

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Milwaukee, WI, March 30, 2015 – Successful relationships between healthcare providers and those affected by long-term conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are an important part of managing life with a chronic disorder. An online survey aimed at identifying what makes for a good patient-provider relationship in order to better meet the needs of individuals with IBS is currently seeking participants.

The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) encourages those living with IBS to take part in the confidential research study, being conducted by the University of Michigan and the Drossman Center for Education and Practice of Biopsychosocial Care, in cooperation with IFFGD. By sharing information about good or bad experiences with their providers, those being treated for IBS will help identify ways to improve doctor-patient relationships that can lead to more effective treatment.   

“Good communication between the doctor and the patient is an essential part of care for people with symptoms of IBS,” said Douglas A. Drossman, M.D., Chapel Hill, N.C. “Most of the relevant information that is used to make a diagnosis is gathered by providers while talking with and listening to their patients. Also, effective communication during the course of care has been shown to significantly increase patient satisfaction, symptom improvement, daily function and quality of life for patients.”
IBS is a chronic digestive condition that affects about one in every 10 people. No structural abnormality that would explain symptoms shows up on tests. IBS is characterized by recurring abdominal pain or discomfort related to a change in bowel pattern, including diarrhea and/or constipation. Numerous other symptoms may occur as well. Symptoms vary from person to person with the condition and can also change over time, leading to continual uncertainty about treatment for those who are affected. People with symptoms need to see their doctor to be diagnosed and to determine what treatment approach will work best for them.

“IBS can be debilitating to live with, both physically and emotionally. Patients and providers need to work as partners to best manage the condition. Learning more about the factors that can improve doctor-patient communication will help providers better serve their patients, while helping people affected so they can get on with their daily lives,” said Nancy Norton, president and founder of IFFGD.
April is IBS Awareness Month. To learn more about IBS and how to take part in the online research study, visit IFFGD’s website www.aboutibs.org

IFFGD is a nonprofit education and research organization that addresses issues surrounding life with functional gastrointestinal (GI) and motility disorders. Founded in 1991, IFFGD helps improve care by enhancing awareness, educating, and supporting research into treatments and cures for GI disorders. Information is available online at www.iffgd.org or by contacting.


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