Foxx-Orenstein A, Clarida J. Irritable bowel syndrome in women: the physician-patient relationship evolving. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2001;101(12_suppl_2):12S–16S. doi: .
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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common functional gastrointestinal disorders seen by primary care physicians and specialists. The disorder affects approximately 15% to 20% of the world's population and is predominately found in women. Despite the high prevalence of IBS in the general population, our understanding of the disorder's diagnosis, etiology, and treatment options are limited. This deficiency in our understanding is the foundation to the distressed physician-patient relationships that are commonly found with this disorder. By becoming familiar with the diagnostic criteria for IBS and gaining a stronger understanding of the biopsychosocial factors of IBS symptomatology as well as the available treatment methods, the primary care physician or specialist can ensure greater confidence in making a correct diagnosis and in making other professional decisions with patients with IBS. Improvements in these areas will foster a supportive environment for a therapeutic relationship between physician and patient, thereby optimizing quality patient care and treatment outcome.
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