• Hassan Yousef Taha Joint Program of Family Medicine Postgraduate Studies. AL Madinah AL Munawara 42313, Saudi Arabia
  • Abdulaziz Al Johani Joint Program of Family Medicine Postgraduate Studies. AL Madinah AL Munawara 42313, Saudi Arabia
Keywords: irritable bowel syndrome, risk factors, depression, anxiety, quality of life, mental health


This cross-study aimed to determine the prevalence of IBS and its associated factors among 205 healthcare professionals in the primary health care centers in Al-Madinah City. Cluster sampling was used to select 16 primary health centers from the four regions of the city. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data about socio-demographics, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Rome IV Diagnostic Questionnaire, dysphoria scale, and performance scale. Mean (SD) age of participant was 34.5 (6.6). Majority were nurses (40%) and Saudi (93.7%). The prevalence of IBS was 16%. Factors associated with IBS in the univariate analysis were nationality(p=0.023) anxiety (p=0.010), depression (p<0.001), performance (p<0.001) and dysphoria (p=0.003). In multivariate analysis, the significant predictor of IBS was depression (aOR=1.3, 95%CI 1.2-1.4, p<0.001). In conclusion, the prevalence of IBS among healthcare professionals in the current study was 16.1%, with predominantly IBS-Constipation subtype. IBS was associated mainly with depression. Future intervention studies are recommended to establish possible causal inferences between psychological morbidities and quality of life domains for rectification on treatment aspects of IBS.


Ibrahim NK, Al-Bloushy RI, Sait SH, et al. Irritable bowel syndrome among nurses working in king Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Libyan J Med. 2016; 11: 30866.

Tosun O, Dabak R, Sargin M, et al. Frequency of irritable bowel syndrome among healthcare personnel. Gastroenterology Nursing. 2016; 39(3): 227-231.

Qureshi SR, Abdelaal AM, Janjua ZA, et al. Irritable bowel syndrome: A global challenge among medical students. Cureus. 2016; 8(8):e721.

Liu L, Xiao Q, Zhang Y, et al. A cross-sectional study of irritable bowel syndrome in nurses in China: prevalence and associated psychological and lifestyle factors. J Zhejiang Univ-Sci B (Biomed & Biotechnol). 2014; 15(6):590-597.

Ibrahim NK, Battarjee WF, Almehmadi SA. Prevalence and predictors of irritable bowel syndrome among medical students and interns in King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah. Libyan J Med. 2013; 8:21287.

Dong YY, Zuo XL, Li CQ, et al. Prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome in Chinese college and university students assessed using Rome III criteria. World J Gastroenterol. 2010; 16:4221–4226.

Jerndal P, Rinqstrom G, Agerforz P, et al. Gastrointestinal-specific anxiety: an important factor for severity of GI symptoms and quality of life in IBS. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2010; 22(6):646-e179.

Nicholl BI, Halder SL, Macfarlane GJ, et al. Psychosocial risk markers for new onset irritable bowel syndrome - results of a large prospective population based study. Pain. 2008; 137(1):147-155.

Savas LS, White DL, Wieman M, et al. Irritable bowel syndrome and dyspepsia among women veterans: prevalence and association with psychological distress. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2009; 29(1):115-125.

El-Serag HB. Impact of irritable bowel syndrome: prevalence and effect on health-related quality of life. Rev Gastroenterol Disord. 2003; 3:S3-11.

Huang WW, Zhou FS, Bushnell DM, et al. Cultural adaptation and application of the IBS-QOL in China: a disease-specific quality-of-life questionnaire. Qual Life Res. 2007; 16:991–96.

Okami Y, Kato T, Nin G, et al. Lifestyle and psychological factors related to irritable bowel syndrome in nursing and medical school students. J Gastroenterol. 2011; 46:1403–10.

Jafri W, Yakoob J, Jafri N, et al. Irritable bowel syndrome in healthcare professionals in Pakistan. Journal of Pakistan Medical Association. 2003; 53(9): 405.

Schmulson MJ, Drossman DA. What Is New in Rome IV. J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2017;23(2):151-163

Koh SJ, KimM, Ohda Y, et al. Psychosocial stress in nurses with shift work schedule is associated with functional gastrointestinal disorders. J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2014; 20: 516-522.

Kang JY. Systematic review; the influence of geography and ethnicity in IBS. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2005; 21: 663-676.

Drossman DA. The functional gastrointestinal disorders and the Rome III process. Gastroenterology. 2006; 130: 1377-1390.

Chang FY, Lu CL. Irritable bowel syndrome in the 21st century: Perspectives from Asia or South-east Asia. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2007; 22:4-12.

Drossman DA, Sandler RS, McKee DC, et al. Bowel patterns among subjects not seeking healthcare. Use of a questionnaire to identify a population with bowel dysfunction. Gastroenterology. 1982; 83: 529-534.

Hobday DI, Aziz Q, Thacker N, et al. A study of the cortical processing of ano-rectal sensation using functional MRI. Brain. 2001; 124: 361-368.

Carroccio A, Brusca I, Mansueto P, et al. Fecal assays detect hypersensitivity to cow's milk protein and gluten in adults with irritable bowel syndrome. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011; 9:965-971.e3.

Drossman DA, Camilleri M, Mayer EA, et al. AGA technical review on irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterology. 2002; 123: 2108–2131.

Kanuri N, Cassell B, Bruce SE, et al. The impact of abuse and mood on bowel symptoms and health-related quality of life in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2016; 28(10): 1508-1517.

Hungin AP, Whorwell PJ, Tack J, et al. The prevalence, patterns and impact of irritable bowel syndrome: an international survey of 40,000 subjects. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2003; 17(5): 643–650.

Ballou SK, Keefer L. Multicultural considerations in the diagnosis and management of irritable bowel syndrome: a selective summary. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013; 25(10): 1127–1133.

Patrick DL, Drossman DA, Frederick IO, et al. Quality of Life in Persons with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Development and Validation of a New Measure. Dig Dis Sci. 1998; 43(2): 400-411.

Shih YC, Barghout VE, Sandler RS, et al. Resource utilization associated with irritable bowel syndrome in the United States 1987–1997. Dig Dis Sci.2002; 47(8):1705–1715.

Dean BB, Aguilar D, Barghout V, et al. Impairment in work productivity and health-related quality of life in patients with IBS. Am J Manag Care. 2005, 11: S17–26.

Pare P, Gray J, Lam S, et al. Health-related quality of life, work productivity, and health care resource utilization of subjects with irritable bowel syndrome: baseline results from LOGIC (Longitudinal Outcomes Study of Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Canada), a naturalistic study. Clin Ther. 2006; 28: 1726–35

Jamali R, Jamali A, Poorrahnama M, et al. Evaluation of health-related quality of life in irritable bowel syndrome patients. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2012; 10(1):12.

Canavan C, West J, Card T. Change in quality of life for patients with irritable bowel syndrome following Referral to a gastroenterologist: A cohort study. Plos One. 2015; 10(10): e0139389.

Familoni OB. An overview of stress in medical practice. African Health Sciences. 2008; 8: 6-7.

Gregov L, Kovacevic A, Sliskovic A. Stress among Croatian physicians: comparison between physicians working in emergency medical services and health centers – pilot study. Croatian Medical Journal. 2011; 52: 8-15.

Kemper K, Bulla S, Krueger D, et al. Nurses experiences, expectations and preferences for mind-body practices to reduce stress. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011; 11: 26.

Sugaya N, Nomura S. Relationship between cognitive appraisals of symptoms and negative mood for subtypes of irritable bowel syndrome. Biopsychosoc Med. 2008; 2:9.

Naeem SS, Siddiqui EU, Kazi AN, et al. Prevalence and factors associated with irritable bowel syndrome among medical students of Karachi, Pakistan: a cross-sectional study. BMC Res Notes. 2012; 5: 255.

Tan YM, Goh KL, Muhidayah R, et al. Prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome in young adult Malaysians: A survey among medical students. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2003; 18: 1412-1416.

How to Cite