The sense of coherence index & the irritable bowel syndrome. A cross-sectional comparison among IBS patients with & without coexisting fibromyalgia (FM), IBS non-patients & controls

BACKGROUND: Sense of Coherence (SOC) is a global orientation
that affects coping with stressors. A strong SOC is associated
with better health outcomes. The purpose of this study was to
evaluate SOC among patients with irritable bowel syndrome
(IBS) and matched controls.

METHODS: Seventy-nine IBS patients
and 72 matched controls completed questionnaires and were
tested for fibromyalgia (FS). The controls were subdivided
into healthy controls (n = 49) or IBS non-patients (n = 23),
and the patients into IBS only (n = 54) or IBS and FS (n =

RESULTS: The mean SOC score was higher for the controls
than for the IBS patients (65.7+/-1.2 and 59.6+/-1.1,
respectively; P = 0.003). There was no significant difference
between the healthy controls and the IBS non-patients. The
controls had a higher SOC than patients with IBS only and
patients with IBS and FS (P = 0.0004).

association was found between IBS and SOC. No causality can be
inferred from this study. Individuals with low SOC may be more
likely to express symptoms in terms of psychologic distress
and increased health care utilization because of poor coping
skills. Conversely, the presence of IBS may affect SOC
negatively. Further longitudinal studies could clarify the
potential of SOC as a predictor variable (for example, for
treatment results) or an outcome variable.

Sperber AD, Carmel S, Atzmon Y,Weisberg I, Shalit Y, Neumann L,Fich A, Buskila D

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