Monograph: More Than a Gut Feeling: Optimizing Diagnosis and Care of Patients with IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most commonly diagnosed gastrointestinal disorder across primary and specialty settings. It is characterized by the presence of recurrent abdominal pain often with bloating and disordered bowel habits. IBS can present with a wide spectrum of symptoms, ranging from IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D) to IBS with constipation (IBS-C) to IBS with a mixed bowel pattern (IBS-M). While the prevalence varies from country to country, the worldwide prevalence of IBS is approximately 11%. For many patients, IBS symptoms are chronic and relapsing with varying degrees of intensity. Evidence from the literature supports that the majority of patients (68%) receive their IBS diagnosis in the primary care setting. As such, PAs are uniquely positioned to tackle not only diagnosis but also the ongoing clinical management of symptoms. This program will appeal to various learning styles and allow participants to reinforce their knowledge and acquire new skills that can immediately be applied to clinical practice.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the PA should be better able to:
  • Assess patients for IBS during routine exams using simple screening questions
  • Evaluate patients with IBS using the Rome IV Diagnostic Criteria for IBS
  • Identify alarm features when evaluating a patient for potential IBS
  • Select appropriate pharmacologic options when treating patients with IBS

Acknowledgement of Commercial Support

Supported by an independent educational grant from AbbVie.