Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients frequently experience affective disorders and psychiatric outpatients frequently meet criteria for IBS. The exact nature of this co-morbidity is not clear. 34 patients with Rome-II diagnosed IBS were recruited from a Gastroenterology clinic. Patients with social anxiety disorder (10 SSRI-remitted and 7 untreated subjects) were used as a psychiatric comparison, 28 normal subjects from our register were included as a fourth group (Volunteers). Depressive and anxiety symptoms were measured by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Spielberger Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), respectively. Personality traits were measured with the Swedish universities Scales of Personality (SSP). IBS subjects had BDI and STAI scores intermediate between those of volunteers and patients, despite their lack of a co-morbid psychiatric diagnosis. A principle component factor analysis of the SSP dataset corresponded closely to the solution published with other samples. ANOVA revealed significant between-group differences for 7 of the 13 SSP variables.


peer-reviewed, subsyndromal, personality

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