Patient preferences of healthcare delivery in irritable bowel syndrome: a focus group study

G.M.C. Masclee, J.T.W. Snijkers, M. Boersma, A.A.M. Masclee, D. Keszthelyi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a highly prevalent disorder with significant negative impact on quality of life of patients that results in high healthcare use and costs. Improving healthcare outcomes for IBS patients is warranted, however the exact needs of IBS patients with regard to therapy and control of symptoms are unknown. Methods Focus group interviews, using a two-stage model, were performed with twenty-three IBS patients meeting Rome III criteria and one mother of a patient, from four different regions from the Netherlands. Results Twenty-four participants were included of whom majority were female (n = 21), mean age was 43 years, and mean duration of IBS was 18 years. Five categories of patients' perspectives were identified: clear communication, a multidisciplinary treatment team, centers of expertise, focus on scientific research and information about IBS that is widely available for patients. Conclusions Based on these findings we highlight the need for IBS care givers to take these key items into account in IBS care. These elements aid clinicians, but mostly patients, in coping and management of symptoms and subsequent healthcare outcomes, reducing overall healthcare use and costs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number438
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Gastroenterology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2021


  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Therapy
  • Treatment
  • Focus group
  • Patient preference
  • LIFE
  • IBS


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