INTRODUCTION: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has a major impact on emotional, social, and professional life. This study aimed to evaluate general life satisfaction, a subjective measure of well-being, in IBS patients, and to determine which factors are associated with higher life satisfaction. METHODS: IBS patients (n = 195, mean age 51.4 ± 16.5 years, 73.8% female) recruited from primary and secondary/tertiary care completed questionnaires regarding gastrointestinal symptoms, quality of life, psychological factors, and life satisfaction (Satisfaction With Life Scale, 5 items, range 5-35). A finite mixture model analysis was performed to identify latent classes. Multivariable linear regression was used to identify variables associated with life satisfaction. RESULTS: Overall, 71.3% of the patients were satisfied about their life (Satisfaction With Life Scale-score ≥21). Three latent subgroups could be identified with significantly higher life satisfaction in the subgroup with higher mental quality of life, fewer anxiety and depressive symptoms, lower gastrointestinal specific anxiety, and lower gastrointestinal symptom severity, compared with the other 2 groups. Multivariable linear regression showed that higher physical quality of life (B0.168, P<0.001) and higher mental quality of life (B0.199, P < 0.001) were associated with higher life satisfaction. Using multivariable regression, no significant association was found between gastrointestinal symptom severity and life satisfaction. DISCUSSION: Higher physical and mental quality of life, but not gastrointestinal symptom severity, were independently associated with higher general life satisfaction in IBS. These findings reinforce the clinical need in IBS treatment to focus on the full extent of the disorder and not merely on gastrointestinal symptom improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-520
Number of pages9
JournalThe American Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number3
Early online date4 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024


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