Multidisciplinary care for severe IBS shows improvement over GI care alone

An abstract presented this year at DDW supports the benefit of a multidisciplinary approach for those with severe functional GI disorders.

To test the efficacy of a multidisciplinary care approach, researchers recruited 35 patients with a severe manifestation of a functional gastrointestinal disorder (FGID) — defined as having symptoms for more than 3 years that impaired quality of life and did not sufficiently respond to previous conventional therapy — and matched them to 35 control patients with a non-severe FGID.

Patients with a severe FGID underwent a standardized assessment and treatment sessions with a GI, general practitioner, psychologist, dietitian and exercise physiologist. Controls, with the milder disease, received standard care by a GI.

The primary outcome of the study was a change in number of items scored moderate and above on the Structured Assessment of Gastrointestinal Symptoms (SAGIS) scale, which is a measurement of 22 GI symptoms scored on a scale of 0 to 4.

Patients in the multidisciplinary care group saw the number of SAGIS items scored moderate and above decrease by 48% compared with a 6% decrease in the control group (P = .001). They also experienced a 36% decrease in total SAGIS score compared with 8% in the control group (P = .001). Additionally, 57% made clinically significant reductions in SAGIS scale compared with 23% in the control group.

Although the control group had milder symptoms to begin with, for those with severe functional symptoms, a multidisciplinary approach seems very valuable.

See the review and commentary on Healio here.

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