The purpose of this study was to investigate levels of stress, gynecological events, bowel, and psychological symptoms in Chinese women of reproductive age who experienced both diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (D-IBS) and premenstrual syndrome. A cross-sectional study used the self-reported questionnaire based on previous studies done abroad with the Rome III criteria and Symptom Checklist–90 Scale. The research was performed on 233 reproductive age women in China. A descriptive, comparative approach was used to (a) describe general characteristics and the history of disease both of the overlapping group and the D-IBS group, (b) compare stress and gynecological experience of the 2 groups, (c) compare the characteristics of defecation and bowel habits by group, and (d) compare psychological symptoms between groups. Percentage distribution and chi-square tests were used to analyze data. The results revealed that compared to simple D-IBS patients, the patients in the overlapping syndromes group had increased stress and gynecological events and more severe bowel and psychological symptoms. Overlapping syndromes were associated with repeated episodes of longer duration and delayed recovery. Future studies with expanded sample size and blood collection may verify and explain the results of this study.
Yu Zhang, PhD, RN, is Lecturer, Yangzhou University School of Medicine, Yangzhou, People's Republic of China.
Ping Bo, PhD, RN, is Professor, Yangzhou University School of Medicine, Yangzhou, People's Republic of China.
Xiangming Li, PhD, RN, is Professor, Yangzhou University School of Medicine, Yangzhou, People's Republic of China.
Correspondence to: Ping Bo, PhD, RN, Yangzhou University School of Medicine, No. 11 Huai Hai Road, Yangzhou 225001, People's Republic of China (email@example.com).
This study was supported by the funding from Jiangsu province, People's Republic of China (CXZZ12_0918) and Yangzhou University (Innovation Project of College Students).
Editorial support was provided by the Yangzhou University School of Medicine. The authors thank all Yangzhou women who participated in this study and the research staff, Liang Zhao and Wen Song. Special thanks to my husband Leo Fang for translation support.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Received October 17, 2012
Accepted April 21, 2013