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Psychosocial Assessment of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders in Clinical Practice

Williams, Michael MD*; Budavari, Adriane MD; Olden, Kevin W MD, FACG; Jones, Michael P MD, FACP, FACG*

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: November-December 2005 - Volume 39 - Issue 10 - p 847-857
doi: 10.1097/
Alimentary Tract: Clinical Review

Functional gastrointestinal disorders are the most common conditions encountered in gastroenterology practice and are also commonly encountered in primary care. Psychosocial factors play an important role in these disorders (along with any chronic digestive disorder) by influencing healthcare seeking, illness behavior, symptom severity, quality of life, and digestive motility and sensation. Identification of relevant psychosocial factors in patients with chronic digestive disorders influences care and is a critical determinant of outcomes. This article provides a review of relevant psychosocial variables, assessment techniques, and therapeutic suggestions that can be of value in assessing patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders.

From the *Division of Gastroenterology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; †Department of Medicine Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ; and ‡Division of Gastroenterology University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL.

Received for publication December 8, 2004; accepted June 7, 2005.

Reprints: Michael P. Jones, MD, 251 East Huron St., Galter Pavilion 4-104, Chicago, IL 60611-2908 (e-mail:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.