Open Access Open Badges Research article

Development of an educational intervention for patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – a pilot study

Gisela Ringström*, Stine Störsrud, Sara Lundqvist, Berndt Westman and Magnus Simrén

Author Affiliations

Dept of Internal Medicine, Institute of medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

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BMC Gastroenterology 2009, 9:10  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-9-10

Published: 4 February 2009



Many IBS patients experience that they receive limited information and that the health care system does not take their complaints seriously. We aimed to develop a structured patient education, an 'IBS school', and investigate if the efficacy could be evaluated in terms of improved knowledge, symptom severity and health related quality of life (HRQOL).


The IBS school consisted of six weekly two hour sessions in a group setting. Five different health care professionals were responsible for one session each. Questionnaires covering patients' experience of the education, perceived knowledge about IBS, gastrointestinal symptoms, and HRQOL, were used for evaluation at baseline and at three, six, and twelve months after education.


Twelve IBS patients were included. The patients were overall satisfied with the IBS school. In line with this, the gastrointestinal symptoms, HRQOL, and perceived knowledge about IBS improved significantly after the education.


An IBS school seems to be a proper method to meet the patients' need of information about IBS and also to improve the patients' gastrointestinal symptoms, HRQOL, and knowledge about IBS. Further controlled studies are now needed in larger numbers of patients to confirm these preliminary results in order to implement this intervention in clinical practice.