Open Access Research article

Anxiety-depressive disorders among irritable bowel syndrome patients in Guilan, Iran

Mohamad-Jafar Modabbernia1, Fariborz Mansour-Ghanaei2*, Ali Imani1, Seyed-Alireza Mirsafa-Moghaddam1, Massih Sedigh-Rahimabadi2, Mahmoud Yousefi-Mashhour2, Farahnaz Joukar2, Zahra Atrkar-Roushan2 and Siamak Bidel34

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran

2 Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases Research Center, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran

3 Hijelt Institute, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

4 National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:112  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-112

Published: 21 February 2012



Psychiatric disorders are common in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients. The prevalence of psychiatric disorders in IBS patients varies in different cultures. We conducted this study to determine the prevalence of psychiatric disorders


In a cross-sectional study, 256 IBS patients were selected (using the criteria of Rome III) and evaluated for psychiatric disorders. In the first phase, subjects were screened using the General Health Questionnaire 28 (GHQ28). In the second phase, those who had scores ≥ 23 were assessed through semi-structured psychiatric interviews.


Thirty out of 256 subjects had no significant psychiatric symptoms after performing GHQ28. In further psychiatric evaluation of the remaining subjects (226) who suffered from some degree of a psychiatric problem, 36 were diagnosed without Anxiety/Depressive disorder. Thus 66 subjects (25.8%) were known as a group without any significant psychiatric problem. A total of 190 subjects (74.2%) with anxiety-depressive problems were diagnosed; 89 were suffering from pure anxiety disorders, 41 were suffering from depressive disorders and 60 had co-morbid anxiety-depressive disorders. When comparing anxiety-depressive patients (n = 190) with normal subjects (n = 66), gender (P = 0.016), occupation (P = 0.002) and intensity of IBS (P < 0.001) showed statistically significant differences.


The high prevalence of anxiety-depressive disorders in this study indicates the necessity of psychiatric assessment, early diagnosis and treatment of the patients with IBS. It may improve management of the patients suffering from IBS.

IBS; Psychiatric disorders; Depression; Anxiety