Patients with IBS often have negative health care encounters
(HealthDay)—Patients suffering from severe irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often have negative experiences of health care encounters, and actively negotiate such professional discourse by presenting a counternarrative describing their own suffering and strengths, according to a study published online May 24 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.
Ida Björkman, R.N., from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and colleagues examined patients' experiences of health care encounters in severe IBS. Ten patients were interviewed during 2014 to assess how they actively negotiated professional discourse communicated in the clinical encounter.
The researchers found that patients' experiences of health care encounters were mainly described as negative, with feelings of confusion and self-doubt often induced. Being listened to, believed, and taken seriously were described as positive encounters. Patients found it problematic when IBS was described by health care professionals as a minor disorder with primarily stress or psychological etiology, and holding patients responsible for recovery. By presenting a counternarrative describing their own suffering and strengths, health care shortcomings, and possible organic etiology of IBS, patients actively negotiated such professional discourse.
"Patients suffering from severe IBS described how they often felt a need to protect their positive identities in the face of trivialization and disbelief by health care professionals," the authors write.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
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