Knowledge and practices of primary care physicians or general practitioners treating post-infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Erika Austhof, Kenzie Schaefer, Jaime Faulkner, Laura Bach, Mark Riddle, Kristen Pogreba-Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Post-infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome (PI-IBS) is a functional bowel disorder which has significant impacts to a patient's quality of life. No IBS-specific biomarker or treatment regimen for PI-IBS currently exists, therefore understanding practice patterns and variance is of interest. Methods: This online survey of primary care physicians and general practitioners in the USA aimed to understand the knowledge and treatment of PI-IBS within the physician's current practice. Summary statistics are provided with a commentary on implications for practices and treatment of PI-IBS. Results: Most physician survey respondents (n = 50) were aware of PI-IBS, but less than half discussed this condition as a possible outcome in their patients with a recent gastrointestinal infection. Most physicians indicated that they would treat the patients themselves with a focus on managing IBS through different treatment modalities based on severity. Treatment for PI-IBS followed IBS recommendations, but most physicians also prescribed a probiotic for therapy. Physicians estimated that 4 out of 10 patients who develop PI-IBS will have life-long symptoms and described significant impacts to their patient's quality of life. Additionally, physicians estimated a significant financial burden for PI-IBS patients, ranging from $100-1000 (USD) over the course of their illness. Most physicians agreed that they would use a risk score to predict the probability of their patients developing PI-IBS, if available. Conclusions: While this survey is limited due to sample size, physician knowledge and treatment of PI-IBS was consistent across respondents. Overall, the physicians identified significant impacts to patient's quality of life due to PI-IBS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number159
JournalBMC Gastroenterology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 25 2020


  • General physician
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Knowledge
  • Survey
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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