Comparing Alexithymia, Anxiety and Perceived Stress in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Healthy Individuals
The purpose of this study was to compare alexithymia, anxiety and perceived stress in patients with irritable bowel syndrome and healthy individuals. This study used a causal-comparative research design. The study population consisted of all male and female patients referred to the treatment centers in Tabriz, Iran, during the second six months of 2016. Among the patients who met the inclusion criteria, 50 subjects were selected using purposeful sampling. In addition, a sample of general population (N= 50) was selected for comparison with healthy individuals. After describing the procedures and purposes of the study, written informed consents were obtained. Each subject was asked to complete Toronto Alexithymia Scale, Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). Data were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance. The results revealed a significant difference between the mean scores of alexithymia, anxiety and perceived stress in the experimental groups compared with healthy subjects. Given the scientific evidence for the role of psychological factors in developing, intensifying or reducing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms, it seems that not all the therapeutic strategies for these patients can be successfully implemented without regard to the mediating role of these factors.