Impairment in Work Productivity and Health-Related Quality of Life in Nurses with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Monday, 30 July 2012

Huan-Hwa Chen, RN1
Hsiu-Hung Wang, RN, PhD, FAAN1
Ai-Wen Kao, MD2
(1)College of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
(2)Internal Medicine, National Chang Kung University Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be to know the prevelance of IBS in nurses.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be understand the impact of work productivity and quality of life on the nurses suffering from IBS.


The purpose of this study was to (a) determine the prevalence of IBS in nurses, (b) understand the impact of work productivity and quality of life on the nurses suffering from IBS.


A cross-sectional study approach was adopted, using a self-reported questionnaire, which includes demography, IBS Rome II criteria, Irritable Bowel Syndrome Quality of Life (IBS_QOL) and Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI). The study was completed voluntarily by 476 nurses from a regional hospital in Taiwan.


 475 female nurses were included in this study. The prevalence of IBS, as defined by the Rome II criteria, was 15.4% of the subjects. The mean age of the IBS and non-IBS groups were similar (30.1± 5.1 vs. 30.5±5.0, p=0.54). The distribution of IBS subtype into constipation predominant, diarrhea predominant, and non-specific subtypes was 43.8, 35.6, and 20.5%, respectively. Nurses with IBS had more frequent dysmenorrhea than those without IBS (p=0.027). The nursing work experience is equal between IBS and non-IBS nurse (91.2±55.5 vs.100.9±65.6 months, p=0.23). The WPAI score showed that IBS nurses were significantly higher than non-IBS nurses except absenteeism (Absenteeism: 0.74±3.45 vs. 0.89±5.60, p=0.84; Presenteeism: 36.23±27.92 vs. 21.56±20.98, p<0.001; Overall work productive loss: 36.46±27.75 vs. 22.09±21.59, p<0.001; Daily activity impairment: 38.47±26.31 vs. 25.64±22.36, p<0.001). The IBS nurses had higher IBS_QOL score ( 63.65±23.81 vs. 45.17±15.50, p<0.001).


 This study has provided information suggesting that IBS is common among Nurses in Taiwan. The prevalence of IBS of female nurses was 15.4%, which is similar to the West. IBS impaired nurses’ working productivity and quality of life.