Negative aspects of close relationships are more strongly associated than supportive personal relationships with illness burden of irritable bowel syndrome

Jeffrey M. Lackner*, Gregory D. Gudleski, Rebecca Firth, Laurie Keefer, Darren M. Brenner, Katie Guy, Camille Simonetti, Christopher Radziwon, Sarah Quinton, Susan S. Krasner, Leonard Katz, Guido Garbarino, Gary D. Iacobucci, Michael D. Sitrin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: This study assessed the relative magnitude of associations between IBS outcomes and different aspects of social relationships (social support, negative interactions). Method: Subjects included 235 Rome III diagnosed IBS patients (M age = 41. yrs, F = 78%) without comorbid GI disease. Subjects completed a testing battery that included the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List (Social Support or SS), Negative Interaction (NI) Scale, IBS Symptom Severity Scale (IBS-SSS), IBS-QOL, BSI Depression, STAI Trait Anxiety, SOMS-7 (somatization), Perceived Stress Scale, and a medical comorbidity checklist. Results: After controlling for demographic variables, both SS and NI were significantly correlated with all of the clinical variables (SS r's = 20 to 36; NI r's = 17 to 53, respectively; ps. < .05) save for IBS symptom severity (IBS-SSS). NI, but not SS, was positively correlated with IBS-SSS. After performing r-to-z transformations on the correlation coefficients and then comparing z-scores, the correlation between perceived stress, and NI was significantly stronger than with SS. There was no significant difference between the strength of correlations between NI and SS for depression, somatization, trait anxiety, and IBSQOL. A hierarchical linear regression identified both SS and NI as significant predictors of IBS-QOL. Conclusions: Different aspects of social relationships - support and negative interactions - are associated with multiple aspects of IBS experience (e.g. stress, QOL impairment). Negative social relationships marked by conflict and adverse exchanges are more consistently and strongly related to IBS outcomes than social support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-500
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Volume74
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013

Keywords

  • Comorbidity
  • Coping
  • Health
  • Interpersonal interactions
  • Pain
  • Social networks
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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    Lackner, J. M., Gudleski, G. D., Firth, R., Keefer, L., Brenner, D. M., Guy, K., Simonetti, C., Radziwon, C., Quinton, S., Krasner, S. S., Katz, L., Garbarino, G., Iacobucci, G. D., & Sitrin, M. D. (2013). Negative aspects of close relationships are more strongly associated than supportive personal relationships with illness burden of irritable bowel syndrome. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 74(6), 493-500. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.03.009