Effects of Psychological Factors on Gastrointestinal Function

  • William E. Whitehead
Part of the Topics in Gastroenterology book series (TGEN)


Symptoms of psychological distress are seen in the majority of patients with gastrointestinal disorders, especially patients with irritable bowel syndrom (IBS) and “functional” dyspepsia. In irritable bowel syndrome, for example, 70% or more of patients recruited through medical clinics are found to score outside the normal range on standardized psychometric tests,1–11 and 72–100% are reported to have psychiatric disorders.2,12,13 A high proportion of patients with nonulcer dyspepsia14 and nonspecific esophageal motility disorders15 also are found to have psychiatric disorders. Psychological symptoms and abnormal personality traits are found with greater than expected frequency in peptic ulcer disease,16–18 chronic vomiting,19.20 and inflammatory bowel disease,3,21 although the association of psychological distress with these disorders is less consistent22 than for IBS and nonulcer dyspepsia.


Peptic Ulcer Disease Somatic Complaint Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Bowel Symptom Illness Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • William E. Whitehead
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Digestive DiseasesFrancis Scott Key Medical CenterBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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