This comprehensive yet practical handbook consolidates information needed by health psychologists working alongside other healthcare professionals. It facilitates the progression of the learner from the classroom to the clinical setting by focusing on the translation of science to practice using practical examples. The Handbook is divided into four major parts. Part I highlights practical issues faced by health psychologists in a medical setting (how to motivate patients, consultation-liaison, assessment and screening, brief psychotherapies, ethical issues, etc.) Part II concentrates on treating unhealthy behaviors (alcohol and nicotine use, noncompliance, overeating/obesity, physical inactivity, stress). Part III considers behavioral aspects of medical problems (pain management, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, sexual dysfunction, HIV/AIDS, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia). And Part IV takes up special issues relevant to practice and research in the field (minority issues, women’s issues, working with geriatric populations, public health approaches to health psychology and behavioral medicine). The Handbook will prove to be an invaluable resource for those already working in the field of health psychology as well as for those in training.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic gastrointestinal (GI) disorder characterized by a constellation of symptoms, including abdominal pain/discomfort associated with altered bowel function (e.g., diarrhea, constipation) that occurs in the absence of organic disease. Because the locus of the problem is in how the gut functions and not in abnormalities of its physical structure, IBS is considered a functional disorder. There are 25 functional GI disorders concentrated in one of five anatomic regions: esophagus, gastro-duodenal, biliary, intestines, and anorectum (Drossman, 1994). Other functional GI disorders include functional dyspepsia, functional constipation, and chronic functional abdominal pain. Of the functional GI disorders, IBS is the most prevalent, costly, and disabling.

Background and Etiology


AUTHOR'S NOTE: Preparation of this chapter was supported in part ...

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