Internal Medicine
Online ISSN : 1349-7235
Print ISSN : 0918-2918
ISSN-L : 0918-2918
Depressive Symptoms and Coping Behaviors among Individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Japan
Norio SugawaraKen SatoIppei TakahashiRyu SatakeShinsaku FukudaShigeyuki NakajiNorio Yasui-Furukori
Author information

2017 Volume 56 Issue 5 Pages 493-498


Objective Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is associated with a high prevalence of psychological disorders. Coping, which is used to manage stressful events, can have adaptive or maladaptive effects on a patient's health status. However, these coping behaviors have not been well studied in individuals with IBS. The association between the use of coping behaviors and the reported levels of depressive symptoms was examined in individuals with IBS.

Methods Among 993 volunteers (382 men and 611 women) who participated in the Iwaki Health Promotion Project in 2013, we included 58 subjects who fulfilled the Rome III criteria for IBS in our analysis. Coping behaviors were assessed using the Brief Scale for Coping Profile (BSCP). The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) was used to assess the four dimensions of depressive symptoms (depressed affect, somatic symptoms, interpersonal problems, and lack of positive affect) and the prevalence of probable depression using a cut-off score of 16.

Results Among the 58 subjects with IBS, 22 (36.1%) exhibited probable depression. After adjustment for confounders, "active solution" was found to be significantly associated with somatic symptoms. Under the same conditions, "avoidance and suppression" was significantly associated with the CES-D total score, depressed affect, somatic symptoms, and (lack of) positive affect. There were no other significant relationships between depressive symptoms and the BSCP sub-scale scores.

Conclusion These findings indicate that coping behaviors may influence the experience of depressive symptoms among individuals with IBS. Psychological therapy may reduce depressive symptoms as well as the severity of IBS symptoms. Additional studies are needed to examine the relationships between coping behaviors and depressive symptoms using a longitudinal study design.

Information related to the author
© 2017 by The Japanese Society of Internal Medicine
Previous article Next article