Year 2021 / Volume 113 / Number 9
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Year 2021 / Volume 113 / Number 9


Functional gastrointestinal disorders: real-life results of a multidisciplinary non-pharmacological approach based on group-consultations


Marta Tejedor, Daniel Alcalde, Cristina Cruces, Elena Hernando, Maria Carmen López-Martín, Rosa Briz, Almudena Calvache, Raquel Barranco, Luis Alonso Castillo, Inmaculada Chico, María de Lucas, Rosmery Marrufo Ramos, Raquel Rodríguez, María Delgado,

Introduction: functional gastrointestinal disorders are prevalent and resource consuming. The use of group-consultations in these diseases is limited and no specific multidisciplinary programs have been developed. Methods: a multidisciplinary approach was used in patients with diverse functional gastrointestinal disorders attending group-consultations (group A). Five two-hour sessions were scheduled over a four-month period. Sessions consisted of a theoretical introduction (Pathophysiology, Low fodmap diet, Over the counter medications, Mediterranean diet, and Laughter therapy workshop) followed by relaxation techniques. This group was compared to a similar group of patients who received written information covering the topics discussed during the group-consultations (group B). Severity of digestive and psychological symptoms, use of drugs and adherence to the diet were the main outcomes measured. Results: the mean age of participants was 43 (± 1.38) years, 78 % were female and 73 % had at least two functional gastrointestinal disorders. Sixty-two patients were included in group A and 17 in group B. The severity of gastrointestinal and psychological symptoms at baseline was similar in both groups. Globally, there was an improvement in all symptoms in both groups. The proportion of participants with severe baseline gastrointestinal symptoms or pathologic anxiety scores that showed improvement was significantly higher in group A (74 % vs 23 %, p = 0.005; 47 % vs 8 %, p = 0.02, respectively). Symptoms were reassessed at six and 12 months after the intervention in participants from group A who attended ≥ 80 % sessions and a sustained response was observed. Conclusions: group-consultations are useful and efficient to alleviate gastrointestinal and psychological symptoms in patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders.

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Asociación Española de Ecografía Digestiva Sociedad Española de Endoscopia Digestiva Sociedad Española de Patología Digestiva
The Spanish Journal of Gastroenterology is the official organ of the Sociedad Española de Patología Digestiva, the Sociedad Española de Endoscopia Digestiva and the Asociación Española de Ecografía Digestiva
© 2021 The Spanish Journal of Gastroenterology