Patient empowerment and working with complex patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders
This chapter reviews the factors that are associated with complex functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs), the evidence for the role of patient empowerment in relation to FGIDs, and psychosocial barriers to patient empowerment. Recommendations for how to facilitate an effective physician-patient relationship are provided in the chapter. FGIDs are accompanied by a variety of biological, psychological and social factors that contribute to their complexity and underscore the importance of multidisciplinary, comprehensive and patient-centred care. Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illnesses in FGID patients, affecting up to 50" of IBS patients This includes generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Maladaptive personality traits or characteristics are frequently observed in patients with FGIDs. Literature in several chronic illnesses supports the use of empowerment for management and care. Encouraging self-efficacy is another way health-care providers can help to empower patients.