Background: Psychological stress and anxiety, such those generated by forced quarantine, affect gastrointestinal symptoms course in patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders. Thus, our aim was to assess, in a cohort of patients regularly followed up in a devoted outpatient clinic of Southern Italy, the association between their gastrointestinal symptoms changes, stress, and anxiety reported during the Italian lockdown. Methods: We recruited patients from the outpatient clinic of the University of Salerno, devoted to functional gastrointestinal disorders, selecting only patients for whom an evaluation was available in the last 6 months before the lockdown. Gastrointestinal symptoms were evaluated at each visit through standardized questionnaire and pooled in a database. On 45th days from the beginning of the lockdown, patients were re-assessed by phone with the same questionnaire. Anxiety and stress levels were assessed through a self-administered online questionnaire based on Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7 test and Perceived Stress Scale 10 test. Key Results: The intensity-frequency scores of several upper gastrointestinal symptoms improved (Wilcoxon test <0.05). Higher anxiety levels had a higher risk of worsening chest pain (OR 1.3 [1.1–1.7]), waterbrash (OR 1.3 [1.0–1.7]), epigastric burning (OR 1.3 [1.0–1.6]), and abdominal pain (OR 1.6 [1.0–2.3]). When compared to the interval preceding the outbreak, half of the patients declared their symptoms remained unchanged, 13.6% worsened, and 36.4% improved. Conclusions and Inferences: During the COVID-19 quarantine, there was an improvement of the majority of upper gastrointestinal symptoms in our patients, and anxiety seems an important risk of worsening few of them.

Impact of COVID-19 lockdown on symptoms in patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders: Relationship with anxiety and perceived stress

Oliviero G.;Ruggiero L.;D'Antonio E.;Gagliardi M.;Nunziata R.;Di Sarno A.;Abbatiello C.;Di Feo E.;De Vivo S.;Santonicola A.;Iovino P.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Background: Psychological stress and anxiety, such those generated by forced quarantine, affect gastrointestinal symptoms course in patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders. Thus, our aim was to assess, in a cohort of patients regularly followed up in a devoted outpatient clinic of Southern Italy, the association between their gastrointestinal symptoms changes, stress, and anxiety reported during the Italian lockdown. Methods: We recruited patients from the outpatient clinic of the University of Salerno, devoted to functional gastrointestinal disorders, selecting only patients for whom an evaluation was available in the last 6 months before the lockdown. Gastrointestinal symptoms were evaluated at each visit through standardized questionnaire and pooled in a database. On 45th days from the beginning of the lockdown, patients were re-assessed by phone with the same questionnaire. Anxiety and stress levels were assessed through a self-administered online questionnaire based on Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7 test and Perceived Stress Scale 10 test. Key Results: The intensity-frequency scores of several upper gastrointestinal symptoms improved (Wilcoxon test <0.05). Higher anxiety levels had a higher risk of worsening chest pain (OR 1.3 [1.1–1.7]), waterbrash (OR 1.3 [1.0–1.7]), epigastric burning (OR 1.3 [1.0–1.6]), and abdominal pain (OR 1.6 [1.0–2.3]). When compared to the interval preceding the outbreak, half of the patients declared their symptoms remained unchanged, 13.6% worsened, and 36.4% improved. Conclusions and Inferences: During the COVID-19 quarantine, there was an improvement of the majority of upper gastrointestinal symptoms in our patients, and anxiety seems an important risk of worsening few of them.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4763413
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