Meaningful Health Care Visits Needed for IBS, Chronic Idiopathic Constipation


Patients report that these conditions have become more challenging to manage over the past year.

Nearly half (49%) of those living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) say their conditions are more challenging to manage over the past year, according to a new survey. And the survey results point to the need for more meaningful health care provider visits.

To bring awareness during National IBS Month in April, Bausch Health Companies and its gastroenterology (GI) business, Salix Pharmaceuticals, released results from the second edition of its Patient Perspectives Survey, an annual survey of adults in the United States living with IBS and CIC.1

The report, Patient Perspectives: Living with IBS Now,2 offers a current understanding of the behaviors and experiences of the IBS and CIC patient population over the past year—February 2021 to February 2022—including insights on diagnosis and symptom management. The nationwide survey, conducted in partnership with the Farleigh Dickinson University Poll, also addressed gaps in symptom management and reporting, and barriers to effective treatment.

“The findings of this year’s report illustrate a need for more meaningful healthcare provider visits to help improve clinical outcomes,” said Robert Spurr, president of Salix.

As many as 3.5 million annual health care provider visits for IBS take place in the United States each year. “It is our hope that this research will encourage productive dialogue and a collaborative approach to symptom management and guideline-based treatment options during these visits,” Spurr added.

More than half (61%) of patients chose in-person visits as their preferred method of communication with their health care provider vs telehealth (25%).

However, when meeting with their health care provider, 40% of patients said they only discuss their main IBS or CIC-related symptom, rather than discussing all IBS or CIC-related symptoms.

Nearly one-third (29%) of patients were not offered a prescription medicine to treat symptoms upon diagnosis of their IBS or CIC, Salix found. Forty-seven percent of patients with IBS-C/CIC reported they were not satisfied with the results of the OTC treatment taken for their symptoms.

The top 3 symptoms where patients not see improvement included constipation (49%), abdominal pain (39%) and bloating (38%), and only 13% of patients report being extremely satisfied with the length of time between their initial IBS/CIC diagnosis and symptom relief.

Forty-five percent of patients acknowledged they began experiencing IBS or CIC symptoms within the last 24 months, and more than 3 of 4 patients surveyed reported that several of their IBS or CIC symptoms have not improved or have worsened over the last 12 months.

Ninety-two percent of health care provider-diagnosed patients surveyed were initially diagnosed with IBS or CIC during an in-person appointment with their provider.


  1. Half of IBS patients surveyed reported IBS symptoms more challenging to manage in the past year. News release. Bausch Health. April 4, 2022. Accessed April 26, 2022.
  2. Patient perspectives: Living with IBS now. Bausch Health and Salix Pharmaceuticals. Published April 2022. Accessed April 26, 2022.
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