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Background to the Study: Information on the prevalence of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in the Asian population is relatively scanty although it is prevalent in the general population. There have only been few Asian studies concerning anxiety, stress and depression in their association with IBS. IBS is a common gastrointestinal disorder, and its prevalence and demographics have been only been studied using different methodologies and with varying results.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of IBS among nursing students at MAHSA University, Malaysia, and to determine whether anxiety, depression, stress is associated with IBS, besides determining the common sub-types.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from March to July 2017 at MAHSA University, Malaysia on nursing students from the Faculty of Nursing. All participants completed a self-administered Questionnaire.
Results: The prevalence of IBS among nursing students according to Rome Ⅲ criteria was 46.8%. The commoner sub-type of IBS was IBS-Diarrhea (44, 46.8%) followed by IBS-Constipation (38, 40.4%) and IBS-Mixed (12, 12.8%). Students who stayed at the hostel had significant association with IBS-C (p < 0.05) compared to IBS-D and IBS-M. Depression and IBS were significantly associated (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The prevalence of IBS among nursing students studying in MAHSA University, Malaysia is 46.3% which is conspicuously higher than in previous studies in other countries. IBS-D is the commonest sub-type of IBS (46%). In addition, IBS is significantly associated with depression, but anxiety and stress are not. There is no significant association between IBS and Socio-demographic factors, except in gender.