Shape the future of IBS research

We are delighted to be funding a Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) into Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). But what is a PSP, and why is it so brilliant?

What is a PSP?

The James Lind Alliance (JLA) helps set up PSPs for a wide range of diseases. The purpose of a PSP is to identify and prioritise the unanswered questions for certain medical conditions, or areas of health.

The process of a PSP brings together patients, carers, doctors, nurses, scientists, researchers, dietitians and other health professionals, all with an equal voice. Together, they will decide the top ten research priorities for their condition.

Why did Guts UK choose to fund a PSP for IBS?

Our guts have been underfunded and undervalued for decades. A PSP has never before been completed into IBS. It’s time we change that. Guts UK is proud to initiate this huge step forward for this misunderstood condition.

  • What is IBS?

IBS is a disorder in the gut-brain interaction. In IBS, it is thought the gut and the brain over-communicate, causing symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation or a mixture of both.

  • How many people have IBS and how does it affect people’s lives?

Figures vary, but it is thought IBS affects 4.1-8.8% of the population. People with IBS often report feeling misunderstood and unsupported. Those with IBS are twice as likely to take sick leave from work and report reduction in confidence, enjoyment of life and some are housebound because of symptoms.

“A lot of people dismiss IBS as ‘just an upset tummy’. I felt like a lost cause, compared to all the ‘severe’ conditions like bowel cancer or Crohn’s disease. IBS never felt like enough to warrant the specialists’ attention, but has hugely affected my life. I was sent on my way and expected to live with it.” – Lara


How might this PSP change the future of IBS research in the UK?

We look forward to gathering everybody affected by IBS in the UK into one place, together with healthcare professionals, with one common goal; discover the gaps in research and work out the top 10 priorities for their condition.

IBS is a misunderstood and undervalued area of health. Guts UK believes a PSP is the best way forward to ignite true and lasting change. We hope this PSP will ignite a change in attitudes, and lead to increased research funding for IBS in the UK.

Every single person who wants to have their say in the UK will get their chance to do so.

Helen West, Guts UK’s Patient / Public Involvement & Engagement Officer will be sending updates about the PSP, including timings and when you can expect to be involved by email. For the latest updates, sign up below:

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