Background. Previously it was shown that during a series
dysfunctional complaint-related cognitions and anxiety diminished significantly
in patients with
functional abdominal complaints (IBS). The aim of the present study was
the maintenance of positive changes initiated during medical consultations
complaint-related cognitions and anxiety, as well as the influence of these
cognitions on the
severity of the complaints, 6 months after the first visit to the
Methods. One hundred and five consecutive patients with IBS
by their general practitioners to the out-patient clinic for internal medicine
completed questionaires about their
complaints and their complaint-related cognitions and anxiety before the
and after the last
out-patient visit and again at follow-up, 6 months after the first out-patient
Results. Positive changes in the patients' complaint-related cognitions
during the consulting
period were found to persist during the follow-up period. Improvement in
complaints at follow-up was found to be related to the level of the patients'
state anxiety, fear
of cancer, and catastrophizing cognitions at the last out-patient visit.
Conclusions. Medical consultations can bring about long-lasting
positive changes in
prognostically unfavourable cognitions and anxiety. These changes appear
be related to a better outcome of IBS.