The aims of this study were to determine whether a registered nurse can collect information and plan a holistic and individual strategy for the treatment of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and whether this approach can reduce these patients' health aspects. The referrals of 50 Swedish-speaking female patients aged between 18 and 65 years with the preliminary diagnosis of IBS were collected and scrutinized by a gastroenterologist at a university hospital. Of these, 41 patients agreed to participate but 2 did not show up. The 39 patients were randomized into one of two groups: (1) the intervention group (n = 19) where the subjects were interviewed on the basis of the theory of culture care by a nurse before visiting a gastroenterologist and (2) the control group (n = 20) where the subjects first met a gastroenterologist. After the medical examination, 19 subjects were found to have diseases other than IBS. The interview gave a holistic view of the subjects' problems, which could be of use when planning further care. Because subjects sometimes did not receive an accurate diagnosis by their primary care physician, however, the clinic nurse could not give these subjects IBS-specific information because the subjects' diagnosis had not been established. The initial medical assessments based on the primary care doctors' care of many subjects with IBS symptoms were a noted weak point.
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