The Patient and Provider Connection™: Effective Communication to Optimize the Diagnosis and Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Chronic Idiopathic Constipation

Released On
October 31, 2018

Expires On
October 31, 2019

Media Type

Completion Time
60 minutes



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This activity is provided by Physicians' Education Resource®, LLC.


Supported by an educational grant from Salix Pharmaceuticals and Shire.

Credit Available

  • Physicians — maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)

All other health care professionals completing this course will be issued a statement of participation.

Target Audience

This continuing medical education (CME) activity is intended primarily for gastroenterologists, primary care providers, OB/GYNs, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, nurses, and physician’s assistants who treat patients with IBS or CIC.

Program Overview

Functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) have a sizeable impact on patients’ quality of life and contributive to high absenteeism from work and withdrawal from social activities. A significant obstacle to care is that the conditions go undiagnosed in most patients, so they do not seek treatment until symptoms become severe. Even when seeking treatment, however, barriers to effective communication between the patient and provider may lead to unnecessary testing and increasing frustration when a specific diagnosis is not imminent. A patient-centered approach that focuses on effective communication is associated with improved outcomes, increased patient satisfaction, and decreased utilization of care.

This activity provides comprehensive strategies for earlier diagnosis using effective communication techniques that lead to appropriate treatment and better quality of life for patients with functional GI disorders. As a Patient and Provider Connection™, 2 patient stories will illustrate the patient’s treatment experience and perspective, followed by insightful commentary from expert faculty and a patient. Effective communication tactics will be presented and then exemplified in shared decision making and effective and noneffective video examples provided by DrossmanCare. Through a partnership with the ROME foundation, diagnostic evaluation algorithms will be presented and demonstrated with patient cases using the ROME IV Interactive Clinical Decision Toolkit. This intelligent software program includes a continually updated database that incorporates the Multidimensional Clinical Profile (MDCP) texts and diagnostic algorithms in a decision pathway from patient assessment to treatment.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Identify the key symptoms and diagnostic criteria for IBS and CIC
  • List the key features of mild, moderate, and severe IBS that incorporate symptom severity and psychosocial features and differentiation from CIC.
  • Describe the medications used for IBS with diarrhea and IBS with constipation and CIC symptoms according to their actions and recent clinical trial data
  • Outline several guidelines for establishing a therapeutic relationship that have been helping patients increase participation in their care


Douglas A. Drossman, MD

President, Rome Foundation
Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Psychiatry
University of North Carolina Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorders
University of North Carolina
Center for Education and Practice of Biopsychosocial Patient Care and Drossman Gastroenterology
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Albena D. Halpert, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Boston University School of Medicine
Pentucket Medical Associates
Haverhill, Massachusetts

Johannah Ruddy, MEd

Executive Director
Rome Foundation
Raleigh, North Carolina



Accreditation Statement

Physicians’ Education Resource®, LLC, is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians and is a provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (CBRN).

Credit Designation Statement

Physicians’ Education Resource®, LLC, designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ and for 1.0 contact hours for nurses. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Disclosures of Conflicts of Interest

The following contributors have relevant financial relationships with commercial interests to disclose:

Douglas A. Drossman, MD

  • Consultant: BioAmerica, Salix, Shire
  • Speaker’s Bureau: AbbVie

Albena D. Halpert, MD

  • Advisor Board: Allergan, Shire
  • Spouse’s employment: Pharmacist at Walgreens

Johannah Ruddy, M.Ed.

  • No financial relationships to disclose.


  • No financial relationships to disclose.

Method of Participation

There are no fees to participate in the activity. Participants must review all activity information, including the learning objectives, disclosure statements, and content. To receive credit for participation, participants must complete the post-test (achieving a passing grade) and program evaluation. Certificates can be printed immediately.

Course Viewing Requirements

Supported Browsers:
Internet Explorer 8.0+ for Windows 2003, Vista, XP, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and above
Google Chrome 28.0+ for Windows, Mac OS, or Linux
Mozilla Firefox 23.0+ for Windows, Mac OS, or Linux
Safari 6.0+ for Mac OSX 10.7 and above

Supported Phones & Tablets:
Android 4.0.3 and above
iPhone/iPad with iOS 6.1 or above.

Disclaimer/Disclosure of Unlabeled Use

This activity may or may not discuss investigational, unapproved, or off-label uses of drugs. Participants are advised to consult prescribing information for any products discussed. The information provided in this CME activity is for continuing medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to the diagnostic, treatment, and management options for a specific patient’s medical condition.

The opinions expressed in the content are solely those of the individual faculty members and do not reflect those of Physicians’ Education Resource®, LLC, or any of the companies that provided commercial support for this activity.