The Rome III criteria for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are recommended by guidelines to help identify the syndrome. The majority of IBS patients are managed in primary care, where a pragmatic approach to diagnosis is usually adopted, using clinical judgment and knowledge about the patient. Many general practitioners (GPs) have no or limited knowledge of the diagnostic criteria, few use them, and many consider IBS a diagnosis of exclusion. The aim of this study is to explore the sensitivity of the Rome III criteria in relation to a GP-based clinical diagnosis of IBS, to identify differences between Rome III-positive and -negative patients, and to describe the agreement between the various symptom-based criteria.
American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2013, Vol 108, Issue 6, p. 972-80