Date of Conferral







Donna M. Heretick


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal affliction that affects millions around the globe, impacting health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The biopsychosocial model, Folkman and Lazarus’ transactional model of stress, Leventhal’s common sense model of self-regulation health and illness, and Bronfenbrenner’s human ecology theory are relevant to conceptualize interactions among environmental factors, biopsychosocial responses, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). This quantitative, cross-sectional, complex correlational study sought to provide more understanding of how and whether IBS symptoms of pain, cognitive functioning, and interpersonal functioning serve as mediators between work stress and HRQoL. A total of 133 English-speaking volunteers from online IBS support groups completed an online survey containing a demographic questionnaire, the IBS-36, the Overall Anxiety Severity and Impairment Scale (OASIS), the Modified Illness Perceptions Questionnaire (M-IPQ), and the Workplace Organization Indices (WOI). Mediational analyses were performed using the Hayes Process method. While the study failed to reject the null hypothesis, it provided suggestions for further research into relationships between work stress and HRQoL among individuals who experience IBS. Studies in this area have positive social change because they provide information to individuals diagnosed with IBS, health providers, academic researchers, and employers concerning relationships of symptoms and severity of IBS to workplace stress and emotional well-being of individuals with IBS. This awareness may promote workplace interventions, such as training management on job accommodations and support for these employees.