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IFFGD is a leader in the fight for more research to improve diagnostic and treatment options for gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. With donations from people like you, we directly fund grants and recognition awards to basic and clinical scientists working in the field.
With your input, we make the needs and concerns of people with functional GI and motility disorders known to the physicians, nurses, therapists, and researchers who work with patients and research these diseases. We have also fostered scientific exchange among leading researchers and clinicians through our International Symposium on Functional GI Disorders, and we collaborate on projects to evaluate the prevalence of these disorders and to determine the needs of those affected.
IFFGD has funded research since 1993. Examples of projects we have supported include:
2003 – Present: IFFGD Research Awards
IFFGD first offered Research Awards in 2003 and has provided a total of 31 awards to researchers around the world. These awards recognize the accomplishments of investigators who are engaged in significant research in the field of GI disease. Our intent is to encourage the participation of clinicians and scientists in multidisciplinary efforts aimed at advancing the understanding of functional GI and motility disorders in adults and in children that can ultimately lead to better treatments and cures.
In late 2019, IFFGD conducted a short survey of gastroparesis patients to study quality of life, disease severity, and patient risk assessment when considering medications and clinical trials. This survey was distributed by IFFGD to gastroparesis patients through email and social media. This survey is named the “Gastroparesis Disease Impact and Medication Risk Assessment.” During the 5 weeks the survey was open for data collection, 200 responses were received, offering valuable insight into the needs and desires of gastroparesis patients. View the survey report.
2015 – 2017: Gastroparesis in the Community Research Survey
In 2015 IFFGD in collaboration with clinical researchers from Temple University School of Medicine conducted a community-based survey of adults diagnosed with gastroparesis. In 2016 portions of the survey were presented to physicians at DDW 2016. In 2017 the results of the survey were published in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences. View the survey report.
2014: Idiopathic Gastroparesis Research Grants
Grant awards of $40,000 in direct costs each were made to 3 investigators for innovative research related to idiopathic gastroparesis. View the 2014 grant recipients.
2008: Research Grant Award for Pediatric Research Consortium
IFFGD awarded a Research Grant to initiate the Pediatric Consortium for Research in Functional GI Disorders to build an infrastructure that will allow the consortium to collect information from different participating centers using a user friendly, secure system; to complete research projects that are feasible in a relatively short period of time and which will create momentum for further larger, longitudinal research studies. Initial studies will involve centers chosen by the steering committee.
2008: IFFGD Research Grants
In August IFFGD awarded three $50,000 research grants. These grants were made in addition to the IFFGD Research Awards. IFFGD grants provide funding for research relevant to understanding and managing gastrointestinal motility and, especially, functional GI disorders. Our goal is to support high-quality research that will ultimately lead to improvements in the care of patients with these disorders. IFFGD's mission is patient-oriented. Hence, preference is given to supporting clinical research and basic research that is translational in nature. View the 2008 grant recipients.
2007: Survey of IBS Patients' Illness Experience and Unmet Needs
In collaboration with the UNC Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorders, IFFGD sponsored a survey that showed that much more needs to be done to develop and deliver satisfactory treatment to IBS sufferers. IBS Patients: Their Illness Experience and Unmet Needs (pdf).
2004: IBS Survey
IFFGD conducted a study among 1,000 U.S. adults in a random telephone survey looking at prevalence and awareness of IBS. Thirteen percent of those surveyed had symptoms suggestive of IBS, yet less than 1 in 5 had been diagnosed. Among other findings, the IFFGD National IBS Survey shows that, while symptoms are negatively impacting quality of life, a lack of awareness about IBS may be getting in the way of diagnosis and treatment. IFFGD Survey: Lack of Awareness of IBS May Impact Medical Care.
2002: Research Priorities for Fecal Incontinence: The Patient's Perspective
Presented by Nancy J. Norton of IFFGD at the November 3-5, 2002 symposium, Advancing the Treatment of Fecal and Urinary Incontinence Through Research: Trial Design, Outcome Measures, and Research Priorities. View Nancy's presentation, The Patient's Perspective.
2002: IFFGD Survey: IBS in the Real World
IFFGD conducted a quantitative research study among 350 adults with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in our patient database. The survey found that most of these individuals were living with chronic symptoms that impaired their quality of life and productivity with few effective treatments. IFFGD's IBS in the Real World Survey shows the real life impact that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has on the lives of many of those who suffer with the disease. Results of the survey indicate substantial reduction in the quality of life and activities of daily living for patients with IBS. Results were published by IFFGD in IBS in the Real World Survey: Summary Findings.
1999: Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Quality of Life Survey
A total of 500 IFFGD members selected at random (their confidentiality was protected) participated in an IBS study designed to measure demographics, types and severity of symptoms, various dimensions of quality of life, impact of the disorder on work or daily activities, interaction with the medical care system, use of medications, and use of alternative types of therapy. The results of the study by Hahn, Yan, and Strassels were published in the journal Digestion, 1999 Jan-Feb;60(1):77-81.
1995: Support for Research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Beginning in 1995, IFFGD has been active in encouraging Congressional allocation of funding to the National Institutes of Health for research of gastrointestinal disorders, both through membership in the Digestive Disease National Coalition, and through direct testimony and recommendations.
1993: Incontinence Prevalence Study
Anal incontinence, the loss of anal sphincter control, leads to the unwanted release of solid or liquid stool or gas. Even when it occurs only occasionally, anal incontinence can have catastrophic consequences on self-confidence, personal image, and the ability to integrate socially and in employment. There has been a serious lack of research and attention given to this individually devastating condition.
In 1993, IFFGD initiated a study to determine the prevalence and characteristics associated with anal incontinence in the general community. The results of this community-based study were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on August 16, 1995, Volume 274.