Online Study: Thought Impact Scale, University of North Carolina, May 2017

May 30, 2017

The following online study conducted by Olafur Palsson, PsyD, psychologist, professor and researcher at the University of North Carolina Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorders, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was received recently via social media. Dr. Palsson is a leading international researcher of IBS and its psychological aspects. The current study is not specific to IBS or any other chronic medical condition, and study volunteers need not have a medical condition, but if the Thought Impact Scale is validated through this and other research, it has potential applications for psychological interventions for IBS and other conditions.

Dr. Palsson is seeking adult volunteers aged 18 or over who are fluent in English and reside in the United States to complete two 25 minute surveys 30 days apart. You must be willing to provide him with your first name and an email address so that he can send a participant code number and password, but responses to the surveys themselves are anonymous and cannot be linked in the study database to personally identifying information.

The italicized paragraphs below are a direct, complete quotation of the details available on the study website, which is linked below the italicized portion. The website also includes a video of Dr. Palsson personally describing the intended research.  Please address any additional questions or concerns about the study directly to Dr. Palsson at


Participate in an online research study and get answers to that question.

Dr. Olafur Palsson in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine is testing a new questionnaire, called the Thought Impact Scale, which is designed to measure the degree to which subconscious (or non-conscious) mental functions affect people’s conscious behaviors, feelings and life experiences in everyday life. This online study will evaluate how the new questionnaire scores relates to various personal life experiences and characteristics, and assess the reliability and internal consistency of the questionnaire.
Whether you believe you are influenced a lot by your subconscious mind or only a little bit or even not at all, you are invited to participate in this study.

Participation requires:

Completing online surveys twice, about 30 days apart (takes about 25 minutes each time).
Being at least 18 years old, living in the United States and being fluent in English.

In exchange for your participation, you will:

Receive a personal report of your questionnaire results and their meaning. This report will include your scores on the new Thought Impact Scale and other questionnaires used in the study, how those scores compare in general with those of people in the study sample, and what the scores seem to mean about how much connection you have with your subconscious mind and how they relate to other main findings in the study.
Be entered into a drawing for 5 Amazon gift cards of $25 each
Receive a copy of the abstracts of all scientific papers that are published with the findings of this research

IBS Impact welcomes researchers affiliated with academic, medical or pharmaceutical entities, or reputable organizations representing IBS or related or commonly overlapping conditions, to contact us directly with additional studies or surveys they wish to be considered for posting. A contact form is available on the main IBS Impact website.

IBS Impact makes these announcements available for general information, and encourages its members and site visitors to make their own individual, informed choices about their potential participation. Additional studies can be found by clicking on the Research– Clinical Trials sub-category in the right sidebar of this blog on our main website IBS studies page. Please be sure to check the date at the top or bottom of a given post, as many posts from this blog remain visible in search engines for several years, and studies stop accepting volunteers or conclude the trials after a period of time. IBS Impact, as an entity, is not directly affiliated with any research sponsor or organization and receives no funding from any source for studies, surveys or links we feature on this blog, the main site or social media.

Representative Pocan of Wisconsin Co-Sponsors HR 1187 for Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders

May 8, 2017

According to IFFGD and the official Congressional legislative database, Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI-2) recently signed on as the first co-sponsor to the Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act of 2017.

Representative Pocan is serving his third term in the House of Representatives. His district, the 2nd Congressional District of Wisconsin, encompasses Dane County, Iowa County, Lafayette County, Sauk County and Green County and parts of Richland and Rock Counties, including the state capital of Madison and environs. According to his official House website, Representative Pocan is a member of the House Appropriations Committee where he sits on the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, and he supports various health and veterans’ issues. Functional gastrointestinal disorders like IBS disproportionately affect military veterans and service members. He was also a co-sponsor of the most recent previous version of the Act, HR 2311 in 2015-2016, which did not pass.

If you are a constituent of Representative Pocan, please take a few minutes to write or call him with your thanks for his continued  support of the functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders community.

In officially supporting HR 1187, Representative Pocan joins Representative F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI-5) , who is the initial sponsor. If you are a constituent of Representative Sensenbrenner, please thank him as well.

U. S. citizens, if your Member of Congress is not yet a co-sponsor of HR 1187, please see the previous post from March 21, 2017 for links to the bill and more details on how to do so.  Often, it takes multiple attempts to elicit any interest from legislators, so if you do not receive a reply, do not hesitate to try again or to switch contact methods until you attract attention. Keep in mind that your Representative may be different from before because of the 2016 elections, district boundaries that may have been re-drawn, or if you have moved.

Your personal experiences as a person with IBS and/or other functional GI/motility disorders, or as a concerned family member, friend or colleague, are most effective in communicating to legislators and their staff that there are real human beings behind the statistics. However, even general expressions of support are helpful.

HR 1187 is bipartisan legislation (supported by members of both parties) and according to IFFGD discussions with IBS Impact,  is “revenue-neutral,” meaning that there will be no additional taxes or spending added to the current federal deficit if it is enacted. Discretionary funds are available at the National Institutes of Health to be allocated if Congress directs NIH, through this Act, that functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders are a priority. Congress will only do so if we, as a community, are able to show them the importance of the research, education and FDA coordination provided for in HR 1187.

NIH grants funding to researchers throughout the world, not just in the U.S., so in the long run, enactment of this Act may also benefit readers with IBS in other countries. Medical research also sometimes involves multinational teams of scientists, and in any case, study results are usually published globally, adding to the cumulative knowledge worldwide.

It is IBS Impact’s understanding that HR 1187 will not require a debate or vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, and will pass as soon as it reaches 218 sponsor/cosponsors, or a simple majority of the House. In order for this milestone to be accomplished during the current Congress, the 115th,  the necessary number of sponsor/cosponsors must be reached by December 2018. Every two years, the Congressional membership will be different as a result of elections. Thus, if HR 1187 has not passed by that time,  a similar bill will have to be reintroduced and the FGIMD community will have to start the process of gathering co-sponsors anew. This is what occurred with HR 2239 in 2012, HR 842 in 2014 and HR 2311 in 2016. While it is quite common for legislation of various sorts to take several Congresses to pass, our continuing advocacy now can increase awareness, build momentum and perhaps accelerate passage. It is in our hands.

Check back on this blog or join IBS Impact’s Facebook page or Twitter feed for further updates on HR 1187 as they occur. Links to the social media sites can be found on the right sidebar of the blog.