Psychotherapy Provides Long-Term IBS Benefits

February 13th 2017

Psychological therapies are known to provide short-term symptom relief to patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but the results of a recent study indicate that these benefits may extend even longer than previously thought.

Psychological therapies are known to provide short-term symptom relief to patients with irri- table bowel syndrome (IBS), but the results of a recent study indicate that these bene ts may extend even longer than previously thought. The study, published in

Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology

, examined data on more than 2200 patients with IBS across 41 clinical trials. Based on this meta-analysis, the research team deter- mined that the IBS bene ts a orded by psycho

therapy lasted at least 6 to 12 months after the conclusion of therapy.

The researchers found no significant difference in efficiency between types of psychotherapy, such as cognitive therapies, relaxation, and hypnosis. The length of the treatment or number of sessions were also found to have little effect on potential benefits. In addition, online therapy was discovered to be comparable to in-person treatments in

effectiveness.

“Western medicine often conceptualizes the mind as separate from the body, but

IBS is a perfect example of how the two are connected,” said study author and doctoral student Kelsey Laird in a press release. “Gastrointestinal symptoms can increase stress and anxiety, which can increase the severity of the symptoms. This is a vicious cycle that psychological treatment can help break.”

Laird and her colleagues plan to follow up on their findings by investigating how psychological therapy in influences patients’ ability to perform daily functions, such as working, going to school, or participating in social activities.

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