While it is not yet known what exact physical mechanisms cause IBS, increasing evidence indicates that this relatively common affliction (estimates suggest from 7% to 17% of the population suffers from it) may be exacerbated by psychological factors such as stress and anxiety. Cognitive behavioural therapy is emerging as one of the more effective psychological treatments.
Blanchard, E.B. (1998) 'Irritable Bowel Syndrome', in Gatchel and Blanchard (1998).
This reports on the Albany Multicomponent Behavioral Therapy Program for IBS, successfully incorporating CBT techniques to address both the gastrointestinal symptoms of IBS and the affective disturbances or anxiety hypothesized to underlie the syndrome.
This review of studies applying CBT to IBS found cognitive behavioural therapy to be equivalent or more effective than typical medical care regimens.
This is one of the early articles to suggest that treatments which address the cognitive components of anxiety disorders may influence underlying processes responsible for the physiological symptoms of IBS.
This short article reviews some of the other studies indicating that CBT is effective in the treatment of IBS.
While methodologically flawed (primarily due to absence of group therapy control group and non-randomized group assignment), this study suggests that cognitive behavioural group therapy is effective in alleviating symptoms, with effects persisting through a longitudinal monitoring period averaging over 2 years.
This page was last reviewed by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Tuesday, 7 April 2015.
The URL of this page is: http://counsellingbooks.com/bibliography/specific-distress/ibs.html