The Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on Symptoms Intensity, Quality of Life, and Mental Health in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Associate Professor, Psychosomatic Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

PhD Student, Department of Psychology, Khorasgan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran

Professor, Department of Psychology, School of Education and Psychology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

Associate Professor, Department of Statistics, School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

Associate Professor, Psychosomatic Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Professor, Digestive Diseases Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Professor, Digestive Diseases Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Abstract

Background: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder with chronic abdominal pain, bowel habit variations, and lack of structural causes. Symptom intensity has a statistical relation with patients' quality of life (QOL) and mental health. The first objective of the present study was to develop and provide a therapeutic plan based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for IBS that was operated for the very first time in Iran. The second objective was to determine the effectiveness of these treatments on IBS symptoms intensity, health-related QOL, and psychological health among patients with IBS.

Methods: The participants were 15 women with IBS. The participants were diagnosed on the basis of ROME-III diagnosis criteria. The data collection tools consisted of IBS Symptom Severity Scale (IBS-SSS), the Irritable Bowel Syndrome Quality of Life (IBS-QOL) questionnaire, and the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R) used to evaluate mental health. Data were collected during the weeks of 0, 4, 12, and 24, during the treatment process. The extracted data was examined statistically via repeated measures MANOVA in SPSS software.

Results: CBT has a significant effect on IBS symptoms reduction, QOL improvement, and mental health promotion of the patients. The effect of the therapeutic plan persisted until the follow-up stage.

Conclusion: According to the results, applied CBT can be specifically implemented as an effective treatment for IBS. Therefore, the use of this treatment is advised.

Keywords


  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Quality of life
  • Mental health
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy

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