CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) can be helpful for IBS

Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to help people with IBS recognise their symptom triggers, and learn practical ways to manage them.
For the study, Dr Jeffrey M. Lackner, of the State University of New York at Buffalo and colleagues randomly assigned 71 patients to either 10 weekly sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy or four therapy sessions spread out over 10 weeks.
Across the two groups, 30% of patients showed a treatment response within four weeks. Surprisingly, the researchers found, a rapid response was just as likely in the four-session group — where patients were only on their second therapy session at week four. That meant that within four weeks of starting therapy, the patients reported "adequate relief" of abdominal pain and bowel symptoms, and showed a significant decline in symptom scores on a standard questionnaire.

Of the rapid responders, nearly all — 20 of 21 — maintained those improvements for three months after their therapy sessions ended. In comparison, of the 50 study patients who had not shown a rapid improvement, only 28% were considered treatment responders at the three-month mark.

At the first therapy session in both groups, Lackner explained, patients were given the task of "self-monitoring" — keeping close track of their symptoms, the circumstances under which they occurred, and their thoughts, feelings, and physical responses before and after the flare-ups. That self-monitoring, the researchers believe, may have helped some patients quickly gain some control over their symptoms.

Exactly what makes some people more likely than others to be rapid responders is unclear, according to Lackner. He said it would be interesting for future research to try to uncover the patient characteristics — as well as the components of the therapy, or the characteristics of the therapist — that may make a quick improvement more likely.

The study findings are published in the Journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Courtesy of Newsmaxhealth


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