IBS and creative writing

Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine enrolled 103 people with an average age of 43 of which 82 were asked to write online for 30 minutes on four consecutive days about their deepest thoughts, emotions and beliefs regarding the disease and their perception of its effects. This exercise had previously been shown to help people with depression as well as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain, high blood pressure and AIDS.

The 82 patients in the writing exercise reported improvements in disease severity, coping and thinking (including negative thoughts) one and three months after writing. At three months, they also said their quality of life was better. This improvement was not seen in the non-writing group.

Psychological treatment strategies for IBS are becoming increasingly popular as the link between the brain, stress, and the gut's nervous system become clear but seeing a therapist is both time-consuming and costly.  Online expressive writing may offer self-help way to access psychological treatment  to patients with IBS.

The study, led by Albena Halpert, was published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology .

Courtesy of the Times of India


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