A randomized clinical trial of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for women with irritable bowel syndrome-Effects and mechanisms

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Main idea: MBCT-IBS has the potential to reduce IBS symptoms and increase the quality of life. MBCT-IBS may exert its effect on IBS symptoms via reducing maladaptive illness conditions and activating changes in self-processing (reducing biases in self-referent processing of illness and health and increasing non-judgmental awareness).

Abstract

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder of brain-gut interaction. Previous studies suggest that mindfulness could be therapeutic for IBS patients, however, no study has evaluated the effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy adapted for patients with IBS (MBCT-IBS). A 6-week MBCT-IBS course was designed to reduce symptoms and increase the quality of life. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of MBCT-IBS and to investigate its therapeutic mechanisms in a randomized controlled trial.

The MBCT-IBS group reported significantly greater reductions in IBS symptoms and improvements in the quality of life at follow-up compared with the WL. Changes in visceral anxiety sensitivity and pain catastrophizing at post-treatment and reductions in the IAT-score after 2 sessions combined with increases in non-judgmental awareness at post-treatment mediated reductions in IBS symptoms.

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