Cognitive behavioral therapy improves psychosocial functioning of IBD


04 October 2021

1 minute read

Source / Disclosures


Sotiropoulos C, et al. Abstract OP025. Presented at: UEG Week; 3-5 October 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Sotiropoulos does not report any relevant financial information.

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Compared with standard care, group cognitive behavioral therapy reduced psychological distress and improved overall health in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, according to results presented to UEG Week Virtual.

“Patients with IBD typically report increased psychological distress, sexual dysfunction, and poor quality of life,” Christos Sotiropoulos, of the division of gastroenterology and the department of internal medicine of the University of Patras, said during a presentation. “Although standard psychiatric assessment is considered a necessary part of holistic patient care, there are a limited number of randomized trials focused on the effect of psychotherapy on patients’ psychosocial functioning and on severity indices. disease in clinical laboratory. “

Compared to standard care, cognitive behavioral therapy in IBD patients has improved • Mental health • Vitality • Social functioning and decrease • Anxiety and depression • Physical pain • C-reactive protein levels

In a prospective, randomized control study, researchers investigated the effect of psychotherapy in 50 patients (49.1% men, mean age, 42.3 years) with Crohn’s disease (71.9% ) or ulcerative colitis (28.1%) who followed group or standard cognitive behavioral therapy for 6 months. The assessments administered at baseline and at the end of the study included the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, SF-36, and the International Erectile Function Index / Female Sexual Function Index. They also measured C-reactive protein levels and calculated the Harvey-Bradshaw index for patients with CD or the Truelove-Witts index for patients with UC.

According to the results of the study, patients who received group therapy demonstrated decreased symptoms of anxiety (P = 0.007) and depression (P = 0.016) compared to patients who received standard care. They have also been shown to improve general health (P = .001), vitality (P = .018), social functioning (P = 0.003) and mental health (P = .003), as well as a decrease in physical pain (P = .014) and C-reactive protein levels (P = .042). Researchers noted no difference between groups for the Harvey-Bradshaw Index (P = 0.52), Crohn’s disease activity index (P = .901) or simple colitis activity index (P = .965).

“Group cognitive behavioral therapy has significantly contributed to the alleviation of psychological distress, improved quality of life and reduced inflammation in patients with IBD. This IBD-adapted psychotherapeutic protocol seemed promising and should be integrated into patient-centered care, ”said Sotiropoulos. “Further research is needed to detect potential determinants of efficacy with the aim of improving its cost-effectiveness and clinical utility.”


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