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Behav Res Ther. 2001 Jul;39(7):801-11.

The effects of relaxation response meditation on the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome: results of a controlled treatment study.

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1
The University at Albany, State University of New York, Center for Stress and Anxiety Disorders, 12203, USA.

Abstract

In this study, Herbert Benson's (1975) Relaxation Response Meditation program was tested as a possible treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Participants were 16 adults who were matched into pairs based on presence of Axis I disorder, primary IBS symptoms and demographic features and randomized to either a six week meditation condition or a six week wait list symptom monitoring condition. Thirteen participants completed treatment and follow-up. All subjects assigned to the Wait List were subsequently treated. Patients in the treatment condition were taught the meditation technique and asked to practice it twice a day for 15 minutes. Composite Primary IBS Symptom Reduction (CPSR) scores were calculated for each patient from end of baseline to two weeks post-treatment (or to post wait list). One tailed independent sample t-tests revealed that Meditation was superior to the control (P=0.04). Significant within-subject improvements were noted for flatulence (P=0.03) and belching (P=0.02) by post-treatment. By three month follow-up, significant improvements in flatulence (P<0.01), belching (P=0.02), bloating (P=0.05), and diarrhea (P=0.03) were shown by symptom diary. Constipation approached significance (P=0.07). Benson's Relaxation Response Meditation appears to be a viable treatment for IBS.

PMID:
11419611
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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