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Psychother Psychosom. 1992;58(2):103-12.

Relapse-precipitating life events and feelings in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

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Clinic for Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Lübeck, FRG.


This study examined whether life event stress under general or more specific conditions (fear of separation, feeling of being under pressure, feeling of being caught between two quarreling parties, separation experiences) contribute to the aggravation of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Firstly, 51 patients with ulcerative colitis, 57 patients with Crohn's disease, and 60 controls were compared in terms of these variables. In addition, the IBD patients filled out questionnaires asking for life events, the specific psychological conditions mentioned above, and their symptoms every 3 months for 1 year after the first measurement. Patients with Crohn's disease and patients with ulcerative colitis reported a lower amount of life event stress than members of the control group, but listed more feelings of being under pressure. Within group comparisons between patients in relapse and patients in remission, as well as comparisons between patients with recently increased disease activity and patients without increased disease activity did not yield clear results. We conclude that the variables in question have little influence on the beginning of a relapse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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