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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2004 Dec;72(6):1100-13.

Psychological treatments for irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Erie County Medical Center, 462 Grider Street, Buffalo, NY 14215, USA.


This study conducted a systematic review to assess the quality of existing literature on psychological treatments for irritable bowel syndrome and to quantify the evidence for their efficacy. Three independent reviewers (2 from England, 1 from the United States) coded the quality of 32 studies, 17 of which provided data suitable for meta-analysis. Meta-analysis of efficacy data (50% reduction of symptoms) gave an odds ratio of 12 (95% confidence interval = 5.56-25.96) and a number needed to treat of 2. Psychological treatments are, as a class of interventions, effective in reducing symptoms compared with a pooled group of control conditions. Questions regarding the relative superiority of specific psychological treatments and influence of active versus nonspecific treatment effects remain unanswered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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