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Behav Res Ther. 2009 Sep;47(9):797-802. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2009.05.002. Epub 2009 May 20.

Brief cognitive-behavioral internet therapy for irritable bowel syndrome.

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Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6241, USA.


While cognitive-behavioral therapy for IBS is quite effective, the limited availability of competent therapists and lack of access to treatment remain problematic. This paper reports on a small, randomized, controlled trial of a five week internet based cognitive-behavioral intervention for IBS with limited therapist feedback via e-mail. Fifty-four IBS patients were recruited via the internet and randomly assigned to either immediate treatment or a wait-list control group. Thirty-one subjects completed the post-treatment assessment. 77% of treatment completers also completed a 3-month follow-up assessment. Treatment completers experienced statistically and clinically significant declines in IBS symptoms and improvements in quality of life. Those gains were substantially maintained at follow-up. Treatment efficacy was partially mediated by reductions in the tendency to catastrophize the social and occupational implications of symptoms, suggesting that catastrophizing may be an important target for treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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