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Behav Res Ther. 1994 Feb;32(2):217-26.

Long-term monitoring of psychosocial stress and symptomatology in inflammatory bowel disease.

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


Eleven subjects with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) participated in a longterm self-monitoring investigation of the relationship between psychosocial stress and IBD symptomatology. Two measurement instruments, the IBD Symptom Diary and the Psychosocial Stress Diary, were completed by each subject for 7 consecutive days each month for one year. Pooled time-series analysis of the influence of daily stress on IBD activity revealed a significant effect. A positive concurrent relationship was found between both daily and monthly psychosocial stress and IBD activity. Investigations of temporal relationship among variables revealed a negative effect of previous month stress on IBD. Results suggest a monthly rebound effect whereby IBD symptom severity is negatively responsive to the severity of the previous month stress. The effects of stress upon IBD were not found to be modified by behavioral coping strategies. These results support the prevailing impression that psychosocial stress contributes to the clinical course of IBD, and specifically suggest an influential role of daily and monthly stress. A pattern matching IBD's characteristic waxing and waning clinical course emerges when the association between stress and IBD is examined from a monthly viewpoint. Refinement of our knowledge of the IBD-stress model calls for replication and explanation of the monthly rebound effect as well as investigations into type of stressor and coping strategy that may influence IBD activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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