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Scand J Gastroenterol. 1998 Dec;33(12):1289-96.

Effect of psychotherapy on the course of Crohn's disease. Results of the German prospective multicenter psychotherapy treatment study on Crohn's disease. German Study Group on Psychosocial Intervention in Crohn's Disease.

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Dept. of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Medical University, Lübeck, Germany.



Our aim was to study the influence of psychotherapy in addition to a standardized corticosteroid treatment on the somatic and psychosocial course of Crohn's disease.


In a prospective, randomized multicenter study 108 of 488 patients received either drug treatment or, in the intervention group, additionally psychotherapy in the first half of the 2-year follow-up period.


Eighty-four patients (77.8%) completed the somatic and 81 (75%) the psychosocial follow-up. Twenty-three per cent of the control group and 30% of the psychotherapy group showed episode-free courses; 29% and 17%, respectively, underwent surgery due to failure of drug treatment. The main analysis, which was based on subranking by number, duration, and severity of relapses, failed to show significant differences between the two groups (P = 0.125). The same result was obtained for the psychosocial status after 1 year in the main target criteria depression, anxiety, psychosocio-communicative status, and quality of life.


The confirmatory analysis did not prove significantly better courses after additional psychotherapy. There was a tendency towards fewer operations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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