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Studies find cognitive therapy benefits IBS

LOS ANGELES (May 24, 2006) Cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnotherapy have been successfully used in the treatment of a variety of chronic syndromes, including common functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, such as irritable bowel syndrome. New research presented today at Digestive Disease Week 2006 (DDW) again asserts that these therapies may have a powerful impact on the digestive system including improving symptoms of lower GI tract disorders. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

"These studies illustrate the intricate ties between the digestive tract and other major body systems," said Emeran Mayer, M.D., professor of medicine, physiology and psychiatry, University of California, Los Angeles. "Physicians must recognize these connections to help treat patients more effectively."

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Therapist-Administered vs Minimal-Therapist-Contact Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Moderate to Severe IBS [Abstract 535]

Preliminary research funded by the National Institutes of Health shows that behavioral therapy may be quite effective in treating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) unresponsive to standard medications and dietary agents. However, it can be an expensive and time-consuming option. Study authors from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York condensed a behavioral treatment program into a four session patient-administered format with minimal therapist contact in an attempt to reduce the costs and time-commitment for patients. Researchers found that even though the four-session program required less therapist time, it was as effective as the 10-week, clinic-based program in relieving the range of GI symptoms of IBS.

Researchers randomly assigned 59 patients to receive a 10-week; clinic-based behavioral treatment (CBT); a four-session
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Contact: Aimee Frank
newsroom@gastro.org
301-941-2620
American Gastroenterological Association
24-May-2006


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