Psychological Therapy Aids Bowel Disease

ATHENS, Ga., June 14 (UPI) — U.S. psychologists say cognitive-behavioral therapy can reduce physical symptoms and improve coping strategies involved with inflammatory bowel disease.

Teenagers with IBD, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, often have serious trouble coping with the disorders, the researchers said. But the new psychological treatment intervention program developed at the University of Georgia shows promise of reducing physical symptoms and increasing adaptive coping strategies.

The study on the effectiveness of the coping skills intervention involved 24 female teenagers age 11-17.

“We saw significant improvements in these adolescents’ physical symptoms and coping strategies following treatment,” said psychology Professor Ronald Blount, who led the study. “Parents, who were also involved in the study, reported reductions in catastrophic thoughts related to their daughters’ pain and improved behavioral reactions related to their daughters’ physical symptoms.”

The research that included doctoral students Megan McCormick and Bonney Reed-Knight, as well as Drs. Jeffrey Lewis and Benjamin Gold of the Children’s Center for Digestive Health Care in Atlanta appears in the early online edition of the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

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