A study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology has found a link between psychological therapy and reduced long-term symptoms in Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients. Unlike most studies, which have found short-term benefits, the current review found that patients' symptoms remained alleviated six to twelve months after treatment.
The gastrointestinal symptoms of IBS "affect up to 16 percent of the U.S. population." To search for psychotherapeutic benefits, the researchers reviewed 41 clinical trials performed on more than 2,200 IBS patients. Treatments studied included both online and in-person methods.
As the study's first author, Kelsey Laird, points out, "gastrointestinal symptoms can increase stress and anxiety, which can increase the severity of the symptoms." Therefore, the condition is a "cycle that psychological treatment can help break."