Psychological aspects and psychotherapy of inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome in children

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Palacky University, University Hospital Olomouc, Czech Republic.
Biomedical papers of the Medical Faculty of the University Palacky, Olomouc, Czechoslovakia (Impact Factor: 1.2). 12/2010; 154(4):307-14. DOI: 10.5507/bp.2010.046
Source: PubMed


Despite holistic approach to psychosomatic medicine, gastroenterological disorders (GI) tend to be categorized broadly into "functional" and "organic". Major GI illnesses are Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) include ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Both are chronic, with remissions and relapses over the years while irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, often disabling functional gastrointestinal disorder.
A literature review was performed using the National Library of Medicine PubMed database, including all resources within the period 1991-2008, additional references were found through bibliography reviews of relevant articles.
Psychological problems: Higher scores of neuroticism, depression, inhibition, and emotional instability, are typical for many patients with chronic diseases and nonspecific for chronic gastroenterological disorders. Patients with chronic gastrointestinal disorders have impaired health-related quality. Psychological treatments: There have been few adequate psychological treatment trials in IBD. These achieved lower demands for health care rather than a reduction of anxiety or depression. Psychotherapy with chronic gastrointestinal disorders could lead to improve the course of the disease, changing psychological factors such as depression and dysfunctional coping and improving the patient's quality of life.
There seem to be "risk patients" in whom psychosocial components have a bigger influence on the course of disease than in other patients; and those would probably benefit from psychotherapeutic treatment. Psychological treatments help patients manage the psychological distress which worsens bowel symptoms and quality of life.

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