The study aims to investigate two kinds of treatment in patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and consequently compares its efficacy on improving the symptoms and mental health of patients; one with just medical treatment and another through a combination of psychotherapy and medical treatment.
Material and methods
Applying general sampling, 50 IBS patients were selected from among those who used to refer to a Gastroenterology Clinic. After physical and mental evaluations based on ROME-II scale and SCL-90-R questionnaires, the subjects were randomly superseded into: the control group with medical treatment and, the case group with a combination of medical and psychological treatments. The acquired data were then analyzed through t-test and Mann-Whitney U-test.
The findings show that the mental health of patients receiving cognitive behavioral therapy along with the medical treatment was higher than those of the control group at post-test level. It was observed that the therapy reduces the disability caused by IBS. Comparatively, while the cognitive therapy and medical treatments cured 80% of the patients, those receiving cognitive therapy alone showed an extensive reduction of symptoms.
Considering the role of cognitive behavioral therapy, it is therefore recommend that such patients be managed by a combined team of gastroenterologists and psychologists.
Keywords: irritable bowel syndrome, cognitive behavioral therapy, medical treatment, psychological status