Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) usually experience psychosocial impairment and psychiatric comorbidity related to the chronic course, relapsing activity (unpredictable risk of flare), and consequent physical symptoms. One of the psychological approaches which has gained more consideration as a coadjuvant therapy is mindfulness-based intervention (MBI). The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of a blended Internet-based MBI compared to standard medical therapy (SMT), in a sample of patients with IBD.
A mixed-methods non-randomized controlled trial was conducted with 57 patients with IBD (35 in MBI condition and 22 in SMT condition). The MBI involved an 8-week program which comprised four face-to-face support sessions and four Internet-based therapy modules. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL), anxiety, depression, stress, mindfulness, and optimism were compared within and between groups. Qualitative methods were used to analyze the response of the patients to the treatment.
Results revealed that the MBI condition significantly increased HRQoL and optimism compared to the SMT condition. However, there were no significant between-group differences in anxiety, depression, perceived stress, pessimism, or mindfulness facets. In addition, the interviewed MBI participants (n = 19) assured that they had learned strategies to regulate their emotions (anxiety, depression, stress) and to manage both pain and fatigue.
This study shows the effectiveness of a blended Internet-based MBI in increasing HRQoL and optimism in patients with IBD. It also highlights the use of MBIs to treat psychological impairment in IBD.
NCT 02,963,246, 15/11/2016.