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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8915872, 9 pages
Research Article

Face-to-Face Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: The Effects on Gastrointestinal and Psychiatric Symptoms

1Nutrition-Gut-Brain Interactions Research Centre, Örebro University, 701 82 Örebro, Sweden
2Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Psychiatry, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
3Center for Health and Medical Psychology (CHAMP), School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden

Correspondence should be addressed to Hanna Edebol-Carlman; es.uro@namlrac-lobede.annah

Received 13 June 2016; Accepted 5 October 2016; Published 22 January 2017

Academic Editor: Tamar Ringel-Kulka

Copyright © 2017 Hanna Edebol-Carlman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder linked to disturbances in the gut-brain axis. Visceral hypersensitivity and pain are hallmarks of IBS and linked to the physiological and psychological burden and to the nonadaptive coping with stress. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for IBS has proven effective in reducing gastrointestinal and psychiatric symptoms in IBS by means of coping with stress. The present pilot study evaluated for the first time whether CBT for IBS affected visceral sensitivity and pain. Individual CBT was performed for 12 weeks in 18 subjects with IBS and evaluated in terms of visceral sensitivity and pain during rectal distensions using the barostat method and self-rated visceral sensitivity and gastrointestinal and psychiatric symptoms. Visceral discomfort, urge, and pain induced by the barostat were not affected by CBT but were stable across the study. However, the level of self-rated visceral sensitivity and gastrointestinal and psychiatric symptoms decreased after the intervention. Central working mechanisms and increased ability to cope with IBS-symptoms are suggested to play a key role in the alleviation of IBS symptoms produced by CBT.