Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Biopsychosocial Intervention
1 online resource (116 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has made a striking impact on western health systems (Andrews et al., 2005). It is a costly illness psychologically, socially, physiologically, and economically. A common complementary treatment for IBS is the practice of mindfulness: a meditation technique to increase cognitive awareness and acceptance (van Tilburg et al., 2008; Zernicke et al., 2013). This study searched for a way to add low cost and effectiveness to treatment options for IBS individuals through natural ways of activating a balance between the nervous systems, which are imbalanced in the IBS population. It also sought to dissect mindfulness meditation's effects on IBS symptom relief by using three interventions that target each component of the biopsychosocial model. Participants, from a university setting and an online sample, were assigned randomly to one of the three groups (diary, breath training, or mindfulness meditation), and participated in a 3-week intervention with a 6-week follow-up. Outcome measures were focused around IBS symptom occurrence and mental health. Results indicated that the social care (diary) group saw fast recovery in their IBS symptoms without strong psychological benefits. The breathing group saw both symptom and psychological benefits by the 6th week follow-up, and the meditation group only saw increases in their quality of life by the end of the study. Together, these results suggest that when mindfulness is used as a complementary treatment, the breathing component of the meditation may be the most important mechanism.
Johnson, SusanTurner, MichaelBennett, Jeanette
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2015.
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