A Biofeedback-Assisted Stress Management Program for Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: a Randomised Controlled Trial

Konstantina Exarchopoulou, Anna Papageorgiou, Flora Bacopoulou, Elli Koumantarou Malisiova, Dimitrios Vlachakis, George P. Chrousos, Christina Darviri


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder that affects the functionality and quality of life of the affected persons. There is a well-established detrimental reciprocal relationship between stress and IBS. In this randomised controlled trial, IBS patients were randomly assigned to an 8-week biofeedback-assisted stress management intervention group (n=24) or a control group (n=22). Psychometric measures were performed at baseline and following intervention to assess perceived stress, health locus of control and depressive symptoms. In patients of the intervention group, perceived stress and symptoms of depression were significantly decreased, while the sense of control over health was increased. The intervention program was beneficial to the health and quality of life of individuals with IBS. Future randomised controlled studies with larger samples and longer follow-up are required to establish the effectiveness of stress-management techniques in functional gastrointestinal disorders.


irritable bowel syndrome; IBS; stress; stress management; biofeedback; abdominal breathing; progressive muscle relaxation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14806/ej.26.1.980


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