Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is considered a common heterogeneous disorder often underdiagnosed among primary physicians, typically comprised of cardinal symptoms and pathophysiological mechanisms.
Although past research has delved into the efficacy of drug therapy and gut-directed hypnotherapy to treat IBS, a new study released online in Neurogastroenterology & Motility investigates the use of mindfulness for reducing symptoms.
According to Bruce D. Naliboff, and his colleagues at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), the efficacy shown in their findings was accomplished by examining 53 women and 15 men with IBS. All of the participants were involved in a 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction program.
During the study, several traits associated with IBS and mindfulness were measured using the Five Factor Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ).
“Primary outcomes of GI symptom severity, quality of life, and GI‐specific anxiety, as well as specific aspects of mindfulness using the Five Factor Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), were assessed at baseline, post‐treatment, and 6‐month follow‐up,” the study’s co-authors detailed in the findings.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction training was noted to be effective at improving GI symptoms associated with IBS, the findings determined. The mindfulness program resulted in a GI symptom responder rate of 71%, with beneficiary effects lasting even after a 3-month follow-up.
“Degree of improvement in GI symptoms was most strongly predicted by increases in the ability to stay in the present moment and act with awareness,” Naliboff and the research team concluded.
“These results have implications for the development of more effective and tailored behavioral interventions for individuals with IBS.”