Review article: gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and psychological comorbidity

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Feb 15;29(4):351-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2008.03883.x. Epub 2008 Nov 8.


Background: A growing number of studies have shown the impact of psychological comorbidities on gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) patients' symptom reports and healthcare-seeking behaviour.

Aim: To review the reported relationship between GERD and psychological comorbidity.

Methods: Review of the literature on GERD and psychological comorbidity.

Results: Psychological comorbidity is common among GERD patients and appears to afflict all GERD phenotypes. Sexual and physical abuse is also common in GERD patients. Stress enhances perception of oesophageal acid exposure. Treatment for GERD, especially in those who are not responsive to antireflux treatment, may require further evaluation for psychological comorbidity.

Conclusions: Psychological comorbidity is very common in GERD patients and is likely to play an important role in response, or failure of response, to proton pump inhibitor treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / complications
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Stress, Psychological / drug therapy


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors