Behaviorally treated irritable bowel syndrome patients: a four-year follow-up

Behav Res Ther. 1990;28(4):331-5. doi: 10.1016/0005-7967(90)90085-w.


Nineteen of 27 patients suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) who had completed a multicomponent treatment involving progressive muscle relaxation, thermal biofeedback, cognitive therapy and IBS education were located and evaluated 4 yr posttreatment. Seventeen of 19 (89.5, or 63% of the total original sample) rated themselves as more than 50% improved. Six of the 12 patients (50%) who submitted symptom monitoring diaries met our criteria for clinical improvement, i.e. achieving at least a 50% reduction in primary IBS symptom scores. The means on all measures at long-term follow-up were lower than those obtained prior to treatment. When follow-up symptom means were compared with pretreatment means, significant (P less than 0.05) reductions were obtained on abdominal pain/tenderness, diarrhea, nausea, and flatulence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / psychology
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sick Role