Mindfulness for IBS Study

Randomized Trial

I had been approached many years ago by a gastroenterologist colleague who had an interest and practice of mindfulness. He wondered if an MBSR group might help his patients with irritable bowel syndrome; hence this study was born.

We did a relatively straightforward waitlist RCT of a standard MBSR program, inviting all the patients in his practice to participate. This was the Masters project of Dr. Kristin Zernicke. We measured IBS disease-specific symptoms as well as more general levels of stress, and found significant improvements across both these categories.

Zernicke, K.A., Campbell, T.S., Blustein, P.K., Fung, T.S., Johnson, J.A., Bacon, S.L., & Carlson, L.E. (2012). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms: A randomized wait-list controlled trial. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 2013 Sep;20(3):385-96. doi: 10.1007/s12529-012-9241-6. View.

Comparison Analysis

We also used the data from this trial to compare the effect sizes and profiles of change in the IBS patients to the cancer patients from whom we had similar data, published here:

Zernicke, K.A., Lawlor-Savage, L., Lounsberry, J., Zhong, L., Blustein, P.K., Campbell, T.S., & Carlson, L.E. (2012). Mindfulness-based stress reduction improves distress in two different chronic illnesses. Journal of Behavioural Health, 1(3), 201-208. DOI: View.