Few treatments have been able to effectively manage pediatric irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Internet-delivered cognitive behavior therapy (Internet-CBT) based on exposure for abdominal symptoms is effective for adult IBS.
Dr Marianne Bonnert and colleagues from Sweden evaluated the efficacy of Internet-CBT based on behavioral exposure for adolescents with IBS.
Adolescents with IBS fulfilling the Rome III criteria were randomized to either Internet-CBT or a wait-list control.
The Internet-CBT was a 10-week intervention where the main component was exposure to IBS symptoms by reduction of avoidance of abdominal symptoms and instead stepwise provocation of symptoms.
|After 6 months, the results were stable or significantly improved|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
The team's primary outcome was total score on Gastrointestinal Symptoms Rating Scale for IBS (GSRS-IBS).
The research team's secondary outcomes included adolescent- and parent-rated quality of life and parent-rated gastrointestinal symptoms.
Difference between groups was assessed from pretreatment to posttreatment, and the Internet-CBT group was also evaluated at 6 months after treatment completion.
The researchers included a total of 101 adolescents with IBS in this study.
Dropout rates were low, and all randomized patients were included in intent-to-treat analyses based on mixed effects models.
The research team showed a significant larger pretreatment to posttreatment change on the primary outcome GSRS-IBS, and on almost all secondary outcomes for the Internet-CBT group compared with the control group.
After 6 months, the results were stable or significantly improved.
Dr Bonnert's team comments, "Internet-CBT based on exposure exercises for adolescents with IBS can effectively improve gastrointestinal symptoms and quality of life."