Pain is a frequently reported symptom of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) experienced by patients in active disease and remission.
Psychological factors play a significant role in pain, but have not been systematically reviewed in IBD.
Dr Sweeney and colleagues from the United Kingdom reviewed psychosocial factors associated with pain in adults diagnosed with IBD.
Electronic, and hand-searching were conducted in 2017, and 2 authors carried out screening and data extraction.
The team identified 15 studies including 5539 IBD patients.
|Patients reporting pain in IBD remission more frequently had an existing diagnosis of a mood disorder|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
Emotional, cognitive-behavioral and personality factors were associated with IBD-pain.
The team noted that depression and anxiety were the most commonly explored constructs, followed by perceived stress and pain catastrophizing, all of which were positively associated with greater pain.
Greater abdominal pain was associated with a concurrent mood disorder over 5-fold.
Coping strategies and pain fear avoidance correlated with pain levels.
Perceived social support and internal locus of control correlated with less pain.
Patients reporting pain in IBD remission more frequently had an existing diagnosis of a mood disorder, a chronic pain disorder and irritable bowel syndrome.
The researchers found 6 studies that controlled for disease activity, of which 4 found that psychosocial factors significantly predicted pain.
The majority of studies were of high quality.
Dr Sweeney's team comments, "Psychosocial factors appear to play a significant role in IBD-pain."
"Further research is required to explore psychosocial constructs in relation to IBD-pain, with use of validated pain measures, large sample sizes and clearer characterisation of disease activity."