A one year follow-up of relaxation response meditation as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome

Authors
L Keefer, E B Blanchard
Publication
Behaviour Research Therapy
40(5):541-546
Abstract

Ten of thirteen original participants with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) participated in a one year follow-up study to determine whether the effects of Relaxation Response Meditation (RRM) on IBS symptom reduction were maintained over the long-term. From pre-treatment to one-year follow-up, significant reductions were noted for the symptoms of abdominal pain (p=0.017), diarrhea (p=0.045), flatulence (p=0.030), and bloating (p=0.018). When we examined changes from the original three month follow-up point to the one year follow-up, we noted significant additional reductions in pain (p=0.03) and bloating (p=0.04), which tended to be the most distressing symptoms of IBS. It appears that: (1) continued use of meditation is particularly effective in reducing the symptoms of pain and bloating; and (2) RRM is a beneficial treatment for IBS in the both short- and the long-term.

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