'Just to get it off my chest': Patients' views on psychotherapy in inflammatory bowel disease

Antonina A. Mikocka-Walus, Andrea L. Gordon, Benjamin J. Stewart, Jane M. Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: This study aimed to explore patients' experiences and views on psychotherapy in relation to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and Crohn's disease (CD) in particular. Method: This descriptive survey study used semi-structured in-depth interviews with open-ended questions and a qualitative content analysis to summarise responses of 12 CD patients with mental health problems undergoing treatment with antidepressants. Results: Of 12 interviewed CD sufferers, only four received any form of psychotherapy. Two psychotherapy users considered it useful and beneficial. Patients who used psychotherapy with good results reported it improved their disease course, most likely due to improving patients' skills in reducing stress and thus, delaying relapse of the disease. Conclusion: Psychotherapy seems to be under used in IBD patients with mental health problems. Psychotherapy may act as a preventer of disease relapse in some patients and this observation needs to be tested with further quantitative studies. Online therapies may be the answer to limited psychotherapeutic resources in gastroenterology clinics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-234
Number of pages8
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013


  • antidepressants
  • content analysis
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • psychotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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