This paper presents an overview of IBD with a critical analysis of the causes and effects of psychological distress in persons with this illness. Based on this literature, risk factors for the development of psychological distress are delineated. It is recognition of these risk factors for the development and the early signs of psychological distress in this population that can enable nurses to prevent this unfortunate psychosocial consequence of this disease. Preventive interventions discussed include the following: Treating comorbid psychiatric illness, enhancing problem-solving coping, facilitating mourning and grieving, reducing stress, enhancing the positive appraisal of uncertainty, increasing personal control, increasing social support, and educating patients, families, and others.
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