Treatment for Comorbid Pediatric Gastrointestinal and Anxiety Disorders

A Pilot Study of a Flexible Health Sensitive Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Program

Laura C. Reigada, Ashley R. Polokowski, Deborah J. Walder, Eva M. Szigethy, Keith J. Benkov, Jean Marie Bruzzese, Carrie Masia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Anxiety is a prevalent and impairing psychiatric condition among children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Despite the need for effective treatment, no studies have examined the benefit of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders among children or adults with IBD. The aim of this paper is twofold: (a) to briefly describe a newly adapted CBT protocol, treatment of anxiety and physical symptoms related to IBD (TAPS + IBD), that concurrently addresses anxiety (including IBD-specific anxiety) and disease management among children and adolescents with IBD in pediatric medical offices; and (b) to present initial pilot data examining the feasibility and potential efficacy of TAPS + IBD compared to nondirective supportive therapy (NDST) among youth with comorbid IBD and anxiety. Twenty-Two youth (59% female; mean age 13.2 ± 2.1) with comorbid IBD and anxiety disorder were randomly assigned to a 13-session TAPS + IBD or NDST program. Following treatment, participants in TAPS + IBD demonstrated higher treatment response rates relative to the NDST control treatment. Compared with NDST, TAPS + IBD was associated with significantly greater reductions in IBD-specific anxiety immediately following treatment and 3 months later. TAPS + IBD shows initial promise for the treatment of anxiety in youth with IBD. The direct integration of behavioral health strategies into medical settings and use of a flexible CBT approach sensitive to acute disease fluctuations appears to be beneficial among youth with comorbid IBD and anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-326
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015

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Cognitive Therapy
Anxiety Disorders
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Pediatrics
Health
Anxiety
Therapeutics
Acute Disease
Clinical Protocols
Disease Management
Psychiatry
tyrosyl-arginyl-phenylalanyl-sarcosine

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • CBT
  • Chronic illness
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

Cite this

Reigada, Laura C. ; Polokowski, Ashley R. ; Walder, Deborah J. ; Szigethy, Eva M. ; Benkov, Keith J. ; Bruzzese, Jean Marie ; Masia, Carrie. / Treatment for Comorbid Pediatric Gastrointestinal and Anxiety Disorders : A Pilot Study of a Flexible Health Sensitive Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Program. In: Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology. 2015 ; Vol. 3, No. 4. pp. 314-326.
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Treatment for Comorbid Pediatric Gastrointestinal and Anxiety Disorders : A Pilot Study of a Flexible Health Sensitive Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Program. / Reigada, Laura C.; Polokowski, Ashley R.; Walder, Deborah J.; Szigethy, Eva M.; Benkov, Keith J.; Bruzzese, Jean Marie; Masia, Carrie.

In: Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, Vol. 3, No. 4, 01.01.2015, p. 314-326.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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