Examining the Influence of Mindfulness in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Potter, Gillian K
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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a chronic medical illness accompanied by abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, and other bodily complications. Research demonstrates unique psychosocial challenges in IBD and suggests some potential benefits of mindfulness-based interventions for this population. The aim of the current research was to conduct a comprehensive examination of the potential of mindfulness-based practices in IBD. This examination consisted of three individual research projects that each contribute in a unique way to an evolving understanding of this topic. Study 1 was a systematic scoping review of psychological interventions in IBD. The objective was to determine whether there is evidence that these interventions have potential to improve outcomes in this population. Psychotherapies appear to have potential to influence physical and psychological outcomes in IBD. Evidence of the potential for psychotherapy to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression was generally limited, however, MBIs showed some promise with such outcomes and targeted a variety of outcomes compared to other psychotherapies. Study 2 and Study 3 aimed to use qualitative and quantitative approaches to better understand how mindfulness may produce changes in this population. Study 2 utilized interpretive phenomenological analysis to explore the influence of mindfulness meditation on six individuals’ experiences of living with IBD. Results suggested that mindfulness is associated with experiences of awareness, nonjudgmental experiential engagement, acceptance, self-regulation, and ultimately, resilience. Study 3 utilized a cross-sectional design to examine statistical mediators of trait mindfulness and psychological distress in IBD. Serial modelling demonstrated that self-regulation, followed by self-compassion, and then low IBD symptom interference, partly accounted for an inverse association between trait mindfulness and psychological distress. Together, results from the three individual studies build upon our understanding of the relevance of MBIs to people with IBD by describing the effects of psychological interventions in this population (Study 1), and identifying potential mechanisms by which mindfulness exerts its effects (Studies 2 and 3). Such knowledge is important for informing research on psychological treatments in IBD and optimizing treatment success in this population.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeMcWilliams, Lachlan; Cummings, Jorden; Delbaere, Marjorie; Mickleborough, Marla
Copyright DateNovember 2020
inflammatory bowel disease