Introduction Due to the relapsing nature of the disease, rates of anxiety and depression among inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients are higher than in the general population.
Prolonged effect of such comorbidities has been associated with poorer quality of life (QoL) and exacerbation of IBD symptoms.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an evidence-based psychological group program designed to help manage stress and depressive symptoms in depressed patients, however, no previous randomised controlled trial (RCT) has tested its possible effects on IBD patients.
Aim The aim of this study was to pilot the MBCT program with IBD patients and evaluate the feasibility of conducting a larger RCT testing the effectiveness of MBCT on depression and anxiety for IBD patients.
Method IBD patients from gastroenterology outpatient clinics at two Scottish NHS Boards were randomly allocated to MBCT intervention group (n = 22) or wait-list control group (n = 22). Both groups completed a baseline, post intervention and six months follow up assessments. A post intervention survey was conducted to assess the acceptability of the intervention and trial procedures for IBD patients.
Primary outcome was to assess feasibility and acceptability of MBCT intervention. Secondary outcome was to assess any mean differences between baseline and each of the 2 subsequent visits between the groups on depression, anxiety, quality of life, mindfulness and disease activity scores.
Results 53 (15%) IBD patients responded to the invitation to participate in the study. 44 (83%) of respondents were eligible and consented to participate in the study. The main reason for ineligibility was active disease symptoms, planned surgery and incompatibility with group schedule.
24 (56%) completed post intervention and follow up data. Participant survey indicated that trial procedures, including recruitment, randomisation and research instruments were acceptable.
At post intervention and follow up, depression (F=3,975, p = 0.027), trait anxiety (F=3,286, p = .048) and dispositional mindfulness (F=3,998, p = 0.034) scores showed significant improvement in the MBCT group when compared to the control.
Conclusion The results from this trial suggest that conducting a full scale RCT testing the effectiveness of MBCT program for IBD patients is both feasible and acceptable. Improvement in depression, trait anxiety and dispositional mindfulness scores are promising when coupled with patients reporting perceived improvement of their quality of life.
Disclosure of interest None Declared.