Table 5 Summary of recommendations for the psychological treatment of irritable bowel syndrome
InterventionQuality ofBenefit/Strength of
• Make a positive diagnosis and provide a clear explanation of the cause and nature of symptoms and an honest appraisal of prognosis and treatment optionsMediumNet benefitQualified
Psychological approaches to treatment
• Relaxation therapyModerateTrade-offsQualified
• Patients with moderate anxiety, not amounting to psychiatric disorder, who do not respond satisfactorily to standard treatment may benefit from relaxation therapyModerateTrade-offsQualified
• Cognitive behavioural therapyModerateTrade-offsQualified
• Psychodynamic interpersonal therapyModerateTrade-offsQualified
• Specific psychological treatment for coexisting psychopathologyHighNet benefitDefinitive