WORKSHOP: Virtual Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for Adults With Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Feasibility Trial Results Including ACE Scores and Inflammatory Markers

Evaluate the session

Presenting Author(s): Ms. Kaitlyn Chappell, BSc, Dr. Melanie Marsh-Joyal, BSc (Hons), MD, FRCPC, Dr. Diana Meakins, BMSc, MD, FRCPC

Co-Author(s): Karen Goodman, BA, MPH, PhD; Jean-Michel Le Melledo, MD; Karen Kroeker, BSc, MSc, MD, FRCPC

Date and time: 25 Mar 2023 from 14:15 to 14:35

Location: Hawthorn A  Floor Map

Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize co-morbidity of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) with anxiety and depression;
  2. Describe Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) as a therapeutic intervention;
  3. Discuss study outcomes and potential future applications.


Background: Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) often experience anxiety and depression. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been associated with reducing feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression in several high-quality randomized control trials. Virtual care reduces cost and travel requirements, both which have been identified as barriers to accessing treatment.

Purpose: To assess the feasibility of online-delivered MBSR for IBD patients with co-morbid anxiety and depression, with feasibility outcomes defined as recruitment success, and attendance, adherence, and attrition of participating patients. Secondary outcomes targeted to assess the effectiveness of the program included measure of stress and anxiety scores, mindfulness, self-compassion, and quality of life.

Method: Following screening, adult IBD patients who self-identified as being anxious or depressed were enrolled in a standard 8-week MBSR group-based intervention. Result(s): Participants completing the program attended an average of 7.6 of 8 sessions and practiced for an average of 21.6 minutes daily (range: 10-30), had higher Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) scores (average 3.3) than all of those that started (average 2.0), and also had a higher PHQ-SADS score (11.86) than all those that started (11.3) and saw an average decrease of approximately 4 points. Other secondary outcomes revealed an increase of quality of life, an increase in- self compassion, and a decrease in perceived mindfulness traits.

Conclusions: Although interest in MBSR was relatively high, the time commitment was a reported barrier. Those that completed the program saw a decrease in stress and anxiety scores as well as an increase in quality of life and self-compassion.

Literature References

  1. Ahola Kohut S., et al. Feasibility and Acceptability of a Mindfulness-Based Group Intervention for Adolescents with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2020 Mar;27(1):68-78. doi: 10.1007/s10880-019-09622-6. PMID: 31065861.
  2. Ewais T., et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of mindfulness based interventions and yoga in inflammatory bowel disease. J Psychosom Res. 2019 Jan;116:44-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2018.11.010. Epub 2018 Nov 14. PMID: 30654993.
  3. Hoge E.A., et al. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction vs Escitalopram for the Treatment of Adults With Anxiety Disorders: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2022 Nov 9:e223679. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2022.3679. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36350591; PMCID: PMC9647561.
  4. Hood M.M. and Jedel S. Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2017 Dec;46(4):859-874. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2017.08.008. Epub 2017 Oct 3. PMID: 29173527.
  5. Maunder R.G. and Levenstein S. The role of stress in the development and clinical course of inflammatory bowel disease: epidemiological evidence. Curr Mol Med. 2008 Jun;8(4):247-52. doi: 10.2174/156652408784533832. PMID: 18537632.
  6. Morris G., et al. Socioeconomic Deprivation, Adverse Childhood Experiences and Medical Disorders in Adulthood: Mechanisms and Associations. Mol Neurobiol. 2019 Aug;56(8):5866-5890. doi: 10.1007/s12035-019-1498-1. Epub 2019 Jan 26. PMID: 30685844; PMCID: PMC6614134.

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