Third-wave therapies in inflammatory bowel disease: the outline therapy to reduce psychological stress, anxiety and depression in IBD adult patients

1 Clinical Psychology Unit, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS, Rome, Italy
2 UOC Gastroenterologia, Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche e Chirurgiche, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS, Rome, Italy


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronic immune-mediated disorders affecting the gastrointestinal tract, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Numerous studies have demonstrated the bidirectional relationship between psychological disorders and IBD. However, although very useful, psychological assessment and psychotherapeutic intervention by specialized psychologists are not always performed in these patients.
Psychological treatments used with IBD patients include a wide spectrum of different interventions, such as psychodynamic therapies, cognitive-behavioral approaches, and third-wave therapies, with the aim of modifying the course of disease of affected patients, improving their quality of life, and reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Third-wave therapies, such as Mindfulness-based intervention and Acceptance Commitment Therapy, are new forms of psychotherapy, which, based on scientific evidence, have been widely demonstrated to be effective in IBD patients. This narrative review provides an overview of the current state of the art regarding the use of third-wave therapies in the management of adult IBD patients, suggesting that they may represent a therapeutic option for the management of psychological stress, anxiety, and depression in these patients.

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Publication history:

Submission date: 28th Mar, 2023
Revised on: 13th Apr, 2023
Accepted on: 09th May, 2023
Published online: 26th May, 2023

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