The Center for Psychosocial Research In GI at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University in Chicago is an active center for research into gastrointestinal conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other less commonly known digestive disorders. In particular, this research usually has focused on the psychosocial aspects of gastrointestinal conditions, such as stigma, social impact and perceived quality of life from the point of view of people living with these chronic conditions. As a blog and website founded by people with IBS, most of the time, we have chosen to highlight resources, open studies and other information of interest to that group, However, we also have many readers, social media followers, and supporters among the various health and human service professionals who specialize in gastrointestinal disorders, chronic illness or chronic pain.
Researchers of irritable bowel syndrome have long recognized that the dysfunctions in the brain-gut axis involved in IBS make psychological treatments such as gut-directed hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and occasionally other psychological approaches particularly effective for many people with IBS, even those who do not have coexisting mental health issues. In addition, a statistically significant subset of people with IBS do have overlapping conditions of anxiety and/or depression, either as preexisting diagnoses, or as a result of living with the symptoms and stresses of chronic IBS.
Historically, the number of available mental health professionals who are knowledgeable and well-experienced specifically in IBS and other functional gastrointestinal disorders has been relatively small, making it difficult for most affected people who might benefit from these treatment options to gain access to appropriate, affordable care in or near their home communities. This is true even in many major metropolitan areas with renowned teaching medical centers. It is in the interest of people with IBS as a community to support the continuing education and training of more therapists and other professionals who might encounter people with IBS in their practices, or find IBS to be a new area of interest or focus. Consequently, IBS Impact encourages mental health professionals to consider completing the following brief online survey by CRPGI regarding your experience or lack thereof with gastrointestinal conditions and possible interest in further training in this area. This survey is being conducted by Sarah Kinsinger, PhD and Laurie Keefer, PhD, and the estimated time for completion is 2 minutes.
IBS Impact thanks CRPGI for its continuing commitment to gastrointestinal disorders and mental health, and hopes for a robust and fruitful response to guide its future endeavors.