The effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy on psychological distress and self-efficacy in patients with irritable bowel syndrome

Cognitive-behavioral therapy Psychological distress Self-efficacy Irritable bowel syndrome


  • Halimeh Dargahi-Kafshgari Department of Psychology, Sari Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sari, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Ghasem Yaghoubi-Hasankola
    Department of Psychology, Babol Branch, Islamic Azad University, Babol, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Zahra Habibzadeh-Ahangarkolaei Department of Family Counseling, Tehran North Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
Vol 9, No 1: 2022
Quantitative Study(ies)
January 1, 2022
March 19, 2022


Background: It is necessary to help people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to solve the problems related to this disease through recognizing the factors affecting psychological distress and self-efficacy in these individuals. The goal of this study was to see how effective cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is in reducing psychological distress and increasing self-efficacy in patients with IBS.

Methods: The current research was a semi-experimental study with a pretest-posttest design, follow-up, and a control group. Patients with IBS who were referred to medical centers in Babol, Iran, in 2019 made up the statistical population of this study; 30 individuals were chosen through convenience sampling based on the study inclusion and exclusion criteria and were assigned to the experimental or control group (15 individuals in each group). A demographic questionnaire, the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) ‎(Kessler et al., 2002), and ‎the General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE) ‎were used to collect data. At a significance level of 0.05, the data were analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the Bonferroni test in SPSS software.

Results: In individuals with IBS, CBT was found to be beneficial in reducing psychological distress (P < 0.001) and increasing self-efficacy (P < 0.001). The favorable effect of CBT on psychological distress (P = 0.105) and self-efficacy (P = 0.925) persisted at the follow-up stage.

Conclusion: Given the beneficial effects of CBT on psychological distress and self-efficacy in patients with IBS, it is suggested that this training method be used in the planning of mental health measures, particularly for patients with IBS.