Share this article on:

A Controlled Study of a Group Mindfulness Intervention for Individuals Living With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Neilson, Kate DPsych; Ftanou, Maria DPsych; Monshat, Kaveh MPsychMed, MBBS, PhD; Salzberg, Mike MD; Bell, Sally MBBS, MD; Kamm, Michael A. MD, PhD; Connell, William MD; Knowles, Simon R. MPsych(Clinical), PhD; Sevar, Katherine FRANZCP; Mancuso, Sam G. PhD; Castle, David MD

doi: 10.1097/MIB.0000000000000629
Original Clinical Articles
Press Release

Background: This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of a mindfulness-based intervention for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (MI-IBD).

Design: Treatment-as-usual control versus mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention.

Methods: Sixty patients participated in either the MI-IBD (n = 33) or treatment-as-usual group (n = 27) conditions. The MI-IBD consisted of an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction training group. Outcome measures were administered at baseline (before intervention), immediately after intervention, and 6 months after intervention. Primary outcomes included measures of quality of life, psychological distress (depression and anxiety), and mindfulness. Data for MI-IBD group participants also included weekly attendance, daily minutes meditated, and satisfaction with the program.

Results: There were no baseline differences between intervention and control groups on demographic variables or inflammatory bowel disease severity. Compared with the control group, the MI-IBD group reported significantly greater improvements in anxiety, quality of life, and mindfulness at after intervention, with reduction in depression and improvements in quality of life and mindfulness maintained at 6 months after intervention.

Conclusions: Results demonstrate the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of a mindfulness intervention for patients with inflammatory bowel disease, with medium-to-large effects on psychological distress, quality of life, and mindfulness.

Article first published online 4 November 2015.

*Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia;

Departments of Psychiatry, and

Gastroenterology, St. Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia; and

§Department of Psychology, Faculty Health, Arts, and Design, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.

Reprints: David Castle, MD, Department of Psychiatry, St. Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne 3065, Australia (e-mail:

Supported by the University of Melbourne Research Collaboration Grant Scheme.

The authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.

Received August 16, 2015

Accepted September 11, 2015

© Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Inc.