This study examined whether inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients endorse clinically significant symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and tested whether remission status and remission expectations effectively moderate the relationship between endorsements of PTSD symptoms and aspects of IBD.
The enduring somatic threat model speaks to the presentation of symptoms of trauma that result from ongoing somatic concerns rather than discrete external events. Literature shows patients living with acute conditions experience symptoms of PTSD; however, few studies extend this to the IBD population. In addition, literature suggests remission may serve as a protective factor for the impact of IBD; as such, aspects of remission may serve as moderators in the relationship between aspects of IBD and PTSD symptoms.
Among a sample of adults with IBD, results showed that 32.8% of participants met the established cutoff for PTSD symptoms warranting further diagnostic evaluation. The findings further showed several aspects of remission moderated the relationship between multiple distinct IBD related concerns and PTSD symptoms.
Given the results of this study, it would be beneficial for providers to maintain awareness of the potential impact of PTSD symptoms, including the ways in which these symptoms may influence patient engagement/presentation. Ultimately, these results inform efforts to continue appropriate referral to mental health professionals for follow up.