Psychosocial interventions in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Principal Investigator and Contact Person:


This project was previously funded by the Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The current update is based divisional ressources and has been supported by students in voluntary science year (FWJ).

Current Status:

Project is on hold. A BMBF funding proposal was submitted in June 2019


Psychosocial interventions in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Psychosocial interventions in inflammatory bowel disease (Cochrane Review Update)


Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), characterized by an unpredictable course of relapse and remissions and a large variety of potential complications. Quality of life is severely compromised. There is substantial comorbidity, in particular relating to affective disorders. Interaction of psychological distress with inflammatory activity has long been suggested but evidence has been so far not very convincing.

In an earlier Cochrane Review we have summarized the evidence on effectiveness of psychological interventions on quality of life in IBD, considering psychotherapy as well as patient education and relaxation techniques. Often, these are applied in combination, constituting multimodular interventions. The review was published first in 2011 and revealed serious flaws and insufficient reporting in many of the early studies.

We are now doing a major update of this review. As several larger and better designed studies have been performed since the review was first published we expect a markedly better evidence base.

The project is performed in collaboration with Cochrane IBD (London, Ontario), Cochrane Germany and the IMBI in Freiburg, as well as Prof. G. Moser (Vienna, Austria) as external consultant on psychomatic issues in gastroenterology.


(Changed: 19 Dec 2022)