Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 189–198 | Cite as

Effect of Autogenic Training on General Improvement in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial

  • Masae Shinozaki
  • Motoyori Kanazawa
  • Michiko Kano
  • Yuka Endo
  • Naoki Nakaya
  • Michio Hongo
  • Shin FukudoEmail author


Autogenic training (AT) is a useful and comprehensive relaxation technique. However, no studies have investigated the effects of AT on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In this study we tested the hypothesis that AT improves symptoms of IBS. Twenty-one patients with IBS were randomly assigned to AT (n = 11, 5 male, 6 female) or control therapy (n = 10, 5 male, 5 female). AT patients were trained intensively, while the control therapy consisted of discussions about patients’ meal habits and life styles. All patients answered a question related to adequate relief (AR) of IBS symptoms and four questionnaires: Self-induced IBS Questionnaire (SIBSQ), Self-reported Depression Scale (SDS), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and Medical Outcome Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36). The proportion of AR in the last AT session in the AT group (9/11, 81.8%) was significantly higher than that in the controls (3/10, 30.0%, Chi-square test, p = 0.048). Two subscales of the SF-36, i.e., social functioning and bodily pain, were significantly improved in the AT group (p < 0.05) as compared to the control group. Role emotional (p = 0.051) and general health (p = 0.068) showed a tendency for improvement in the AT group. AT may be useful in the treatment of IBS by enhancing self-control.


Adequate relief (AR) Autogenic training (AT) Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) Quality of life (QOL) Randomized controlled trial (RCT) 



Self-reported Irritable Bowel Syndrome Questionnaire


Self-reported Depression Scale


State-trait anxiety inventory


Medical Outcome Short Form 36 Health Survey


Physical functioning


Role physical


Bodily pain


General health




Social functioning


Role emotional


Mental health



This work was supported by grants-in-aid from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan, and the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Labor, Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masae Shinozaki
    • 1
  • Motoyori Kanazawa
    • 1
  • Michiko Kano
    • 1
  • Yuka Endo
    • 2
  • Naoki Nakaya
    • 3
  • Michio Hongo
    • 4
  • Shin Fukudo
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Behavioral MedicineTohoku University Graduate School of MedicineAobaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Psychosomatic MedicineTohoku University HospitalAobaJapan
  3. 3.Division of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health & Forensic MedicineTohoku University Graduate School of MedicineAobaJapan
  4. 4.Department of Comprehensive MedicineTohoku University HospitalAobaJapan

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