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Feasibility and Acceptability of a Mindfulness-Based Group Intervention for Adolescents with Inflammatory Bowel Disease


The aim of the study is to explore the feasibility and initial outcomes of a mindfulness-based group intervention (MBI) for adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). A mixed-methods uncontrolled study using an adapted 8-week group MBI for adolescents with IBD was conducted at a pediatric tertiary hospital. Primary outcomes focused on feasibility. Secondary outcomes focused on preliminary efficacy via quality of life, mindfulness, and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Of a total of 44 adolescents invited to participate, 16 adolescents completed the study. Group attendance and home meditation practice was satisfactory. There were significant differences in emotional functioning relative to IBD following MBI-A participation. Qualitative analysis rendered two themes: (1) personal interpretation and application of mindfulness and (2) the benefits of IBD-specific peer support. Several key adaptations are needed to increase feasibility of group MBIs prior to randomized controlled trials. Findings can be generalized to inform group-based therapies for adolescents with IBD.

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Dr. Ahola Kohut was supported by the Medical Psychiatry Alliance, a collaborative health partnership of the University of Toronto, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Hospital for Sick Children, Trillium Health Partners, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and an anonymous donor. The authors would also like to thank Natalie Weiser for qualitative analysis support.


This research was generously supported by funds from the Robbie’s Rainbow Accelerator Grant (PI: Ruskin).

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Correspondence to Sara Ahola Kohut.

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Sara Ahola Kohut, Jennifer Stinson, Ahlexxi Jelen, and Danielle Ruskin declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures followed were in accordance with ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000.

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Informed consent was obtained from all adolescents included in the study.

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Ahola Kohut, S., Stinson, J., Jelen, A. et al. Feasibility and Acceptability of a Mindfulness-Based Group Intervention for Adolescents with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. J Clin Psychol Med Settings 27, 68–78 (2020).

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  • Mindfulness
  • Coping
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease