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

Abstract

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.

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Abbreviations

SIBSQ:

Self-reported Irritable Bowel Syndrome Questionnaire

SDS:

Self-reported Depression Scale

STAI:

State-trait anxiety inventory

SF-36:

Medical Outcome Short Form 36 Health Survey

PF:

Physical functioning

RP:

Role physical

BP:

Bodily pain

GH:

General health

VT:

Vitality

SF:

Social functioning

RE:

Role emotional

MH:

Mental health

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Acknowledgments

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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Correspondence to Shin Fukudo.

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Shinozaki, M., Kanazawa, M., Kano, M. et al. Effect of Autogenic Training on General Improvement in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback 35, 189–198 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10484-009-9125-y

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Keywords

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