Cognitive appraisal and psychological distress among patients with irritable bowel syndrome

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Background: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a debilitating condition that affects mainly the patient’s mental health and quality of life. There is a gap in the literature regarding the relationship between cognitive appraisals and adjustment to physical and psychological aspects resulting from IBS. The aim of the current study was to explore the psycho-social factors that are associated with psychological distress among IBS patients and the contribution of cognitive appraisal to their adjustment. Methods: One hundred and three patients diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome participated in the study. Each participant filled a battery of questionnaires targeting demographic and psycho-social factors. The study variables were analyzed via hierarchical regression along with supplementary analyses of multiple mediation tests of indirect effects. Results: The findings showed that psychological distress and depressive symptoms among IBS patients are better predicted by their global positive illness cognition appraisal, specific illness cognition appraisal of helplessness, resilience and to a lesser extent by social support, perceived optimism, illness cognitions appraisals of acceptance and perceived benefit. Global positive illness cognition appraisal gives us a sum of positive and negative appraisals into one unified appraisal. Conclusions: Our findings highlight the salience of cognitive appraisal and resilience in IBS psychological adjustment. It seems that IBS patients might benefit from psycho-educational interventions designed to assist them in reducing their helplessness appraisal and increasing the appraisal of their ability to cope with the symptoms of their illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-60
Number of pages7
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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