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Psychological Stress and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Systematic Review

David H. Bruining, MD, FASGE reviewing Black J, et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2022 Sep 8.

Psychological stress is believed to have a negative impact on both mental and physical well-being. Researchers sought to further explore this relationship in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). They performed a systemic review of prospective studies published through January 2021 that included patients with IBD who were aged 16 years or older. 

Researchers identified 38 studies (23 observational and 15 interventional) for inclusion in the analysis. Pooled data included 4757 patients and 36 different instruments to assess stress. Perceived stress often preceded IBD exacerbations. Only 3 studies explored the relationship between psychosocial factors and stress. The best management strategy was not clearly identified.


This systematic review serves as an excellent baseline summary of existing data and highlights the need for further research on the role of psychological stress in determining outcomes in patients with IBD.

David H. Bruining, MD, FASGE

Bio and Disclosures


Black J, Sweeney L, Yuan Y, Singh H, Norton C, Czuber-Dochan W. Systematic review: the role of psychological stress in inflammatory bowel disease. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2022 Sep 8. (Epub ahead of print) (