Comparing the Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Emotion-Focused Therapy on Quality of Life in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Mitra Jahangirrad, Adis Kraskian Mujmenari, Siavosh Nasseri-Moghaddam



The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of "cognitive-behavioral therapy"(CBT)  and " emotion-focused therapy "(EFT) on quality of life(QOL)in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.

Materials and Methods:

Consenting irritable bowel syndrome patients referring to a specialized clinic for gastroenterology in Tehran, Iran(Masoud Clinic) were enrolled in a randomized, controlled study using pre-test, post-test and follow-up assessments. The participants were randomly allocated to one of the three treatment groups: the first group received eight weeks of weekly CBT, the second group received eight weeks of weekly EFT, and the third group received their usual care without any specialized psychological intervention (control). The measurement tool of this study was the specific QOL test for patients with IBS (IBS-QOL).  Two-factor analysis of variance with repeated measures (mixed analysis of variance), and one-way covariance analysis were used for analysis as appropriated.


We found that CBT and EFT both had a significant effect on improving QOL in the post-test and follow-up phase, but CBT was not effective on the component of sexual concerns with respect to the QOL of patients with IBS.


Therefore, CBT and EFT affect the quality of life of patients with IBS, but CBT did not affect the sexual anxiety component of QOL in these patients. EFT was a more appropriate approach and has a long-lasting effect.


Cognitive-behavioral therapy, Emotion focused therapy, Quality of life, Irritable bowel syndrome

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