A recent study looked at the effectiveness of two offline therapies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & Stress Management Therapy, in an online setting.
The 195 participants in the study were assigned to either an online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy course or an online Stress Management Therapy course. Both courses lasted for 10-weeks. The courses consisted of self-help reading material along with course participants interacting with each other & a professional therapist via online messaging. Once the courses were done participants were questioned on their IBS symptoms, they were questioned again 6-months later.
The immediate results after either course suggested that both therapies provided “adequate relief”. However interviews 6-months later point towards Cognitive Behavioral Therapy having the beneficial edge at 67% reporting IBS symptom control, compared to 45% for those who took the Stress Management Therapy course.
While both therapies can be helpful & online treatment makes it more convenient for those participating, neither therapy could be classified as a cure for IBS. These therapies could go hand in hand with other mental health exercises like meditation or hypnotherapy along with diet adjustments, drugs & physical activity to better control IBS symptoms. The researchers suggest that perhaps Cognitive Behavioral Therapies geared directly towards IBS could possibly provide more benefit than many of the generalized programs currently available.