Published online May 7, 2007. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v13.i17.2397
Revised: March 15, 2007
Accepted: March 23, 2007
Published online: May 7, 2007
This paper reviews empirical work on cognitive and social learning contributions to the etiology and treatment of illness behavior associated with functional abdominal pain and inflammatory bowel disease. A particular emphasis is placed on randomized controlled trials, the majority of which are multi-modal in orientation, incorporating elements of cognitive behavioral therapy, social learning, and relaxation. Based on this review, we offer methodological and clinical suggestions: (1) Research investigations should include adequate sample sizes, long-term follow-up assessments, and a credible, active control group. (2) Standard gastrointestinal practice should include, when appropriate, learning opportunities for patients and family members, for example, instruction regarding the encouragement of wellness behavior.