Using acceptance and commitment therapy in irritable bowel syndrome

Nuno Monteiro da Rocha Bravo Ferreira, Maria Eugenicos, Paul Graham Morris, David Gillanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biopsychosocial conceptualizations of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) see the physical and psychological experiences (e.g. bowel discomfort, pain, stress, IBS-related anxiety) of this condition as the key influence in the poorer outcomes of this population. Most of the current therapeutic targets proposed by practitioners and patients are somehow limited to control, change or elimination of these experiences. In this article, Nuno Bravo Ferreira, Maria Eugenicos, Paul Graham Morris and David Gillanders argue for a new functional conceptualization of the suffering in IBS as a result of psychological inflexibility. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) as a new form of approach, not based on elimination strategies, will be proposed for the improvement of IBS outcomes. Finally, the possible applications and implications that ACT could have for gastrointestinal nursing will be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-35
Number of pages8
JournalGastrointestinal Nursing
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2011


  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • psychosocial factors
  • Psychological inexibility
  • psychotherapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy


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