Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not cognitive behavioral therapy is effective in alleviating IBS-related symptoms experienced by patients with irritable bowel syndrome.

STUDY DESIGN: A systematic review of three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that were published in peer-reviewed journals in 2009, 2010, and 2018, all in the English language.

DATA SOURCES: All three studies discussed in this systematic review were found and accessed using PubMed.

OUTCOME MEASURED: Reduction of IBS symptoms as measured by the IBS-SSS questionnaire and the IBS symptom score analysis.

RESULTS: All three studies yielded a statistically significant reduction (p<.05) in IBS symptoms through sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy.

CONCLUSIONS: CBT is an effective treatment option that can reduce anxiety and internal conflict, which may be a contributory or causative agent in IBS patients. The evidence presented within each of the three studies analyzed in this review suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective intervention to alleviate discomfort in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.