The effectiveness of rational-emotional-behavioral group therapy on experiential avoidance and emotional expression in patients with irritable bowel syndrome

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Psychology, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran.

2 Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Ghaemshahr Department, Islamic Azad University, Ghaemshahr, Iran.

3 Department of Psychology, Sari Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sari, Iran.

4 Clinical Psychology, Pars University, Tehran, Iran



Background: Functional gastrointestinal disorders are a class of medical patients that are characterized by unknown causes, questionable diagnostic queens, long-term and unpredictable periods of sickness.
Objectives: This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of rational-emotional-behavioral group therapy on experiential avoidance and emotional expression in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.
Methods: The present study was semi-experimental research with pre-test, post-test, and follow-up with the control group. The statistical population consisted of all patients with irritable bowel syndrome in Rouhani Hospital of Babol in 2019, among whom 30 patients with irritable bowel syndrome volunteered to participate in the study were randomly assigned to two experimental groups (n=15) and Control (n=15). Data were obtained using Peacock and Long Questionnaire (1990), Bund et al. Empirical Avoidance Questionnaire (2007), and King's and Owens' Emotional Expression Questionnaire (1990) in the pre-test, post-test, and follow-up stages. The rational-emotional-behavioral group training protocol was performed in 12 sessions (one session per week) for 90 minutes. Data were analyzed using repeated measure analysis of variance method and the above statistical analysis was performed using SPSS.22 software. The significance level of the tests was considered 0.05.
Results: The results showed that rational, emotional-behavioral therapy was effective on decreasing experiential avoidance (P<0.001) and increasing emotional expression (P<0.001) in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.
Conclusion: It can be said that rational-emotional-behavioral group therapy was effective on experiential avoidance and emotional expression in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Rational-emotional-behavioral group therapy can be used to reduce psychological problems in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.


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