1Department of Psychology, School of Literature and Humanities, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran
2Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, School of Literaturen and Humanities, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran
3Associate Professor, Gastroenterology and Liver Disease Research Center, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran
4School of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Background & Aims: Considering the important role of stress in intensifying gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms, the aim of the present study was to determine the effectiveness of stress management training in reducing symptoms in patients with GERD. Methods: In the present semi-experimental study, a pre-test post-test design with control group was used. From among the patients who had refered to a gastroenterology specialist in Anzali, Iran, from January 2011 to July 2012 and were diagnosed with GERD, 38 women were selected based on the inclusion criteria. The subjects were randomly divided into experimental and control groups. After performing the pre-test using the Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Symptom Assessment Scale (GSAS), 8 sessions of group stress management training were held for the experimental group along with applying routine medical treatments to both groups. At the end of the intervention, post-test was conducted on both groups. The obtained data were analyzed using one-way analysis of covariance, independent t-test, and paired t-test. Results: Stress management training reduced the dimensions of the frequency of each symptom (t = 0.01) and the discomfort or malaise associated with each symptom of the disease (P < 0.001) in the experimental group. However, it had no significant impact on the number ofsymptoms. Conclusion: Group stress management training can be effective in controlling GERD symptoms. It is, therefore, suggested that it be used alongside pharmaceutical treatments.