The Impact of Problem Solving and Assertiveness Trainings on Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms


1 Postgraduate student of psychology, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Psychology, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran


Background & Aims: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a functional intestinal system disorder defined with specific intestinal symptoms and no organic cause. Since mental problem is one of the main factors in etiology of this syndrome, studying the impact of psychological therapies on IBS seems to be useful. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of problem solving and assertiveness trainings on symptoms of IBS. Method: The present study was performed in pretest-posttest from with control group. A total of 45 patients referred to internal specialist were selected by systematic random sampling and divided into two experimental groups and one control group. After completing the pretest, experimental groups received 8 sessions of either problem-solving or assertiveness training and 3weeks after posttest, follow-up test was performed. Measurement instrument was the irritable bowel syndrome criteria’s check list completed by an internal specialist. Data were analyzed by ANOVA and throuah SPSS software package. Results: The results showed that both training methods decrease the IBS symptoms and the impact of them is the same. Based on the results, the impact of problem-solving and assertiveness trainings based on gender and educational level are the same. But the impact of problem-solving training is more in patients over 30 years old while the impact of assertiveness training is independent of age. Conclusion: We can benefit from psychological therapies such as problem-solving and assertiveness trainings in addition to medication therapies for improving IBS symptoms.