A meta-analytic review of the psychosocial adjustment of youth with inflammatory bowel disease.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW Psychological factors affecting pediatric inflammatory bowel disease, intervention and other therapeutic resources are reviewed. RECENT FINDINGS Children with inflammatory bowel disease are at risk for more difficulties in psychosocial functioning than healthy children, particularly depression, anxiety and social difficulties. Psychosocial difficulties are generally similar to those found in other pediatric chronic illnesses and are clinically significant in only a subset of those with inflammatory bowel disease. Conflicting results have been reported for the areas of family dysfunction and body image, and few studies have been published in the areas of stress/coping and eating disorders. One pilot study suggests psychotherapy is effective for depressed adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease. SUMMARY The scant existing research limits conclusions about which children are most at risk for experiencing problems. Future research should investigate a range of psychosocial outcomes and risk factors for developing problems. Prevention and intervention strategies aimed at improving psychosocial functioning in children with inflammatory bowel disease should be developed and evaluated.