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A magic pill? A qualitative analysis of patients' views on the role of antidepressant therapy in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Mikocka-Walus, Antonina, Gordon, Andrea L, Stewart, Benjamin J and Andrews, Jane M 2012, A magic pill? A qualitative analysis of patients' views on the role of antidepressant therapy in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), BMC gastroenterology, vol. 12, pp. 1-9, doi: 10.1186/1471-230X-12-93.

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Title A magic pill? A qualitative analysis of patients' views on the role of antidepressant therapy in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Author(s) Mikocka-Walus, AntoninaORCID iD for Mikocka-Walus, Antonina orcid.org/0000-0003-4864-3956
Gordon, Andrea L
Stewart, Benjamin J
Andrews, Jane M
Journal name BMC gastroenterology
Volume number 12
Article ID 93
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2012-07-20
ISSN 1471-230X
Keyword(s) antidepressants
disease activity
inflammatory bowel disease
mental health
patient's views
Summary BACKGROUND: Studies with healthy volunteers have demonstrated that antidepressants can improve immunoregulatory activity and thus they may have a potential to positively impact the disease course in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a chronic and incurable condition. However, patients' views on the role of antidepressants in the management of their IBD are unknown. Thus, this study aimed to explore patients' experiences and opinions regarding the effect of antidepressants on IBD course before possibly undertaking future treatment trials with antidepressants.

METHODS: Semi-structured in-depth interviews with open-ended questions were conducted with a randomly selected sample of IBD patients recruited at the Australian public hospital IBD clinic and currently receiving antidepressants. A qualitative content analysis was undertaken to summarise patients' responses. A Visual Analogue Scale was used to provide a quantitative assessment of patients' experiences with antidepressants.

RESULTS: Overall, 15 IBD sufferers currently on antidepressants (nine females, six males) were interviewed. All 15 reported a positive response to antidepressants reporting they improved their quality of life, with minimal side-effects. Five patients (33.3%) felt the antidepressant had specifically improved their IBD course. Three patients noted how they believed the reduction in feelings of stress mediated the positive influence of the antidepressant on IBD course. Ten patients (66.7%) felt the antidepressants had not specifically influenced their IBD. Nine patients (60.0%) had a generally positive attitude towards antidepressants, four patients (26.7%) were ambivalent, and two patients (13.3%) held a negative view towards antidepressants. Twelve patients (80.0%) stated that they would be willing to participate in clinical trials.

CONCLUSIONS: Antidepressants seem to be well tolerated by IBD patients. One third of patients reported an observable improvement of their IBD under the influence of this treatment. The positive attitude towards antidepressants in these participants may make the conduct of clinical trials to further assess for any specific role on IBD course feasible. However, due to a small sample size, a qualitative nature of this study and in light of the results of studies on other populations indicating reluctance to taking antidepressants at least in some patients, these results should be interpreted with caution until confirmed in quantitative studies.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1471-230X-12-93
Field of Research 110307 Gastroenterology and Hepatology
110319 Psychiatry (incl Psychotherapy)
111714 Mental Health
110399 Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920105 Digestive System Disorders
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2012, Mikocka-Walus et al
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30090095

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.