The clinical value of psycho-gastroenterological interventions for functional esophageal symptoms

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Abstract

Background: Disorders of gut–brain interaction (DGBI) are associated with high symptom burden and poor quality of life. We evaluated the clinical value of multimodal therapy with psycho-gastroenterological interventions in patients with refractory functional symptoms. Methods: Of 80 DGBI patients managed over a 12-month period, 26 patients undergoing multimodal therapy (median age 60.0 years, 73.1%F) were compared to 54 patients (median age 56.0 years, 68.5%F) managed using conventional approaches. Psycho-gastroenterological multimodal therapy was individualized and included relaxation training (diaphragmatic breathing, passive muscle relaxation) and gut-direct hypnotherapy/guided imagery. All patients completed documentation of symptom frequency and severity using a 100 mm visual analog scale (VAS) and assessment of health-related quality of life (BEST score) before and following therapy. Data were analyzed to determine comparative change in symptom burden between the two cohorts. Key Results: Baseline demographics and symptom burden were similar between the two treatment subgroups. While patients improved with both multimodal and conventional therapies, BEST score demonstrated greater improvement with multimodal therapy (p = 0.03). Physician perception of symptom burden at baseline and on follow-up did not correspond to self-reported questionnaire data. On multivariable analysis, multimodal therapy (OR 7.9, 95% CI 1.8–34.6, p = 0.006) and functional esophageal disorders (OR 17.6, 95% CI 2.6–121.1, p = 0.004) predicted >50% improvement in BEST score, while the presence of psychiatric disease was a negative predictor (OR 0.22, CI 0.05–0.94, p = 0.04). Conclusions & Inferences: Psychological intervention using multimodal therapy provides clinical value to the management of functional esophageal symptoms among patients refractory to conventional therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14315
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Keywords

  • functional esophageal disease
  • gut-directed hypnotherapy
  • health-related quality of life

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