Positive psychological well-being and clinical characteristics in IBS: A systematic review

Elizabeth N. Madva, Monika Sadlonova, Lauren E. Harnedy, Regina M. Longley, Hermioni L. Amonoo, Emily H. Feig, Rachel A. Millstein, Juliana Zambrano, Alexandra Rojas Amaris, Jane Jurayj, Helen Burton Murray, Kyle Staller, Braden Kuo, Laurie Keefer, Jeff C. Huffman, Christopher M. Celano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: Psychological factors (e.g., depression, anxiety) are known to contribute to the development and maintenance of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Less is known, however, about the role of positive psychological well-being (PPWB) in IBS. Accordingly, we completed a systematic review of the literature examining relationships between PPWB and clinical characteristics in IBS. Method: A systematic review using search terms related to PPWB and IBS from inception through July 28, 2022, was completed. Quality was assessed with the NIH Quality Assessment Tool. A narrative synthesis of findings, rather than meta-analysis, was completed due to study heterogeneity. Results: 22 articles with a total of 4285 participants with IBS met inclusion criteria. Individuals with IBS had lower levels of PPWB (e.g., resilience, positive affect, self-efficacy, emotion regulation) compared to healthy populations, which in turn was associated with reduced physical and mental health and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Limited exploration of potential biological mechanisms underlying these relationships has been described. Conclusions: PPWB is diminished in individuals with IBS compared to other populations, and greater PPWB is linked to superior physical, psychological, and HRQoL outcomes. Interventions to increase PPWB may have the potential to improve IBS-related outcomes. Registration: Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews CRD42022304767.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Psychology, positive
  • Psychosomatic medicine


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