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Patients and physicians often have many questions regarding the role of complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs), or nonallopathic therapies, for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). CAMs of various forms are used by more than half of patients with IBD during some point in their disease course. We summarize the available evidence for the most commonly used and discussed CAMs. We discuss evidence for the effects of herbs (such as cannabis and curcumin), probiotics, acupuncture, exercise, and mind-body therapy. There have been few controlled studies of these therapies, which have been limited by their small sample sizes; most studies have been uncontrolled. In addition, there has been a lack of quality control for herbal preparations. It has been a challenge to design rigorous, randomized, placebo-controlled trials, in part owing to problems of adequate blinding for psychological interventions, acupuncture, and exercise. These barriers have limited the acceptance of CAMs by physicians. However, such therapies might be used to supplement conventional therapies and help ease patient symptoms. We conclude that physicians should understand the nature of and evidence for CAMs for IBD so that rational advice can be offered to patients who inquire about their use. CAMs have the potential to aid in the treatment of IBD, but further research is needed to validate these approaches.
The current research investigated whether adult attachment style moderated the effect of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) participation on levels of perceived stress. Study completing participants (secure group n = 65; insecure group n = 66) completed pre- and postintervention self-report assessments of perceived stress. The insecure group reported significantly higher stress levels prior to MBSR participation, but both groups showed significant pre–post intervention declines in perceived stress. Compared to the secure group, the insecure group also reported marginally lower perceived stress following MBSR participation. Study findings support the efficacy of MBSR for stress reduction across attachment style. Findings also suggest that MBSR participation may provide slightly greater stress reduction benefits for insecurely attached individuals.