Ongoing Research Funded by DHF
Measuring which aspects of living with IBD, including its treatments, may contribute to a patient developing post-traumatic stress (PTS), a chronic psychological reaction to a traumatic event characterized by flashbacks, nightmares, and hypervigilance
Principal Investigator: Tiffany Taft, PsyD
Living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is both physically and psychologically challenging and has the potential to negatively impact patient lives. As many as one-third of individuals with IBD demonstrate significant post-traumatic stress (PTS) symptoms, according to the first study of IBD-related PTS in the United States conducted by Dr. Taft and her team. Negative hospital experiences may play a substantial role. Further advancing this research, Dr. Taft aims to identify targets for early psychosocial counseling to better intervene and prevent the potential impact of undiagnosed PTS on patient outcomes. The novel study will include the use of online patient surveys to better understand PTS prevalence in IBD and to assess differences in illnesses and demographics traits between IBD patients with and without PTS. The next step will involve in-depth interview s with patients recruited from Northwestern’s and Rush University’s gastroenterology clinics. A clinical psychologist who specializes in working with adult IBD patients will conduct these interviews to gather information not easily collected via standardized tests to better evaluate PTS causes and guide treatments.
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