Reflective Functioning in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Non-Affective Psychosis and Affective Disorders-Differences and Similarities

Larisa Dzirlo, Felix Richter, Dagmar Steinmair, Henriette Löffler-Stastka

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as part of the functional somatic syndromes, is frequent in the general population. Medical care and morbidity costs are high, and so is the psychological and somatic strain. The etiopathogenesis of IBS is still poorly understood; it is assumed to be multifactorial and to include biopsychosocial factors. Links between the intestine, psyche, nervous system (e.g., via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA-Axis/neurotransmitters) and with the microbiome, the immune system have lately been investigated. Factors such as personality traits, mentalization, and early attachment strategies (deactivating and hyperactivating) have been suggested to influence IBS with relevance for treatment regimens. At this time, data on reflective functioning (RF) is lacking. Within a cross-sectional, we examined the mentalizing capacity of a clinical sample (n = 90) consisting of patients with IBS (n = 30), affective disorders (AD; n = 28), and non-affective psychosis (NAP; n = 32). The reflective functioning scale was used based on the brief reflective function interview (BRFI). The results revealed severe impairment in patients with IBS concerning their mentalizing ability, which was comparable to patients with affective disorders. Patients with non-affective-psychosis showed the lowest mentalizing ability. Thus, psychotherapeutic treatment with a focus on mentalization could be a promising approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2780
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Mood Disorders
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System
  • Psychotic Disorders

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