The Role of Mindfulness in Promoting Subjective Wellbeing and Mood Homeostasis in Patients with Crohn’s Disease

A Pilot Randomised Control Trial Protocol

  • Kimina Lyall Deakin University
Keywords: Crohn’s disease, depression, stress, mindfulness, resilience, SWB homeostasis


Background: The relationship between stress, symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and depression has not previously been considered using the theory of subjective wellbeing (SWB) homeostasis as a conceptual framework. It is proposed that mindfulness, as a mechanism of down-regulating challenging emotion, can aid in the restoration of mood homeostasis and reduce symptoms of both psychological and physiological stress. The study aims to identify whether individuals with Crohn’s disease (CD) and co-occurring psychological depression or stress are experiencing the defeat of SWB homeostasis. Further, the study aims to test whether a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) intervention can restore homeostasis. The study would also identify whether this restoration of homeostasis is associated with a reduction in disease symptomatology.

Methods/Design: An exploratory randomised control trial with 40 participants recruited from public health gastroenterology patients and randomly allocated to an 8-week MBSR program or wait-list control. Measures of SWB, depression, stress, and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels will be collected prior to and after the intervention. Individual HPMood set points will be determined from affect data collected over 7 days through momentary sampling techniques prior to the commencement of the intervention. Measures will be repeated at 6-month follow-up. Following this, the wait-list group will be offered the same 8-week MBSR. Hypotheses will be tested using mixed ANOVA and clinical significance tests.

Discussion: This study will be an important contributor to knowledge about psychological vulnerability and resilience for people with CD and will provide initial evidence that could contribute to the development of a larger future trial.

Study Protocols