Background: Psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depression, are significantly more common in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We established an integrated psychiatry clinic for IBD patients at our tertiary center IBD clinic to provide patients with critical, but frequently unavailable, coordinated mental health services. We undertook this study to evaluate the impact of this service on psychiatric outcomes, quality of life, and symptom experience. Methods: We performed a longitudinal prospective study comparing patients who had been cared for at our integrated IBD-psychiatry clinic to those who had not. We abstracted demographic and clinical information as well as contemporaneous responses to validated surveys. Results: Thirty-six patients cared for in the IBD psychiatry clinic were compared to a control cohort of 35 IBD patients. There was a significant reduction in the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) depression score over time in the study cohort (p = 0.001), though not in the HADS anxiety score. When compared to the control group, the study cohort showed a significant reduction in the HADS depression score. No significant differences were observed in the Harvey-Bradshaw Index, Simple Clinical Colitis Activity Index, or Short IBD Questionnaire. Conclusions: This is the first study to evaluate the impact of an integrated psychiatry clinic for IBD patients. Unlike their control counterparts, individuals treated in this clinic had a significant reduction in the mean HADS depression score. Larger scale studies are necessary to verify these findings. However, this study suggests that use of an integrated psychiatry IBD clinic model can result in improvement in mental health outcomes, even in the absence of significant changes in IBD activity.
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