Cognitive behavioural therapy reduces supragrastic belching
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) appears to be effective in reducing supragastric belching (SGB) and improving quality of life (QoL), such as in daily and social activities, a recent study has shown.
CBT resulted in a significant decline in SGB, from a median of 116 episodes at baseline to 45 episodes after five CBT sessions (p=0.0003). In more than half of the participants (n=16), total number of SGB episodes decreased by more than 50 percent.
A significant decrease in the total number of acid and nonacid reflux episodes from baseline (71±43 to 54±39; p=0.0055) was observed after CBT. In 17 patients with pathological acid exposure at baseline, CBT likewise led to significant improvements (acid exposure from 9.0±3.2 percent to 6.1±3.5 percent; p=0.0053).
In terms of subjective measures, self-reported belching severity improved significantly following 8 weeks of CBT, as measured by median visual analogue scale scores (260 to 140; p<0.0001). Reduction of ≥50 percent was recorded in 51 percent.
There was also an associated improvement in QoL scores in the general health, vitality, and physical and social function domains of the Short-Form Health Survey following CBT (p<0.05).
For the study, researchers recruited 39 patients with SGB, of whom 31 agreed to a follow-up examination. Study outcomes included objective measures, such as the number of SGBs and acid exposure time, and subjective measures such as QoL.
CBT sessions included psychoeducation about SGB, increasing the patients’ awareness of the factors that contribute to belching. Prevention exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing and tongue positioning, were also taught to the participants.