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Biofeedback for Gastrointestinal Disorders

[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Grant support: The development of this paper by the Clinical Efficacy Assessment Project was funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Linda Johnson White; Clinical Efficacy Assessment Project, Department of Health and Public Policy, American College of Physicians, 4200 Pine Street; Philadelphia, PA 19104.

*This paper was authored by Peter M. Marzuk, M.D., and was developed for the Health and Public Policy Committee by the Clinical Efficacy Assessment Subcommittee: Donald E. Olson, M.D., Chairman; David Banta, M.D.; Howard S. Frazier, M.D.; Richard B. Hornick, M.D.; Seymour Perry, M.D.; and Willis C. Maddrey, M.D. Members of the Health and Public Policy Committee for the 1984-85 term include Edwin P. Maynard III, M.D., Chairman; John H. Eisenberg, M.D.; Richard G. Farmer, M.D.; Daniel D. Federman, M.D.; John R. Hogness, M.D.; Leo E. Hollister, M.D.; Charles E. Lewis, M.D.; Donald E. Olson, M.D.; Malcolm L. Peterson, M.D.; Theodore B. Schwartz, M.D.; and Helen L. Smits, M.D. This paper was adopted by the Executive Committee of the Board of Regents on 13 September 1984.

Ann Intern Med. 1985;103(2):291-293. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-103-2-291
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Biofeedback refers to a collection of techniques in which a physiologic activity is monitored and information concerning unconscious bodily functions is provided instantly by audio or visual instruments so that a patient may gain control over these functions. The patient is instructed to use a number of strategies (for example, sensations, thoughts, or feelings) to produce a desired change in physiologic functioning and to use whichever technique appears successful. The rationale underlying biofeedback assumes that the physiologic activity being monitored is causally related to a clinical problem and that alteration of the physiologic activity can lead to resolution of that


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