Studies of any design that examined the use of antidepressants in IBD were eligible for the review. Study participants had to have a diagnosis of IBD (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis or unspecified inflammatory disorder). Studies had to report on the efficacy of antidepressants in maintaining or inducing remission of IBD symptoms (defined in the paper).
Most of the included studies involved patients with Crohn's disease. All of the participants were adults. The participants in one included study did not have IBD diagnosed before starting antidepressant treatment. The antidepressants used were bupropion, paroxetine, amitriptyline and phenelzine. Where reported, the length of treatment ranged from 6 weeks to 2 years.
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.