NSCIBD Investigator Initiated Studies


internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT)

IBD symptoms and disease flare-ups are often associated with increased negative emotions and mental stress. Traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to treat anxiety and depression has drawbacks, such as lack of accessibility, long wait times to receive the therapy from a mental health professional, and high cost. Internet-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy (iCBT) may be an effective treatment for people with IBD-related mental stress, anxiety and/or depression. iCBT may be more cost effective, with little to no wait time to begin treatment, and can be available for anyone regardless of geographic location.

The study aims to examine how iCBT can be used to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in individuals with IBD who also have anxiety and/or depressive symptoms.

IBD Strong Peer 2 Peer

People diagnosed with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) endure heightened levels of emotional and mental stress. IBD-associated psychological distress is particularly common at initial diagnosis, during disease flares, before surgery, and during transitions of care. Access to evidence-based psychological interventions and emotional support has been identified as a major care gap by IBD patients. Few patients are asked about psychological distress in routine clinical care and that even if asked, access to mental health care is limited. Despite the clear effect of mental health programs, and the positive effect of social support on self-management and quality of life, there are not many of these programs available. Peer support within healthcare is defined as a person providing emotional and informational support to another person living with a similar chronic illness.

The aim of this study is to improve access to support for mental distress and self-management, through the usage and evaluation of the IBD Strong Peer2Peer program. IBD Strong Peer2Peer is a peer lead program for IBD-related mental distress and self-management.

IBS Virtual Dietary Education

Diet is known to exacerbate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In Canada, accessing dietary treatment for IBS is a challenge due to lack of resources. Some patients lack access to dietary interventions, and others are given advice that is not evidenced based. Use of eHealth technology, such as virtual education delivered by a dietician, may allow for more widespread access to dietary interventions for IBS. Virtual education can include one on one dietary education, online group-based education, and the use of apps. Currently, there is a gap in knowledge whether dietary intervention for IBS delivered virtually by a dietician is effective in treating IBS.

This study is investigating whether the use of an evidence-based, virtual dietary intervention (delivered by a rained dietician) for IBS will be effective in reducing anxiety, depression, and perceived stress in people living with IBD.

Clinical Trials Resource Project

Clinical trials are an important type of research in medicine, used to study new treatments, medications, devices, or education interventions. These research studies may be used to learn more about diseases, improve health care for people in the future, and to identify effective methods of treating, preventing, screening for, and diagnosing disease (results of a clinical trial are valuable for all parties involved - not just for researchers). New studies cannot lead to reliable findings unless the right patients agree to join as partners (not a subject only) in the conduct of clinical trials.The generation of new clinical knowledge through research needs motivated patients, and patient input.

This project will examine whether the clinical trials educational resource improves patient knowledge and attitudes toward participation in clinical trials.


Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. There are many treatment options for patients suffering from this disease. These options include immune suppressing drugs, surgery, and biologic drugs. Biologics are drugs that are designed to interfere with the patient's immune system in a targeted way. Despite biologic drugs being an important part of IBD care, there is no standard way to use them. Implementing a biologic care pathway (BCP) in clinics could help standardize care and improve treatment outcomes. Research has shown that using a care pathway is a great method to support clinical decision making. It may also improve disease outcomes for patients. This project aims to assess how well a BCP can be blended into clinical practice, improve health outcomes, and reduce healthcare system costs. 

The aim of this project is to study the impact of this care pathway on outcomes for patients treated with the help of the standardized BCP compared to those in patients treated without the use of a BCP.  The results of this study will inform how best to integrate BCPs into real-world practice.

NSCIBD Program Clinical Database

For future research projects, we would like to have access to a database of patient data that has already been collected. If patients are interested in providing their personal health information to this database, we would collect consent. Signing up to be part of this database is entirely voluntary and refusal to include your information will not affect patient care in any way. Research studies may be conducted using the information contained in the database/registry. Please let our research group know if you would be interested in having your health data copied to our research database.


Please contact Natalie Willett (Research Associate) at:

Centre for Clinical Research
5790 University Avenue
Halifax, NS B3H 1V7
Office: 902-473-7074
Fax: 902-473-5889
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Where to find us

9th Floor Victoria Building
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 2Y5

Fax: 902-473-4406