Psychological Support and Therapy for Gut Disorders

  • Project Lead
    Professor Michael Kamm

Project Details

Many patients with gut symptoms are not helped by drugs or surgical treatment. However psychological or behavioural therapies have been shown to improve or cure many such patients.

Gut symptoms such as pain, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, bloating heartburn and incontinence are common. Personal factors and trauma often underlie these disorders which can be cured with broadly based therapies beyond drugs and surgery.

Our studies in this area have led to the establishment of clinical services within a traditional medical setting that provide holistic broadly-based care, training and research in multi-disciplinary care for Australian and international health-care workers. An outstanding team of therapists, including psychiatrists, psychologists, pain specialists, dietitians, and behavioural therapists work together with gastroenterologists and surgeons to provide a broad range of psychological or behavioural treatments. It serves as a new model for delivering effective health care.

The MANTRA Study (Multi-disciplinary Treatment for Functional Gut Disorders) provides a new model of care for functional gut disorders, often without drugs or surgery.

The RAP Study (Rehabilitation After Pouch) aims to improve bowel function in patients with an ileoanal pouch using behavioural feedback therapy.

The LIBERATE Study (Behavioural Treatment in Inflammatory Bowel Disease) aims to improve bowel symptoms in patients experiencing functional symptoms from their Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

A holistic approach to the treatment of gut conditions can lead to symptom relief or cure, often when drug therapy or surgery are not appropriate or have failed


Professor Michael Kamm – Group Leader

Dr Chamara Basnayake – Gastroenterologist and PhD Fellow

Ms. Angela Khera – Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist

Associate Professor Michael Salzberg

Ms. Annalise Stanley – Research Nurse

Professor Alexander Thompson – Gastroenterologist

Dr Amy Wilson-O’Brien – Clinical Scientist


Ms. Kate Fox

Dr. Jim Kantidakis

Dr. Ola Krupinska

Ms. Isabella Lees-Trinca

Professor Danny Liew

Professor Nick Talley

Dr. Olivia Wong


St. Vincent’s Hospital Research Endowment Fund

Research Publications

Basnayake, C, et al., Standard gastroenterologist versus multidisciplinary treatment for functional gastrointestinal disorders (MANTRA): an open label, single-centre, randomized controlled trial” Lancet Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 2020 July Online Ahead of Print

Basnayake, C., et al., Defining Optimal Care for Functional Gut Disorders - Multi-Disciplinary Versus Standard Care: A Randomized Controlled Trial Protocol. Contemp Clin Trials, 2019. 84: p. 105828.

Khera, A.J., et al., Gut-Directed Pelvic Floor Behavioral Treatment for Fecal Incontinence and Constipation in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis, 2019. 25(3): p. 620-626.

Khera, A.J., et al., Systematic review: Pelvic floor muscle training for functional bowel symptoms in inflammatory bowel disease. JGH Open, 2019. 3(6): p. 494-507

Basnayake, C., et al., Outcome of hospital outpatient treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders. Intern Med J, 2019. 49(2): p. 225-231.

Research Group

Michael Kamm

School Research Themes

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre



St Vincent's Hospital

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