This randomized controlled trial was designed to determine whether practising stress management techniques would decrease disease activity and promote psychosocial functioning in inflammatory bowel disease patients. Eighty ambulatory adults received a pre-intervention interview, at which time baseline data about disease activity and psychosocial functioning were collected. They were then randomly assigned to either the intervention or control group. The intervention group received six classes on stress management which included autogenics, personal planning skills and communication techniques. All 80 subjects were followed up at 4-month intervals for 1 year by interviewers who were blind to group designation. The data collection instruments, which were used at all assessment points, comprised three questionnaires: the Crohn's Disease Activity Index (CDAI) and the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Stress Index. These instruments produced scores which decreased with improvement in physical and psychosocial well-being. At all assessment points, both the CDAI and IBD Stress Index scores dropped significantly (P<005) from baseline in the treatment group. However, there was no significant change in the scores ofthe control group throughout the study year. There were no significant changes in medications at any assessment point in either group that could account for changes in the scores. The results of this study indicate that stress management techniques may have therapeutic benefits for IBD patients.