Evidence-based practice is one of the cornerstones of contemporary community nursing, and conflicting research evidence can therefore have serious implications for nurses' decision-making. A debate about the role of psychological factors in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been going for over 80 years without reaching consensus and is cause for concern among clinicians. This article discusses the barriers to reaching consensus in the debate about the role of psychological factors in IBD, and why reaching a consensus to this debate is important for practitioners supporting IBD patients in the community. The aim is to raise awareness among community nurses when making sense of the contradictory evidence. The absence of clear and consistent research or guidelines can make it difficult to carry out evidence-based practice, and patient-centred care based on individual assessment of every person presenting with symptoms of IBD becomes even more important.