Tim Brunson DCH

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Group hypnosis vs. relaxation for smoking cessation in adults: a cluster-randomised controlled trial



BACKGROUND: Despite the popularity of hypnotherapy for smoking cessation, the efficacy of this method is unclear. We aimed to investigate the efficacy of a single-session of group hypnotherapy for smoking cessation compared to relaxation in Swiss adult smokers. METHODS: This was a cluster-randomised, parallel-group, controlled trial. A single session of hypnosis or relaxation for smoking cessation was delivered to groups of smokers (median size = 11). Participants were 223 smokers consuming = 5 cigarettes per day, willing to quit and not using cessation aids (47.1% females, M = 37.5 years [SD = 11.8], 86.1% Swiss). Nicotine withdrawal, smoking abstinence self-efficacy, and adverse reactions were assessed at a 2-week follow-up. The main outcome, self-reported 30-day point prevalence of smoking abstinence, was assessed at a 6-month follow up. Abstinence was validated through salivary analysis. Secondary outcomes included number of cigarettes smoked per day, smoking abstinence self-efficacy, and nicotine withdrawal. RESULTS: At the 6-month follow up, 14.7% in the hypnosis group and 17.8% in the relaxation group were abstinent. The intervention had no effect on smoking status (p = .73) or on the number of cigarettes smoked per day (p = .56). Smoking abstinence self-efficacy did not differ between the interventions (p = .14) at the 2-week follow-up, but non-smokers in the hypnosis group experienced reduced withdrawal (p = .02). Both interventions produced few adverse reactions (p =.81). CONCLUSIONS: A single session of group hypnotherapy does not appear to be more effective for smoking cessation than a group relaxation session.

BMC Public Health. 2013 Dec 23;13:1227. Dickson-Spillmann M, Haug S, Schaub MP. Swiss Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction ISGF, University of Zurich, Konradstrasse 32, Postfach, 8031 Z├╝rich, Switzerland. maria.dickson@isgf.uzh.ch.

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