Tim Brunson DCH

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Hypnosis home treatment for irritable bowel syndrome: a pilot study



Hypnosis treatment often improves irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but the costs and reliance on specialized therapists limit its availability. A 3-month home-treatment version of a scripted hypnosis protocol previously shown to improve all central IBS symptoms was completed by 19 IBS patients. Outcomes were compared to those of 57 matched IBS patients from a separate study receiving only standard medical care. Ten of the hypnosis subjects (53%) responded to treatment by 3-month follow-up (response defined as more than 50% reduction in IBS severity) vs. 15 (26%) of controls. Hypnosis subjects improved more in quality of life scores compared to controls. Anxiety predicted poor treatment response. Hypnosis responders remained improved at 6-month follow-up. Although response rate was lower than previously observed in therapist-delivered treatment, hypnosis home treatment may double the proportion of IBS patients improving significantly across 6 months.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2006 Jan;54(1):85-99. Palsson OS, Turner MJ, Whitehead WE. Division of Digestive Diseases, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA. opalsson@med.unc.edu

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