Hypnotherapy Beats Standard IBS Care
WASHINGTON -- Children and adolescents with functional abdominal pain or
irritable bowel syndrome who were treated with
hypnotherapy were cured of their illness in significantly greater numbers than
were children given standard medical treatment in a randomized, controlled
trial presented at the Dr. Arine M. Vlieger of St. Antonius
Hospital, Nieuwegein, the Netherlands and her colleagues randomly assigned 53
patients (mean age 13 years) with functional abdominal pain (FAP) or irritable
bowel syndrome (IBS) to either hypnotherapy or standard medical therapy (SMT).
Hypnotherapy consisted of six half-hour sessions based on the Manchester
protocol of gut-directed hypnotherapy, conducted over 3 months (27 patients).
The hypnotherapy sessions started with relaxation and abdominal breathing
exercises. Other sessions dealt with control of gut function, pain control, and
thinking relaxing thoughts. The children in this arm were asked to practice the
techniques twice daily. SMT comprised pain medication
and avoidance of pain triggers, plus six half-hour sessions of supportive
therapy (25 patients); 1 patient did not complete therapy.
Three-fourths of the patients were female, and the mean
duration of the abdominal complaints was 3.4 years.
The investigators found that immediately after therapy,
59% of patients given hypnotherapy were cured (defined as having a greater than
80% improvement in pain scores), compared with 12% of patients given SMT. At 1
year, the difference remained, with 85% and 25% classified as cured,
The proportions of patients who reported no effect of
treatment (defined as less than 30% improvement in pain scores) were 56% of the
SMT group and 15% of the hypnosis group after therapy; at 1 year, the figures
were 46% for SMT patients and 4% for those given hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy has been used successfully in adults
with IBS, and "the quality of life in these children
[pretreatment] is comparable to [that of] those with Crohn's disease or
ulcerative colitis," Dr. Vlieger said at a press conference.
Hypnotherapy for IBS.
By: Evans, Jeff
Publication: Internal Medicine News
Date: Monday, December 1 2003
Hypnotherapy may offer patients 1-5 years of relief from
the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, reported Dr. Wendy M. Gonsalkorale and
her colleagues at the University Hospital of South Manchester (England).
They analyzed questionnaire responses from 204 patients who
had been treated with up to 12 weekly sessions of "gut-directed" hypnotherapy at
least 1 year before (range, 1 year to more than 5 years). Overall, 71% of the
patients described their IBS symptoms as "very much better" or "moderately
better" after hypnotherapy; none reported worsening of symptoms (Gut
Their symptoms improved immediately after hypnotherapy and
remained improved at follow-up.
continued to use a hypnotherapy tape did not have fewer symptoms than those who