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10/20/03 03:27 PM
Hypnosis for IBS

American College of Gastroenterology 68th Annual Scientific Meeting

Baltimore, Wednesday, October 15, 2003

"Hypnosis for IBS"

Palsson and colleagues[17] previously reported positive results associated with the use of hypnosis in patients with IBS. It was found that hypnosis (45 minutes every other week for 12 weeks as well as self-hypnosis techniques) improved both IBS symptoms (pain, bloating, and disturbed defecation) and psychologic parameters (somatization and anxiety scores). However, the real-world effectiveness of hypnotherapy presupposes motivated patients and ready access to an appropriately trained therapist.

During this year's meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, Palsson and colleagues[18] expanded on their previous work by reporting the results of a 3-month home hypnosis program for patients with IBS. The study authors compared the improvement (in multiple symptom parameters) of 19 patients with IBS treated with self-hypnosis (conducted via audio compact disc instruction) with 57 age-, sex-, and symptom severity-matched controls treated with standard medical therapy. Fifty-three percent of the hypnosis patients had improvement in overall IBS symptoms compared with 26% of the controls (10 of 19 vs 15 of 57; P < .05). Quality of life was also significantly improved among patients who underwent hypnosis, and these treatment differences were shown to persist at 6 months. These investigators also found that patients exhibiting greater degrees of anxiety were less likely to respond to hypnotherapy, suggesting that other methods of therapy may be more useful in this subset of patients with IBS."


17. Palsson OS, Turner MJ, Johnson DA, et al. Hypnosis treatment for severe irritable bowel syndrome: Investigation of mechanism and effects on symptoms. Dig Dis Sci. 2002;47:2605-2614.

18. Palsson OS, Whitehead WE, Turner MJ. Hypnosis home treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): exploratory study. Am J Gastroenterol. 2003;98:S274. [Abstract #822

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