General practitioners believe that hypnotherapy could be a useful treatment for irritable bowel syndrome in primary care
Stephen Cox1 , Simon de Lusignan2 and Tom Chan3
1Gillets Surgery, Deanland Road, Balcome, West Sussex, RH17 6PH, UK
2Department of Community Health Sciences, St. George's Hospital Medical School, LONDON, SW17 0RE, UK
3Surrey and Hampshire Borders NHS Trust, Ridgewood Centre, Old Bisley Road, Camberley, Surrey, GU16 5QE, UK
BMC Family Practice 2004, 5:22 doi:10.1186/1471-2296-5-22
Irritable bowel syndrome is a common condition in general practice. It occurs in 10 to 20% of the population, but less than half seek medical assistance with the complaint.
A questionnaire was sent to the 406 GPs listed on the West Sussex Health Authority Medical List to investigate their views of this condition and whether they felt hypnotherapy had a place in its management
38% of general practitioners responded. The achieved sample shared the characteristics of target sample.
Nearly half thought that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) was a "nervous complaint" and used a combination of "the placebo effect of personal care," therapeutic, and dietary advice. There is considerable divergence in the perceived effectiveness of current approaches. Over 70% thought that hypnotherapy may have a role in the management of patients with IBS; though the majority (68%) felt that this should not be offered by general practitioners. 84% felt that this should be offered by qualified hypnotherapist, with 40% feeling that this should be offered outside the health service.
General practitioners vary in their perceptions of what constitutes effective therapy in IBS. They are willing to consider referral to a qualified hypnotherapist.
© 2004 Cox et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.