Researchers from University Hospital of South Manchester in the UK looked at long term data on the benefits of hypnotherapy on irritable bowel syndrome. Two hundred four patients prospectively completed questionnaires scoring symptoms, quality of life, anxiety, and depression before, immediately after, and up to six years following hypnotherapy. They also subjectively assessed the effects of hypnotherapy retrospectively.
The study found that 71% of patients initially responded to therapy. Of these, 81% maintained their improvement over time while the majority of the remaining 19% claimed that deterioration of symptoms had only been slight.
With respect to symptom scores, all items at follow up were significantly improved over pre-hypnotherapy levels (p<0.001) and showed little change from post-hypnotherapy values. There were no significant differences in the symptom scores between patients assessed at 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5+ years following treatment. Quality of life and anxiety or depression scores were significantly improved at follow up (p<0.001) but did show some deterioration. Patients also reported a reduction in office visits and medication use following the completion of hypnotherapy.
The study concludes that the beneficial effects of hypnotherapy appear to last at least five years. Thus it is a viable therapeutic option for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.
Citation: Gonsalkorale WM, Miller V, Afzal A, Whorwell PJ. Long term benefits of hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome. Gut. 2003 Nov; 52 (11): pp. 1623-9. email@example.com