Hypnosis Reduces Chemo-Induced Nausea & Vomiting in Kids with Cancer

Faculty of Health & Social Work at the University of Plymouth in the UK reviewed the research literature and found that hypnosis is highly effective for reducing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, especially in children. They conducted a comprehensive search of major biomedical databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE, ClNAHL, PsycINFO and the Cochrane Library, appraising randomized, controlled trials (RTC’s) and doing a meta-analysis.

Six qualifying studies (randomized, controlled trials or RCTs) evaluating the effectiveness of hypnosis in CINV were found. In five of these studies the participants were children. The studies reported positive results, including statistically significant reductions in both anticipatory and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

Meta-analysis revealed a large effect size of hypnotic treatment when compared with treatment as usual, and the effect was at least as large as that of cognitive-behavioral therapy, thus demonstrating that hypnosis could be a clinically valuable intervention for anticipatory and CINV in children with cancer.

Further research into the effectiveness, acceptance and feasibility of hypnosis in CINV, particularly in adults, was suggested. The investigators also noted that future studies should provide full details of the hypnotic intervention.

Citation: Richardson J, Smith JE, McCall G, Richardson A, Pilkington K, Kirsch I. Hypnosis for nausea and vomiting in cancer chemotherapy: a systematic review of the research evidence. European Journal of Cancer Care (Engl). 2007 Sep;16 (5): pages 402-12. [email protected]