Long term benefits of hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome. W. Gonsalkorale of University Hospital of South Manchester enrolled 204 subjects in this study of patients who had received hypnotherapy for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) over the previous 6 years. Subjects completed questionnaires to help determine if positive results were maintained in the long term. All subjects also subjectively assessed the effects of hypnotherapy retrospectively in order to define their "responder status"

The study found that 71% of patients initially responded to the hypnotherapy intervention. 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 similarly still significantly improved at follow up (p<0.001) but did show some deterioration. Patients also reported a reduction in number of office visits and medication use following the completion of hypnotherapy. This study concludes that the beneficial effects of hypnotherapy appear to last at least five years.

Citation: Gonsalkorale WM, Miller V, Afzal A, Whorwell PJ. Long term benefits of hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome. Gut. 2003 Nov; 52 (11): pages 1623-9. [email protected]