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Comparing Hypnosis to Relaxation for Smoking Cessation

03 Mar

Researchers from the Swiss Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction at the University of Zurich in Switzerland investigated the efficacy of a single-session of group hypnotherapy for smoking cessation, as compared to relaxation in a sample of 223 Swiss adult smokers.

This was a cluster-randomized, parallel-group, controlled trial. A single session of hypnosis or relaxation for smoking cessation was delivered to groups of smokers (median size = 11).
 
Participants were 223 smokers consuming at least 5 cigarettes per day, who were willing to quit and not using cessation aids (47.1% females, M = 37.5 years [SD = 11.8], 86.1% Swiss).
 
Nicotine withdrawal, smoking abstinence self-efficacy, and adverse reactions were assessed at a 2-week follow-up.

The main outcome, self-reported 30-day point prevalence of smoking abstinence, was assessed at a 6-month follow up.
 
Abstinence was validated through salivary analysis. Secondary outcomes included number of cigarettes smoked per day, smoking abstinence self-efficacy, and nicotine withdrawal.

At the 6-month follow up, 14.7% in the hypnosis group and 17.8% in the relaxation group were abstinent. The intervention had no effect on smoking status (p = .73) or on the number of cigarettes smoked per day (p = .56). Smoking abstinence self-efficacy did not differ between the interventions (p = .14) at the 2-week follow-up, but non-smokers in the hypnosis group experienced reduced withdrawal (p = .02). Both interventions produced few adverse reactions (p = .81).

The investigators concluded that a single session of group hypnotherapy does not appear to be more effective for smoking cessation than a group relaxation session.

Citation: Dickson-Spillmann M, Haug S, Schaub MP. Group hypnosis vs. relaxation  for smoking cessation in adults: a cluster-randomised controlled trial. BMC Public Health. 2013 Dec 23; 13: page 1227. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award