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Internet Based Hypnosis Works Well over the Longterm for Irritable Bowel

17 Dec

Researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Gothenburg, Sweden conducted a retrospective study to evaluate long-term effects 2-7 years after receiving gut-directed hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Subjects who had received gut-directed hypnotherapy (n=208) filled out the Subjective Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) which measures changes in IBS symptoms. The 208 patients were classified as responders and non-responders were also asked to report changes in health-care seeking, use of drugs for IBS symptoms, use of alternative non-pharmacological treatments, and if they still actively used hypnotherapy.

Immediately after hypnotherapy, 103 of 208 patients (49%) were responders and 75 of these (73%) had improved further at the follow-up 2-7 years after hypnotherapy (mean 4 years).
 
A majority of the responders still used hypnotherapy on a regular basis at follow-up (73%), and the responders reported a greater reduction in health-care seeking than non-responders. A total of 87% of all patients reported that they considered gut-directed hypnotherapy to be worthwhile, and this differed between responders and non-responders (100% vs. 74%; p < 0.0001).

This long-term follow-up study concludes that gut-directed hypnotherapy in refractory IBS is an effective treatment option with long-lasting effects, even when given outside highly specialized hypnotherapy centers. Apart from the clinical benefits, the reduction in health-care utilization has the potential to reduce the health-care costs.

Citation:  Lindfors P, Unge P, Nyhlin H, Ljótsson B, Björnsson ES, Abrahamsson H, Simrén M. Long-term effects of hypnotherapy in patients with refractory irritable bowel syndrome. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. 2012 Apr; 47 (4): pages 414-20. Epub 2012 Feb 20. 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