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July 2007 - English PDF Print E-mail


The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
Volume 55, Number 3 - July 2007 - English


The Efficacy of Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Psychosomatic Disorders: Meta-Analytical Evidence
Erich Flammer and Assen Alladin

Abstract: Hypnotherapy is claimed to be effective in treatment of psychosomatic
disorders. A meta-analysis was conducted with 21 randomized controlled clinical studies to evaluate efficacy of hypnosis in psychosomatic disorders. Studies compared patients exclusively treated with hypnotherapy to untreated controls. Studies providing adjunctive standard medical care in either treatment condition were also admitted. Hypnotherapy was categorized into classic (n = 9), mixed form (n = 5), and modern (n = 3). Results showed the weighted mean effect size for 21 studies was d+ = .61 (p = .0000). ANOVA revealed significant differences between classic, mixed, and modern hypnosis. Regression of outcome on treatment dose failed to show a significant relationship. Numerical values for correlation between suggestibility and outcome were only reported in 3 studies (mean r = .31). The meta-analysis clearly indicates hypnotherapy is highly effective in treatment of psychosomatic disorders. 


Hypnotherapy in the Management of Chronic Pain
Gary Elkins, Mark Jensen, and David Patterson

Abstract: This article reviews controlled prospective trials of hypnosis for the treatment of chronic pain. Thirteen studies, excluding studies of headaches, were identified that compared outcomes from hypnosis for the treatment of chronic pain to either baseline data or a control condition. The findings indicate that hypnosis interventions consistently produce significant decreases in pain associated with a variety of chronic pain problems. Also, hypnosis was generally found to be more effective than nonhypnotic interventions such as attention, physical therapy, and education. Most of the hypnosis interventions for chronic pain include instructions in self-hypnosis. However, there is a lack of standardization of the hypnotic interventions examined in clinical trials, and the number of patients enrolled in the studies has tended to be low and lacking long-term follow-up. Implications of the findings for future clinical research and applications are discussed.


Evidence-Based Hypnotherapy for the Management of Sleep Disorders
Gina Graci and John C. Hardie

Abstract: There is a plethora of research suggesting that combining cognitive-behavioral therapy with hypnosis is effective for a variety of psychological, behavioral, and medical disorders. Yet, very little empirical research exists pertaining to the use of hypnotherapy as either a single or multi-treatment modality for the management of sleep disorders. The existing literature is limited to a small subset of nonbiologic sleep disorders. The objectives of this paper are: to provide a review of the most common sleep disorders, with emphasis on insomnia disorders; discuss the cognitive-behavioral approaches to insomnia; and review the existing empirical literature on applications of hypnotherapy in the treatment of sleep disturbance. The overreaching goal is to educate clinicians on how to incorporate sleep therapy with hypnotherapy. There is an immediate need for research evaluating the efficacy of hypnotherapy in the management of sleep disturbance.  


Hypnosis for Acute Distress Management During Medical Procedures
Nicole Flory, Gloria M. Martinez Salazar, and Elvira V. Lang

Abstract: The use of hypnosis during medical procedures has a long-standing tradition but has been struggling for acceptance into the mainstream. In recent years, several randomized-controlled trials with sufficient participant numbers have demonstrated the efficacy of hypnosis in the peri-operative domain. With the advancements of minimally invasive high-tech procedures during which the patient remains conscious, hypnotic adjuncts have found many applications. This article describes the procedural environment as well as pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions to reduce distress. Current research findings, controversies in the literature, and safety considerations are reviewed. Implications for clinical practice and training as well as directions for future research are discussed. Obstacles and possible reasons for the slow acceptance of nonpharmacologic interventions, mind-body therapies, and patient-centered approaches are addressed. 


Hypnosis Efficacy in the Treatment of Eating Disorders
Marianne Barabasz

Abstract: Research on the efficacy of hypnosis in the treatment of eating disorders has produced mixed findings. This is due in part to the interplay between the characteristics of people with eating disorders and the phenomena of hypnosis. In addition, several authors have noted that methodological limitations in hypnosis research often make evaluation of treatment efficacy difficult. Many of the studies extant provide insufficient information regarding the specifics of the hypnotic intervention(s) to facilitate replication and clinical implementation. Therefore, this paper only reviews literature with replicable methodological descriptions. It focuses on the 3 primary disorders of interest to clinicians: bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and obesity. The implications for evaluating treatment efficacy are discussed. 


Effectiveness of Hypnotherapy with Cancer Patients’ Treatment Trajectory: Emesis, Acute Pain, Analgesia, and Anxiolysis in Procedures
Sylvain Neron and Randolph Stephenson

Abstract: Clinical hypnosis in cancer settings provides symptom reduction (pain and anxiety) and empowers patients to take an active role in their treatments and procedures. The goal of this paper is to systematically and critically review evidence on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for emesis, analgesia, and anxiolysis in acute pain, specifically in procedures with an emphasis on the period from 1999 to 2006. Further, it aims to provide a theoretical rationale for the use of hypnosis with cancer populations in the whole spectrum of illness/treatment trajectory in several clinical contexts. Finally, a treatment protocol for management of overt anxiety and phobic reactions in the radiotherapy suite is presented, with the intent of having such a protocol empirically validated in the future.


Evidence-Based Clinical Hypnosis in Obstetrics, Labor and Deliver, and Preterm Labor
Donald Brown and D. Corydon Hammond

Abstract: This paper reviews the benefits and effectiveness of hypnosis in obstetrics and labor and delivery, demonstrating significant reductions in the use of analgesics and anesthesia and in shorter Stages 1 and 2 labors. It presents empirical and theoretical rationales for use of hypnosis in preterm labor (PTL) and labor and delivery at term. The benefits of hypnosis in relation to labor length, pain levels, and the enjoyment of labor, as well as its effectiveness in preterm labor are noted in randomized controlled trials and in a meta-analysis. Risk factors are reported for preterm delivery; hypnosis significantly prolongs pregnancy. Six cases are presented of hypnosis stopping PTL a number of times and when indicated at term. A case report of successful use of hypnosis in quadruplets is presented with some scripts. Suggestions are made for further research.



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