Dr Wilson and colleagues from England systematically reviewed the literature to evaluate hypnotherapy in managing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The research team searched electronic databases, including Cochrane Library, Medline, CINAHL, and AMED.
Embase, PsycINFO, CISCOM, TRIP and the Social Science Citation index were also searched.
The team scanned bibliographic references scanned and contacted main authors of papers.
No restrictions were placed on language or publication year.
|Over half of the trials indicated a significant benefit|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
Eligible studies involved adults with IBS using single-component hypnotherapy.
The researchers sought all studies, except single case or expert opinion, and all eligible patient-related outcomes.
Out of 299 unique references identified, 18 trials of which 4 were randomized, 2 controlled and 12 uncontrolled, and 2 case series were eligible.
The team noted that these tended to demonstrate hypnotherapy as being effective in the management of IBS.
However, numbers of patients included were small.
The team reported that only 1 trial scored more than 4 out of eight on internal validity.
Dr Wilson's team concludes, “The published evidence suggests that hypnotherapy is effective in the management of IBS.”
“Over half of the trials indicated a significant benefit.”
“A randomized placebo-controlled trial of high internal validity is necessary to establish the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in the management of IBS.”
“Until such a trial is undertaken, this form of treatment should be restricted to specialist centres caring for the more severe forms of the disorder.”