It has been shown that hypnotherapy can relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in the short-term. However, there is data on its long-term benefits.
In this study, physicians from Manchester, England, evaluated 204 patients before, immediately after, and up to 6 years following hypnotherapy.
Patients completed questionnaires which scored symptoms, quality of life, anxiety, and depression.
Subjects also retrospectively assessed the effects of the hypnotherapy in order to define their "responder status".
The physicians found that 71% of patients initially responded to therapy. Of these, 81% maintained their improvement over time.
Symptom scores significantly improved on pre-hypnotherapy levels.
|71% of patients initially responded to therapy.|
The team did not find any significant differences in the symptom scores between patients assessed at 1, 2, 3, 4, or more than 5 years following treatment.
However, they determined that although quality of life, anxiety and depression scores were improved at follow-up, these showed some deterioration.
In addition, patients reported a reduction in consultation rates and medication use following the completion of hypnotherapy.
Dr Gonsalkorale's team concluded, "This study demonstrates that the beneficial effects of hypnotherapy appear to last at least 5 years".
"Thus it is a viable therapeutic option for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome".