Berkhamsted Hypnotherapy Research update: Hypnotherapy & Ulcerative Colitis
Researchers at the Division of Gastroenterology at the Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago have been investigating the impact of hypnosis and hypnotherapy on clinical remission rates over a one year period in patients with Ulcerative Colitis.
Ulcerative Colitis, much like it’s sister condition Crohn’s Disease, is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that is thought to be auto immune in origin – a condition in which the body’s immune system conducts an inflammatory response against its own tissues. The resulting symptoms can be a distressing mix of severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea, bloody stools, weight loss and general malaise.
The researchers in this trial aimed to study the feasibility and acceptability of hypnotherapy and assess the impact of hypnotherapy on clinical remission rates over a one year period in patients with a historical rate of their ulcerative colitis flaring 1.3 times a year.
A total of 54 patients were randomised at a single site to seven sessions of gut-directed hypnotherapy or attention control and followed for 1 year. The primary outcome was the proportion of participants in each condition that had remained clinically asymptomatic (in clinical remission) through 52 weeks after their treatment.
The researchers concluded that after 1 year 68% of the patients that received the gut directed hypnotherapy maintained their clinical remission, versus 40% of the patients in the attention control group. In addition they noted that there were no significant differences between groups over time in quality of life, medication adherence, perceived stress or psychological factors.
The researchers concluded their trial was the first prospective study that demonstrated a significant effect of a psychological intervention on prolonging clinical remission in patients with quiescent ulcerative.
You can read about the full details of the trial here: