HypnosisIrritable Bowel Syndrome

Predicting IBS responders to hynotherapy

Approximately two-thirds of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) respond well to hypnotherapy.

Researchers at the University of Manchester, in the UK, assessed whether a therapeutic response to hypnosis could be predicted by relating mood to a positive, neutral or negative color.

First, the details.

  • 156 consecutive IBS patients were studied.
  • Before and after treatment, patients were asked to relate their mood to a color on the Manchester Color Wheel (MCW), as well as completing a battery of other measures including the Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) Scale, and the Tellegen Absorption Scale (TAS) which is a measure of the responsiveness to hypnosis.

And, the results.

  • For patients with a positive mood color the odds of responding to hypnotherapy were 9 times higher than for those choosing either a neutral or negative color or no color at all — a significant difference.
  • A high TAS score and the presence of HAD anxiety also had good predictive value with these markers and a positive mood color being independent of each other — significant differences.
    • These factors combined gave a stronger prediction of outcome.
  • Twice as many responders (78%) had a positive mood color or were anxious or had a high TAS score compared with 43%) without these factors — a significant difference.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “A positive mood color, especially when combined with HAD anxiety and a high TAS score, predict a good response to hypnotherapy.”

In an earlier article, Prof. Whorwell, also a researcher in this study, reported that with a “success-rate of about 70%” hypnotherapy, although labor-intensive, could be a medically and cost effect treatment compared to new drugs.

12/8/10 21:37 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.