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Alternative Approaches to Supporting Individuals With Dementia: Enhancing Quality of Life Through Hypnosis


doi: 10.1097/01.ALCAT.0000297153.89903.7b

This article describes a pilot study (n = 18) exploring the use of hypnosis to influence 7 aspects of psychological quality of life in individuals with dementia. Participants were randomly assigned to a group receiving hypnosis, a group involved in discussions, and a group receiving standard care. Using a proxy measure, the results indicate that hypnosis has a positive impact on quality of life on a short- and long-term basis.

Simon Duff, PhD, is a chartered forensic psychologist and a trained hypnotherapist, working at the Division of Clinical Psychology, University of Liverpool, and the Mersey Forensic Psychology Service, Liverpool, United Kingdom.

Daniel Nightingale, PhD, was first trained in social work, then as a registered nurse in learning disabilities before completing a doctorate in both learning disabilities and transitional shock. He is a trained hypnotherapist and head of dementia services at Southern Cross Healthcare, The Alton Centre, Northampton, United Kingdom.

We thank the staff and participants for the support in each of the care homes that made the research reported in this article possible.

Address correspondence to: Simon Duff, PhD, Division of Clinical Psychology, Whelan Building, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, Merseyside, L693GB, United Kingdom (

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.