Gut-directed hypnotherapy (GHT) in individual sessions is highly effective in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This study aimed to assess the long-term effect of GHT in group sessions for refractory IBS.
A total of 164 patients with IBS (Rome-III-criteria) were screened, and 100 refractory to usual treatment were randomized 1:1 either to supportive talks with medical treatment (SMT) or to SMT with GHT (10 weekly sessions within 12 weeks). The primary end point was a clinically important improvement on several dimensions of daily life (assessed by IBS impact scale) after treatment and 12-month follow-up. The secondary end point was improvement in general quality of life (QOL; Medical Outcome Study Short-Form-36), psychological status (Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale) and reduction of single IBS symptoms. Analysis was by intention to treat.
A total of 90 patients received allocated intervention. After treatment, 28 (60.8%) out of 46 GHT patients and 18 (40.9%) out of 44 SMTs improved (absolute difference 20.0%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0–40.2%;P=0.046); over 15 months, 54.3% of GHT patients and 25.0% of controls improved (absolute difference 29.4%; 95% CI 10.1–48.6%;P=0.004). GHT with SMT improved physical and psychological well being significantly more than SMT alone (P<0.001). Gender, age, disease duration and IBS type did not have an influence on the long-term success of GHT.
GHT improves IBS-related QOL, is superior to SMT alone, and shows a long-term effect even in refractory IBS.
1 Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
2 Anton Proksch Institute (Psychiatry), Vienna, Austria
3 Sigmund Freud Private University, Vienna, Austria
Correspondence: Gabriele Moser, MD, Universität Klinik für Innere Medizin III, Abteilung für Gastroenterologie und Hepatologie, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, WienA-1090, Austria. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL accompanies this paper at http://links.lww.com/AJG/A720, http://links.lww.com/AJG/A721
Received 30 July 2012; accepted 13 January 2013
published online 19 February 2013