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Hypnotherapy for Treatment of Overactive Bladder: A Randomized Controlled Trial Pilot Study

Komesu, Yuko M. MD*; Sapien, Robert E. MD; Rogers, Rebecca G. MD*; Ketai, Loren H. MD

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: November-December 2011 - Volume 17 - Issue 6 - p 308-313
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0b013e31823a08d9
Original Articles
Journal Club

Objectives: The objective of the study was to obtain pilot data comparing hypnotherapy and behavioral therapy (hypnotherapy) to behavioral therapy alone (behavioral therapy) in overactive bladder (OAB) treatment.

Methods: Women with OAB were randomized to hypnotherapy or behavioral therapy treatments. Patient Global Impression of Improvement (PGI-I), the OAB-q Short Form (OAB-q SF) questionnaire, and voiding diaries were recorded, and within- and between-group differences were compared.

Results: Twenty women enrolled in and completed the study. Both hypnotherapy and behavioral therapy groups improved their mean number of voids (P = 0.005, P = 0.01, respectively) and their OAB-q SF distress scores (P = 0.002, P = 0.03). The hypnotherapy group had significant improvement in quality-of-life scores (P < 0.001), whereas the behavioral group did not (P = 0.05). Between-group comparisons showed that the hypnotherapy group had superior PGI-I scores compared with the behavioral group (P < 0.009). The hypnotherapy group trended toward greater improvement in OAB-q quality-of-life scores compared with the behavioral therapy group (67% vs 42% improvement), although this did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.07). Number of voids and OAB-q SF distress scores improved in both groups with no difference between groups.

Conclusions: Both groups improved with treatment. Hypnotherapy resulted in superior PGI-I scores compared with behavioral therapy. Voiding and OAB-q SF results trended toward greater improvement with hypnotherapy. As a pilot study, recruitment was underpowered to find statistical differences between groups' voids and OAB scores. These findings support the need for an expanded trial that could likely show hypnotherapy to be superior in OAB treatment.

A pilot study was performed comparing hypnotherapy to behavioral therapy in overactive bladder treatment. Voiding frequency and quality of life improved in both groups with hypnotherapy group noting superior impression of improvement following treatment.

From the Departments of *Obstetrics and Gynecology, †Emergency Room Medicine, and ‡Radiology, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, NM.

Reprints: Yuko M. Komesu, MD, MSC 10-5580 1 University, Albuquerque, NM 87131. E-mail:

This work was supported by DHHS/NIH/NCRR (grant 1UL1RR031977-01), The University of New Mexico Clinical and Translational Science Center.

Drs Komesu and Rogers have received grant support from Pfizer Corporation. Drs Sapien and Ketai have nothing to disclose.

© 2011 by Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins