I.B.S. Medical Research

Controlled trial of hypnotherapy in the treatment of severe refractory irritable-bowel syndrome
Lancet 1984 Dec 1;2(8414):1232-4 (ISSN: 0140-6736)
Whorwell PJ; Prior A; Faragher EB

30 patients with severe refractory irritable-bowel syndrome were randomly allocated to treatment with either hypnotherapy or psychotherapy and placebo. The psychotherapy patients showed a small but significant improvement in abdominal pain, abdominal distension, and general well-being but not in bowel habit. The hypnotherapy patients showed a dramatic improvement in all features, the difference between the two groups being highly significant. In the hypnotherapy group no relapses were recorded during the 3-month follow-up period, and no substitution symptoms were observed.