Hypnosis as a treatment of chronic widespread pain in general practice: a randomized controlled pilot trial

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2008 Sep 18;9:124. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-9-124.

Abstract

Background: Hypnosis treatment in general practice is a rather new concept. This pilot study was performed to evaluate the effect of a standardized hypnosis treatment used in general practice for patients with chronic widespread pain (CWP).

Methods: The study was designed as a randomized control group-controlled study. Sixteen patients were randomized into a treatment group or a control group, each constituting eight patients. Seven patients in the treatment group completed the schedule. After the control period, five of the patients in the control group also received treatment, making a total of 12 patients having completed the treatment sessions. The intervention group went through a standardized hypnosis treatment with ten consecutive therapeutic sessions once a week, each lasting for about 30 minutes, focusing on ego-strengthening, relaxation, releasing muscular tension and increasing self-efficacy. A questionnaire was developed in order to calibrate the symptoms before and after the 10 weeks period, and the results were interpolated into a scale from 0 to 100, increasing numbers representing increasing suffering. Data were analyzed by means of T-tests.

Results: The treatment group improved from their symptoms, (change from 62.5 to 55.4), while the control group deteriorated, (change from 37.2 to 45.1), (p = 0,045). The 12 patients who completed the treatment showed a mean improvement from 51.5 to 41.6. (p = 0,046). One year later the corresponding result was 41.3, indicating a persisting improvement.

Conclusion: The study indicates that hypnosis treatment may have a positive effect on pain and quality of life for patients with chronic muscular pain. Considering the limited number of patients, more studies should be conducted to confirm the results.

Trial registration: The study was registered in ClinicalTrials.gov and released 27.08.07 Reg nr NCT00521807 Approval Number: 05032001.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Ego
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Tonus
  • Muscular Diseases / psychology*
  • Muscular Diseases / therapy*
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain Management*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Relaxation / psychology
  • Self Efficacy
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00521807