Nurse-led hypnotherapy: an innovative approach to Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2013 Aug;19(3):147-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2013.01.001. Epub 2013 Mar 23.


Introduction: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common, chronic functional illness, which can greatly reduce patients' quality of life, and consumes healthcare resources. Standard treatments include dietary changes and medication, though these are often ineffective.

Research: Clinical studies of hypnotherapy demonstrate improvement in symptoms and quality of life in over 80% of subjects with intractable IBS. Our experience of a nurse-led hypnotherapy service for IBS in a community setting provides evidence of comparable efficacy for symptom control, improved quality of life, reduced dependence on medication and improved general health measures. We address the challenges of setting up and maintaining the service in a changing healthcare environment.

Conclusion: This model of care could act as a template for providers of gastroenterology and functional disease services wishing to provide IBS care.

Keywords: Complementary therapy; Evidence-based practice; Hypnotherapy; Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Community Health Services*
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / therapy*
  • Nurses*
  • Quality of Life