Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2013;61(1):38-54. doi: 10.1080/00207144.2012.700620.

Group hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome with long-term follow-up.

Gerson CDGerson JGerson MJ.


research introduction

Seventy-five IBS patients were treated in groups with the standardized North Carolina IBS Hypnosis Protocol and their symptom status and quality of life tested at multiple time points up to 12 months after treatment. Compared to pre-treatment symptom severity there was a significant reduction in IBS symptoms after treatment as well as at 3, 6, and 12 months follow-up. Sixty percent of the treated patients showed clinically significant improvement in IBS.



This study tested whether group gut-focused hypnotherapy would improve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Several possible outcome predictors were also studied. Before treatment, 75 patients completed a Symptom Severity Scale, a Mind-Body attribution questionnaire, and a Quality of Relationship Inventory (QRI). The symptom scale was completed posttreatment, 3, 6, and 12 months later. There was significant symptom reduction at each data point (p < .001). Sixty percent had a reduction of more than 50 points, indicative of clinical improvement. Initial severity score (p = .0004) and QRI conflict (p = .057) were directly correlated with a response to hypnotherapy, while attribution of symptoms to mind (emotional) causation was inversely correlated (p = .0056). The authors conclude that group hypnotherapy is effective in patients with IBS.

Link to full paper with PMID: 23153384