Am J Clin Hypn. 2015 Jul;58(1):100-14. doi: 10.1080/00029157.2015.1030492.

Nurse-Administered, Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy in IBS: Efficacy and Factors Predicting a Positive Response.

Lövdahl JRingström GAgerforz PTörnblom HSimrén M.


research introduction

This study evaluated the effectiveness of standardized nurse-administered hypnotherapy protocol that was a Swedish-language extended variant of the North Carolina protocol, and aimed to identify factors that predicted good treatment outcome. Eighty-five patients received 12 weekly sessions of individual hypnotherapy by a nurse. The symptoms of 58% of the patients showed improved from the treatment, and of these 82% showed favorable clinical response already half-way through the treatment course (after 6 sessions). Women had a higher response rate than men to the treatment.



Hypnotherapy is an effective treatment in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is often delivered by a psychotherapist and is costly and time consuming. Nurse-administered hypnotherapy could increase availability and reduce costs. In this study the authors evaluate the effectiveness of nurse-administered, gut-directed hypnotherapy and identify factors predicting treatment outcome. Eighty-five patients were included in the study. Participants received hypnotherapy by a nurse once/week for 12 weeks. Patients reported marked improvement in gastrointestinal (GI) and extra-colonic symptoms after treatment, as well as a reduction in GI-specific anxiety, general anxiety, and depression. Fifty-eight percent were responders after the 12 weeks treatment period, and of these 82% had a favorable clinical response already at week 6. Women were more likely than men to respond favorably to the treatment. Nurse-administered hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for IBS. Being female and reporting a favorable response to treatment by week 6 predicted a positive treatment response at the end of the 12 weeks treatment period.


Link to full paper with PMID: 26046719