Gut. 1987 Apr;28(4):423-5.

Hypnotherapy in severe irritable bowel syndrome: further experience.

Whorwell PJPrior AColgan SM.


Research introduction

This report summed up further experience after 35 patients were added to the initial 15 treated with hypnotherapy in their earlier 1984 Lancet study. For the whole combined 50 patient group, success rate was 95% for classic IBS cases, but substantially less for IBS patients with atypical symptom picture or significant psychological problems. The report also observed that patients over age 50 seemed to have lower success rate from this treatment.



Fifteen patients with severe intractable irritable bowel syndrome previously reported as successfully treated with hypnotherapy, have now been followed up for a mean duration of 18 months. All patients remain in remission although two have experienced a single relapse overcome by an additional session of hypnotherapy. Experience with a further 35 patients is reported giving a total group of 50. This group was divided into classical cases, atypical cases and cases exhibiting significant psychopathology. The response rates were 95%, 43%, and 60% respectively. Patients over the age of 50 years responded very poorly (25%) whereas those below the age of 50 with classical irritable bowel syndromeexhibited a 100% response rate. This study confirms the successful effect of hypnotherapy in a larger series of patients with irritable bowel syndrome and defines some subgroup variations.

Link to full paper with PMID: 3583070