Happy mind, happy tum for IBS patients

Largest RCT to date shows hypnotherapy works in group or individual setting

Consider hypnotherapy for patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), say Dutch and UK researchers who found around half of patients have adequate symptom relief 12 months after starting therapy.

And group hypnotherapy is just as effective as individual therapy when it comes to symptom relief, they report in the Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

More than 300 adults were randomly assigned to receive six sessions of either group or individual counselling (150 in each group) or to a control group (54 participants), which received education and supportive care.

Among participants with follow-up data at three-months, 33% of group therapy and 40% of individual therapy patients reported adequate symptom relief compared to 17% among the control group.

The benefits persisted for nine months with 42% of the group and 50% of individual hypnotherapy subjects reporting adequate relief, compared