Hypnotherapy for Children with Functional Abdominal Pain or Irritable Bowel Syndrome
As hypnotherapy has demonstrated effectiveness in adults with IBS, researchers sought to compare its effects in children to standard medical therapy commonly used for the condition as an alternative to drug therapy.
The study involved 53 patients between eight and 18 years old with FAP or IBS, who were administered six half-hour hypnotherapy sessions over a three-month period. Endpoints were pain intensity, pain frequency and other symptoms, such as nausea, headache and appetite, which were recorded at baseline, one, two, and three months after randomization and six and 12 months after therapy. Researchers defined "cure" as those who experienced greater than 80 percent improvement in pain.
The study revealed that hypnotherapy was superior to conventional therapy for children with longstanding functional abdominal pain (FAP) or IBS, curing 59 percent of the patients, versus just 12 percent of patients who received conventional therapy. After one year, the figures were 85 percent and 25 percent, respectively. Patients who received hypnotherapy also experienced less pain after treatment compared to the group that received conventional therapy.
"Our team was pleased to learn that the demonstrated benefits of hypnotherapy on IBS complications appear to be translatable to children," said Arine M. Vlieger, M.D., Ph.D., of St. Antonius Hospital in Nieuwegein, Netherlands, and lead author of the study. "Hopefully, these findings will be confirmed with additional research so that more children can experience relief from the symptoms of IBS without adherence to a medication regimen."
Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by American Gastroenterological Association.