Pilot evaluation of hypnosis for the treatment of hot flashes in breast cancer survivors

Gary Elkins, Joel Marcus, Vered Stearns, M. Hasan Rajab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This single arm, pilot study investigated the use of hypnosis to reduce hot flashes in 16 breast cancer survivors. Each patient provided baseline data and received 4 weekly sessions of hypnosis that followed a standardized transcript. Patients were also instructed in self-hypnosis. Throughout the clinical care, patients completed daily diaries of the frequency and severity of their hot flashes. Patients also completed baseline and post-treatment ratings of the degree to which hot flashes interfered with daily activities and quality of life. Results indicated a 59% decrease in total daily hot flashes and a 70% decrease in weekly hot flash scores from their baselines. There was also a significant decrease in the degree to which hot flashes interfered with daily activities for all measures including work, social activities, leisure activities, sleep, mood, concentration, relations with others, sexuality, enjoyment of life, and overall quality of life. This pilot study suggests that clinical hypnosis may be an effective non-hormonal and non-pharmacological treatment for hot flashes. A randomized, controlled clinical trial is planned to more definitively elucidate the efficacy and applicability of hypnosis for reducing hot flashes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-492
Number of pages6
JournalPsycho-Oncology
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2007

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Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Hot flashes
  • Hypnosis
  • Menopause
  • Mind-body intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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