Randomized trial of a hypnosis intervention for treatment of hot flashes among breast cancer survivors

Gary Elkins, Joel Marcus, Vered Stearns, Michelle Perfect, M. Hasan Rajab, Christopher Ruud, Lynne Palamara, Timothy Keith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: Hot flashes are a significant problem for many breast cancer survivors. Hot flashes can cause discomfort, disrupted sleep, anxiety, and decreased quality of life. A well-tolerated and effective mind-body treatment for hot flashes would be of great value. On the basis of previous case studies, this study was developed to evaluate the effect of a hypnosis intervention for hot flashes. Patients and Methods: Sixty female breast cancer survivors with hot flashes were randomly assigned to receive hypnosis intervention (five weekly sessions) or no treatment. Eligible patients had to have a history of primary breast cancer without evidence of detectable disease and 14 or more weekly hot flashes for at least 1 month. The major outcome measure was a bivariate construct that represented hot flash frequency and hot flash score, which was analyzed by a classic sums and differences comparison. Secondary outcome measures were self-reports of interference of hot flashes on daily activities. Results: Fifty-one randomly assigned women completed the study. By the end of the treatment period, hot flash scores (frequency x average severity) decreased 68% from baseline to end point in the hypnosis arm (P < .001). Significant improvements in self-reported anxiety, depression, interference of hot flashes on daily activities, and sleep were observed for patients who received the hypnosis intervention (P < .005) in comparison to the no treatment control group. Conclusion: Hypnosis appears to reduce perceived hot flashes in breast cancer survivors and may have additional benefits such as reduced anxiety and depression, and improved sleep.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5022-5026
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Volume26
Issue number31
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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