Research: FINLAY and JONES,

Listed in Issue 20

Abstract

FINLAY and JONES, Holme Tower Marie Curie Centre, Wales write that although complementary therapies are increasingly in vogue in the management of patients with cancer, little formal evaluation has been undertaken.

Background

Methodology

The authors offered single sessions of hypnotherapy to 256 palliative care outpatients, 104 of whom were women, over a 2.5 year period. within a hospice day care setting. Only 13% (n=21) had 4 or more treatment sessions. Of the 52 patients alive at the time of the survey and mailed an evaluation sheet, 41 responded.

Results

61% reported improved coping with their illness, 7% (n=3) reported harmful or negative effects from hypnotherapy. Of those whose coping was unchanged, many found the therapy a pleasant experience. 35 patients (85%) appended positive comments to their questionnaire.

Conclusion

Despite the limitations of a retrospective questionnaire, these results suggest that hypnotherapy used within strict guidelines in patients with advanced cancer, is a safe complementary therapy which enhances coping.

References

Finlay IG and Jones OL. Hypnotherapy in palliative care. J R Soc Med. 89(9): 4936. Sep 1996.

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