A pilot-study of hypnotherapy as complementary treatment for pain in chronic pancreatitis

Jacob Juel 1 , 2 , Randi Abrahamsen 1 , 2 , Søren S. Olesen 1 , 2 , and Asbjørn M. Drewes 1 , 2
  • 1 Mech-Sense, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
  • 2 Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
Jacob Juel
  • Mech-Sense, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
  • Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
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, Randi Abrahamsen
  • Mech-Sense, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
  • Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
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, Søren S. Olesen
  • Mech-Sense, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
  • Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
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and Asbjørn M. Drewes
  • Corresponding author
  • Mech-Sense, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
  • Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
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Abstract

Background

Chronic pain is the hallmark symptom of chronic pancreatitis (CP). Its treatment is complicated, and often the patients have side-effects notwithstanding that pain is not ameliorated in many cases. Hypnotherapy has been shown to improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome including abdominal pain and, as such, may serve as a remedy to relive pain. The aim of this open-label pilot-study was to test the effect of hypnotherapy for pain in patients with CP.

Methods

Four patients with CP and chronic abdominal pain were included and followed for four consecutive weeks. The primary efficacy parameter was pain relief. After 1 week of baseline patients received a 1-h session of hypnotherapy. This was repeated at day 15 and day 23 and supplemented by self-administered hypnotherapy.

Results

Three of four participants completed the trial and experienced short lasting pain reduction during the trial. The reported pain relief was in the range of 20%–39% compared to baseline. Hypnotherapy improved self-reported sleep, vitality, and social life.

Conclusions

The results suggest that hypnotherapy may reduce pain related to CP. Furthermore, no adverse effects were reported and the majority of participants completed the trial. Further prospective controlled trials are warranted to examine the potential of hypnotherapy.

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