Fifteen patients with severe intractable irritable bowel syndrome previously reported as successfully treated with hypnotherapy, have now been followed up for a mean duration of 18 months. All patients remain in remission although two have experienced a single relapse overcome by an additional session of hypnotherapy. Experience with a further 35 patients is reported giving a total group of 50. This group was divided into classical cases, atypical cases and cases exhibiting significant psychopathology. The response rates were 95%, 43%, and 60% respectively. Patients over the age of 50 years responded very poorly (25%) whereas those below the age of 50 with classical irritable bowel syndrome exhibited a 100% response rate. This study confirms the successful effect of hypnotherapy in a larger series of patients with irritable bowel syndrome and defines some subgroup variations.
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