Background: Non-cardiac chest pain (NCCP) is an extremely debilitating condition of uncertain origin which is difficult to treat and consequently has a high psychological morbidity. Hypnotherapy has been shown to be effective in related conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome where its beneficial effects are long lasting.
Aims: This study aimed to assess the efficacy of hypnotherapy in a selected group of patients with angina-like chest pain in whom coronary angiography was normal and oesophageal reflux was not contributory.
Patients and methods: Twenty eight patients fulfilling the entry criteria were randomised to receive, after a four week baseline period, either 12 sessions of hypnotherapy or supportive therapy plus placebo medication over a 17 week period. The primary outcome measure was global assessment of chest pain improvement. Secondary variables were a change in scores for quality of life, pain severity, pain frequency, anxiety, and depression, as well as any alteration in the use of medication.
Results: Twelve of 15 (80%) hypnotherapy patients compared with three of 13 (23%) controls experienced a global improvement in pain (p = 0.008) which was associated with a significantly greater reduction in pain intensity (p = 0.046) although not frequency. Hypnotherapy also resulted in a significantly greater improvement in overall well being in addition to a reduction in medication usage. There were no differences favouring hypnotherapy with respect to anxiety or depression scores.
Conclusion: Hypnotherapy appears to have use in this highly selected group of NCCP patients and warrants further assessment in the broader context of this disorder.
- NCCP, non-cardiac chest pain
- IBS, irritable bowel syndrome
- QOL, quality of life
- HAD, hospital anxiety depression
- non-cardiac chest pain
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Published online first 20 April 2006
Conflict of interest: None declared.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.