Twenty-seven studies were included, with 199 patients in total. One was a randomised trial, one was an observational study, one was a retrospective survey, and 24 were case studies.
In the randomised trial (50 patients), hypnotherapy plus standard care (medical treatment and psychological support) was associated with a statistically significant reduction (p<0.01) in depression and anxiety (measured on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; HADS), and in physical distress, compared with standard care alone.
In the observational study, which also used the HADS, 22 of the 25 hypnotherapy patients had reduced anxiety, improved well-being, and better coping skills, but there were no significant improvements in depression. The retrospective survey reported that 11 of 52 hypnotherapy patients had less anxiety, improved sleep, more positive attitudes, and better coping with panic attacks. All the case studies showed improvements in pain after hypnotherapy. Further case study results were reported. Very few adverse events were reported.
Qualitative questionnaire data, from the randomised trial, indicated that most participants had positive opinions about hypnotherapy.