Research Article

Improvement in bronchial hyper-responsiveness in patients with moderate asthma after treatment with a hypnotic technique: a randomised controlled trial.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 293 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.293.6555.1129 (Published 01 November 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;293:1129
  1. T C Ewer,
  2. D E Stewart

    Abstract

    A prospective, randomised, single blind, and controlled trial of a hypnotic technique was undertaken in 39 adults with mild to moderate asthma graded for low and high susceptibility to hypnosis. After a six week course of hypnotherapy 12 patients with a high susceptibility score showed a 74.9% improvement (p less than 0.01) in the degree of bronchial hyper-responsiveness to a standardised methacholine challenge test. Daily home recordings of symptoms improved by 41% (p less than 0.01), peak expiratory flow rates improved by 5.5% (p less than 0.01), and use of bronchodilators decreased by 26.2% (p less than 0.05). The improvement in bronchial hyper-reactivity occurred without a change in subjective appreciation of the degree of bronchoconstriction. A control group 17 patients and 10 patients undergoing treatment with low susceptibility to hypnosis had no change in either bronchial hyper-responsiveness or any of the symptoms recorded at home. This study shows the efficacy of a hypnotic technique in adult asthmatics who are moderately to highly susceptible to hypnosis.