Virtual adjunctive gut-directed hypnotherapy for people with Crohn's disease: A randomized controlled pilot and feasibility trial

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2023 Nov:53:101791.doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2023.101791. Epub 2023 Jul 29.

Taryn Lores 1Subhadra Evans 2Anna Chur-Hansen 3Jane M Andrews 4Charlotte Goess 4Lorelle Smith 4David Skvarc 2Antonina A Mikocka-Walus 2


Author information

1Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia; Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN), Adelaide, Australia. Electronic address: taryn.lores2@sa.gov.au.

2Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.

3The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia.

4CALHN, Adelaide, Australia.


Background: Gut-directed hypnotherapy appears to be a promising adjunctive treatment for people with Crohn's disease. The primary objective of this pilot trial was to evaluate feasibility and acceptability of virtually delivered hypnotherapy to determine the parameters for a future definitive trial.

Methods: This prospective, single-site, randomized controlled pilot and feasibility trial compared a 7-week course of virtually delivered adjunctive gut-directed hypnotherapy to standard medical treatment only for adults with Crohn's disease. Primary outcomes were study feasibility and intervention acceptability. Secondary outcomes were objective disease activity and patient-reported outcomes. Assessments took place at five time-points: baseline, post-intervention, and follow-up three-, six-, and 12-months post-intervention.

Key results: Recruitment took place between July 2020 and August 2021 at a tertiary hospital. Recruitment was initially slow and subsequently expanded to community settings. Thirty-seven participants were enrolled in the trial: 95% were retained at post-intervention and 76% at 12-months. Completion of online assessments was high (97-100% across all time-points) whilst objective data collection was low (34-44%). Most intervention participants completed all hypnotherapy sessions (88%) and reported being extremely satisfied (73%), despite 60% experiencing technical issues.

Conclusion & inferences: Virtually delivered hypnotherapy was acceptable to participants. Certain aspects of the trial including online assessment were feasible, while recruitment and objective data collection were challenges. Undertaking a future definitive trial will require broader recruitment scope and significant funding for widespread objective data collection.

Trial registration: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ANZCTR#1260000348954.

© Copyright 2013-2024 GI Health Foundation. All rights reserved.
This site is maintained as an educational resource for US healthcare providers only. Use of this website is governed by the GIHF terms of use and privacy statement.