Self-hypnosis: A two-for-one deal
When it comes to psychosocial interventions for cancer patients, not all approaches are created equal. In a study comparing three different group interventions, only one resulted in decreased emotional distress and fatigue.
Researchers evaluated the effectiveness of three psychosocial group interventions to reduce sleep difficulties, fatigue and emotional distress in patients with breast cancer. A total of 123 patients participated in a cognitive behavioral therapy, yoga or self-hypnosis intervention. Results were compared to a control group who agreed not to participate in an intervention, and published in British Journal of Cancer.
Participants were assessed before and after the interventions and at 3- and 9-month follow-ups. At the final assessment, the self-hypnosis group experienced a decrease in anxiety, depression and fatigue. The yoga group saw a decrease in anxiety, but the cognitive behavioral therapy and control groups had no significant improvements in the symptoms investigated. The researchers expressed a need for further studies in order to achieve a better understanding of the mechanisms of action of these mind-body interventions and their long-term impact on quality of life in patients with cancer.