The potential role of a self-management intervention for ulcerative colitis: A brief report from the ulcerative colitis hypnotherapy trial

Laurie Keefer, Jennifer L. Kiebles, Monika A. Kwiatek, Olafur Palsson, Tiffany H. Taft, Zoran Martinovich, Terrence A. Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronic inflammatory illnesses marked by unpredictable disease flares, which occur spontaneously and/or in response to external triggers, especially personal health behaviors. Behavioral triggers of flare may be responsive to disease self-management programs. We report on interim findings of a randomized controlled trial of gut-directed hypnotherapy (HYP, n = 19) versus active attention control (CON, n = 17) for quiescent ulcerative colitis (UC). To date, 43 participants have enrolled; after 5 discontinuations (1 in HYP) and 2 exclusions due to excessive missing data, 36 were included in this preliminary analysis. Aim 1 was to determine the feasibility and acceptability of HYP in UC. This was achieved, demonstrated by a reasonable recruitment rate at our outpatient tertiary care clinic (20%), high retention rate (88% total), and our representative IBD sample, which is reflected by an equal distribution of gender, an age range between 21 and 69, recruitment of ethnic minorities ({reversed tilde}20%), and disease duration ranging from 1.5 to 35 years. Aim 2 was to estimate effect sizes on key clinical outcomes for use in future trials. Effect sizes (group × time at 20 weeks) were small to medium for IBD self-efficacy (.34), Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (IBDQ) total score (.41), IBDQ bowel (.50), and systemic health (.48). Between-group effects were observed for the IBDQ bowel health subscale (HYP & CON; p =.05) at 20 weeks and the Short Form 12 Health Survey Version 2 (SF-12v2) physical component (HYP & CON; p <.05) at posttreatment and 20 weeks. This study supports future clinical trials testing gut-directed HYP as a relapse prevention tool for IBD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Research for Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article: The National Institutes of Health, Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine awarded to the first author (grant number R21AT003204).


  • hypnotherapy
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • self-efficacy
  • self-management
  • ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Research and Theory


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