A pilot-study of hypnotherapy as complementary treatment for pain in chronic pancreatitis

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BackgroundChronic pain is the hallmark symptom of chronic pancreatitis (CP). Its treatment is complicated, and often the patients have side-effects notwithstanding that pain is not ameliorated in many cases. Hypnotherapy has been shown to improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome including abdominal pain and, as such, may serve as a remedy to relive pain. The aim of this open-label pilot-study was to test the effect of hypnotherapy for pain in patients with CP. MethodsFour patients with CP and chronic abdominal pain were included and followed for four consecutive weeks. The primary efficacy parameter was pain relief. After 1 week of baseline patients received a 1-h session of hypnotherapy. This was repeated at day 15 and day 23 and supplemented by self-administered hypnotherapy. ResultsThree of four participants completed the trial and experienced short lasting pain reduction during the trial. The reported pain relief was in the range of 20%-39% compared to baseline. Hypnotherapy improved self-reported sleep, vitality, and social life. ConclusionsThe results suggest that hypnotherapy may reduce pain related to CP. Furthermore, no adverse effects were reported and the majority of participants completed the trial. Further prospective controlled trials are warranted to examine the potential of hypnotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20170084
JournalJournal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2018


  • chronic pancreatitis
  • hypnosis
  • hypnotherapy
  • pain
  • visceral pain


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