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Hypnosis for the Management of Anxiety and Dyspnea in COPD: A Randomized, Sham-Controlled Crossover Trial

Authors Anlló H, Herer B, Delignières A, Bocahu Y, Segundo I, Mach Alingrin V, Gilbert M, Larue F

Received 23 June 2020

Accepted for publication 23 September 2020

Published 22 October 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 2609—2620


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Hernán Anlló,1,2 Bertrand Herer,1,3 Agathe Delignières,1,4 Yolaine Bocahu,1,3 Isabelle Segundo,1,3 Valérie Mach Alingrin,1,5 Marion Gilbert,1,3 François Larue1,5

1Clinical Hypnosis Research Team, Bligny Hospital Center, Briis-sous-Forges, France; 2Watanabe Cognitive Science Laboratory, School of Fundamental Science and Engineering. Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan; 3Pneumology Unit, Bligny Hospital Center, Briis-sous-Forge, France; 4Counselling and Psychological Care Unit, Bligny Hospital Center, Briis-sous-Forge, France; 5Palliative Care Unit, Bligny Hospital Center, Briis-sous-Forge, France

Correspondence: Hernán Anlló
Clinical Hypnosis Research Team, Bligny Hospital Center, Rue de Bligny, Briis-sous-Forges 91640, France
Tel +33 1 69 26 30 00
Fax +33 1 69 26 30 90

Background: Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are prone to dyspnea, increased respiratory rate and other anxiety-inducing symptoms. Hypnosis constitutes a complementary procedure capable of improving subjective feelings of anxiety.
Objective: Assessing the efficacy of a 15-minute hypnosis intervention for immediate improvement of anxiety in severe COPD patients.
Methods: Twenty-one participants, COPD patients (mean FEV1 < 32.3%), were randomly assigned to two individual sessions in crossover (sham and hypnosis, 24-h washout period, arms: hypnosis-sham [n=11]/sham-hypnosis [n=10]). We tracked pre- and post-intervention anxiety (STAI-6 score) as primary endpoint.
Results: Nineteen (90.5%) participants completed the study. Anxiety diminished significantly after hypnosis (STAI-6 scores − 23.8% [SD = 18.4%] hypnosis vs − 3.1% [32.8%] sham; χ2=8, P< 0.01, Bayes Factor 5.5). Respiratory rate also decreased after hypnosis. Improvements in SpO2 and Borg exertion scores were registered after both conditions.
Conclusion: A 15-minute hypnosis session improved participants’ anxiety and lowered respiratory rate (as opposed to sham). Improvements in anxiety were correlated with an alleviation in respiratory strain. Results imply that hypnosis can contribute to the improvement of anxiety levels and breathing mechanics in severe COPD patients.
Registration Id: ISRCTN10029862.

Keywords: hypnosis, anxiety, depression, dyspnea, COPD, complementary care

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