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General practitioners believe that hypnotherapy could be a useful treatment for irritable bowel syndrome in primary care.

Cox, S; de Lusignan, S; Chan, T (2004) General practitioners believe that hypnotherapy could be a useful treatment for irritable bowel syndrome in primary care. BMC Family Practice, 5 (22). -. ISSN 1471-2296
SGUL Authors: De Lusignan, Simon

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BACKGROUND: Irritable bowel syndrome is a common condition in general practice. It occurs in 10 to 20% of the population, but less than half seek medical assistance with the complaint. METHODS: A questionnaire was sent to the 406 GPs listed on the West Sussex Health Authority Medical List to investigate their views of this condition and whether they felt hypnotherapy had a place in its management RESULTS: 38% of general practitioners responded. The achieved sample shared the characteristics of target sample. Nearly half thought that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) was a "nervous complaint" and used a combination of "the placebo effect of personal care," therapeutic, and dietary advice. There is considerable divergence in the perceived effectiveness of current approaches. Over 70% thought that hypnotherapy may have a role in the management of patients with IBS; though the majority (68%) felt that this should not be offered by general practitioners. 84% felt that this should be offered by qualified hypnotherapist, with 40% feeling that this should be offered outside the health service. CONCLUSIONS: General practitioners vary in their perceptions of what constitutes effective therapy in IBS. They are willing to consider referral to a qualified hypnotherapist.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: PMCID: PMC526280 © 2004 Cox et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Adult, Attitude of Health Personnel, Clinical Competence, England, Female, Humans, Hypnosis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Male, Middle Aged, Physicians, Family, Primary Health Care, Questionnaires, Referral and Consultation, Rural Population, State Medicine, Urban Population
Journal or Publication Title: BMC Family Practice
ISSN: 1471-2296
13 October 2004Published
PubMed ID: 15482597
Web of Science ID: 15482597
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