Hypnosis therapy shown to decrease fatigue levels in breast cancer patients

February 20, 2014

Breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy showed decreased fatigue as a result of cognitive behavioral therapy plus hypnosis (CBTH), according to a study recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The study, titled, "Randomized Controlled Trial of a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Plus Hypnosis Intervention to Control Fatigue in Patients Undergoing Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer," was led by Guy Montgomery, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of the Integrative Behavioral Medicine Program in the Department of Oncological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The results of a of 200 patients showed that the treatment group had significantly less fatigue than a control group both during treatment and for up to six months afterwards.

The average patient in a treatment group had less fatigue than 79 percent of patients in a control group at the end of radiotherapy. Six months after the end of radiotherapy, the average patient in a treatment group had less fatigue than 95 percent of patients in a . "These results support CBTH as an evidence-based complementary intervention to control fatigue in patients undergoing radiotherapy for ," said Dr. Montgomery. "CBTH works to reduce fatigue for patients who have few other treatment options. It is also noninvasive, has no adverse side-effects, and its beneficial effects persist long after the last intervention."

Additionally, patients also reported that participating in CBTH was relaxing and helpful. "This study is important because it shows a new intervention that helps to improve patients' quality of life during taxing course of breast cancer radiotherapy and for long after," said Montgomery.

Explore further: Avoiding radiotherapy is an option for some older patients with breast cancer

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