Health Technology Assessment Section Medical Development Division Ministry Of Health Malaysia 020/2016
Clinical hypnosis/hypnotherapy is one of the modalities in mind-body medicine. The application of hypnotherapy has increased among Western medical community due to extensive research done on the effectiveness of the therapy and awareness of its benefits in treating health problem. Findings from numerous modern cognitive, linguistic and personality research on hypnotherapy have caused a growing use of the therapy in medical specialities, psychiatry, psychology and social work.
Managing pain becomes a constant challenge to physician. The usage of sedative and narcotic drugs for pain management still has significant healthcare implication even with advancement in pharmacological treatment and procedural pain management. Clinical hypnotherapy provides an alternative or adjunctive non-pharmacological approach for managing pain that can potentially be cost-effective. Depression and anxiety were among the most common reasons for individuals to seek complementary treatments apart from medications. Pharmacological treatment has limitations in both efficacy and tolerability. While traditional cognitive behaviour therapy is a known efficacious psychotherapy for treatment of both depression and anxiety, hypnotherapy could provide an option of integrating different treatment modalities to enhance treatment outcomes. Hypnotic approaches also could be used in many different ways to enhance behavioural treatment for addiction. To date, hypnotic research on the treatment of addiction is primarily for smoking cessation.
In recent years, there is an increasing number of local private health centres and institutions that offer hypnotherapy treatment and training to become certified hypnotherapist. Furthermore, there is also a growing interest among local mainstream healthcare practitioners on clinical hypnotherapy and its applications.
This technology review was requested by the National Advisor for Psychiatric Services, Ministry of Health, Malaysia to assess the evidence on clinical hypnosis/hypnotherapy practice for patients with pain, anxiety, depression and addiction.