Hypnosis may help patients quit smoking more effectively

November 14th, 2007 - 2:43 am ICT by admin  
The study also shows that patients admitted to the hospital with a cardiac diagnosis are three times more likely to quit smoking at 6 months than patients admitted with a pulmonary diagnosis.

The study was presented at Chest 2007, the 73rd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP).

The research team from North Shore Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital conducted a study, in which they found that that smoking patients who participated in one hypnotherapy session were more likely to be non-smokers at 6 months compared with patients using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) alone or patients who quit “cold turkey”.

“Our results showed that hypnotherapy resulted in higher quit rates compared with NRT alone. Hypnotherapy appears to be quite effective and a good modality to incorporate into a smoking cessation program after hospital discharge,” said Faysal Hasan, MD, FCCP, North Shore Medical Center, Salem, MA.

The research team compared the quit rates of 67 smoking patients hospitalised with a cardiopulmonary diagnosis. All patients were approached about smoking cessation and all included in the study were patients who expressed a desire to quit smoking.

At discharge, patients were divided into four groups based on their preferred method of smoking cessation treatment: hypnotherapy (n=14), NRT (n=19), NRT and hypnotherapy (n=18), and a group of controls who preferred to quit “cold turkey” (n=16).

All patients received self-help brochures. The control group received brief counselling, but other groups received intensive counselling, free supply of NRT and/or a free hypnotherapy session within 7 days of discharge, as well as follow up telephone calls at 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 26 weeks after discharge.

Patients receiving hypnotherapy also were taught to do self-hypnosis and were given tapes to play at the end of the session.

The research team found that at 26 weeks after discharge, 50 percent of patients treated with hypnotherapy alone were non-smokers, compared with 50 percent in the NRT/hypnotherapy group, 25 percent in the control group, and 15.78 percent in the NRT group.

Also, it was found that patients admitted with a cardiac diagnosis were more likely to quit smoking at 26 weeks (45.5 percent) than patients admitted with a pulmonary diagnosis (15.63 percent).

“Patients admitted with coronary symptoms may have experienced ‘fear and doom’ and decided to alter a major health risk to their disease when approached about smoking cessation,” Dr. Hasan said.

“In contrast, pulmonary patients admitted for another exacerbation may not have felt the same threat. They likely felt they can live for another day and continue the smoking habit,” Dr. Hasan added.

The researchers therefore concluded that hospitalisation is an important opportunity to intervene among patients who smoke.

“As physicians, we are constantly reviewing new approaches for smoking cessation and revisiting existing approaches to confirm their effectiveness,” said Alvin V. Thomas, MD, FCCP, President of the American College of Chest Physicians.

“The results of this study and many others confirm that using a multimodality approach to smoking cessation is optimal for success,” Thomas added. (ANI)

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