Hypnotherapy for smoking cessation
Abbot NC, Stead LF, White AR, Barnes JABSTRACT
A substantive amendment to this systematic review was last made on 18 February 1998. Cochrane reviews are regularly checked and updated if necessary.
Background: Hypnotherapy is widely promoted as a method for aiding smoking cessation. It is proposed to act on underlying impulses to weaken the desire to smoke or strengthen the will to stop.
Objectives: The objective of this review was to evaluate the effects of hypnotherapy for smoking cessation.
Search strategy: We searched the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group trials register and the databases Medline, Embase, AMED, SCI, SSCI and CISCOM using the terms smoking cessation and hypnotherapy or hypnosis in June 2001.
Selection criteria: We considered randomised trials of hypnotherapy which reported smoking cessation rates at least six months after the beginning of treatment.
Data collection and analysis: Two reviewers extracted data on the type of subjects, the type and duration of the hypnotherapy, the nature of the control group,the outcome measures, method of randomisation, and completeness of follow-up.The main outcome measure was abstinence from smoking after at least six months follow-up in patients smoking at baseline. We used the most rigorous definition of abstinence in each trial, and biochemically validated rates where available. Subjects lost to follow-up were counted as smokers. Where possible, we performed meta-analysis using a fixed effects model.
Main results: Nine studies compared hypnotherapy with 14 different control interventions. There was significant heterogeneity between the results of the individual studies, with conflicting results for the effectiveness of hypnotherapy compared to no treatment or to advice. We therefore did not attempt to calculate pooled odds ratios for the overall effect of hypnotherapy. There was no evidence of an effect of hypnotherapy compared to rapid smoking or psychological treatment.
Reviewers' conclusions: We have not shown that hypnotherapy has a greater effect on six month quit rates than other interventions or no treatment.The effects of hypnotherapy on smoking cessation claimed by uncontrolled studies were not confirmed by analysis of randomised controlled trials.
Citation: Abbot NC, Stead LF, White AR, Barnes J. Hypnotherapy for smoking cessation (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 2, 2004. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
This is an abstract of a regularly updated, systematic review prepared and maintained by the Cochrane Collaboration. The full text of the review is available in The Cochrane Library (ISSN 1464-780X).
All rights reserved.