Mendoza ME, Capafons A, Gralow JR, Syrjala KL, Suárez-Rodríguez JM, Fann JR, Jensen MP
Psychooncology. 2017 Nov;26(11):1832-1838. doi: 10.1002/pon.4232. Epub 2016 Aug 31.
This study evaluated the efficacy of an intervention combining the Valencia model of waking hypnosis with cognitive-behavioral therapy (VMWH-CBT) in managing cancer-related pain, fatigue, and sleep problems in individuals with active cancer or who were post-treatment survivors. We hypothesized that four sessions of VMWH-CBT would result in greater improvement in participants’ symptoms than four sessions of an education control intervention. Additionally, we examined the effects on several secondary outcome domains that are associated with increases in these symptoms (depression, pain interference, pain catastrophizing, and cancer treatment distress).
The study design was a randomized controlled crossover clinical trial comparing the VMWH-CBT intervention with education control. Participants (N = 44) received four sessions of both treatments, in a counterbalanced order (n = 22 per order condition).
Participants were 89% female (N = 39) with mean age of 61 years (SD = 12.2). They reported significantly greater improvement after receiving the active treatment relative to the control condition in all the outcome measures. Treatment gains were maintained at 3-month follow-up.
This study supports the beneficial effects of the VMWH-CBT intervention relative to a control condition and that treatment gains remain stable. VMWH-CBT-trained clinicians should be accessible for managing symptoms both during and after cancer treatment, though the findings need to be replicated in larger samples of cancer survivors.