North American Menopause Society

North American Menopause Society

October 16, 2012
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Clinical hypnosis improved sleep quality in postmenopausal women

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Aimee K. Johnson, MA, one of four recipients of the new investigator award at the North American Menopause Society 23rd Annual Meeting, presented findings from a randomized trial on clinical hypnosis as a therapy to improve sleep in postmenopausal women.

“It’s estimated that 40% to 64% of all peri- or postmenopausal women report sleep disturbances. While both hot flashes and sleep disturbances and frequently reported in menopause, the association is not well understood,” Johnson said during her presentation.

In the study, Gary Elkins, PhD, professor of psychology and neuroscience and program director of the clinical psychology Psy.D program at Baylor University, and colleagues included 187 postmenopausal women with 50 or more hot flashes per week. The patients were randomly assigned to five sessions of clinical hypnosis or five sessions of structured attention, according to data.

Patients were administered the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index at baseline, 6 weeks and at a 12-week follow-up. Patients in the clinical hypnosis group reported a global score improvement of 5.6 (43.49%) at week 6 vs. a 1.04 (6.5%) score in the structural attention (control) group.

At follow-up, Johnson said the clinical hypnosis patients continued to show signs of improvement, with a reduction in their global score of 6.27 (53.12%) from baseline vs. a 1.23 (9.17%) improvement in the control group. Moreover, quality of sleep was found to have significant improvements among patients in the control group (P<.001), according to data.

“Clinical hypnosis, when properly applied, may be an effective, safe treatment for improving quality of sleep, as well as hot flashes, in postmenopausal women. Replication with additional psychometric and psychological measurements is the next step,” Johnson said.

For more information:

Elkins G. #S-3. Presented at: The North American Menopause 23rd Annual Meeting; Oct. 3-6, 2012; Orlando, Fla.

Disclosure: Johnson has no relevant financial disclosures.