Feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a self-hypnosis intervention available on the web for cancer survivors with insomnia

October 20, 2017 by School of Medicine Webmaster

Insomnia is highly prevalent among cancer survivors. Previous research suggests cancer survivors may prefer non-pharmacological insomnia treatments and are especially amenable to alternative treatments such as hypnosis. Yet, little is known about the applicability of hypnosis to treat insomnia among cancer survivors. This study investigated feasibility and preliminary efficacy of self-hypnosis recordings available on the web to improve sleep, fatigue, mood, and quality of life in cancer survivors. Twenty-eight cancer survivors with insomnia were randomly assigned to a self-hypnosis group that immediately received a 4-week self-hypnosis intervention for insomnia (n = 14) or to a waitlist control group (n = 14). The main outcomes of sleep, fatigue, mood, and quality of life were assessed via online preand post-treatment questionnaires and sleep diaries. Intervention usage, perceived impact, and feedback were also obtained. Overall adjusted effect sizes show small self-hypnosis treatment effects in sleep, fatigue, mood, and quality of life; however, with this small sample size, improvements were not found to be statistically significant. The intervention appears feasible as most participants utilized the intervention and most perceived it as at least somewhat helpful. Additional research is needed to determine whether this self-treatment option is efficacious for cancer survivors with insomnia.