Background: Women with breast cancer undergo painful and distressing treatment procedures. Hypnotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) could be considered as an effective therapy.
Method: In this clinical trial, 50 women aged 25 to 65 were assigned to three groups (CBT, hypnosis, and control groups). Eight one-hour treatment sessions were run for each of the hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral therapy groups. We utilized The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Breast Cancer-specific Quality of Life (QoL), The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer QoL questionnaires, and The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale for the evaluation of the QoL, anxiety, and depression at the beginning and end of the treatment, as well as 6 months post-treatment.
Results: The improvements in the stress, depression, and QoL amongst the three groups were significant, although these improvements in CBT group were more than those in hypnosis group, and in hypnosis and CBT groups were not significant. Physical functioning, body image, sexual functioning, arm symptoms, breast symptoms, future perspective, pain, digestive problems, and functional scale significantly changed in CBT and hypnosis groups (P-value < 0.05). Memory and social functioning, however, did not change in the groups and across the three groups. In addition, sleeping disorders and emotional malfunctioning were recovered only in the hypnosis group, which was statistically significant.
Conclusion: We found hypnosis exclusively effective on reducing certain problems of breast cancer patients, such as sleeping disorders and emotional malfunctioning; therefore, it is suggested as an efficient solution for these patients’ problems.