Cancer (nausea vomiting): Hypnotherapy


Hypnosis is a procedure in which a therapist suggests that a client experiences changes in sensation, perception, thought and behaviour. It has been used in a variety of clinical settings.

To systematically review the research evidence on the effectiveness of hypnosis for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV)

Comprehensive searches of the following databases were conducted to March 2005:

  • Major biomedical and nursing databases: ClNAHL, CENTRAL (Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials), The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and DARE (Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects), EMBASE, MEDLINE (and PubMed) and PsycINFO
  • Specialist databases: AMED, CISCOM,

Efforts were also made to identify unpublished and ongoing research via the National Research Register (UK), (US), and experts in the field. Search strategies included terms for hypnosis and cancer. Relevant research was systematically categorised by study type and appraised according to study design. Clinical commentaries were obtained for each study included in the review.

Six randomised controlled clinical trials (RCTs) were found. In five of these studies, participants were children. Studies were small but included comparison against other therapies and no treatment. Studies report positive results including statistically significant reductions in anticipatory and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting but a number of methodological limitations were identified.

Studies located
Systematic reviews:    7 systematic reviews of hypnosis that include (but are not specific                                     to) cancer patients
RCT:                           7 (1 abstract only)
UC studies:                  6
Other:                          1 qualitative study

Hypnosis has potential as an intervention for anticipatory and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in children with cancer.

Research Recommendations

  • Further research into the effectiveness, feasibility and acceptance of hypnosis in CINV for cancer patients, in particular in adults is suggested.

Summary only available currently as this review has been submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.



Cancer (nausea vomiting)


Search and Appraisal Methods

The Evidence


Full Report

Last updated on29 April, 2011 - 12:22
Created on27 April, 2011 - 19:21