This review examines the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for the relief of overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms. Ten studies examining outcomes of hypnotherapy for OAB were located from searches of electronic databases. Most reports were case studies or observational, but there were two randomized, controlled trials. Hypnotherapeutic treatment regimens were idiosyncratic and tailored to individual patients. All studies suggested benefits from hypnotherapy as an adjunct treatment for OAB, especially in terms of subjective reports of symptoms and increasing self-efficacy. These benefits suggest hypnotherapy increases patients’ abilities to engage in relaxation, reduces condition-associated anxiety, and improves patients’ perceptions of their symptom-coping abilities. Although strong objective evidence of improvement in OAB symptoms is lacking, these subjective improvements, combined with increasing use and acceptance of hypnotherapy in obstetric and gynecological settings, suggest the utility of hypnotherapy as a psychological adjunctive procedure in the treatment of OAB.

The International journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis. 0000 Jan [Epub]

Lisa A Osborne, Phil Reed

a Women and Child Health , Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board , Swansea , UK., b Department of Psychology , Swansea University , Swansea , UK.