Moderating effect of hypnoti zability on hypnosis for hot flashes in breast cancer survivors

Gary Elkins, Wiliam Fisher, Aime Johnson, Joel Marcus, Jacqueline Dove, Michele Perfect, Timothy Keith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to examine the potential role of hypnotizability as a moderator of effectiveness of a hypnosis intervention for reducing hot flashes in breast cancer survivors. Sixty women were randomized into either five weekly sessions of hypnosis or a wait list control condition. Nine of the participants dropped out of the study and 24 were randomized to the control condition. There were 27 participants who completed the hypnosis intervention and for whom hypnotizability was assessed. The frequency and severity of hot flashes were measured by daily diaries completed for one week at baseline and at the end of treatment. Hypnotizability was assessed by the Stanford Hypnotic Clinical Scale. Hot flash scores were reduced by 68% on average at the end of treatment. Sequential multiple regression was used to test whether hypnotizability moderated the effect of initial hot flash scores on post-test hot flash scores. The results suggest that the hypnosis intervention was more effective for participa nts who scored higher on measured hypnotizability. The moderating role of hypnotizability may be useful to consider in treatment of hot flashes with the hypnosis intervention. While this study was limited to breast cancer survivors it may clarify some of the complexity of the response to hypnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-195
Number of pages9
JournalContemporary Hypnosis and Integrative Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2011


  • Breast cancer
  • Hot flashes
  • Hypnosis
  • Hypnotizability
  • Moderator
  • Oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Clinical Psychology


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