Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Recent Study on Smoking Cessation

While cleaning out my email inbox, I have just come across an article that is a perfect resource for anyone doing anything with the Great American Smokeout. It was from a few weeks ago in The Daily News in Newburyport, MA and was written by Julie Kirkwood. It was about a small study by hypnotherapist Karen Pischke (actually a registered nurse) and the doctors at Salem Hospital. The study was designed for smokers who were hospitalized for smoking-related heart or lung problems. They gave the patients a choice of various tools to help them stop smoking, including hypnotherapy. According to their study, each participant that had just one hypnotherapy session had a 50 percent chance of quiting and remaining smoke-free for six months. This compared to the 16 percent of those who used the nicotine replacement patch. For those participants that combined hypnotherapy and the patch, it had the same rate as hypnotherapy alone.

This hospital chose to do their own study because they did not agree with the past studies on hypnotherapy and smoking. Based on the studies published in the Cochrane Library in 1998, the reviews found so many inconsistencies in the results, no conclusions were made. Apparently most of the studies had no controls and it was difficult to tell what sort of hypnotherapy was used.

So this particular study did have a control group comprised of patients who chose to quit cold turkey. Also, they factored in Pishke as a hypnotist and thought that maybe her skills and method may have played an important role in the success factor, even though they tried to standardize her method. Perhaps we need to do a study on methods and hypnotist personality types? They also thought that because the patients were allowed to self-select their quiting method, this could have biased the outcome. Interestingly, more women chose to use hypnosis, where as men choose to quit cold turkey. And then there is the fact that all the participants were motive to quit since they had all just suffered a frightening health events related to their smoking habits. For those who were not interested in quiting, they were not invited to participate and for those who did participate and chose to use hypnosis or nicotine replacement, they had extensive counseling.

Their finding? One needs motivation to quit.

If you want to kick the habit, a local study is finding a hypnotist may be your best bet

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