Objective Gut-directed hypnotherapy (GDH) is an evidence-based treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Adoption of remote GDH has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We aimed to evaluate patient experience and satisfaction following remote GDH. Design On completing 12 sessions of remote GDH via Skype using the Manchester protocol, patients with refractory IBS completed a feedback form on their experience. The proportion reporting positive outcomes (≥30% improvement in global IBS symptoms or abdominal pain, satisfaction, recommendation to family/friends) were compared by patient factors (age, gender, proximity, preferences). Results Of 52 patients completing the feedback form, 27 (52%) indicated that they would have opted for remote over face-to-face GDH, regardless of the pandemic situation. On a five-point scale (5=easy), patients rated the platform easy-to-use (mean 4.5±0.8) without impairment of communication (mean rating 4.6±0.8). Following remote GDH, 30/52 (58%) reported ≥30% global IBS symptom improvement, and 24/52 (46%) reported ≥30% pain reduction. 90% would recommend remote GDH to others. Only 39% felt they would have benefitted more from face to face. Those who would have chosen remote GDH regardless of the pandemic were more likely to be satisfied (p=0.01). Age, gender and proximity did not influence outcomes, satisfaction and likelihood of recommending remote GDH to others. Difficulties during remote sessions were infrequent in both those that were satisfied, and those that would have preferred face to face. Conclusion These data support the need to continue developing remote GDH in the post-COVID era but suggest that there is still a role for face-to-face GDH, with patient choice being an important factor.
- Abdominal Pain
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome/therapy
- Patient Satisfaction
- Quality of Life