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Article
July 1987

Effects of Relaxation Therapy and Hypnotizability in Chronic Urticaria

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychology, Graduate School (Dr Shertzer), and the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine (Dr Lookingbill), The Pennsylvania State University, Hershey.

Arch Dermatol. 1987;123(7):913-916. doi:10.1001/archderm.1987.01660310081019
Abstract

• The therapeutic results of hypnosis with relaxation therapy were evaluated in 15 patients with chronic urticaria of 7.8 years' average duration. Compared with baseline and control session values, the hypnosis session provided relief of pruritus as measured by three self-report parameters. There was no change in the number of hives. All subjects were given a standard test for hypnotizability. Assuming that the results were not biased by their preceding relaxation sessions, we determined that six subjects were hypnotizable and nine were nonhypnotizable. Subjects in both groups improved symptomatically, but hypnotizable subjects had fewer hives and became more symptomatic during the control (testing and history taking) session. Hypnotizable subjects also more frequently related stress as a causative factor. At a follow-up examination five to 14 months after the completion of the experimental sessions, six patients were free of hives and an additional seven reported improvement.

(Arch Dermatol 1987;123:913-916)

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