THE EFFICACY OF HYPNOSIS IN THE TREATMENT OF PRURITUS IN PEOPLE WITH HIV/AIDS: A TIME-SERIES ANALYSIS
 
Rucklidge, J., University of Canterbury, New Zealand and Saunders, D., University of Toronto, Canada
 
Pruritus or generalized itch is a source of serious discomfort and distress in a significant minority of people living with AIDS. Anecdotal reports suggest hypnosis might be a useful treatment, leading to reductions in distress and improvements in the condition. But empirical examination of the question is notably lacking. This time-series study reports results of a 6-session self-hypnosis treatment (relaxation, deepening, imagery, and home practice) for three HIV positive men suffering from pruritus, related to disease progression and/or HIV medications. At post-treatment, all three patients reported significant reductions in daily itch severity and extent of sleep disturbance due to itch. One patient also evidenced significantly less itch distress. Another also experienced significantly less time bothered by itch. For the two patients on which 4-month follow-up data was available, treatment benefit across variables was stable or further improved.