Impact of Hypnosis Intervention on the Emotional Dimension of Dyspnea in Patients With COPD.

  • End date
    Jan 21, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    5 Santé
Updated on 21 March 2022
rehabilitation therapy
pulmonary rehabilitation


The purpose of the clinical study is to compare the effect of hypnosis intervention on the emotional dimension of the dyspnea during a pulmonary rehabilitation program to the pulmonary rehabilitation program alone. This study will determine if the hypnosis intervention will lead to better maintenance of benefits obtained than the original described method.


While physical activity level is the best predictor of life expectancy for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the majority of patients have physical activity levels well below guidelines. One of the main barriers to regular activity is anxiety related to dyspnea. Defined as a subjective experience of discomfort during breathing, dyspnea is described as a multidimensional phenomenon integrating both the impact dimension (daily disability), the sensory dimension (intensity of dyspnea) and the emotional dimension (unpleasant and anxiety-aspects). The most effective treatment to reduce dyspnea is pulmonary rehabilitation. An overall improvement in dyspnea, and more specifically in its emotional dimension, has been achieved by reducing dyspnea anxiety. By reducing one of the major barriers to regular physical activity, the level of post-rehabilitation physical activity should also be improved. However, paradoxically, many studies have reported that there has been no change in the level of physical activity of patients in post-rehabilitation. A possible hypothesis to explain this decoupling between the improvement of the emotional dimension of dyspnea and the absence of behavioral modification, lies in the disappearance of the effects once at home. Indeed, during a pulmonary rehabilitation stay, patients practice under health professionals' supervision and advices with regular feedback on their abilities. When patients return home left on their own again, dyspnea anxiety is likely to reappear and motivation may not be enough.

Several techniques have been proposed to complement traditional interventions in order to strengthen rehabilitation effects. Unfortunately, these are not effective. The use of hypnosis as a complement to rehabilitation programs is a promising perspective to maintain the benefits on the emotional dimension of dyspnea after a rehabilitation program. Its benefits have already been demonstrated in the reduction of acute and chronic pains, in a long-term effectiveness using self-hypnosis techniques. These ensure the continuity of remote management of the intervention. Given the analogy between pain and dyspnea, hypnosis could therefore constitute a therapeutic solution as a complement to rehabilitation to durably reduce dyspnea anxiety in patients with COPD, and promote a better behavior at middle and long term.

The investigators hypothesize that hypnosis used in addition to a 4-week pulmonary rehabilitation program will maintain the benefits on the emotional dimension of dyspnea at 6 months in the experimental group compared to a control group.

The main objective is to evaluate the impact of a hypnosis intervention during a pulmonary rehabilitation program on the emotional dimension of dyspnea 6 months after patients return home (T2).

Condition Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Treatment Hypnosis intervention focused on the emotional dimension of the dyspnea
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04010825
Sponsor5 Santé
Last Modified on21 March 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Admitted for a 4-week inpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program
COPD diagnosis with a value of the first second of forced expiration (FEV1) < 80% of theoretical values
and 75 years old
Reading and writing skills

Exclusion Criteria

Inability to answer a questionnaire
Patient with psychosis or psychiatric disorders with delusions (or delusions history)
Pregnant women
Protected adults
Participation in another study, with the exception of observational studies
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