Hypnosis and brain injury: where to find stuff

This post is a continually updated list of important communications on research following our paper in Brain entitled “Improving working memory performance in brain-injured patients using hypnotic suggestion.”

Scientific reports

All my/our articles have associated free data and analysis. I encourage everyone to scrutinize this, e.g., with alternative analyses, and let me know what you conclude. Please notice that a pre-print is the author’s manuscript before peer-review. So it may have weaknesses that will be corrected through peer-review. Sometimes, peer review also obscures it a bit, so there are pros and cons.

My blogs with further info

  • A list of published scientific literature on hypnosis and brain injury. Three papers support the positive effect of hypnosis on cognitive sequelae following acquired brain injury. Many more have been published on motor rehabilitation, aphasia, pain, dementia, etc.
  • An anti-hype blog post: Anticipates some potential overinterpretations by the general public (particularly journalists, therapists, and patients) and counter them.
  • Answers to frequently answered questions by patients, relatives and rehabilitation professions: English and Danish.

Press and public dissemination

  • Spot on Danish national television, including a case with a 19-year old man who had sustained a traumatic brain injury in a high-speed car crash two years before enrollment in the experiment. The spot is accompanied by two articles and a radio spot (also Danish). Our impression is that this case is in the top 30% on real-life improvement, i.e. not too unrepresentative.
  • Oxford University Blog: A summary for the general public. It includes a back-of-the-envelope estimation of how much you should update your belief based on this study alone.
  • This study has been featured in multiple Danish papers, but this contains no new information that isn’t contained in the above. See my press appearances here.

Can I get the manuscript / are new studies ongoing?

We plan to make the hypnosis scripts available to everybody eventually. On the other hand, we want to avoid putting it “out in the wild” if it somehow turns out to be a fluke. So for now, we pursue a strategy where we only make non-published details about the intervention and the hypnosis scripts available to institutions/companies who can and will evaluate the effectiveness of the scripts systematically.

If you’re such an institution, we’d be eager to set up a collaboration. For example, Tryg Foundation just funded an RCT at Jobkompagniet Silkeborg which will include 90 patients. The first results are expected to be published around January 2021 with an additional report in the summer of 2022. The design and outcome measures simultaneously satisfy research purposes and Jobkompagniet’s core mission.

We expect to stick to this institution-and-evaluation-only strategy for 2-4 years until enough evidence has accumulated that we feel confident about the clinical effectiveness of hypnosis following acquired brain injury. If you’re a private therapist, if you have suffered an acquired brain injury, or if you’re a relative, we will ask you to wait until we have this evidence. Also, see FAQ and answers in the previous section.