Emeritus Professor of Cancer Rehabilitation at the University of Hull, UK , has given invited lectures on hypnosis in Europe, Africa and North America. Current research includes psychosocial aspects of Li Fraumeni syndrome; the effects on quality of life of vaccination with human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) peptides, and psychosocial aspects of cancer screening. Previous research has focused on the psychoneuroimmunology of breast, brain and colorectal cancers; relaxation, hypnotherapy and guided imagery to alleviate the side effects of various cancer treatments and the evaluation of different models of providing psychosocial care.
He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and a former Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, the Society of Biology and the Royal Society of Medicine. He has authored over 300 publications. In 2015, he was made an Honorary Life Member of the British Association for Clinical and Academic Hypnosis.
Hypnotherapy for cancer-related problems
Prof Walker first used hypnosis to help with cancer treatment side effects in 1981 and presented initial findings in 1985 at the First Annual Conference of the British Society of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis. He will give a personal perspective on the history of hypnotherapy for cancer-related problems and the current evidence base for effectiveness, illustrated with some DVD clips. The lecture will include a description and evaluation of the use of hypnotherapy to treat side-effects (nausea, vomiting, fatigue, negative body image and pain): to improve coping and to enhance quality of life during and after cancer treatments, and to prolong survival (including a discussion of possible psychoneuroimmunological mediators).
Paper : Relaxation therapy plus autohypnotherapy training (HYPREL) for patients with thoracic cancer undergoing radiotherapy: an RCT
Procedure-related anxiety, pain and other psychological factors may affect respiratory parameters in patients with thoracic cancer undergoing radiotherapy planning and treatment in a time-dependant manner, resulting in sub-optimal planning and radiotherapy. The aims of this study, therefore, were (a) to develop a hypnotherapeutic based intervention that would minimise respiratory changes associated with procedure-related anxiety during radiotherapy planning and radiotherapy; to test the acceptability and feasibility of the intervention, and (b) to carry out a preliminary evaluation of the effects of the intervention on respiration and quality of life during planning and radiotherapy. An RCT with 31 patients was carried out and there was some evidence the intervention reduced the amplitude of respiration during radiotherapy planning, thereby potentially minimising unnecessary radiotherapy-induced damage to tissue surrounding the tumour.
Workshop:Hypnotherapy for cancer-related problems
This workshop will include a description and evaluation of the use of hypnotherapy to treat side-effects (nausea, vomiting, fatigue, negative body image and pain); to improve coping and to enhance quality of life, during and after cancer treatments ; and to prolong survival (including a discussion of possible psychoneuroimmunological mediators), from a practical “how to do it” point of view. The workshop will include demonstrations, DVD clips and audience participation in hypnotherapeutic experiences.