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Hypnosis Lowers Pain During Medical Procedures, Systematic Review Shows

02 Feb

Researchers from Baylor University conducted a systematic review to see if hypnosis was an effective intervention for comfort management during painful medical procedures. 

Results from 29 RCTs (randomized, controlled, clinical trials) met the inclusion criteria and were evaluated for this review. 

The investigators found that hypnosis did reduce acute procedural pain, compared to standard care and attention control groups; and that it was found to be at least as effective as comparable adjunct psychological or behavioral therapies.

In addition, using hypnosis in multiple sessions before the day of the procedure produced the highest percentage of significant results.

Hypnosis was most effective with minor surgical procedures.

The researchers fairly note their risk of bias and suggest further studies using minimally effective control conditions and systematic control of the intervention dose and timing would strengthen these conclusions.

Citation: Kendrick C, Sliwinski J, Yu Y, Johnson A, Fisher W, Kekecs Z, Elkins G. Hypnosis for Acute Procedural Pain: A Critical Review. International Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. 2016; 64 (1):pages 75-115.

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Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award