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The effects of hypnosis/guided imagery on the postoperative course of children.

15 Aug

Here is a study that got past us when it first came out, from our own University Hospitals, Rainbow Babies and Children''s Hospital, and CWRU’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing:

S. A. Lambert’s study examines the effect of hypnosis/guided imagery on the postoperative course of pediatric surgical patients. Fifty-two children (matched for sex, age, and diagnosis) were randomly assigned to an experimental or control group. The experimental group was taught guided imagery by the investigator. The imagery technique included suggestions for a favorable postoperative course. The controls were given standard care.

The study found significantly lower postoperative pain ratings and shorter hospital stays occurring for children in the experimental group. State anxiety was decreased for the guided imagery group while it increased postoperatively for the control group.

The study concludes that imagery has a beneficial effect on the post-op course of pediatric surgical patients. Further studies with placebo controls are hoped for.

Citation: Lambert SA. The effects of hypnosis/guided imagery on the postoperative course of children. Journal of Development & Behavior in Pediatrics, 1996 Oct;17(5): pp.307-10.
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