Hypnosis is a state between wakefulness and sleep (Rajasekaran, Edmonds, & Higginson, 2005); a state of heightened focal concentration and receptivity; an altered state of consciousness that is a condition of focused attention resulting in suspension of peripheral cues. A hypnotic state results in alteration in perception and attention (Lew & Kravitz, 2011). Hypnosis has been tested for effect in alleviating pain, anxiety, depression, CINV, hot flashes, and fatigue in patients with cancer. Hypnosis has been delivered in various formats, including by means of individual in-person sessions and CD programs to induce hypnosis and train the client to use self-hypnosis.
Lew, M.W., & Kravits, K. (2011). Use of preoperative hypnosis to reduce postoperative pain and anesthesia-related side effects. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 59, 406–423. doi:10.1080/00207144.2011.594737
Rajasekaran, M., Edmonds, P.M., & Higginson, I.L. (2005). Systematic review of hypnotherapy for treating symptoms in terminally ill adult cancer patients. Palliative Medicine, 19, 418–426. doi:10.1191/0269216305pm1030oa
Effectiveness Not Established
Rajasekaran, M., Edmonds, P.M., & Higginson, I.L. (2005). Systematic review of hypnotherapy for treating symptoms in terminally ill adult cancer patients. Palliative Medicine, 19, 418–426.doi: 10.1191/0269216305pm1030oa
Databases searched were MEDLINE and Index Medicus, EMBASE, CINAHL, CancerLIT, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database (AHMED), PsycINFO, CISCOM, Cochrane Database, and Database of Abstracts and Reviews of Effects (DARE).
The search yielded 27 studies from 1974–2003, only one of which was a randomized controlled trial (RCT). Authors analyzed only the RCT.
Results of one RCT documented effectiveness of hypnotherapy in treating symptoms in terminally ill adult cancer patients.
The lack of well-designed studies to be analyzed calls for further research, involving effectively designed studies, to establish the effectiveness of hypnotherapy.