Snow, A., Dorfman, D., Warbet, R., Cammarata, M., Eisenman, S., Zilberfein, F., . . . Navada, S. (2012). A randomized trial of hypnosis for relief of pain and anxiety in adult cancer patients undergoing bone marrow procedures. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 30, 281–293.doi: 10.1080/07347332.2012.664261
To determine whether hypnosis, administered before and during a bone marrow procedure, can ameliorate pain and anxiety
Patients were randomized to a group that received standard care or a group that received standard care plus hypnosis just prior to the procedure. Patients learned of their group assignment just before the procedure. In the hypnosis arm, after the local anesthetic was administered, the oncology nurse and physician left the room. A specially trained oncology social worker performed the hypnosis. After 15 minutes, the oncology nurse and physician returned to start the procedure. The social worker continued to deliver the scripted hypnosis until the procedure was completed. In the standard-care arm, the oncology social worker was not present during the procedure. Study outcome measures were obtained immediately before and after the procedure.
Randomized controlled trial
The pain scores were slightly lower for the hypnosis group; however, the difference was not statistically significant (t(78) = 0.916, ns). The reduction in anxiety was substantially greater in the hypnosis group than in the standard-care group, with nonparametric tests showing that the difference was statistically significant (median test, p = 0.026).
Pre-procedure hypnosis was effective in reducing procedure-related anxiety.
Hypnosis may be an effective intervention to reduce procedure-related anxiety. Although not demonstrated in this study, hypnosis has been shown to be effective in reducing procedure-related acute pain. Nurses can advocate for use of hypnosis to benefit appropriate patients. Provision of this intervention requires an appropriately trained and educated provider.