Liossi, C., White, P., & Hatira, P. (2009). A randomized clinical trial of a brief hypnosis intervention to control venepuncture-related pain of paediatric cancer patients. Pain, 142(3), 255–263.doi:10.1016/j.pain.2009.01.017
To compare the efficacy of EMLA cream to EMLA plus hypnosis in the relief of venipuncture-induced pain and anxiety; to determine whether the intervention has a beneficial effect on parents’ anxiety levels during their child’s venipuncture
Patients arriving at the unit had 2.5 g EMLA cream 5% applied over a prominent vein. Those who agreed to the study were randomized to one of three groups: EMLA alone, EMLA plus hypnosis, or EMLA plus attention. Hypnosis included a 15-minute session with a therapist in a private room. The therapist provided analgesic suggestions and led the patient in relaxation. The attention group received a 15-minute session with the therapist and engaged in conversation unrelated to the procedure. Investigators collected measures of pain and anxiety immediately after the intervention and during two follow-up venipunctures. EMLA was removed after 60 minutes.
Randomized blinded, controlled trial
The study showed that hypnosis, used in conjunction with the local anesthetic EMLA, helped to decrease procedure-related pain anxiety, and distress in pediatric cancer patients. In addition, the intervention helped to decrease parental anxiety.
Oncology nurses in the pediatric setting may want to advocate for the use of hypnosis, along with local anesthetic, to decrease the pain and anxiety of venipuncture.