Richardson, J., Smith, J.E., McCall, G., & Pilkington, K. (2006). Hypnosis for procedure-related pain and distress in pediatric cancer patients: A systematic review of effectiveness and methodology related to hypnosis interventions. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 31(1), 7084.doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2005.06.010
To evaluate the evidence, from controlled clinical trials, relating to the effectiveness of hypnosis for reducing procedure-related pain and distress in pediatric cancer patients
Using rating scales in the pediatric population is a useful and valid procedure. Some studies included observations of procedure-related behavior, and these observations showed that the intervention yielded some benefit, although the observer's criteria are unspecified. Some studies showed that the level of hypnotizability, as measured by the Stanford Hypnotic Clinical Scale for Children, was related to analgesic effect, but this finding was invalid. Studies that noted and stratified for the sex of the pediatric patient reported that the child's sex was related to level of distress. Self-hypnosis was not evaluated but has been shown to have an effect on management of symptoms.
Studies reported that using hypnosis as specified had positive effects, resulting in statistically significant reductions in pain and anxiety or distress.
Work remains to be done in this area. Researchers should focus on age, developmental stage, and the association between the sex of the child and the effectiveness of the intervention.