Hypnosis Reduces Preoperative Anxiety in Adult Patients

This 2005 randomized study by Yale University School of Medicine examined the effect of hypnosis on preoperative anxiety. They compared the effects of hypnosis to that of attentive listening and support, and to that of a “standard of care control group”. Anxiety was measured pre- and post-intervention as well as on entrance to the operating rooms.

We all know, and it has been confirmed in many studies, that anxiety and distress is a common occurrence in many adult patients who are undergoing anesthesia and surgery. This study conducted on more than 75 patient had for aim to evaluate the efficacy of hypnosis as a treatment modality for management of preoperative anxiety. Subjects were between the ages of 18 and 65 years. None of them had used hypnosis in the past nor were they taking any antidepressant medications.

The trance induction method used was pure ericksonian and instructed the subjects to focus their attention on an object or memory followed by some direct suggestions. The hypnotic intervention lasted 30 min.

Anxiety reliefFor the attention-control group, the researchers used a protocol initially published in the Lancet (Lang EV, Benotsch EG, Fick LJ, et al). The control group received the “standard of care” and were allowed to read, watch television, converse with their family, or undertake any other activity of their choice.

Compared with baseline anxiety, on entrance to the operating rooms the hypnosis group reported a decrease of 56% in anxiety level whereas the attention-control group reported an increase of 10% in anxiety and the control group reported an increase of 47% in anxiety. Therefore this study found that hypnosis dramatically reduces the anxiety of patients undergoing surgery.

Hypnosis Reduces Preoperative Anxiety in Adult Patients
Anesthesia & Analgesia: May 2006 – Volume 102 – Issue 5 – p 1394-1396
doi: 10.1213/01.ane.0000204355.36015.54
Saadat H, Drummond-Lewis J, Maranets I, Kaplan D, Saadat A, Wang SM, Kain ZN.

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