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Hypnosis Reduces Preoperative Anxiety in Adult Patients

Saadat, Haleh MD; Drummond-Lewis, Jacqueline MD; Maranets, Inna MD; Kaplan, Deborah; Saadat, Anusha; Wang, Shu-Ming MD; Kain, Zeev N. MD

doi: 10.1213/01.ane.0000204355.36015.54
Ambulatory Anesthesia: Research Report
Chinese Language Editions

In this study we examined the effect of hypnosis on preoperative anxiety. Subjects were randomized into 3 groups, a hypnosis group (n = 26) who received suggestions of well-being; an attention-control group (n = 26) who received attentive listening and support without any specific hypnotic suggestions and a “standard of care” control group (n = 24). Anxiety was measured pre- and postintervention as well as on entrance to the operating rooms. We found that patients in the hypnosis group were significantly less anxious postintervention as compared with patients in the attention-control group and the control group (31 ± 8 versus 37 ± 9 versus 41 ± 11, analysis of variance, P = 0.008). Moreover, on entrance to the operating rooms, the hypnosis group reported a significant decrease of 56% in their anxiety level whereas the attention-control group reported an increase of 10% in anxiety and the control group reported an increase of 47% in their anxiety (P = 0.001). In conclusion, we found that hypnosis significantly alleviates preoperative anxiety. Future studies are indicated to examine the effects of preoperative hypnosis on postoperative outcomes.

IMPLICATIONS: Hypnosis given before surgery will significantly reduce the anxiety and fear of adult patients.

Center for the Advancement of Perioperative Health, Departments of Anesthesiology, Pediatrics, and Child Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut

Bennet HL, Benson DR, Kuiken DA. Postoperative instructions for decreased bleeding during spine surgery [abstract]. Anesthesiology 1986; 65:A245.

Accepted for publication December 21, 2005.

Dr. Kain is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NICHD, R01HD37007-02), Bethesda, MD.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Haleh Saadat, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06510. Address e-mail to

© 2006 International Anethesia Research Society