Hypnosis is known to be effective in the treatment of pediatric pain. To better understand which strategies might be most useful, more knowledge is needed regarding the strategies that are actually used by experienced clinicians and the factors that influence their use. To address this knowledge gap, 35 health care professionals completed an online survey on the use of hypnosis in the management of pediatric chronic pain. The findings indicate that clinicians vary their use of hypnotic strategies primarily as a function of a patient’s age but not as a function of theoretical orientation or amount of experience. The findings may be useful for guiding clinicians in their selection of strategies and suggestions when working with children with pain.
Recent research suggests that expectancies about being hypnotized have a determinant role in the hypnotic experience. The authors analyzed the relationship between expectancies and the phenomenology of hypnosis using the Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory and Hypnotic Assessment Procedure. Participants (115) were assigned either to the imagination (hypnosis labeled as imagination) or the hypnosis conditions. Results revealed only a minor influence of expectancies and none on the label “hypnosis” across all variables. These findings indicate that the methodology commonly used to study the influence of expectancies on hypnotic responsiveness and phenomenology might represent a flaw in favor of a causal relationship between expectancies and hypnotic experience.
Evidence supports the efficacy of hypnotic treatments, but there remain many unresolved questions regarding how hypnosis produces its beneficial effects. Most theoretical models focus more or less on biological, psychological, and social factors. This scoping review summarizes the empirical findings regarding the associations between specific factors in each of these domains and response to hypnosis. The findings indicate that (a) no single factor appears primary, (b) different factors may contribute more or less to outcomes in different subsets of individuals or for different conditions, and (c) comprehensive models of hypnosis that incorporate factors from all 3 domains may ultimately prove to be more useful than more restrictive models that focus on just 1 or a very few factors.