Anxiety is common among breast cancer survivors. This analysis examined the effect of a hypnotic relaxation therapy, developed to reduce hot flashes, on anxiety levels of female breast cancer survivors. Anxiety was assessed using a numeric analog scale and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Anxiety subscale. Significant reductions in anxiety were found from pre- to postintervention for each weekly session and were predictive of overall reductions in anxiety from baseline to after the last intervention. In this analysis, hypnotizability did not significantly predict for anxiety reductions measured before and after each session or from baseline to exit. These data provide initial support for the use of hypnotic relaxation therapy to reduce anxiety among breast cancer survivors.
Measuring hypnotizability is an integral part of hypnosis research and also relevant for predicting the effectiveness of hypnosis-based therapies. The Elkins Hypnotizability Scale (EHS) was designed to meet the needs of modern hypnosis research and clinical practice. Reliability, validity, and normative data were explored by subjecting 230 participants to the EHS and Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale: Form C (SHSS:C). The EHS demonstrated adequate internal consistency (α = .78), its items showed good discriminating ability, and scores of the two scales were highly correlated (rho = .86). Results indicate that the EHS is a reliable and valid tool to assess hypnotizability. Further research is needed to establish its role as a surrogate for the SHSS:C.
Sexual dysfunction is a common problem for postmenopausal women. This study, as part of a larger randomized controlled trial, examined the effect of hypnotic relaxation therapy on sexual dysfunction, a secondary study outcome, in postmenopausal women. Sexual function was assessed using the Sexual Activity Questionnaire (SAQ). Significant improvement in sexual pleasure and discomfort were reported following 5 weekly sessions of hypnotic relaxation therapy, compared with those receiving an attention control. Total SAQ scores showed significant improvement in the hypnotic relaxation therapy treatment group while holding baseline SAQ scores constant. Improvements showed a slight increase at the Week 12 follow-up. The results of this analysis provide initial support for the use of hypnotic relaxation therapy to improve sexual function in postmenopausal women.
Clinical evidence for the effectiveness of hypnosis in the treatment of acute procedural pain was critically evaluated based on reports from randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs). Results from the 29 RCTs meeting inclusion criteria suggest that hypnosis decreases pain compared to standard care and attention control groups and that it is at least as effective as comparable adjunct psychological or behavioral therapies. In addition, applying hypnosis in multiple sessions prior to the day of the procedure produced the highest percentage of significant results. Hypnosis was most effective in minor surgical procedures. However, interpretations are limited by considerable risk of bias. Further studies using minimally effective control conditions and systematic control of intervention dose and timing are required to strengthen conclusions.