This two-center quasiexperimental pilot study was to determine the effect of conversational hypnosis on patient comfort and parasympathetic tone, which may represent a quantitative measure of hypnotic depth, during regional anesthesia. The patients received conversational hypnosis in one center and oral premedication in the other. The patients’ subjective comfort (0-10 rating scale) and objective parasympathetic tone, as assessed by the Analgesia/Nociception Index (ANI), were measured before and after regional anesthesia. The parasympathetic tone and comfort scores evidenced a significantly greater increase in the hypnosis patients than in controls. These findings suggest that using conversational hypnosis during regional anesthesia may be followed by a subjective increase in patient comfort and an objective increase in parasympathetic tone, monitored by ANI.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a hypnotically based intervention for pain and fear in women undergoing labor who are about to receive an epidural catheter. A group of 155 women received interventions that included either (1) patient rocking, gentle touching, and hypnotic communication or (2) patient rocking, gentle touching, and standard communication. The authors found that the hypnotic communication intervention was more effective than the standard communication intervention for reducing both pain intensity and fear. The results support the use of hypnotic communication just before and during epidural placement for women who are in labor and also indicate that additional research to evaluate the benefits and mechanism of this treatment is warranted.