Despite the continued debate and lack of a clear consensus about the true nature of the hypnotic phenomenon, hypnosis is increasingly being utilized successfully in many medical, health, and psychological spheres as a research method, motivational tool, and therapeutic modality. Significantly, however, although hypnotherapy is widely advertised, advocated, and employed in the private medical arena for the management and treatment of many physical and emotional disorders, too little appears to be being done to integrate hypnosis into primary care and national health medical services. This article discusses some of the reasons for the apparent reluctance of medical and scientific health professionals to consider incorporating hypnosis into their medical practice, including the practical problems inherent in using hypnosis in a medical context and some possible solutions.
The aim of this systematic review was to estimate the efficiency of hypnosis prior to medical procedures. Different databases were analyzed to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing hypnosis to control interventions. All RCTs had to report pain or anxiety. Eighteen RCTs with a total of 968 patients were included; study size was from 20 to 200 patients (14 RCTs ≤ 60 patients). Fourteen RCTs included 830 adults and 4 RCTs included 138 children. Twelve of 18 RCTs had major quality limitations related to unclear allocation concealments, provider’s experience in hypnosis, patient’s adherence to hypnotic procedures, and intention-to-treat design. This systematic review observed major methodological limitations in RCTs on hypnosis prior to medical procedures.