The Feasibility of Hypnotic Analgesia in Ameliorating Pain and Anxiety Among Adults Undergoing Needle Electromyography

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Abstract

Objective:

Our hypothesis was that hypnotic analgesia reduces pain and anxiety during electromyography (EMG).

Design:

We performed a prospective randomized, controlled clinical trial at outpatient electrodiagnostic clinics in teaching hospitals. Just before EMG, 26 subjects were randomized to one of three 20-min audio programs: education about EMG (EDU) (n = 8); hypnotic induction without analgesic suggestion (n = 10); or hypnotic induction with analgesic suggestion (n = 8). The blinded electromyographer provided a posthypnotic suggestion at the start of EMG. After EMG, subjects rated worst and average pain and anxiety using visual analog scales.

Results:

Mean values for the EDU, hypnotic induction without analgesic suggestion, and hypnotic induction with analgesic suggestion groups were not significantly different (mean ± SD): worst pain 67 ± 25, 42 ± 18, and 49 ± 30; average pain 35 ± 26, 27 ± 14, and 25 ± 22; and anxiety 44 ± 41, 42 ± 23, and 22 ± 24. When hypnosis groups were merged (n = 18) and compared with the EDU condition (n = 8), average and worst pain and anxiety were less for the hypnosis group than EDU, but this was statistically significant only for worst pain (hypnosis, 46 ± 24 vs. EDU, 67 ± 35; P = 0.049) with a 31% average reduction.

Conclusions:

A short hypnotic induction seems to reduce worst pain during electromyography.

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