Randomized Clinical Trial of Local Anesthetic Versus a Combination of Local Anesthetic With Self-Hypnosis in the Management of Pediatric Procedure-Related Pain

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Abstract

A prospective controlled trial was conducted to compare the efficacy of an analgesic cream (eutectic mixture of local anesthetics, or EMLA) with a combination of EMLA with hypnosis in the relief of lumbar puncture-induced pain and anxiety in 45 pediatric cancer patients (age 6–16 years). The study also explored whether young patients can be taught and can use hypnosis independently as well as whether the therapeutic benefit depends on hypnotizability. Patients were randomized to 1 of 3 groups: local anesthetic, local anesthetic plus hypnosis, and local anesthetic plus attention. Results confirmed that patients in the local anesthetic plus hypnosis group reported less anticipatory anxiety and less procedure-related pain and anxiety and that they were rated as demonstrating less behavioral distress during the procedure. The level of hypnotizability was significantly associated with the magnitude of treatment benefit, and this benefit was maintained when patients used hypnosis independently.

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