Skip navigation

The effectiveness of hypnosis for pain relief: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 85 controlled experimental trials

The effectiveness of hypnosis for pain relief: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 85 controlled experimental trials

Thompson, Trevor ORCID: 0000-0001-9880-782X, Terhune, Devin B. ORCID: 0000-0002-6792-4975, Oram, Charlotte, Sharangparni, Joseph, Rouf, Rommana, Solmi, Marco ORCID: 0000-0003-4877-7233, Veronese, Nicola ORCID: 0000-0002-9328-289X and Stubbs, Brendon (2019) The effectiveness of hypnosis for pain relief: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 85 controlled experimental trials. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 99. pp. 298-310. ISSN 0149-7634 (Print), 1873-7528 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.02.013)

[img] PDF (Author Accepted Manuscript)
23108 THOMPSON_The_Effectiveness_of_Hypnosis_for_Pain_Relief_2019.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Registered users only until 19 February 2020.

Download (2MB) | Request a copy

Abstract

The current meta-analysis aimed to quantify the effectiveness of hypnosis for reducing pain and identify factors that influence efficacy. Six major databases were systematically searched for trials comparing hypnotic inductions with no- intervention control conditions on pain ratings, threshold and tolerance using experimentally-evoked pain models in healthy participants. Eighty-five eligible studies (primarily crossover trials) were identified, consisting of 3632 participants (hypnosis n=2892, control n=2646). Random effects meta-analysis found analgesic effects of hypnosis for all pain outcomes (g=0.54-0.76, p’s<.001). Efficacy was strongly influenced by hypnotic suggestibility and use of direct analgesic suggestion. Specifically, optimal pain relief was obtained for hypnosis with direct analgesic suggestion administered to high and medium suggestibles, who respectively demonstrated 42% (p<.001) and 29% (p<.001) clinically meaningful reductions in pain. Minimal benefits were found for low suggestibles. These findings suggest that hypnotic intervention can deliver meaningful pain relief for most people and therefore may be an effective and safe alternative to pharmaceutical intervention. High quality clinical data is, however, needed to establish generalisability in chronic pain populations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: pain; hypnosis; analgesia; review; meta-analysis; suggestion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Applied Psychology Research Group
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 08 May 2019 12:23
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 2
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/23018

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics