Anxiety Reduction in Preoperative Adults

This study investigates the potential effectiveness of hypnotherapy in the reduction of preoperative anxiety. Seventy eight participants were randomly assigned into one of three treatment groups. The first group received standard hospital care. The second group received attention-control therapy consisting of listening and support without hypnotherapy. The third group received hypnotherapy treatment which included suggestions for well-being. Pre and post intervention anxiety was measured. A third anxiety measurement taken after entrance into the operating theatre, immediately prior to surgery.

Patients in the hypnosis group showerd significantly reduced levels of anxiety post-intervention compared to the other two control groups. The most dramatic differenced were seen between the three groups immediately prior to surgery. The hypnosis group recorded a 56% reduction in anxiety compared with baseline anxiety. The attention-control group showed a 10% increase in anxiety and the standard treatment control group showed 47% increase in anxiety. This study strongly supports the use of hypnosis in the prevention of preoperative anxiety.

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Hypnotherapy & Panic Attacks

Rational self-directed hypnotherapy treatment was used for a single-subject who suffered from panic attacks. Experienced symptoms ranged from acute fear and upset stomach, to loss of weight, appetite, and fear of going to work. Guided imagery through hypnosis was used to relive incidents where self-defeating behaviours and attitudes were present. The subject rehearsed these incidents and applied a revised response, resulting in greater sense of control, extinction of symptoms and cease of panic attacks.

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Patients can often become stressed or anxious prior to skin surgery. This stress can create procedural issues such as postponement or cancellation or surgery.  Other issues include fainting, abnormal changes in blood flow and severe emotional disturbance.

This paper investigates a number of different strategies for reducing preoperative anxiety. These include slower breathing, biofeedback, progressive muscular relaxation, guided imagery, hypnosis, meditation and music. The advantages of hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis recordings over other strategies are discussed.

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