Hypnosis in Patients with Perceived Stress – a systematic review

This paper is a systematic review of randomised clinical trials (RCTs) investigating the effect of hypnosis on perceived stress and coping. Nine randomised trials predating 2016 were selected for review. 365 participants met the inclusion criteria. Most patients (211) were female medical students aged between 20-25. In three studies, mean ages were between 30-42 years. Perceived stress was measured by a range of questionnaires and immunological data was also collected. All nine studies showed signs of high risk of bias. Six out of nine reported reduction in stress due to hypnosis. Immunological results were inconclusive.

In summary the reviewers state the lack of evidence is a result of lack of good studies. The current studies reviewed had poor designs, small sample sizes and incomplete reporting. Nevertheless, the positive results reported in 6 studies suggest further more detailed studies are warranted.

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