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Hypnosis Doesn't Cut Post-Op Pain in Breast Cancer Surgery

TUESDAY, Aug. 21, 2018 -- Hypnosis before general anesthesia does not reduce postoperative breast pain among patients undergoing minor breast cancer surgery, according to a study published online Aug. 17 in JAMA Network Open.

Jibba Amraoui, M.D., from the University of Montpellier in France, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial involving 150 women scheduled for minor breast cancer surgery. Participants were randomly allocated to control and hypnosis arms; 148 were included in the intent-to-treat analysis.

The researchers found that the mean breast pain score (range, 0 to 10) was 1.75 and 2.63 in the control and hypnosis arms, respectively. No statistically significant difference in breast pain was reported at post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) discharge and with longer follow-up. On the evening of surgery, fatigue was significantly lower in the hypnosis arm (mean score, 3.81 in the control arm versus 2.99 in the hypnosis arm). The median PACU length of stay was 60 and 46 minutes, respectively, in the control and hypnosis arms. In exploratory analyses according to patient perception of whether they received hypnosis, significantly lower fatigue scores were recorded on the evening of surgery in the perceived hypnosis subgroup than in the no perceived hypnosis subgroup (mean, 2.97 versus 4.13). Anxiety on the evening of surgery was also significantly lower in the perceived hypnosis subgroup than in the no perceived hypnosis subgroup (mean, 0.75 versus 1.67).

"Other outcomes seem to be improved, which needs to be confirmed by further studies," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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Posted: August 2018


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