Hypnosis Case Study Anxiety

“Isham (1962) found hypnorelaxation and psychotherapy equally effective in the relief of anxiety, and in his opinion, both were superior to drug therapy.”
Clinical Hypnosis: Principles and Applications
, by Harold Crasilneck, Ph.D and James Hall, M.D.

Anesth Analg. 2006 May;102(5):1394-6.

Hypnosis reduces preoperative anxiety in adult patients

Center for the Advancement of Perioperative Health, Department of Anesthesiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA. zeev.kain@yale.edu

In this study we examined the effect of hypnosis on preoperative anxiety. Subjects were randomized into 3 groups, a hypnosis group who received suggestions of well-being; an attention-control group who received attentive listening and support without any specific hypnotic suggestions and a “standard of care” control group. Anxiety was measured pre- and postintervention as well as on entrance to the operating rooms. We found that patients in the hypnosis group were significantly less anxious postintervention as compared with patients in the attention-control group and the control group. Moreover, on entrance to the operating rooms, the hypnosis group reported a significant decrease of 56% in their anxiety level whereas the attention-control group reported an increase of 10% in anxiety and the control group reported an increase of 47% in their anxiety. In conclusion, we found that hypnosis significantly alleviates preoperative anxiety. Future studies are indicated to examine the effects of preoperative hypnosis on postoperative outcomes.


J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino). 1997 Feb;38(1):69-75.

Self-hypnosis reduces anxiety following coronary artery bypass surgery. A prospective, randomized trial

Department of Surgery, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

The role of complementary medicine techniques has generated increasing interest in today’s society. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the effects of one technique, self-hypnosis, and its role in coronary artery bypass surgery. We hypotesize that self-hypnosis relaxation techniques will have a positive effect on the patient’s mental and physical condition following coronary artery bypass surgery.

All patients undergoing first-time elective coronary artery bypass surgery were eligible. A total of 32 patients were randomized into two groups.

The study group was taught self-hypnosis relaxation techniques preoperatively, with no therapy in the control group.

Outcome variables studied included anesthetic requirements, operative parameters, postoperative pain medication requirements, quality of life, hospital stay, major morbidity and mortality.

Patients who were taught self-hypnosis relaxation techniques were significantly more relaxed postoperatively compared to the control group (p=0.032). Pain medication requirements were also significantly less in patients practising the self-hypnosis relaxation techniques that those who were noncompliant (p=0.046). No differences were noted in intraoperative parameters, morbidity or mortality.

This study demonstrates the beneficial effects self-hypnosis relaxation techniques on patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery. It also provides a framework to study complementary techniques and the limitations encountered.