CHICAGO, Nov. 30 -- Hypnosis during a breast biopsy significantly reduced post-procedure pain and anxiety compared with standard care, investigators reported here.
Women who were randomized to the hypnosis intervention said they experienced less post-operative pain (P=0.0024), reported Elvira Lang, M.D., an associate professor of radiology at Harvard, at the Radiological Society of North America meeting.
Compared with baseline scores, women in the standard care arm had significantly higher anxiety scores (P<0.001) after the procedure, while those in the hypnosis arm had a significant decline in anxiety compared with baseline (P<0.001). There were no significant differences in anxiety scores for the women in an empathy arm.
Dr. Lang randomized 236 women to usual care, empathetic care-a friend or relative offering soothing words-or hypnosis. All women were recruited after referral for breast biopsy. Seventy-six women were randomized to usual care, 82 to the empathy arm, and 78 to the hypnosis arm. In the latter, a calm third party read a standard hypnosis script.