"We hope that physicians will consider our findings, along with those of other researchers, in the future when they are planning protocols for administering difficult medical procedures," lead investigator Dr. Lisa D. Butler from Stanford University School of Medicine told Reuters Health.
Dr. Butler and colleagues compared the effects of hypnosis and routine care on the distress and procedure time in 44 children undergoing a follow-up VCUG. Twenty-one patients were assigned to hypnosis and 23 to routine care. Nineteen of the children in the routine care group participated in a recreation therapy program provided by the hospital.
Parents of the children who underwent hypnosis viewed the distress of VCUG to be significantly less than that of previous VCUG procedures, the authors report, but the children's reports of overall distress did not differ significantly between the hypnosis and routine care groups.
Medical staff also rated the distress levels during the procedure as lower for children in the hypnosis group than for children who received routine care, the report indicates.
Physical restraint was required much less often in the hypnosis group (5%) than in the routine care group (22%), the researchers note, and medical staff reported a significantly easier time with the procedure in the hypnosis group.
The procedure time was nearly 30% shorter in the hypnosis group (35.30 minutes) than in the routine care group (49.22 minutes), the results indicate.
"Hypnosis can provide an effective noninvasive (and nonsedating) method for reducing distress and resistance associated with VCUG procedures (and perhaps other painful or anxiety-provoking medical procedures) for children, as well as decreasing staff time and strain in administering such procedures," Dr. Butler said.
"Although we have not yet examined this question empirically, it is also worth emphasizing that reducing child distress during a VCUG procedure not only makes that particular experience less aversive for the child, parents, and others who are present, but may also improve patient and family compliance with future evaluations and procedures," Dr. Butler added.
By Will Boggs, MD
Last Updated: 2005-01-04 11:54:01 -0400 (Reuters Health)
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