Tim Brunson DCH

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A hypnotherapy intervention for the treatment of anxiety in patients with cancer...



Full title: A hypnotherapy intervention for the treatment of anxiety in patients with cancer receiving palliative care.

This pilot study aimed to assess the benefits of hypnotherapy in the management of anxiety and other symptoms, including depression and sleep disturbance, in palliative care patients with cancer. Eleven hospice patients received four sessions of hypnotherapy and completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System, and the Verran and Snyder-Halpern Scale at set time points. Wrist actigraphy also provided an objective assessment of sleep quality. After the second hypnotherapy session there was a statistically significant reduction in mean anxiety and symptom severity, but not in depression or sleep disturbance. After the fourth session there was a statistically significant reduction in all four patient-reported measures but not in actigraphy. These results offer evidence that hypnotherapy can reduce anxiety in palliative care patients, as well as improving sleep and the severity of psychological and physical symptoms. Further studies are needed to explore whether the observed benefits were a direct result of the hypnotherapy and how the intervention could most benefit this patient population.

Int J Palliat Nurs. 2012 Feb;18(2):69-75. Plaskota M, Lucas C, Evans R, Cook K, Pizzoferro K, Saini T. Princess Alice Hospice, Esher, Surrey, UK. marekplaskota@pah.org.uk

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