A meta-analysis of hypnotically induced analgesia: how effective is hypnosis?

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2000 Apr;48(2):138-53. doi: 10.1080/00207140008410045.


Over the past two decades, hypnoanalgesia has been widely studied; however, no systematic attempts have been made to determine the average size of hypnoanalgesic effects or establish the generalizability of these effects from the laboratory to the clinic. This study examines the effectiveness of hypnosis in pain management, compares studies that evaluated hypnotic pain reduction in healthy volunteers vs. those using patient samples, compares hypnoanalgesic effects and participants' hypnotic suggestibility, and determines the effectiveness of hypnotic suggestion for pain relief relative to other nonhypnotic psychological interventions. Meta-analysis of 18 studies revealed a moderate to large hypnoanalgesic effect, supporting the efficacy of hypnotic techniques for pain management. The results also indicated that hypnotic suggestion was equally effective in reducing both clinical and experimental pain. The overall results suggest broader application of hypnoanalgesic techniques with pain patients.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia*
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis / methods*
  • Pain Management
  • Treatment Outcome