Brief presurgery hypnosis reduces distress and pain in excisional breast biopsy patients

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2002 Jan;50(1):17-32. doi: 10.1080/00207140208410088.


Each year, hundreds of thousands of women undergo excisional breast biopsies for definitive diagnosis. Not only do these patients experience pain associated with the procedure, but they also endure distress associated with the threat of cancer. Hypnosis has been demonstrated as effective for controlling patients' pain in other surgical settings, but breast surgery patients have received little attention. To determine the impact of brief presurgical hypnosis on these patients' postsurgery pain and distress and to explore possible mediating mechanisms of these effects, 20 excisional breast biopsy patients were randomly assigned to a hypnosis or control group (standard care). Hypnosis reduced postsurgery pain and distress. Initial evidence suggested that the effects of hypnosis were mediated by presurgery expectations.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arousal*
  • Biopsy / psychology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis, Anesthetic*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / psychology*
  • Suggestion
  • Treatment Outcome