Hypnotic susceptibility in patients with conversion disorder

J Abnorm Psychol. 2002 May;111(2):390-5. doi: 10.1037//0021-843x.111.2.390.


Conversion disorder has been associated with hypnotic susceptibility for over a century and is currently still believed to be a form of autohypnosis. There is, however, little empirical evidence for the relation between hypnotic susceptibility and conversion symptoms. The authors compared 50 patients with conversion disorder with 50 matched control patients with an affective disorder on measures of hypnotic susceptibility, cognitive dissociation, and somatoform dissociation. Conversion patients were significantly more responsive to hypnotic suggestions than control patients. In addition, conversion patients showed a significant correlation between hypnotic susceptibility and the number of conversion complaints. These results provide the first evidence of a relationship between hypnotic susceptibility and the presence and number of conversion symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Conversion Disorder / diagnosis
  • Conversion Disorder / psychology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dissociative Disorders / diagnosis
  • Dissociative Disorders / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales