Background: This report describes the utility of hypnosis for patients who presented to a Pediatric Pulmonary Center over a 30 month period.
Methods: Hypnotherapy was offered to 303 patients from May 1, 1998 - October 31, 2000. Patients offered hypnotherapy included those thought to have pulmonary symptoms due to psychological issues, discomfort due to medications, or fear of procedures. Improvement in symptoms following hypnosis was observed by the pulmonologist for most patients with habit cough and conversion reaction. Improvement of other conditions for which hypnosis was used was gauged based on patients' subjective evaluations.
Results: Hypnotherapy was associated with improvement in 80% of patients with persistent asthma, chest pain/pressure, habit cough, hyperventilation, shortness of breath, sighing, and vocal cord dysfunction. When improvement was reported, in some cases symptoms resolved immediately after hypnotherapy was first employed. For the others improvement was achieved after hypnosis was used for a few weeks. No patients' symptoms worsened and no new symptoms emerged following hypnotherapy.
Conclusions: Patients described in this report were unlikely to have achieved rapid improvement in their symptoms without the use of hypnotherapy. Therefore, hypnotherapy can be an important complementary therapy for patients in a pediatric practice.