Randomized trial of hypnosis as a pain and symptom management strategy in adults with sickle cell disease

Integr Med Insights. 2014 Nov 3:9:25-33. doi: 10.4137/IMI.S18355. eCollection 2014.


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most common genetic disease in African-Americans, characterized by recurrent painful vaso-occlusive crises. Medical therapies for controlling or preventing crises are limited because of efficacy and/or toxicity. This is a randomized, controlled, single-crossover protocol of hypnosis for managing pain in SCD patients. Participants receive hypnosis from a trained hypnosis therapist followed by six weeks of self-hypnosis using digital media. Those in the control arm receive SCD education followed by a six-week waiting period before crossing over to the hypnosis arm of the study. Outcome measures include assessments of pain (frequency, intensity and quality), anxiety, coping strategies, sleep, depression, and health care utilization. To date, there are no published randomized, controlled trials evaluating the efficacy of hypnosis on SCD pain modulation in adults. Self-hypnosis for pain management may be helpful in modulating chronic pain, improving sleep quality, and decreasing use of narcotics in patients with SCD.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00393250.

Keywords: chronic pain; hypnosis; pain management; sickle cell disease; sleep; symptom management.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00393250