The effects of hypnotherapy during transrectal ultrasound-guided prostate needle biopsy for pain and anxiety

Int Urol Nephrol. 2015 Nov;47(11):1773-7. doi: 10.1007/s11255-015-1111-0. Epub 2015 Sep 16.


Introduction: Several studies evaluating the tolerance of transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)-guided needle biopsies showed that moderate-to-severe pain was associated with the procedure. Additionally, prebiopsy anxiety or rebiopsy as a result of a prior biopsy procedure is mentioned as factors predisposing to higher pain intensity. Thus, in this study, we investigated the effects of hypnotherapy during transrectal ultrasound-guided prostate needle biopsy for pain and anxiety.

Materials and methods: Sixty-four patients presenting for TRUS-guided prostate needle biopsy were randomly assigned to receive either 10-min presurgery hypnosis session (n = 32, mean age 63.5 ± 6.1, p = 0.289) or a presurgery control session (n = 32, mean age 61.8 ± 6.8, p = 0.289). The hypnosis session involved suggestions for increased relaxation and decreased anxiety. Presurgery pain and anxiety were measured using visual analog scales (VAS), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAS), respectively. In our statistics, p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: Postintervention, and before surgery, patients in the hypnosis group had significantly lower mean values for presurgery VAS [mean 1 (0-8); p = 0.011], BAI (6.0 vs 2.0; p < 0.001), and HAS (11.0 vs 6.0; p < 0.001).

Conclusion: The study results indicate that a brief presurgery hypnosis intervention can be an effective means of controlling presurgical anxiety, and therefore pain, in patients awaiting diagnostic prostate cancer surgery.

Keywords: Anxiety; Hypnotherapy; Pain; Prostate needle biopsy.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration / adverse effects*
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration / psychology
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Preoperative Care
  • Prostate / pathology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales