Hypnosis and pain in patients with severe burns: a pilot study

Burns Incl Therm Inj. 1988 Oct;14(5):399-404. doi: 10.1016/0305-4179(88)90011-3.


This report presents a pilot study on the effectiveness of hypnosis in the control of pain during dressing changes of burn patients. Eight patients were treated, and all evaluated the interventions as beneficial. The treatment of four patients was more closely analysed by obtaining pain and anxiety ratings daily. Results show a 50-64 per cent decrease in reported pain level for three patients and a 52 per cent increase of pain for one patient. The mean decrease for these four patients was 30 per cent (for overall as well as worst pain during dressing changes). A 30 per cent reduction of anxiety level and a modest reduction of medication use were achieved concurrently. It is concluded that hypnosis is of potential value during dressing changes of burn patients. Comparison of global evaluations and daily pain ratings shows that systematic research in some cases leads to conclusions opposite from clinical observations or follow-up evaluations. Limitations of this study are discussed and recommendations for future studies are given.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Bandages
  • Burns / complications*
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Pilot Projects