Hypnosis and progressive muscle relaxation for anxiolysis and pain control during extraction procedure in 8-12-year-old children: a randomized control trial

Eur Arch Paediatr Dent. 2021 Oct;22(5):823-832. doi: 10.1007/s40368-021-00619-0. Epub 2021 Mar 29.


Introduction: Hypnosis (H) and Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) have proven to be effective in a variety of medical settings; there is a paucity of their practical application in paediatric dentistry. The study aimed to comparatively evaluate the role of H and PMR on anxiety, heart rate (HR), oxygen saturation (SPO2), blood pressure (BP), pain, and analgesic requirement during extraction in children.

Materials and methods: Sixty children aged 8-12 years undergoing primary molar extractions were randomly allocated to three groups-H, PMR, and control (C). The anxiety (proposed Visual Facial Anxiety scale), HR, and SPO2 were measured pre/post-operatively with/without interventions (H, PMR, C) at 4 intervals. The BP and pain (Wong-Baker faces pain scale) were recorded pre- and post-operatively. Need for analgesic post-operatively was assessed.

Results: Statistically significant reduction in anxiety was noted post-extraction in H (0.30 ± 0.80), PMR (0.50 ± 0.69) (p < 0.001*). HR showed a statistically significant drop after H, PMR application. (p < 0.001*) No significant difference in SPO2 was noted in the three groups (p > 0.05). Pain control was well achieved using H (85%), PMR (70%); BP was well-regulated in the H, PMR compared to C group (p < 0.001*). Need for analgesics was reduced in H (45%), PMR (50%) versus C (100%). Both techniques H, PMR were comparable in all measures.

Conclusion: Hypnosis and PMR are effective techniques for anxiolysis and pain control in paediatric dental patients.

Keywords: Anxiety; Hypnosis; Oxygen saturation; Pain; Progressive muscle relaxation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / prevention & control
  • Autogenic Training*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis*
  • Pain
  • Pain Management* / methods
  • Pain Measurement
  • Tooth Extraction