Treatment of Anxiety and Pain in Childhood Cancer Through Hypnosis
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Data from consecutive referrals of 34 patients ranging in age from 4 to 19 years are summarized. Sixteen patients were referred for pain and anxiety in bone marrow aspirations and lumbar punctures, five patients for reduction of pain in short procedures such as intravenous injections and changing bandages, three for relief of continuous pain, and ten for ancillary symptoms such as anxiety. All patients were tested on the Stanford Hypnotic Clinical Scale for Children. For young children aged four to six years, it is usually inappropriate to rely upon formal hypnotic procedures. They respond to a kind of protohypnosis where the fantasy is part of the external situation. Anxiety can be reduced by the use of relaxation and distraction; reduction in anxiety is minimally correlated with hypnotic responsiveness. Once anxiety is reduced, the patient is better able to experience hypnotic analgesia.
KeywordsLumbar Puncture Childhood Cancer Bone Marrow Aspiration Bandage Removal Short Procedure
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