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October 2021

J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino). 1997 Feb; 38(1): 69-75.

Self-hypnosis reduces anxiety following coronary artery bypass surgery. A prospective, randomized trial.

Ashton C, Whitworth GC, Seldomridge JA, Shapiro PA, Weinberg AD, Michler RE, Smith CR, Rose EA, Fisher S, Oz MC.

Department of Surgery, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

OBJECTIVE: The role of complementary medicine techniques has generated increasing interest in today's society. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the effects of one technique, self-hypnosis, and its role in coronary artery bypass surgery. We hypotesize that self-hypnosis relaxation techniques will have a positive effect on the patient's mental and physical condition following coronary artery bypass surgery. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: A prospective, randomized trial was conducted. Patients were followed beginning one day prior to surgery until the time of discharge from the hospital. SETTING: The study was conducted at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, a large tertiary care teaching institution. PATIENTS: All patients undergoing first-time elective coronary artery bypass surgery were eligible. A total of 32 patients were randomized into two groups. INTERVENTIONS: The study group was taught self-hypnosis relaxation techniques preoperatively, with no therapy in the control group. MEASURES: Outcome variables studied included anesthetic requirements, operative parameters, postoperative pain medication requirements, quality of life, hospital stay, major morbidity and mortality. RESULTS: Patients who were taught self-hypnosis relaxation techniques were significantly more relaxed postoperatively compared to the control group (p=0.032). Pain medication requirements were also significantly less in patients practising the self-hypnosis relaxation techniques that those who were noncompliant (p=0.046). No differences were noted in intraoperative parameters, morbidity or mortality. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates the beneficial effects self-hypnosis relaxation techniques on patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery. It also provides a framework to study complementary techniques and the limitations encountered.


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