Self-hypnosis training for chronic pain management in individuals with multiple sclerosis: long-term effects.

TitleSelf-hypnosis training for chronic pain management in individuals with multiple sclerosis: long-term effects.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsJensen MP, Molton IR, Kraft GH
JournalMultiple Sclerosis
Issue9 Suppl

Background: Chronic pain is a significant problem for many individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). Research indicates that selfhypnosis training can have short-term benefits for individuals with disabilities, including those with MS and chronic pain. However, the long-term benefits of self-hypnosis training on chronic pain, relative to appropriate control treatments, have not yet been investigated. Objective: To determine the long-term (up to 12 months) benefits of self-hypnosis training in individuals with MS, relative to a relaxation training control condition. Methods: 6- and 12-month outcome data were collected from 21 participants in a randomized clinical trial comparing self-hypnosis and progressive muscle relaxation training. Outcome variables included characteristic pain (0-10 numerical rating scales of pain intensity) and continued use and effects of self-hypnosis practice. Results: Participants who received self-hypnosis training reported significant pre- (Mean ¼ 4.78/10, SD ¼ 1.32) to post-treatment (Mean ¼ 3.24, SD ¼ 1.73) decreases in characteristic pain intensity (t(13) ¼ 3.66, p < .01), but participants who received relaxation training did not (Mean/SD ¼ 4.54/1.60 and 3.93/2.05, respectively; t(6) ¼ 1.35, p ¼ NS). The improvements reported by the participants who received self-hypnosis training were maintained at 6- and 12-month follow-up. In addition, at both 6- and 12-months after treatment, a substantial portion of those who were given self-hypnosis training still used the strategies they were taught (85% and 83%, respectively), and reported that self-hypnosis use resulted in pain relief (5.64/10 and 5.00/10 relief ratings, respectively) that lasted for about two hours (2.09 and 2.37 hours, respectively), on average. 46% (at 6-months) and 58% (at 12-months) of the participants reported that they still listened to the CDs of the treatment sessions, and that listening to these resulted in substantial pain relief (6.67/10 and 5.86/10 relief, respectively) that lasted for more than two hours (3.50 and 2.50 hours, respectively). Conclusions: The short-term benefits of self-hypnosis training for pain management in individuals with MS found in previous studies maintain for at least 12 months following treatment. Moreover, the majority of individuals who are provided with self-hypnosis training continue to use the skills that they learned, and report pain relief that lasts for several hours when they do use these skills.

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