With prior research indicating that self-hypnosis (SH) may help reduce preoperative distress and postoperative anxiety and pain, researchers assessed whether the addition of SH to their enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) pathway was feasible, as well as if SH could help decrease patient-reported pain and anxiety while also limiting opioid use. The study team randomized women who were scheduled for open gynecologic surgery to standard ERAS or ERAS and SH (ERAS+SH). Participants in the ERAS+SH group were requested to listen to a 20-minute, 3D, SH audio recording—developed using a well-validated medical hypnosis script—at least tow times prior to surgery and could access the recording at will following consent. Based on 77.5% of patients in the ERAS+SH group listening to the whole SH recording in a preoperative holding unit, the investigators deemed SH incorporation feasible. Preoperative anxiety scores decreased significantly after implementing the SH intervention in the ERAS+SH group. However, the study team observed no significant between-group differences in median morphine equivalent daily dose on postoperative days 0-3, time to first opioid, or quality of recovery score on day of discharge. “Given the ease of accessing and listening to an audio file, this SH intervention can be easily integrated into perioperative care to decrease preoperative anxiety,” stated the researchers.
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