Effects of a Hypnosis Session Before General Anesthesia on Postoperative Outcomes in Patients Who Underwent Minor Breast Cancer Surgery: The HYPNOSEIN Randomized Clinical Trial

Jibba Amraoui, Camille Pouliquen, Julien Fraisse, Jacques Dubourdieu, Sophie Rey Dit Guzer, Gilles Leclerc, Hélène de Forges, Marta Jarlier, Marian Gutowski, Jean-Pierre Bleuse, Chloé Janiszewski, Jésus Diaz, Philippe Cuvillon
JAMA Network Open 2018 August 3, 1 (4): e181164

Importance: Hypnosis is now widespread in medical practice and is emerging as an alternative technique for pain management and anxiety. However, its effects on postoperative outcomes remain unclear.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of a preoperative hypnosis session for reducing postoperative breast pain in patients who underwent minor breast cancer surgery.

Design, Setting, and Participants: The HYPNOSEIN prospective randomized clinical trial was conducted from October 7, 2014, to April 5, 2016. In this multicenter study in France, 150 women scheduled for minor breast cancer surgery were randomized between control and hypnosis arms, and 148 (71 control and 77 hypnosis) were included in the intent-to-treat analysis.

Intervention: On the day of surgery, eligible patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to the control arm or the hypnosis arm. Patients (but not the care teams) were blinded to the arm to which they were assigned. A 15-minute hypnosis session before general anesthesia in the operating room was performed in the hypnosis arm.

Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary end point was breast pain reduction (by 2 on a visual analog scale), assessed immediately before discharge from the postanesthesia care unit (PACU). Secondary end points were nausea/vomiting, fatigue, comfort/well-being, anxiety, and PACU length of stay, assessed at different times until postoperative day 30.

Results: The median patient age was 57 years (range, 33-79 years) in the control arm and 53 years (range, 20-84 years) in the hypnosis arm. Baseline characteristics were similar in the 2 arms. The median duration of the hypnosis session was 6 minutes (range, 2-15 minutes). The use of intraoperative opioids and hypnotics was lower in the hypnosis arm. The mean (SD) breast pain score (range, 0-10) was 1.75 (1.59) in the control arm vs 2.63 (1.62) in the hypnosis arm (P = .004). At PACU discharge and with longer follow-up, no statistically significant difference in breast pain was reported. Fatigue was significantly lower in the hypnosis arm on the evening of surgery (mean [SD] score, 3.81 [2.15] in the control arm vs 2.99 [2.56] in the hypnosis arm; P = .03). The median PACU length of stay was 60 minutes (range, 20-290 minutes) in the control arm vs 46 minutes (range, 5-100 minutes) in the hypnosis arm (P = .002). Exploratory analyses according to patient perception of whether she received hypnosis showed significantly lower fatigue scores in the perceived hypnosis subgroup on the evening of surgery (mean [SD], 4.13 [2.26] for no perceived hypnosis vs 2.97 [2.42] for perceived hypnosis; P = .01). Anxiety was also significantly lower on the evening of surgery in the perceived hypnosis subgroup (mean [SD], 0.75 [1.64] for perceived hypnosis vs 1.67 [2.29] for no perceived hypnosis; P = .03).

Conclusions and Relevance: The results of this study do not support a benefit of hypnosis on postoperative breast pain in women undergoing minor breast cancer surgery. However, other outcomes seem to be improved, which needs to be confirmed by further studies.

Trial Registration: EudraCT Identifier: 2014-A00681-46 and Identifier: NCT03253159.


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