Invasive medical procedures can be a frightening experience for children as they often don't understand why it needs to be done. A new study shows hypnosis could help reduce distress and even the time it takes to perform the procedure.
The study included children who were scheduled to undergo a voiding cystourethrography. During a VCUG, a tube is inserted into the bladder and X-rays are used to view the function of the kidneys and bladder. For the study forty-four kids took part in the study. All of the children had undergone a VCUG before. Half of the kids were put in the hypnosis group, and the other half were given routine care. The hypnosis group received training before the procedure, and the parents and children practiced hypnosis before the day of the procedure.
Researchers interviewed parents about the child's experience during the last VCUG procedure. They also interviewed the medical staff and kept track of how long the procedure took. Four major benefits of hypnosis were observed . Parents in the hypnosis group said the procedure was less traumatic for their child compared to parents in the routine care group. Observers reported less stress in the hypnosis patients compared to the other patients. Medical staff reported less difficulty doing the procedure on children in the hypnosis group. The procedure time was 14 minutes shorter in the hypnosis group compared to the routine care group.
In conclusion researchers say that hypnosis is beneficial for children undergoing a VCUG and may also be beneficial for children who undergo other invasive medical procedures.