The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

A randomized clinical trial of a brief hypnosis intervention to control venepuncture-related pain of paediatric cancer patients

Liossi, Christina, White, Paul and Hatira, Popi (2009) A randomized clinical trial of a brief hypnosis intervention to control venepuncture-related pain of paediatric cancer patients Pain, 142, (3), pp. 255-263. (doi:10.1016/j.pain.2009.01.017).

Record type: Article


Venepuncture for blood sampling can be a distressing experience for a considerable number of children. A prospective controlled trial was conducted to compare the efficacy of a local anaesthetic (EMLA) with a combination of EMLA with self-hypnosis in the relief of venepuncture-induced pain and anxiety in 45 paediatric cancer outpatients (age 6–16 years). A secondary aim of the trial was to test whether the intervention will have a beneficial effect on parents’ anxiety levels during their child’s procedure. Patients were randomized to one of three groups: local anaesthetic, local anaesthetic plus hypnosis, and local anaesthetic plus attention. Results confirmed that patients in the local anaesthetic plus hypnosis group reported less anticipatory anxiety, and less procedure-related pain and anxiety, and were rated as demonstrating less behavioural distress during the procedure than patients in the other two groups. Parents whose children were randomized to the local anaesthetic plus hypnosis condition experienced less anxiety during their child’s procedure than parents whose children had been randomized to the other two conditions. The therapeutic benefit of the brief hypnotic intervention was maintained in the follow-up. The present findings are particularly important in that this study was a randomized, controlled trial conducted in a naturalistic medical setting. In this context, convergence of subjective and objective outcomes was reached with large effect sizes that were consistently supportive of the beneficial effects of self-hypnosis, an intervention that can be easily taught to children, is noninvasive and poses minimal risk to young patients and their parents.

PDF Liossi_2009_Pain.pdf - Other
Restricted to Repository staff only
Download (327kB)

More information

Published date: April 2009
Keywords: Hypnosis EMLA, pain, venepuncture, children, cancer
Organisations: Human Wellbeing


Local EPrints ID: 146269
ISSN: 0304-3959
PURE UUID: 05ca6bbc-aab1-46d3-a7d8-a5b44c2c9cff

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Apr 2010 14:22
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 23:04

Export record



Author: Paul White
Author: Popi Hatira

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.