The use of hypnotic suggestion to reduce pain associated with temporomandibular disorder (TMD)
This study investigated the effectiveness of a hypnosis intervention to reduce self-reported pain among those suffering from temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Thirty-nine subjects participated in this study, 19 in the Experimental Group, and 20 in the Wait List Control (WLC) Group. All subjects completed the anxiety and depression subtests of the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI).
Subjects were then asked to keep records of their pain using a 10mm Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) 2 times a day for 14 days, to create baseline pain scores. Those in the experimental group were hypnotized in the following session, and those in the WLC Group were given equal amount of time with the researcher to talk about their TMD symptoms. All subjects were again asked to keep records of their pain, using the VAS twice each day for another 14 days.
Statistical analysis revealed that those in the Experimental Group reported a significant reduction in pain after being hypnotized, as compared to those in the WLC Group who reported no change in pain. Further analysis revealed that those in the Experimental group who reported more anxiety and who measured higher on the Hypnotic Induction Profile (HIP) tended to show more improvement from the hypnotic intervention.
Analysis of clinical variables revealed that the mean score of all 39 subjects on the BSI anxiety and depression subtests was greater than the normative BSI mean for adult non-patients. Their mean anxiety score was also greater than the mean for adult psychiatric outpatients but their depression score was not.
This study presents further evidence that the use of hypnotic intervention is useful in reducing pain associated with TMD. It also indicates that those who are more hypnotizable tend to gain somewhat more benefit from hypnotic intervention. That information has important implications in designing treatment plans for TMD patients as this research also indicates that TMD patients tend to be highly anxious and that more anxious individuals report greater improvement in pain when hypnosis is used.
0622: Clinical psychology
0633: Cognitive psychology