Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-6490, USA.
Case study research suggests that hypnosis treatment may provide benefits that are not necessarily the target of specific suggestions. To better understand satisfaction with and the beneficial "side effects" of hypnosis treatment, questions inquiring about treatment satisfaction and treatment benefits were administered to a group of 30 patients with chronic pain who had participated in a case series of hypnotic analgesia treatment. The results confirmed the authors' clinical experience and showed that most participants reported satisfaction with hypnosis treatment even when the targeted symptom (in this case, pain intensity) did not decrease substantially. Study participants also reported a variety of both symptom-related and nonsymptom-related benefits from hypnosis treatment, including decreased pain, increased perceived control over pain, increased sense of relaxation and well-being, and decreased perceived stress, although no single benefit was noted by a majority of participants.