Application of hypnosis in psychOncology: A review of the literature

Sónia Remondes-Costa, Filipa Magalhães, Inês Martins, André Louro, Martim Santos, M. Graça Pereira


Hypnosis is useful for multiple somatic and psychological disorders, particularly cancer disease-related issues. In fact, the literature points out that hypnosis is effective in helping patients deal with aspects disease related, as well as in reducing the side effects of treatment. This review of the literature aims to summarize and assess the evidence of the usefulness of hypnosis in cancer patients and was conducted based on articles published between 2012 and 2019. The databases used were: B-on, SciELO, MEDLINE, and Web of Science. Randomized controlled trials and non-randomized studies were assessed. Among 837 studies identified, nine met the inclusion criteria and were selected. The studies were consensual to the effectiveness of hypnosis in reducing a set of symptoms in cancer patients, mainly pain, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and insomnia. However, several methodological limitations were identified. The practice of hypnosis is related to a significant number of techniques and approaches that differ from each other, thus compromising the interpretation and generalization of its effects. This review updates the evidence and suggests that the study of the efficacy of hypnosis in cancer patients is still limited. Further research into the effectiveness and acceptability of hypnosis for cancer patients is recommended.


Cancer, Efficacy, Hypnosis, Review of the literature, Treatment.

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