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Audiotaped hypnosis for chronic back pain : a case study Taylor, Susan Carol

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to investigate the effectiveness of audiotaped hypnosis as a treatment for chronic pain using physiological as well as psychological measurements. The research design is a modified single case study employing an A-B format; the A phase constituted the responses of the Control Group, which provided a stable baseline and the B phase constituted the responses of the Experimental Group which received the treatment. Both groups received 25 sessions of biofeedback. A randomized selection of a variety of audiotapes (hypnosis, guided imagery, relaxation) was given to the Control Group. The same audiotape of hypnosis was used as the independent variable over a period of 25 sessions for the Experimental Group. The modified form of Melzack & Torgerson's Present Pain Intensity Scale which evaluates pain on a scale of increasing intensity both verbally and numerically was used as a subjective self-report measure. Electromyographic (EMG) readings were taken as an objective physiological measurement. An interrupted time-series analysis called, The Box Jenkins Analysis provided statistical data. This data was corroborated by a Binomial Test. The eight subjects, six of whom were male were all chronic pain patients who were referred by the Workman’s Compensation Board for work related injuries. The patients in this setting are resistant to change. The results showed a statistically significant result of the data in the Experimental Group which may be viewed as a trend towards improvement. However the results should be viewed with caution as external validity is weak. This study was meant as a pilot study and will need further research to corroborate the findings.

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