Study: Calming, positive words more effective than drugs for anxious patients before surgery — 6 insights

Calming words from physicians may be more effective than medicine at easing the fears of anxious patients, according to a study published in Anesthesiology.

Here are six insights:

1. Researchers used "conversational hypnosis," which consists of talking quietly and positively to the patient as well as focusing the patient's attention on something other than the surgery preparations and anesthesia procedure.

2. They compared the results of hypnosis to the use of a standard medication called hydroxyzine in 100 patients.

3. They then asked patients to provide a measurement of their comfort on a scale ranging from 0 (no comfort) to 10 (maximal comfort).

4. The researchers also used an objective test called the Analgesia/Nociception Index.

5. Patients measured an average ANI of 51 before and 78 after the use of hypnosis; whereas those who were given medication averaged 63 before and 70 after.

6. The average comfort scale of those who had received hypnosis was 6.7 before and 9.3 after, while patients who had medication averaged 7.8 before and 8.3 after.

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