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Burns. 2010 Aug;36(5):639-46. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2009.08.009. Epub 2009 Oct 31.

Impact of a pain protocol including hypnosis in major burns.

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Service of Intensive Care Medicine & Burns Centre, University Hospital (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland.



Pain is a major issue after burns even when large doses of opioids are prescribed. The study focused on the impact of a pain protocol using hypnosis on pain intensity, anxiety, clinical course, and costs.


All patients admitted to the ICU, aged >18 years, with an ICU stay >24h, accepting to try hypnosis, and treated according to standardized pain protocol were included. Pain was scaled on the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) (mean of daily multiple recordings), and basal and procedural opioid doses were recorded. Clinical outcome and economical data were retrieved from hospital charts and information system, respectively. Treated patients were matched with controls for sex, age, and the burned surface area.


Forty patients were admitted from 2006 to 2007: 17 met exclusion criteria, leaving 23 patients, who were matched with 23 historical controls. Altogether patients were 36+/-14 years old and burned 27+/-15%BSA. The first hypnosis session was performed after a median of 9 days. The protocol resulted in the early delivery of higher opioid doses/24h (p<0.0001) followed by a later reduction with lower pain scores (p<0.0001), less procedural related anxiety, less procedures under anaesthesia, reduced total grafting requirements (p=0.014), and lower hospital costs per patient.


A pain protocol including hypnosis reduced pain intensity, improved opioid efficiency, reduced anxiety, improved wound outcome while reducing costs. The protocol guided use of opioids improved patient care without side effects, while hypnosis had significant psychological benefits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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