Hypnotherapy for procedural pain, itch, and state anxiety in children with acute burns: a feasibility and acceptability study protocol


Burns and related procedures are painful and distressing for children, exposing them to acute and chronic sequelae that can negatively affect their physiological, psychological, and social functions. Non-pharmacological interventions such as distraction techniques are beneficial adjuncts to pharmacological agents for procedural pain, state anxiety, and itch in children with burns but have limitations (e.g. lack of research on burn-related itch, tailoring, and consensus on optimal treatment). Hypnotherapy is a non-pharmacological intervention that can be tailored for varied settings and populations with evidence of benefit for itch and superior effectiveness in comparison to other non-pharmacological interventions for children’s procedural pain and state anxiety. Thus, children with burns can benefit from hypnotherapy as an adjunct to pharmacological agents. Yet, in paediatric burns, rigorous studies of effectiveness are limited and no studies have been identified that screen for hypnotic suggestibility, an important predictor of hypnotherapy outcomes. Considering potential barriers to the delivery of hypnotherapy in paediatric burns, the proposed study will examine the feasibility and acceptability of hypnotic suggestibility screening followed by hypnotherapy for procedural pain, state anxiety, and itch in children with acute burns.

Pilot and Feasibility Studies, (8), 1, pp. 58, https://doi.org/10.1186/s40814-022-01017-z