Researchers at The University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle find that virtual reality-based hypnosis reduces pain and anxiety in burn patients, and cuts the need for pain meds in half. In a small pilot study, researchers at The University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle tested out the effectiveness of virtual-reality technology for increasing the efficiency of hypnosis for eliminating the need for the presence of a trained clinician with burn patients undergoing painful procedures.

A virtual reality-based hypnotic induction was used to deliver hypnotic pain reduction to burn-injury patients undergoing painful wound-care procedures. Pre- and post-procedure measures were collected on 13 patients with burn injuries across 3 days.

In an uncontrolled series of cases, there was a decrease in reported pain and anxiety, and the need for opioid medication was cut in half. The results support additional research on the utility and efficacy of hypnotic analgesia provided by virtual reality hypnosis.

Citation: Patterson DR, Wiechman SA, Jensen M, Sharar SR.Hypnosis delivered through immersive virtual reality for burn pain: A clinical case series. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. 2006 Apr; 54 (2): pages 130-42. [email protected]