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Easy hypnosis flags dissociation risk, type.

CHICAGO -- Hypnotizability is associated not only with both acute and chronic dissociation, it also appears to shape the type of disorder that develops, Lisa Butler, Ph.D., said at the annual conference of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation.

High hypnotizability is associated with more reactivity to traumatic and stressful events. People who are highly hypnotizable report more spontaneous intrusion experiences unrelated to trauma, said Dr. Butler of Stanford (Calif.) University.

Highly hypnotizable patients may be at increased risk for developing dissociative or posttraumatic symptoms when traumatized.

"Consider the use of hypnotic interventions with [these] patients because this is the group in which they are most likely to be successful, and such interventions may help patients learn to manage their symptoms and tendencies to dissociate under stress," she added.

Dr. Butler and her colleagues studied 123 women with metastatic breast cancer and a mean time from recurrence to assessment of 22 months. Based on the Impact of Events Scale (IES)-intrusion and IES-avoidance, 42 women (34%) had clinically significant intrusion symptoms, and 34 (28%) had avoidance symptoms.

Patients in the intrusion group had significantly higher scores on the Hypnotic Induction Profile (HIP) than those without significant intrusion symptoms. Avoidance symptoms did not affect HIP scores.

Dr. Butler and her colleagues also looked at 52 subjects with long-term depressed moods and stressors within the past month, comparing the correlations between hypnotizability and scores on the Stanford Acute Stress Reaction Questionnaire. For all stressful events, they found strong correlations with anxiety and impairment. For life-threatening events, they found strong correlations with both intrusion and avoidance, although the sample was small, she said.

One supporting study showed that patients with acute stress disorder had significantly higher levels of hypnotizability than those with subclinical acute stress disorder (Am. J. Psychiatry 158[4]:600-04, 2001).

Another study, of 43 hospitalized survivors of burn injury, showed that those with high hypnotizability were significantly more likely to experience intrusion and avoidance symptoms than those with lower levels of hypnotizability (J. Clin. Exp. Hypn. 50[1]:33-50. 2002).
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Title Annotation:Adult Psychiatry
Publication:Clinical Psychiatry News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2004
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