Maya Maxym

Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

First Advisor

Linda Arnold


Intravenous line placement is one of the most common procedures performed on children presenting to the Emergency Department. Anxiety about needles is widespread, and many children experience high levels of fear and/or pain with their IV line placements. Hypnosis is a behavioral intervention that shows significant promise for alleviating procedure-related pain and anxiety in children. Twenty-five developmentally normal, English-speaking children between the ages of five and fifteen who required IV line placement in the Pediatric Emergency Department at Yale-New Haven Childrens Hospital were randomized to receive either the standard of care or standard of care plus a brief hypnotic intervention. The groups were similar with regard to baseline demographic and socioeconomic status, previous experience with medical care, and presence or absence of chronic medical conditions. Childrens pre-procedural anxiety ratings on a 10cm visual analog scale (VAS) and expected procedural pain ratings by 10-point oucher and 10cm VAS were not significantly different between the groups. Children randomized to the hypnosis group reported less anxiety during the procedure (mean 5.0 vs 3.1, median 7.2 vs 2.2, p = 0.28) than children randomized to the standard of care group. Cases also had a decrease in anxiety from expected to actual of 1.6 on a 10cm scale, while those randomized to the control group had an increase from expected to actual anxiety of 1.1 (p=0.01). A smaller trend towards decreased pain in the hypnosis group was also present. As measured by VAS, cases had lower mean pain scores (3.4 vs 4.3) than controls. In a comparison of anticipated and actual pain scores between groups, the hypnosis group had a mean decrease of 0.8 on a 10cm VAS , while the control group had a mean increase of 0.5 (p=0.14). Recruitment of subjects is ongoing, but preliminary results suggest that hypnosis is effective for alleviating needle-related anxiety in children undergoing IV line placement and may be helpful for alleviating the pain of IV line placement as well.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access