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Self-Hypnosis Training Doesn't Cut Epidural Use

However, self-hypnosis may reduce women's fear and anxiety regarding childbirth

TUESDAY, May 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Self-hypnosis training does not reduce women's epidural use during childbirth, according to a study published online May 11 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Soo Downe, Ph.D., from the University of Central Lancashire in the United Kingdom, and colleagues assessed the effect of antenatal group self-hypnosis on epidural use during delivery. At 28 to 32 weeks' gestation, 680 women were randomized to usual care or usual care plus brief self-hypnosis training (two 90-minute groups at around 32 and 35 weeks' gestation plus a daily audio self-hypnosis CD).

The researchers found that there was no statistically significant difference in epidural use (27.9 percent in intervention group versus 30.3 percent in usual care; odds ratio [OR], 0.89, 95 percent confidence interval, 0.64 to 1.24). Similarly, there was no significant difference in 27 of 29 pre-specified secondary clinical and psychological outcomes. However, women in the intervention group had lower actual than anticipated levels of fear and anxiety between baseline and two weeks postnatal (anxiety: OR, −0.72; fear: OR, −0.62).

"Allocation to two third-trimester group self-hypnosis training sessions did not significantly reduce intra-partum epidural analgesia use or a range of other clinical and psychological variables," the authors write.

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