Benefits of hypnotizing pediatric patients unclear

More studies are needed to determine the benefits of using hypnosis in pediatric dentistry, according to a Cochrane review (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, August 4, 2010).

The aim of the review was to see what evidence exists to support hypnosis use with children and adolescents undergoing dental procedures since they are often anxious or noncompliant during dental treatment. Anecdotal evidence and published articles indicate hypnosis can be used with great effect in pediatric behavioral management, according to the study authors, from the Military Dental Centre in Seeb, Oman.

Selection criteria included children younger than 16 years old who had dental treatment such as a simple restoration with or without local anesthetic, simple extraction, or management of dental trauma.

Only three randomized controlled trials (with 69 participants) fulfilled the inclusion criteria for the review. Two of the three studies reported positive outcomes in favor of hypnosis; however, statistical analysis and meta-analysis were not possible due to insufficient studies meeting the inclusion criteria, the researchers noted.

"Although there are a considerable number of anecdotal accounts indicating the benefits of using hypnosis in pediatric dentistry, with only three studies meeting the inclusion criteria for the review, there is not yet enough evidence to suggest its beneficial effects," the researchers concluded.

Copyright © 2010

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