Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair(s)

Elwin C. Nielsen


Elwin C. Nielsen


Keith T. Checketts


J. Whorton Allen


Michael R. Bertoch


C. Jay Skidmore


The purpose of this project was to examine the effect of hypnosis as a treatment in the control of pain in a population of rheumatoid arthritic patients and further to examine any associated change in emotionality.

Three groups of patients suffering from the pain of rheumatoid arthritis were selected. One group served as a control group. The other two groups served as a modified control group and as a treatment group, respectively.

All three groups were pre, mid, and post-tested using the McGill Pah Questionnaire, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, the California Personality Inventory Well-Being scale items, and a check of their medication intake. The testing periods were before any treatment procedures were introduced, after a 6 week therapy involvement period for the modified control group and treatment group, and after another 6 week period with no further interaction of the patients with the therapists. The treatment group received hypnosis instruction for the treatment of pain, the modified control group received a ventilation or talk therapy, and the control group was not seen by any therapist.

It was fond that self-hypnosis offers a viable and practical treatment technique to individuals in the control of their pain. individuals were not only able to reduce their perception of pain and its effect on their lives, but they were also able to be the ones in control of the process.

Both the treatment group and the modified control group were able to achieve positive change in several emotional factors. The treatment group was able to achieve a more significant change and one that persisted after the therapy sessions were terminated. The members of the treatment group were thus able to increase their emotional functioning and decrease their dependency on medications. The treatment group was the only group able to decrease medication intake significantly thus gain indicating the importance of learning self-help procedure for controlling pain. It would seem from the results of this study that using self-hypnosis for pain control is useful and practical.



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