Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39--43

Hypnotic intervention for unexplained dizziness in patients with advanced cancer: A preliminary retrospective observation study

1 Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Kansai Medical University, Hirakata, Japan
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Akaiwa Medical Association Hospital, Akaiwa, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Hideaki Hasuo
2-5-1-505 Shinmachi, Hirakata, Osaka 573-1010
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_165_17

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Context: Patients with advanced cancer rarely complain of unexplained dizziness after excluding identifiable causes. Some patients become anxious because they attribute the dizziness to the progression of their cancer. We hypothesize that unexplained dizziness is associated with neck muscle hypertonicity, a noncancer-related secondary effect. However, most cases are associated with neck muscle hypertonicity, a noncancer-related secondary effect. Aims: We evaluated the usefulness of hypnotic intervention that made patients aware of the relation between dizziness and neck muscle hypertonicity through the experience of muscle relaxation and recognition of muscle tension. Settings and Design: Advanced cancer patients requiring palliative care with unexplained dizziness who received the intervention to induce neck muscle relaxation were retrospectively compared with patients who did not. Subjects and Methods: The severity of dizziness that was evaluated using a numeric rating scale and the intervention efficacy rate were compared between the hypnotic and nonhypnotic groups as the primary endpoints, 7 days after the start of the intervention. Secondary endpoints included the effect size based on dizziness handicap inventory (DHI) scores before and after the intervention, and changes in patients' awareness of the cause of dizziness. Results: The hypnotic intervention had a significantly greater efficacy rate (0.67, 95% confidence interval: 0.46–0.88) than the nonhypnotic intervention (0.26, 95% confidence interval: 0.08–0.44). DHI scores, especially on the emotional subscale, showed significant improvement after the intervention, and 71% of the patients were aware that neck muscle hypertonicity was the cause of dizziness. Conclusions: The rapid improvement in dizziness in the hypnotic group was considered to result from a change in patients' awareness of self-manageable neck muscle hypertonicity as the cause of dizziness.


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