The consequences of individual differences in preparation for surgery and invasive medical procedures

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Hypnosis is a powerful intervention and its use is intuitively appealing. As clinicians, we sometimes use hypnosis without sufficient critical attention. Questions such as why we use it, what data about our patients are important, and how we use such data to influence selection of our clinical strategies, are sometimes given insufficient attention. This dilemma is compounded by the fact that individual patient differences affect responses to hypnosis. Reviewing the field of hypnotic and psychological preparation for surgery, this paper considers two related individual differences, predominant coping style and history of negative prior medical/surgical events. Both consistently affect patient responses to surgery. A position is presented that suggests (a) these differences have predictable, consistent consequences that interact positively or negatively with preparation strategy, and (b) such logical consequences provide us the data to tailor interventions to optimise patient response and thus affect surgical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-53
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Clinical Psychology

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