Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2014

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

Altmaier, Elizabeth M

First Committee Member

Ansley, Timothy N

Second Committee Member

Keffala, Valerie J

Third Committee Member

Johnson, Susan R

Fourth Committee Member

Westefeld, John S


Chronic back pain has a profound impact on an individual and society. Over the past two decades individuals have become increasingly interested in Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) as a treatment for medical conditions. One of the most common uses of CAM is to treat back pain. There are a variety of CAM interventions to treat pain, and clinical hypnosis is one treatment that serves to help individuals to better manage their symptoms of chronic pain. In many cases, clinical hypnosis is used as an adjunct to treatment rather than a treatment alternative. Additionally, clinical hypnosis is included as part of relaxation treatments within chronic pain rehabilitation programs across the country. There remains a lack of information on hypnosis as a treatment for chronic back pain within chronic pain rehabilitation programs. The present study assessed pain intensity, disability, and quality of life for individuals who received hypnosis and those who did not in a chronic pain rehabilitation program. Descriptive data were presented for all participants and between groups and within group comparisons were made. Results of this study showed that prior to treatment, pain caused severe disability, was discomforting or distressing, and caused moderate to severe mental and physical impact. When patients returned 6-12 weeks later, all patients reported a decrease in disability and pain and an increase in physical and mental health quality of life. Groups did not vary significantly on measures of pain intensity, disability, and health status.

Results of this study suggest that more research should be done on the usefulness of various treatments within interdisciplinary chronic pain rehabilitation programs. Additionally, more research will allow clinicians to gain a better understanding of thetypes of interventions utilized within psychological portions of chronic pain rehabilitation.


Hypnosis, Intervention, Pain, Psychology, Rehabilitation, Relaxation


vii, 98 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 82-94).


Copyright 2014 Courtney Racquel Cornick