Guided Imagery Lowers Insomnia, Pain, Anxiety, Depression in Chemo Patients

It’s good to see so much new research on the positive impact of guided imagery on people undergoing chemotherapy these days.  It seems to be coming from all over the world. A few weeks ago we posted a study from Cyprus.  Now here’s one from Taiwan. 

Researchers from Mackay Memorial Hospital in New Taipei City, Taiwan, evaluated the impact of relaxation with guided imagery on patients with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy.

Sixty-five breast cancer patients were randomly assigned to the experimental group (n = 32) or to the control group (n = 33). Both groups received chemotherapy self-care education, but the experimental group also received relaxation with guided imagery training. T

The training on relaxation with guided imagery was conducted before chemotherapy, and the patients were supplied with a compact disc detailing the performance of relaxation with guided imagery for 20 minutes daily at home for 7 days after chemotherapy.

The experimental group showed significant decreases in insomnia (-0.34 ± 0.83, P < 0.05), pain (-0.28 ± 0.58, P < 0.05), anxiety (-3.56 ± 2.94, P < 0.00), and depression (-2.38 ± 2.70, P < 0.00) between the pretest and the posttest.

Comparing the two groups, statistically significant differences were found in overall symptom distress (B = 0.11, P < 0.05), insomnia (B = 0.50, P <0.05), depression (B = 0.38, P < 0.05), and numbness in physical symptoms (B = 0.38, P < 0.05), as well as in anxiety (B = 3.08, P < 0.00) and depression (B = 1.86, P < 0.00) in psychological distress.

One week of relaxation with guided imagery can significantly improve the overall symptoms of distress, insomnia, depression, physical symptoms, and anxiety, and can decrease psychological distress.

The investigators conclude that relaxation with guided imagery had a positive effect on mediating anxiety and depression in breast cancer patients.

Citation: Chen SF, Wang HH, Yang HY, Chung UL. Effect of Relaxation With Guided Imagery on The Physical and Psychological Symptoms of Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy. Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2015 Nov 28;17(11):e31277. doi: 10.5812/ircmj.31277. eCollection 2015.

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