Researchers from The Institute for Health and Healing at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco assessed whether a program of six, weekly Interactive Guided Imagery (IGI) sessions was useful in helping 323 medical patients with a variety of conditions gain insight into their health condition. In addition, they aimed to identify the factors that contributed to positive outcomes. (Interactive Guided Imagery is a cognitive-behavioral intervention designed to help patients relax by using mental images to discover and cultivate healing intentions, and to reflect on the meaning of these images.)
Patients and practitioners completed questionnaires at the beginning, middle, and end of the 6 IGI sessions. The questionnaires assessed the patients'' ability to do IGI, the quality of the practitioner-patient interaction, possible confounding variables, and enabling factors.

Questionnaire items measuring cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and spiritual benefits of IGI were factor analyzed into factors representing "insight" and "all other" benefits. Results: The multiple regression shows that both process and practitioner-patient interaction factors significantly contributed to a combined 40% of the variance in patients'' ratings of insight into the nature of their problem and to becoming aware of an aspect of self, F(4,56) = 9.4, p < 0.005. The investigators conclude that process of doing IGI and the relationship with the practitioner were both independently associated with patients'' insight into their health problems.

Citation: Scherwitz LW, McHenry P, Herrero R.Interactive Guided Imagery(SM) Therapy with Medical Patients: Predictors of Health Outcomes. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2005 Feb; 11 (1): pp. 69-83