Most Surgery Patients Like Guided Imagery For Post-Op Pain

Total knee replacement surgery usually involves a painful recovery period, and many docs and nurses encourage their patients to try guided imagery to help with the discomfort – it can replace the use of opioids to some degree (and sometimes, for some people, quite a lot), and many patients prefer it, because they don’t like feeling “dopey” if they can help it.

I honestly didn’t think we still needed to establish that guided imagery was an acceptable intervention to orthopedic surgery patients – that point has been made time after time. But, hey, nobody asked me! And our neighbors down the road at Summa and Kent State thought otherwise and checked it out for themselves. 

Here are the results: 

Researchers from Indiana University, Kent State University and Summa Health Systems evaluated the acceptability to patients of a customized guided imagery intervention for pain relief after their orthopedic surgery. 

Patients were surveyed (interviews and survey data collected) after total knee replacement (TKR) surgery, to collect their perceptions of their experiences with a customized guided imagery intervention designed to promote and enhance post-op outcomes. 

The researchers found that most participants were satisfied with the guided imagery, and actively engaged in its use. Most perceived it to be helpful.  

The investigators conclude that the guided imagery is acceptable for most people undergoing total knee replacement. 

Citation: Draucker CB1, Jacobson AF, Umberger WA, Myerscough RP, Sanata JD. Acceptability of a Guided Imagery Intervention for Persons Undergoing a Total Knee Replacement. Orthopedic Nursing. 2015 Nov-Dec;34(6):356-64. doi: 10.1097/NOR.0000000000000193.

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