In this RCT (randomized, controlled trial) researchers from the Mayo Clinic evaluated the effect of post-operative massage in patients who had undergone abdominal colorectal surgery, and found that it had a consistent, statistically significant, positive effect.
One hundred twenty-seven patients were randomized to receive either a 20-min massage (n = 61) or a social visit and relaxation session with no massage; n = 66) on the second and third day after surgery.
Vital signs and psychological well-being (pain, tension, anxiety, satisfaction with care, relaxation) were assessed before and after each intervention.
In this pilot study, an investigator from Lehman College of the City University of New York in The Bronx, NY, studied the impact of training children with sickle disease to use brief guided imagery segments to better deal with their pain episodes.
The children were trained with an audio recording of guided imagery messages, which they listened to for 5 to 10 minutes, three times each day, regardless of pain and also during pain episodes.
Researchers from National University of Singapore conducted a randomized, four-arm design study with 100 veterans suffering from chronic lower back pain. The goal was to test the efficacy of hypnosis for alleviating lower back pain, as well as learn about the minimum dose required to produce meaningful benefits.
Additionally, the role of home practice was assessed as well as how well improvements were sustained beyond 3 months.
Researchers from Saint Clare Health Systems in Dover, New Jersey investigated the effectiveness of the "M" Technique of structured touch (M), compared with guided imagery and usual care, for the reduction of pain and anxiety in patients undergoing elective total knee or hip replacement surgery.
"M" is a registered method of structured touch using a set sequence and number of strokes, and a consistent level of pressure on hands and feet,
Researchers from the Department of Nursing and Physical Therapy at the University of Almeria and Poniente Hospital in Almeria, Spain evaluated the effects of guided imagery as a nursing intervention for pain management and depression in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Guided imagery has been used for different purposes and it is thought to be an effective intervention for people suffering from nonmalignant pain.
They conducted an 8-week long, 2-group, quasi-experimental study with 60 patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia, who were randomly assigned to either a guided imagery group (n = 30) or a control group (n = 30).
The outcomes measures were pain scores from the McGill Pain Questionnaire long form (MPQ-LF) and a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS); and depression scores from the Beck Depression Inventory and a VAS for depression. Effects were examined at baseline, post-intervention (4th week), and at 8 weeks post-intervention.
Researchers from the Santa Lucia Foundation IRCCS and Tor Vergata University in Rome, Italy, evaluated the impact of progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery and phantom exercises on phantom pain in 51 subjects with unilateral lower limb amputation who experienced phantom limb pain (PLP) and/or phantom limb sensation (PLS).
The randomized controlled prospective trial was conducted on the amputee unit of a rehabilitation hospital, using 2 parallel groups.
The experimental group received combined training of progressive muscle relaxation and mental imagery, and phantom exercises 2 times/wk for 4 weeks, while the control group had the same amount of physical therapy dedicated to the residual limb. No pharmacological intervention was initiated during the trial period.
Researchers from Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, looked at the impact of guided imagery on postoperative outcomes in patients undergoing same-day surgical procedures.
Forty-four adults scheduled for head and neck procedures were randomly assigned to 2 groups for this single-blind investigation.
Anxiety and baseline pain levels were documented pre-operatively. Both groups received 28 minutes of privacy, during which subjects in the experimental group listened to a guided imagery compact disk (CD), but control group patients received no intervention.
In this pilot study, researchers from the University of Montreal investigated the impact of a guided imagery intervention on post-op pain intensity, anxiety, coping and daily activities in adolescents and young adults, ages 11-20, after undergoing orthopedic surgery (spinal fusion) for idiopathic scoliosis.
Participants were randomized to standard care or standard care with the guided imagery intervention. The intervention consisted of a DVD with information and guided imagery/relaxation exercises to practice at least three times a week at home.
A nurse screened the DVD with the patient pre-operatively and at discharge (T1) and telephoned 2 weeks post-discharge (T2) to reinforce the use of the technique.
Researchers from the Department of Rehab Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle evaluated the effects of a single session of four non-pharmacological pain interventions, relative to a sham procedure, on pain and electroencephalogram- (EEG-) assessed brain oscillation, in order to determine the extent to which intervention-related changes in perceived pain intensity are associated with changes in brain oscillations.
Thirty individuals with spinal cord injury and chronic pain were given an EEG and were tested for pain before and after five different procedures (hypnosis, meditation, transcranial direct current stimulation [tDCS], neurofeedback, and a control sham tDCS procedure).
Each procedure was associated with a different pattern of changes in brain activity, and all active procedures were significantly different from the control procedure in at least three bandwidths.
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted a pilot randomized controlled trial to assess the initial efficacy of a patient-controlled cognitive-behavioral (CB) intervention for the pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbance symptom cluster that often accompanies advanced cancer treatment.
Eighty-six patients with advanced lung, prostate, colorectal, or gynecologic cancers, receiving treatment at a comprehensive cancer center, were stratified by recruitment clinics (chemotherapy and radiation therapy) and randomized to the intervention or control groups.
Forty-three patients were assigned to receive training in and use of up to 12 relaxation, guided imagery or distraction exercises, delivered via an MP3 player for two weeks during cancer treatment.
Forty-three patients were assigned to a waitlist control condition for the same two week period. Outcomes included symptom cluster severity and overall symptom interference with daily life, measured at baseline (Time 1) and two weeks later (Time 2).