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A pilot study of the effectiveness of guided imagery with progressive muscle relaxation

06 Jun

A pilot study from the Purdue University School of Nursing finds that guided imagery plus progressive muscle relaxation helps with mobility and perception of pain in 28 older women when compared to a control group.

Researchers at Purdue University School of Nursing conducted a randomized, controlled, longitudinal, clinical trial pilot study to determine whether Guided Imagery (GI) with Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) would reduce pain and mobility difficulties of women with osteoarthritis. Twenty-eight older women with OA were randomly assigned to either the treatment or the control group. The treatment consisted of listening twice a day to a 10-to-15-minute audiotaped script that guided the women in GI with PMR.

Repeated-measures ANOVA revealed a significant difference between the two groups in the amount of change in pain and mobility difficulties they experienced over 12 weeks. The treatment group reported a significant reduction in pain and mobility difficulties at week 12 as compared to the control group. Members of the control group reported no differences in pain and non-significant increases in mobility difficulties.

The results of this pilot study justify further investigation of the effectiveness of GI with PMR as a self-management intervention to reduce pain and mobility difficulties associated with OA.

Citation: Baird CL, Sands L. A pilot study of the effectiveness of guided imagery with progressive muscle relaxation to reduce chronic pain and mobility difficulties of osteoarthritis. Pain Management and Nursing. 2004 Sep; 5 (3): pages 97-104. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award