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Effect of guided imagery on quality of life in older women with osteoarthritis

11 Aug
Researchers from Purdue University School of Nursing tested the effectiveness of guided imagery with relaxation (GIR) to improve health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in older women with osteoarthritis (OA) - the most common cause of disability in older adults.
A randomized pilot study was conducted to determine whether guided imagery and relaxation (GIR) leads to better health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and whether improvement in HRQOL could be attributed to improvements in pain and mobility generated by the GIR. Twenty-eight women were randomized to either the GIR intervention or the control intervention group.

The study found that using GIR for 12 weeks significantly increased the women's HRQOL in comparison to the women who used the control intervention, even after statistically adjusting for changes in pain and mobility.

These findings suggest that the effects of GIR on HRQOL are not limited to improvements in pain and mobility. GIR may be an easy-to-use self-management intervention to improve the QOL of older adults with OA.

Citation:Baird CL, Sands LP. Effect of guided imagery with relaxation on health-related quality of life in older women with osteoarthritis. Research in Nursing and Health. 2006 Oct; 29 (5): pages 442-51.
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