Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

You are here: Home Hot Research Guided Imagery for Coronary Bypass: Does It Reduce Post-Op Depression & Anxiety?

Guided Imagery for Coronary Bypass: Does It Reduce Post-Op Depression & Anxiety?

06 Feb

Researchers from the Pain Division of the Department of Anesthesiology at Columbia University in New York, concerned about the connection between depression/anxiety and the postoperative risk of a patient having a cardiac event after coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), explored whether guided imagery might reduce postoperative distress in these patients.

Fifty-six patients scheduled to undergo coronary artery bypass grafting at Columbia University Medical Center were randomized into 3 groups: guided imagery, music therapy, and standard care control.  Patients in the imagery and music groups listened to audiotapes preoperatively and intraoperatively. All patients completed psychological assessments, disclosure of their use of CAM therapies, and other assessments before surgery and after one week and 6 months postoperatively.

The only predictor of postoperative distress at follow-up was preoperative distress.  Use of complementary medicine therapies was high in all groups and this fact, in addition to the small sample size, may have confounded the outcomes, resulting in the lack of significant relationship between imagery and postoperative distress.

Regardless, this complementary and alternative medicine therapy is palatable to patients.  Given its efficacy in other patient populations, it is worth exploring its potential utility for this population with a larger sample.

Citation:  Stein TR, Olivo EL, Grand SH, Namerow PB, Costa J, Oz MC. A pilot study to assess the effects of a guided imagery audiotape intervention on psychological outcomes in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Holistic Nurse Practitioner. 2010 Jul-Aug; 24 (4): pages 213-22. 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