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Guided imagery in cardiac surgery.

15 Aug
In 1998, a research team led by Linda Halpin at the Inova Heart Center of Inova Fairfax Hospital compared cardiac surgical outcomes between two groups of heart patients - with and without guided imagery. A questionnaire was developed to assess the benefits of the guided imagery program to those who elected to participate in it, and, in addition, data from the hospital financial cost-accounting database were collected and matched to the two groups of patients.

Analysis of the data revealed that patients who completed the guided imagery program had a shorter average length of stay, a decrease in average direct pharmacy costs, and a decrease in average direct pain medication costs while maintaining high overall patient satisfaction with the care and treatment provided.

Guided imagery is now used as a standard, complementary therapy to help reduce anxiety, pain, and length of stay among the cardiac surgery patients at Inova Fairfax.

Citation: Halpin LS, Speir AM, CapoBianco P, Barnett SD. Guided imagery in cardiac surgery. Outcomes in Management & Nursing Practice, 2002 Jul-Sep;6(3):132-7.

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