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Imagery Doubles Abstinence for Smokers

27 Mar

A new, two-year study by Christine Wynd out of the University of Akron demonstrates the power of guided imagery (ours , in fact!) - to double the abstinence rate among people who quit smoking

Nursing Researcher Christine Wynd from the University of Akron’s College of Nursing studied the impact of guided imagery on smoking cessation and long-term abstinence in adult smokers.

Wynd used a repeated measures design with 71 smokers who were recruited from a hospital outpatient clinic - 38 in the intervention group, and 33 in the control group.

Both groups received educational and counseling sessions in their homes. The intervention group was provided with additional instruction in the use of guided imagery and was encouraged to practice this imagery at least once per day with a 20-minute audiotaped exercise for reinforcement (The Health Journeys Stop Smoking audio program). The repeated measures included smoking rates (number of cigarettes per day) that were measured and confirmed through corroborating friends and family.

The study found that at 24-months after the intervention, smoking abstinence rates were significantly stronger for the guided health imagery intervention group over the placebo control group (26% abstinence rate versus 12%).

The study concluded that guided imagery was an effective intervention for long-term smoking cessation and abstinence in adult smokers.

Citation: Wynd CA. Guided health imagery for smoking cessation and long-term abstinence. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 2005; 37:3, pages 245-250. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, 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