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02 Jul

In the great tradition of Aussie online mental health services, researchers from the University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital performed a comparative evaluation of two online programs, hosted on a single website (www.moodswings.net.au), to help treat bipolar illness.

A basic version, called MoodSwings (MS), containing psycho-education material and asynchronous discussion boards was compared to a more interactive program, MoodSwings Plus (MS-Plus), combining the basic psycho-education material and discussion boards with elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. These programs were evaluated in a head-to-head study design.

Participants with Bipolar I or II disorder (n=156) were randomized to receive either MoodSwings or MoodSwings-Plus. Outcomes included mood symptoms, the occurrence of relapse, functionality, locus of control, social support, quality of life and medication adherence.

25 Jun

Researchers from Mind Matters Research in Anchorage, Alaska, conducted a multi-site randomized trial to evaluate the impact on quality of life (QOL) benefits of an imagery-based group intervention titled 'Envision the Rhythms of Life'(ERL).

Breast cancer survivors more than 6 weeks post-treatment were randomized to attend either five weekly, 4-hour group sessions at a community center with therapist present (live delivery (LD), n = 48), or with the therapist streamed via telemedicine (telemedicine delivery (TD), n = 23), or to a waitlist control (WL) group (n = 47).

Weekly individual phone calls to encourage at-home practice began at session one and continued until the 3-month follow-up.

Seven self-report measures of QOL were examined at baseline, 1-month and 3-month post-treatment times, including health-related and breast cancer-specific QOL, fatigue, cognitive function, spirituality, distress, and sleep.

18 Jun

Researchers from the Department of Nursing and Physical Therapy at the University of Almeria and Poniente Hospital in Almeria, Spain evaluated the effects of guided imagery as a nursing intervention for pain management and depression in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Guided imagery has been used for different purposes and it is thought to be an effective intervention for people suffering from nonmalignant pain.

They conducted an 8-week long, 2-group, quasi-experimental study with 60 patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia, who were randomly assigned to either a guided imagery group (n = 30) or a control group (n = 30).

The outcomes measures were pain scores from the McGill Pain Questionnaire long form (MPQ-LF) and a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS); and depression scores from the Beck Depression Inventory and a VAS for depression. Effects were examined at baseline, post-intervention (4th week), and at 8 weeks post-intervention.

11 Jun

Researchers from Örebro University's School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, in Örebro, Sweden, investigated whether the promising results gained by internet-based cognitive behavior therapy with college students suffering from social anxiety and public speaking fears, could also be achieved with high school students.

In this randomized pilot with a pre-test/post-test design, 19 speech-anxious high school students with social anxiety disorder were randomized to either 9 weeks of Internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy or to a wait-list control group.

04 Jun

Researchers from Pusan National University in Korea used a pre- and post-test consecutive experimental design to evaluate the effects of guided imagery on stress and fatigue in patients undergoing radioactive iodine therapy following a thyroidectomy.

Eighty-four subjects with thyroid cancer were assigned to either an experimental group (n=44) which received 4 weeks of guided imagery once a day or a treatment as usual group (n=40).

28 May

Researchers from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom investigated end users' views of two online approaches to self-help for depression: computerized cognitive behavior therapy (cCBT) and informational websites, in a workplace context.

Computerized CBT offers an inexpensive and accessible alternative to face-to-face therapy, and employers have an interest in reducing the working time lost to depression or stress.

Yet little is known about how employees, who have actual experience of using online approaches, judge the intervention as a process.

The qualitative data reported here were collected within an online randomized controlled trial whose participants had diagnosable depression. The experimental intervention was a 5-week cCBT program called MoodGYM (very popular in Australia).

21 May

Aussies love web and phone based interventions for health education and mental health, and are pre-eminent researchers and evaluators of digital services – probably because flesh and blood providers can be hard to come by in the vast, non-urban areas of this very big country that's also a continent.

This Australian study examines whether mental health self-efficacy (MHSE), a construct from Bandura's Social Learning Theory (SLT), influences the positive results of web-based interventions on such conditions as depression and anxiety.

14 May

Researchers from the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, explored the efficacy of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for children with posttraumatic stress symptoms, comparing it to the more well-established treatment of trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT).

A randomized controlled trial investigated the effectiveness and efficiency of both treatments. Forty-eight children (8-18 years) were randomly assigned to eight sessions of TF-CBT or EMDR.

07 May

Researchers from Vanderbilt University investigated the impact of mindfulness practice and positive psychology practice on mothers of children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. These mothers are known to live with extra stress, depression and anxiety, from the burdens of caring for their children.

A total of 243 mothers of children with disabilities were randomized into either a 6-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (mindfulness practice) intervention or a 6-week Positive Adult Development (positive psychology practice) intervention.

30 Apr

Researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, tested the effectiveness of mindfulness-based therapy, either immediately or after a 3-month waiting period, in women seeking treatment for low levels of sexual desire and arousal.

There is increasing evidence that mindfulness, defined as non-judgmental present moment awareness, may improve women's sexual functioning.

Women subjects participated in four 90-min group sessions that included mindfulness meditation, cognitive therapy, and education. A total of 117 women were assigned to either the immediate treatment (n = 68, mean age 40.8 yrs) or delayed treatment (n = 49, mean age 42.2 yrs) group, in which they received two pre-treatment baseline assessments followed by treatment.