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30 Jul

In a small pilot study, Israeli researchers from Tel Aviv University and Bar-Ilan University examined the impact of guided imagery on Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS.

A total of 15 irritable bowel syndrome patients received guided affective imagery and 19 patients served as controls. Symptom severity and irritable bowel syndrome quality of life were measured at baseline and at 8 weeks.

Findings revealed that IBS symptom severity decreased in the guided affective imagery group, as compared with the controls (-1.5 ± 1.9 vs 0.1 ± 1.6, p = 0.04).

23 Jul

Researchers from the University of California at San Diego examined whether mindfulness training can improve resilience in active duty Marines preparing for deployment.

Eight Marine infantry platoons (N=281) were randomly selected. Four platoons were assigned to receive mindfulness training (N=147) and four were assigned to a training-as-usual control condition (N=134).

Platoons were assessed at baseline, 8 weeks after baseline, and during and after a stressful combat training session approximately 9 weeks after baseline.

The mindfulness training condition was delivered in the form of 8 weeks of Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT), a program comprising 20 hours of classroom instruction plus daily homework exercises.

16 Jul

Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine reported on the long-term effects of a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Of the study participants, 73% returned to the clinic for a single-session follow-up assessment of depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and mindfulness after 2.5 years.

Repeated measures mixed regression analyses revealed significant long-term improvements in depression, PTSD, anxiety symptoms, and mindfulness scores. The magnitude of intervention effects at 128 weeks ranged from d = .5 to d = 1.1.

The investigators conclude that MBSR may be an effective long-term treatment for adults who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. Further investigation of MBSR with this population is warranted, given the durability of treatment effects described here.

Citation: Earley MD1, Chesney MA, Frye J, Greene PA, Berman B, Kimbrough E. Mindfulness intervention for child abuse survivors: a 2.5-year follow-up. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 2014 Oct;70 (10):pages 933-41. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22102. Epub 2014 May 20.

09 Jul

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin's School of Nursing performed a systematic review of the efficacy of relaxation, meditation and guided imagery on symptom management for heart failure, such as pain, dyspnea, fatigue, and sleep disruption.

Data bases such as CINAHL, Medline, and PsychINFO were searched from inception through December 2014. Articles were selected for inclusion if they tested a cognitive-behavioral (mind-body) strategy using a quasi-experimental or experimental design, involved a sample of adults with heart failure, and measured pain, dyspnea, fatigue, sleep disturbance, or symptom-related quality of life.

Thirteen articles describing 9 unique studies met the criteria and were included in the review. Five studies tested relaxation strategies, 3 tested meditation strategies, and 1 tested a guided imagery strategy.

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).