Researchers from 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.
In this 8-week, quasi-experimental study, patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia, aged 18 to 70 years (n = 60), were randomly assigned to a guided imagery group (n = 30) or a control group (n = 30).
The pain outcomes were measured by the McGill Pain Questionnaire long form (MPQ-LF) and the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). Depression was measured by the Beck Depression Inventory and the VAS for depression. Scores were examined at baseline, post-intervention (4th week), and at the end of the study (8th week).
In this pilot study, researchers from the University of Montreal in Quebec, Canada, investigated the efficacy of guided imagery for pain management with adolescents, ages 11-20 years, after undergoing spinal fusion surgery for scoliosis, a medical procedure that entails considerable anxiety and postoperative pain.
Participants were randomized to standard care or standard care with the guided imagery intervention, which consisted of a DVD with information and guided imagery/relaxation exercises to practice at least three times a week at home.
A nurse screened the DVD with the patient preoperatively and at discharge (T1) and telephoned 2 weeks post-discharge (T2) to reinforce the technique. Both groups completed questionnaires at T1, T2, and T3 (1-month postoperative follow-up).
Researchers from the University of Alicante in Alicante, Spain, performed a randomized controlled study to evaluate the impact of the Relaxation Response on enhancing the psychological well-being and modulating the immune responses of elderly people living in a residential facility when compared to a waitlist control group.
The study included a 2-week intervention period and a 3-month follow-up period. The main outcome variables were psychological well-being and quality of life, biomedical variables, and immune changes from the pre-treatment to post-treatment and follow-up periods.
Researchers from the Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak MI evaluated the effectiveness of massage therapy, with or without guided imagery, in reducing anxiety prior to cardiac catheterization.
A total of 55 inpatients and outpatients received massage, guided imagery, or massage with guided imagery prior to cardiac catheterization. Self-reported anxiety levels and blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) were evaluated in participants and a matched comparison group.
Massage with and without guided imagery resulted in significant reductions in self-reported anxiety (p < 0.0001). Additionally, patients receiving the intervention had lower diastolic BP and HR vs. the comparison group (p < 0.0001 and p < 0.05).
Researchers from the University of Siena in Italy and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital/Harvard Medical School studied the neuro-anatomical and psychological impact of an 8-week mindfulness based stress reduction program (MBSR) on 23 subjects who were new to meditation.
The investigators analyzed several morphometric indexes at both cortical and subcortical brain levels, as well as multiple psychological dimensions, before and after the 8-week training, comparing the meditators to age-gender matched subjects.
Researchers from the Allina Health System in Minneapolis, MN and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health conducted a large, retrospective study to determine the use and effectiveness of integrative medicine therapies on pain and anxiety in cancer patients.
Data obtained from electronic medical records identified patients with an oncology diagnosis who were admitted to Allina, a large Midwestern hospital, between July 1, 2009 and December 31, 2012.
Outcomes examined were change in patient-reported pain and anxiety, rated before and after individual IM treatment sessions, using a numeric scale (0–10).
Researchers from the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Learning at the Swedish Institute for Disability Research at Linköping University in Sweden, performed a follow-up study to evaluate the outcome of an 8-week, internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) program for major depression, completed 3.5 years previous. Prior to this study, the longest length of post-treatment time for follow-up was 1.5 years.
A total of 88 people with major depression were randomized to either guided self-help or e-mail therapy in the original trial. One-third was initially on a waiting-list.
Treatment was provided for eight weeks and in this report long-term follow-up data were collected. Also included were data from post-treatment and six-month follow-up.
[Ed. Note: The findings from this study contradict a lot of other studies that conclude otherwise, but we thought we should post it just the same, to be "fair and balanced". It's not clear why this study showed such disappointing results – could be low numbers or the quality of the interventions – hard to say.]
Researchers from National University School of Health and Human Services in Henderson, Nevada, developed a biofeedback-assisted relaxation training program to help nursing students who experience such debilitating test anxiety that they are unable to demonstrate their knowledge and therefore underperform academically.
Anxiety was measured using Spielberger's Test Anxiety Inventory and also by monitoring peripheral skin temperature, pulse, and respiration rates during the training. Participants were introduced to diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and autogenic training.
Researchers from the UCLA School of Nursing evaluated a program of early, home based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program to remediate depression in patients recovering from cardiac surgery.
They conducted a randomized controlled trial and enrolled 808 patients who were screened for depressive symptoms, using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) in the hospital and 1 month later. Patients were also interviewed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV; those who met criteria for clinical depression (n = 81) were randomized to CBT (n = 45) or usual care (UC; n = 36). After completion of the UC period, 25 individuals were offered later CBT (UC + CBT).
The outcomes were evaluated after 8 weeks. Compared with the Usual Care group, the CBT group had greater decline in depression scores and greater remission of clinical depression.
Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong's school of public health investigated the impact of mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) on the mental health of caregivers looking after chronically ill family members.
Caregivers of persons with chronic conditions who scored 7 or above in the Caregiver Strain Index were randomly assigned to an 8-week MBSR group (n = 70) or a self-help control group (n = 71).
Validated instruments were used to assess the changes in symptoms of depression and anxiety, quality of life, self-efficacy, self-compassion and mindfulness. Assessments were conducted at baseline, post-intervention and at the 3-month follow-up.