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Changes in the meaning of pain with the use of guided imagery.

19 Sep

Researchers from Kent State University’s College of Nursing found that guided imagery changed the way patients described their pain. Imagery users found pain changeable; the controls found it never-ending..

Researchers from Kent State University’s College of Nursing examined how guided imagery changes the way people describe their pain. Participants in the treatment group used guided imagery over a consecutive 4-day period, and those in the control group were monitored.

Verbal descriptions of pain were obtained before randomization and at four daily intervals. Data were analyzed using content analysis. Six categories emerged from the data: pain is never-ending, pain is relative, pain is explainable, pain is torment, pain is restrictive, and pain is changeable.

For participants in the guided imagery treatment group, pain became changeable. The description of pain as never-ending was a prominent theme for participants before randomization to treatment and control groups. It remained a strong theme for participants in the control group throughout the 4-day study period; however, pain as never-ending did not resurface for participants in the guided imagery treatment group.

Citation: Lewandowski W, Good M, Draucker CB. Changes in the meaning of pain with the use of guided imagery. Pain Management in Nursing. 2005 Jun; 6 (2): pp. 58-67. This email address is being protected from spambots. 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