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Effects of guided imagery in persons diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

06 Mar

Researchers from Florida International University’s School of Nursing in Miami investigated the effects of a 6-week intervention of guided imagery on pain level, functional status, and self-efficacy in people with fibromyalgia (FM) in a two-group, randomized, controlled clinical trial with 48 subjects.

Participants randomized to the Guided Imagery (GI) plus Usual Care intervention group received a set of three audiotaped guided imagery scripts and were instructed to use at least one tape daily for 6 weeks and report the weekly frequency of their use (dosage) of the intervention. Participants assigned to the Usual Care alone group submitted weekly report forms on usual care.

All participants completed the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ), Arthritis Self- Efficacy Scale (ASES), and Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), at baseline, 6, and 10 weeks, and submitted frequency of use report forms.

The study found that fibromyalgia impact scores decreased over time in the GI group, as compared to the Usual Care group (p = 0.03). Ratings of self-efficacy for managing pain (p = 0.03) and other symptoms of FM also increased significantly over time (p= <0.01) in the GI group as compared to the Usual Care group. Pain as measured by the SF-MPQ did not change over time or by group. Imagery dosage was not significant.

This study concluded that it demonstrated the effectiveness of guided imagery in improving functional status and sense of self-efficacy for managing pain and other symptoms of FM. Participants'' reports of pain did not change. The investigators suggest that further studies should investigate the effects of mind-body interventions as adjunctive self-care modalities for fibromyalgia patients.

Citation: Menzies V, Taylor AG, Bourguignon C.Effects of guided imagery on outcomes of pain, functional status, and self-efficacy in persons diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2006 Jan-Feb; 12 (1): pages 23-30.
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