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Women's Health/OBGYN Research

Women's Health/OBGYN Research (41)

06 Mar

Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Nursing in Richmond, VA, explored the effects of relaxation-guided imagery on stress, anxiety, and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) levels in pregnant African American women beginning their second trimester.

The prospective, longitudinal pilot study of 59 women used a controlled, randomized experimental design with the two groups conducted over 12 weeks. The intervention was a set of three relaxation guided imagery CDs developed and sequenced to influence study outcomes. The control group was usual care patients.

30 Jan

Researchers from Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital and The Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, reviewed the literature to see if hypnosis worked to reduce hyperemesis gravidarum - severe and persistent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

A literature search was carried out using Cochrane, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, and Web of Knowledge databases. A total of 45 studies were identified by the search. Six studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria re: study design, methodological quality, intervention and outcomes.

Methodology between the studies differed but all reported encouraging positive outcomes. 

02 Jan

Researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital (Harvard Medical School) examined whether maternal relaxation exercises impact fetal behavior and uterine activity, while also investigating the underlying physiological and endocrine mechanisms for the transfer of relaxation from mother to fetus.

The behavior of 33 fetuses was analyzed during laboratory relaxation/quiet rest and controlled for baseline fetal behavior.  Potential associations between relaxation/quiet rest and fetal behavior (fetal heart rate, fetal heart rate variation, fetal heart rate acceleration, and body movements) and uterine activity were studied, using a computerized cardiotocogram system. Maternal heart rate, blood pressure, cortisol, and norepinephrine levels were all measured.

06 Dec

Researchers in nursing from the University of Toronto investigated whether relaxation through guided imagery could reduce blood pressure in hypertensive pregnant women, as it does in non-pregnant women, with this feasibility study.

A total of 69 pregnant women with hypertension were randomized to either a guided imagery intervention or quiet rest, twice daily for 4 weeks or until delivery, whichever came first.  Daytime ambulatory mean arterial pressure, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and anxiety were measured weekly (for up to four weeks).

05 Jul

Researchers from William Beaumont Hospital’s Department of Urology in Royal Oak, Michigan, conducted a pilot study to see if guided imagery might have an effect on the symptoms of interstitial cystitis, a condition involving urinary urgency, frequency, and pelvic pain, which affects more than a million women in the U.S.

Thirty women with diagnosed IC were randomized into 2 equal groups. The treatment group listened to a 25-minute guided imagery compact disc, created specifically for women with pelvic pain and IC, twice a day for 8 weeks. The control arm rested for 25 minutes twice daily for 8 weeks.

28 Jun

Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York tested the effectiveness of a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy and hypnosis (CBTH) to ameliorate radiotherapy-related fatigue.

Women (n = 42) scheduled for breast cancer radiotherapy were randomly assigned to receive standard medical care (SMC) (n = 20) or a CBTH intervention (n = 22) in addition to standard medical care.
Participants assigned to receive CBTH met individually with a clinical psychologist, receiving training in hypnosis and CBT. Participants assigned to the SMC control condition did not meet with a study psychologist.

24 May

Researchers from University Hospital Basel in Switzerland compared the immediate effects of brief guided imagery and relaxation exercises - two active and one passive 10-min relaxation technique - on prenatal stress in a randomized, controlled trial with 39 healthy pregnant women.

Subjects were assigned to one of two active relaxation techniques, progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) or guided imagery (GI), or a passive relaxation control condition. 

Measures were self-reported relaxation on a visual analogue scale (VAS); the State Anxiety Inventory (STAI-S); scores on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (cortisol and ACTH); and sympathetic-adrenal-medullary (SAM) system activity (norepinephrine and epinephrine). Additionally, measures were taken of cardiovascular responses, such as heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure.  Scores were measured at four points before and after the relaxation exercise.


21 Jun

Researchers from the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation in Bangalore, India studied the effect of integrated yoga practice and guided relaxation on both perceived stress and measured autonomic response in healthy pregnant women.

The 122 healthy women in the study were recruited between the 18th and 20th week of pregnancy at prenatal clinics in Bangalore, India, and were randomized to practicing yoga and deep relaxation or standard prenatal exercises 1-hour daily. Forty-five participants in each group completed the study, and were evaluated by repeated measures analysis of variance.

19 Apr

Researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada reviewed the literature to investigate whether Eastern techniques, such as mindfulness, acupuncture or yoga might be used to improve unsatisfying sexual experiences in women (problems with desire, arousal or orgasm).

The search revealed only two empirical studies of mindfulness, two of acupuncture, and one of yoga in the treatment of sexual dysfunction.  These limited results revealed that mindfulness significantly improved several aspects of sexual response and reduced sexual distress in women with sexual desire and arousal disorders. 

22 Mar

 We got this enthusiastic email about using guided imagery for a hysterectomy a while back:

"I was told about the Successful Surgery CD by an acquaintance and decided to try it before my surgery.

When I was in my 20's I learned self-hypnosis to alleviate my fear and it was invaluable during the labor of my first child. I wish I would have continued practicing it, but once used, I put it aside.