Abstract Title:

Guided imagery interventions for symptom management.

Abstract Source:

Annu Rev Nurs Res. 1999 ;17:57-84. PMID: 10418653

Abstract Author(s):

L S Eller


For the past several decades, papers in the nursing literature have advocated the use of cognitive interventions in clinical practice. Increasing consumer use of complementary therapies, a cost-driven health care system, and the need for evidence-based practice all lend urgency to the validation of the efficacy of these interventions. This review focuses specifically on guided imagery intervention studies identified in the nursing, medical and psychological literature published between 1966 and 1998. Included were 46 studies of the use of guided imagery for management of psychological and physiological symptoms. There is preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of guided imagery in the management of stress, anxiety and depression, and for the reduction of blood pressure, pain and the side effects of chemotherapy. Overall, results of this review demonstrated a need for systematic, well-designed studies, which explore several unanswered questions regarding the use of guided imagery. These include the effects of different imagery language, symptoms for which guided imagery is effective, appropriate and sensitive outcome measures, method of delivery of the intervention and optimum dose and duration of the intervention, and individual factors that influence its effectiveness.

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