Abstract: Effects of guided imagery on outcomes of pain, functional status, and self-efficacy in persons diagnosed with fibromyalgia

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J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Jan-Feb;12(1):23-30.

Menzies V, Taylor AG, Bourguignon C.

Florida International University, School of Nursing, Miami, FL.

Objectives: (1) To investigate the effects of a 6-week intervention of guided imagery on pain level, functional status, and self-efficacy in persons with fibromyalgia (FM); and (2) to explore the dose-response effect of imagery use on outcomes.

Design: Longitudinal, prospective, two-group, randomized, controlled clinical trial.

Setting and subjects: The sample included 48 persons with FM recruited from physicians’ offices and clinics in the mid-Atlantic region.

Intervention: Participants randomized to 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 weekly frequency of use (dosage).

Participants assigned to the Usual Care alone group submitted weekly report forms on usual care.

Measures: 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.

Results: FIQ scores decreased over time in the GI group 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 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.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated the effectiveness of guided imagery in improving functional status and sense of self-efficacy for managing pain and other symptoms of FM. However, participants' reports of pain did not change. Further studies investigating the effects of mind-body interventions as adjunctive self-care modalities are warranted in the fibromyalgia patient population.

PMID: 16494565 [PubMed – in process]

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