Research Article
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Published Online: 22 February 2006

Effects of Guided Imagery on Outcomes of Pain, Functional Status, and Self-Efficacy in Persons Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia

Publication: Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine
Volume 12, Issue Number 1


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.

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Published In

cover image The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine
Volume 12Issue Number 1January/February 2006
Pages: 23 - 30
PubMed: 16494565


Published online: 22 February 2006
Published in print: January/February 2006


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Victoria Menzies
Florida International University, School of Nursing, Miami, FL.
Ann Gill Taylor
Center for the Study of Complementary & Alternative Therapies, University of Virginia School of Nursing, Charlottesville, VA.
Cheryl Bourguignon
Center for the Study of Complementary & Alternative Therapies, University of Virginia School of Nursing, Charlottesville, VA.

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