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

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

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  • 1Florida International University, School of Nursing, Miami, FL 33199, USA. menzies@fiu.edu



(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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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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