Research: MENZIES and co-workers,

Listed in Issue 134


MENZIES and co-workers, Florida International University, School of Nursing, Miami, FL 33199, USA, have introduced a guided imagery programme to patients with fibromyalgia.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a 6-week intervention of guided imagery on pain level, functional status, and self-efficacy in persons with fibromyalgia; and to explore the dose-response effect of imagery use on outcomes.


In this longitudinal, prospective, two-group, randomized, controlled clinical trial, 48 persons with fibromyalgia were recruited. Participants randomized to Guided Imagery plus Usual Care 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, Arthritis Self- Efficacy Scale, and Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, at baseline, 6, and 10 weeks.


Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire scores decreased over time in the treatment group compared to the control group (p = 0.03). Ratings of self-efficacy for managing pain (p = 0.03) and other symptoms of fibromyalgia also increased significantly over time (p = < 0.01) in the treatment group compared to the control group. Pain scores 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 fibromyalgia. Further studies investigating the effects of mind-body interventions as adjunctive self-care modalities are warranted in the fibromyalgia patient population.


Menzies V, Taylor AG, Bourguignon C. Effects of guided imagery on outcomes of pain, functional status, and self-efficacy in persons diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 12 (1): 23-30, Jan-Feb 2006.


The methodologies reported above using guided imagery with fibromyalgia patients indicate real, clinical strategies to help these individuals manage their symptoms more effectively.

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