Relaxation and imagery for chronic, nonmalignant pain: Effects on pain symptoms, quality of life, and mental health

Researchers performed a pilot study to observe the effects of a 6-week progressive relaxation technique and guided imagery intervention on patients with chronic pain. Results showed consistent and significant improvements on the patient’s pain as well as an increase in mental health and generally all domains of quality of life.

The study was 7 weeks long; 1 week of baseline followed by 6 weeks of intervention. Audio recordings were provided to the patients recommending them to perform these recordings once to twice daily.  Some questionnaires taken to track patient pain and progress were the; McGill Pain Questionnaire, visual analog scale and The Depression Anxiety and Stress 21 Scale.

To conclude, the results from the study showed significant positive outcomes of the combined use of a progressive relaxation technique and guided imagery for managing a assortment of chronic pain conditions. A general trend of improvement was specifically observed in quality of life domains and mental health.

Article Reference

Chen, Y. L., & Francis, A. (2010). Relaxation and imagery for chronic, nonmalignant pain: Effects on pain symptoms, quality of life, and mental health. Pain Management Nursing, 11(3), 159-168. doi:10.1016/j.pmn.2009.05.005