King, K. (2010). A review of the effects of guided imagery on cancer patients with pain. Complementary Health Practice Review, 15, 98–107.doi: 10.1177/1533210110388113
To review the effects of guided imagery on patients with cancer experiencing pain
The type of report was systematic review.
In order to focus on the most current research, this review targeted articles published during 2001–2008.
Five studies included pain as either a primary or secondary outcome measure. In three of those, pain intensity and pain-related distress decreased in the guided imagery intervention versus control for pain intensity and pain-related distress, average pain score decreased, and there was a decrease in body discomfort.
It is difficult to give concrete recommendations that guided imagery will work for all patients who suffer from cancer pain. However, based on the information from these reviews, guided imagery can be recommended as a potential aid in the relief of pain associated with cancer.
Inconsistencies and limitations included the small sample size, different patient populations, different scripts, and frequency of medication administration.
There is inconsistency in the methodological qualities of these trials. Further research is necessary to provide better evidence for the use of guided imagery in cancer pain.