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Guided Imagery: Reducing Anxiety, Depression, and Selected Side Effects Associated With Chemotherapy

Mohammad Javad Mahdizadeh
Batool Tirgari
Om Salimeh Roudi Rasht Abadi
Kambiz Bahaadinbeigy
CJON 2019, 23(5), E87-E92 DOI: 10.1188/19.CJON.E87-E92

Background: Cancer treatment can be a great source of anxiety and depression for patients. Patients who experience anxiety and depression may be treated with a variety of nonpharmacologic treatments, such as guided imagery.

Objectives: The purpose of this article is to determine the effect of guided imagery on patients’ anxiety, depression, and other selected side effects prompted by chemotherapy.

Methods: This pre- and postintervention assessment randomly selected patients with various types of cancer who were undergoing chemotherapy to listen to a guided imagery audio file for 20 minutes per day for one week. Data collection included a demographic questionnaire, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Symptom Distress Scale.

Findings: A significant decrease in anxiety and depression was noted in the intervention group compared to the control group. No reduction in the mean score for anxiety and depression was observed postintervention for the control group. In addition, patients in the intervention group showed improvement in all side effect categories. Patients in the intervention group reported the greatest rate of improvement in the items of pain, insomnia, appetite, and nausea.

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