Use of guided imagery and relaxation for the quality of life of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy
Straw, Geoffrey W.
Master of Arts
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This study examines, among cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, the influence of relaxation training plus guided imagery on quality of life. Nineteen patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The experimental group subjects were given an audiotape containing relaxation and guided imagery and were instructed to listen daily for six weeks. The control group subjects were instructed to take time every day and relax while listening to music prepared by the investigator. A ll subjects completed the Functional Living Index for Cancer, the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scales, and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. In addition, physicians rated subjects' level of physical functioning using the ECOG scale, as w ell as the chemotherapy Intensity of treatment regime. Results indicate that subjects who listened to the relaxing music reported a significant Increase in quality of life from pre to post intervention, while the experimental or Imagery group subjects did not. Subjects in both groups reported significant decreases In state anxiety, but only subjects in the control group reported a significant change in trait anxiety over the course of the Intervention. In addition, subjects who scored lower on a measure of internal locus of control experienced the greatest improvement In quality of life over the course of the six week intervention. The results implicate the toxicity of chemotherapy as a factor influencing quality of life , and suggest that the benefits of relaxation for the patient undergoing chemotherapy can be achieved by simply taking time each day to enjoy the calming effects of music.