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Relaxation and Imagery for Anxiety and Depression Control in Community Patients With Advanced Cancer

Sloman, Rod PhD, BA (Hons), RN


A community-based nursing study was conducted in Sydney, Australia, to compare the effects of progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery on anxiety, depression, and quality of life in people with advanced cancer. In this study, 56 people with advanced cancer who were experiencing anxiety and depression were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatment conditions: (1) progressive muscle relaxation training, (2) guided imagery training, (3) both of these treatments, and (4) control group. Subjects were tested before and after learning muscle relaxation and guided imagery techniques for anxiety, depression, and quality of life using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale and the Functional Living Index—Cancer scale. There was no significant improvement for anxiety; however, significant positive changes occurred for depression and quality of life.

From The Hebrew University, School of Nursing, Jerusalem, Israel.

Corresponding author: Rod Sloman, PhD, BA (Hons), RN, e-mail:

Accepted for publication August 15, 2002.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.