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The Effects of Guided Imagery on Comfort in Palliative Care

Coelho, Adriana, RN; Parola, Vitor, RN; Sandgren, Anna, PhD, RN; Fernandes, Olga, PhD, RN; Kolcaba, Katharine, PhD, RN; Apóstolo, João, PhD, RN

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: August 2018 - Volume 20 - Issue 4 - p 392–399
doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000460
Feature Articles

Guided imagery (GI) is a nonpharmacological intervention that is increasingly implemented in different clinical contexts. However, there have been no studies on the effect of GI on the comfort of inpatients of palliative care (PC) units. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of GI on the comfort of patients in PC. A 1-group, pretest-posttest, pre-experimental design was used to measure differences in heart rate, respiratory rate, pain, and comfort in patients (n = 26) before and after a 2-session GI program. The intervention featuring GI increased comfort, measured by an Abbreviated Holistic Comfort Scale and the visual analog comfort scale (P < .001), and decreased heart rate (P < .001), respiratory rate (P < .001), and pain, as measured by the (numerical) visual analog pain scale (P < .001). This study demonstrates that the use of an intervention featuring GI increases the comfort of oncology patients admitted to a PC unit. The use of GI by nurses is inexpensive, straightforward to implement, and readily available and may result in the provision of comfort care.

Adriana Coelho, RN, is PhD student, Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, University of Porto, and guest assistant at the Nursing School of Coimbra, Portugal Centre for Evidence-Based Practice: A Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Excellence.

Vitor Parola, RN, is PhD student, Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, University of Porto, and guest assistant at the Nursing School of Coimbra, Portugal Centre for Evidence-Based Practice: A Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Excellence.

Anna Sandgren, PhD, RN, is associate professor, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, and director, Center for Collaborative Palliative Care, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden.

Olga Fernandes, PhD, RN, is coordinator professor, Nursing School of Porto, and member, Group Investigation NurID, Center for Health Technology and Services Research, Faculty of Medicine of the University of Porto, Portugal.

Katharine Kolcaba, PhD, RN, is associate professor (Emeritus), College of Nursing, The University of Akron, Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

João Apóstolo, PhD, RN, is professor with aggregation, Nursing School of Coimbra, and deputy director, Portugal Centre for Evidence-Based Practice: A Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Excellence at the Health Sciences Research Unit: Nursing, Nursing School of Coimbra.

Address correspondence to Adriana Coelho, RN, Avenida Bissaya Barreto, Apartado 7001, 3046-851 Coimbra, Portugal (adriananevescoelho@esenfc.pt).

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2018 by The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.