The Effects of Brief Guided Imagery on Patients Suffering From Chronic Back Pain: An A-B Design Study

Anat Kaplun, Svetlana Trosman, Tatiana Reitblat, Alan Friedman, Leonid Kalichman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Guided imagery (GI) is a non-pharmacological method used to reduce pain, stress, and anxiety. Aims: This study aimed to evaluate the impact of brief GI on symptoms of chronic back pain in adults treated in the Rheumatology clinic. Design: A-B design study. Settings & Participants: A sample of 35 women with chronic back pain were recruited at the Rheumatology Outpatient Clinic of Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, Israel. Methods: All subjects completed questionnaires at recruitment (T1), and after 8-10 weeks, they completed questionnaires again before the first intervention (T2). The intervention included five brief GI group meetings every 2-3 weeks, one hour each (3-5 subjects per group). Participants learned 6 GI exercises and were asked to practice brief guided imagery exercises at least once daily. Then, questionnaires were completed the third time (T3). Outcome measures: MOQ - Modified Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire, STAI - State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, FABQ - Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire, NPRS - Numerical Pain Rating Scale (average pain over the last week). Results: Compared with the period without intervention, NPRS (Δ = 2.53, standard error [SE] = 0.43, p < .001), STAI (Δ = 8.41, SE = 1.95, p < .001), and MOQ (Δ = 0.06, SE = 0.02, p = .019) reported significantly lower levels after brief guided imagery training. However, no statistically significant change was found in FABQ. Conclusions: The brief guided imagery intervention may help alleviate chronic back pain, help decrease anxiety, and improve daily activity in women who suffer from chronic low back pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-497
Number of pages6
JournalPain Management Nursing
Issue number5
StateAccepted/In press - 26 Jun 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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