A significant number of people world-wide suffer with chronic pain, which affects every aspect of their lives, and often results in depression.
Researchers at Kent State University and Case Western University, led by Kent State nursing professor Wendy Lewandowski, tracked the experience of 44 patients being treated for chronic pain.
Patients in one group listened to a seven-minute audio tape that helped them to relax, focus on the sensory images their pain evoked, and then guided them to change the sensory images.
This technique, known as "guided imagery," is an effective supplement to medication therapy, the researchers found. Unlike those in the control group, the guided imagery patients in the study described their pain as ultimately more tolerable or easier to control.
The study's findings were published in the journal Pain Management Nursing.
Materials provided by Kent State University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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