Changes in the meaning of pain with the use of guided imagery

Wendy Lewandowski, Marion Good, Claire Burke Draucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study is to determine how verbal descriptions of pain change with the use of a guided imagery technique. A mixed method, concurrent nested design was used. Participants in the treatment group used the guided imagery technique over a consecutive 4-day period, and those in the control group were monitored. Verbal descriptions of pain were obtained before randomization and at four daily intervals. A total of 210 pain descriptions were obtained across the five time points. Data were analyzed using content analysis. Six categories emerged from the data: pain is never-ending, pain is relative, pain is explainable, pain is torment, pain is restrictive, and pain is changeable. For participants in the treatment group, pain became changeable. The meaning of pain as never-ending was a prominent theme for participants before randomization to treatment and control groups. It remained a strong theme for participants in the control group throughout the 4-day study period; however, pain as never-ending did not resurface for participants in the treatment group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-67
Number of pages10
JournalPain Management Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing

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