The purpose of this exploratory study was to describe children's use of imagery before and after ambulatory surgery (AS). The study sample was a subset of 75 children (7-12 years) who were randomly assigned to the treatment group (n = 38) from five AS settings in a larger study on the effectiveness of imagery after surgery. They listened to an audiotape of imagery before surgery, after surgery, and after discharge from AS. Imagery use was evaluated with the Imagery Assessment Questionnaire and a home diary. Imagery tapes were used significantly more times at home after surgery than before surgery. There were no significant changes in the children's Imagery Assessment Questionnaire scores at any time point. Children most often imagined going to the park when they used the tape.
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