Effects of relaxation with guided imagery on surgical stress and wound healing


  • Carole Holden-lund

    1. Carole Holden-Lund, Ph.D., R.N., is an assistant professor and Coordinator of Nursing Research at Southeastern Louisiana University School of Nursing, Hammond, La.
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The purpose of this experiment was to determine the effects of an audiotape series employing Relaxation with Guided Imagery (RGI) on the psychophysiologic stress response and wound healing in surgical patients. Twenty-four patients undergoing cholecystectomy were randomly assigned to either RGI or control (quiet period) conditions and measured against three indexes of recovery: state anxiety, urinary cortisol levels, and wound inflammatory responses. An analysis of variance for repeated measures revealed that the RGI group demonstrated significantly less state anxiety, lower cortisol levels one day following surgery, and less surgical wound erythema than the control group. Thus, the RGI tapes demonstrated stress-relieving outcomes closely associated with healing.