Guided Health Imagery for Smoking Cessation and Long-Term Abstinence


  • Christine A. Wynd

    1. Christine A. Wynd, RN, PhD, CNAA, Tau Theta, Professor and Director of the PhD in Nursing Program, University of Akron College of Nursing, Akron, OH. This study was funded by the University of Akron Faculty Research Grants program. Correspondence to Dr. Wynd, University of Akron College of Nursing, 209 Carroll Street, Akron, OH 44325-3701. E-mail:
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Purpose:To examine the effectiveness of guided imagery for immediate smoking cessation and long-term abstinence in adult smokers.

Design:A repeated measures design was used with 71 smokers recruited from a hospital outpatient clinic, 38 in the intervention group, and 33 in the control group.

Methods:Both study groups received educational and counseling sessions in their homes. The intervention group was provided with additional instruction in the use of guided imagery and was encouraged to practice this imagery at least once per day with a 20-minute audiotaped exercise for reinforcement. The repeated measures included smoking rates (cigarettes per day) that were measured and confirmed through corroborating friends and family.

Findings:At 24-months after the intervention, smoking abstinence rates were significantly higher for the guided health imagery intervention group (26% abstinence rate versus 12% abstinence rate for the placebo-control group).

Conclusions:Guided imagery was an effective intervention for long-term smoking cessation and abstinence in adult smokers.