RESEARCH FINDINGS USING GUIDED IMAGERY FOR
The Value of Colonoscopy
Nearly 14.2 million colonoscopies are performed yearly in the United States in 2002 (Seeff, Manninen, et al, 2004). The majority of colonoscopies are done to detect colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S.
There are about 130,000 new cases and 57,000 deaths from colon cancer annually (Landis, Murray et al, 1999). According to the American Cancer Society, early detection can increase survival in colon cancer by 90%, but only 37% of colon cancers are detected early (Hoffmann, 2000).
Problems with Colonoscopy
Many patients avoid recommended sigmoidoscopies and colonoscopies out of fear of the procedure itself, or fear of what the procedure will find. Sometimes people simply don’t know about its potential benefits. Studies show that pre-colonoscopic anxiety is a significant problem. Providing people with information about the procedure can reduce anxiety and improve acceptance of the procedure (Bebbenslleben and Rohde, 1990; Luck, Pearson et al, 1999).
Distress due to intestinal cramping can make colonoscopy much harder for both patient and medical team. Severe anxiety sometimes prevents completion of the examination. But using intravenous (I.V.) sedation may cause hypoxia (low oxygen) and hypotension (low blood pressure) in some patients.
The Role of Relaxation and Imagery
Many studies have shown that relaxation with guided imagery, hypnosis, and/or music can reduce patient discomfort, raise patient tolerance of and satisfaction with the procedure, and reduce need for sedation in colonoscopies, endoscopies, and some vascular procedures (Bampton and Draper, 1997; Cadranel, Benhamou, et al, 1994; Harikumar, Rai, et al, 2006; Lang, Benotsch, et al, 2000; Lee, Chan, et al, 2002; Salmore and Nelson, 2000).
Reduced sedation during colonoscopy decreases complications, cuts the need for expensive monitoring, and allows patients and caregivers to quickly return to their daily lives (Cataldo, 1996). Increased satisfaction improves willingness to have future procedures, if needed.
Guided imagery is a safe, effective, and can increase patient compliance and satisfaction with colonoscopy, a procedure with known cost-effectiveness and outcome benefits. Guided imagery can reduce need for sedation, leading to direct cost savings and reduced chance of complications.
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Accessed July, 2006.
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