Guided health imagery for smoking cessation and long-term abstinence

J Nurs Scholarsh. 2005;37(3):245-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1547-5069.2005.00042.x.


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 audio-taped 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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude to Health
  • Breathing Exercises
  • Counseling / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy / education
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Recurrence
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • Self Care / methods
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Smoking / physiopathology
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tape Recording
  • Treatment Outcome