A cognitive behavioural approach to preventing anxiety during magnetic resonance imaging

J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 1997 Jun;28(2):97-104. doi: 10.1016/s0005-7916(97)00006-2.


This study evaluated a relaxation intervention designed to prevent anxiety during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and assessed the development of fears in patients who felt anxious during the procedure. Patients were assigned to a control condition (no intervention; n = 52), relaxation before the scan (n = 44), or relaxation before and during the scan (n = 43). Compared to the control group, patients who practised relaxation showed reduced anxiety during the scan. Seven months or more after undergoing MRI, there was a positive correlation between anxiety experienced during the scan and the development of MRI-related fears. The intervention did not prevent the development of MRI-related fears at follow-up.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Fear / physiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Relaxation Therapy / standards*
  • Treatment Outcome