Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
Dr. Robert Betz
Dr. Robert Brashear
Dr. Richard Williams
Studies have confirmed that many hemodialysis patients experience numerous psychological difficulties as a result of their physical illness. One behavioral manifestation of these psychological states is noncompliance to imposed dietary restrictions. In spite of life threatening implications, many hemodialysis patients find it very difficult to maintain dietary compliance.
Recently, guided imagery and progressive relaxation have been used as methods to assist clients to overcome negative psychological states. In most cases, the treatments are adjunctive to on-going counseling or psychotherapy. The purpose of this investigation was to test the idea that guided imagery and progressive relaxation alone can be successfully used by hemodialysis patients to aid them to achieve dietary compliance.
One research hypothesis stated that dialysis patients who were exposed to the guided imagery/progressive relaxation tape would show significant loss of weight when compared with patients who listened only to a tape consisting of musical tones. A second research hypothesis stated that dialysis patients who showed high ability to visualize as determined by the Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire (VVIQ) would show significantly more weight loss when compared with patients who were exposed to the same tape but had low visualization ability.
Twenty-nine (29) hemodialysis patients from Borgess Medical Hospital volunteered for the experiment. All subjects were assessed to have either low, medium, or high visualization ability and placed within that respective group. Half of each visualization group was provided the guided imagery/progressive relaxation tape, and half listened only to the tape consisting of musical tones. A pre/post experimental/control group design was used to assess what effect the guided imagery/progressive relaxation tape had upon the subjects' ability to maintain dietary compliance.
The results obtained did not support the hypothesis that guided imagery and progressive relaxation, in and of itself, was an effective tool for assisting hemodialysis patients achieve dietary compliance, regardless of visualization ability.
It was concluded that guided imagery may be more effective when used in conjunction with other therapies which focus upon reduction of psychological difficulties and that encourage a therapeutic client/therapist relationship.
Morrissey, James B., "The Use of Guided Imagery and Progressive Relaxation in Treating Hemodialysis Patients for Dietary Compliance" (1985). Dissertations. 2350.