The willingness of family members of critically ill adults to learn the coping technique of imagery

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

J Holist Nurs

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of holistic nursing

PubMed ID



Critical care nurses face the challenge of helping anxious families cope with the critical illness of one of their members. The purposes of this exploratory descriptive pilot study were to identify whether adult family members of surgical intensive care unit (SICU) patients were willing and able to learn imagery during the time of their family member's critical illness, and which factors facilitate the learning. Of the 139 persons invited, 26 (18.7%) indicated willingness to participate, but only 10 participants completed both learning sessions. All 10 subjects achieved increased relaxation with the imaging. Facilitators of their learning were the quiet environment, the investigator's voice, and the breathing aspect of the technique. Those who participated found imagery beneficial, but further study is needed regarding the basis of both willingness and reluctance to learn relaxation techniques such as imagery to assist with coping during the SICU vigil.


Adaptation, Psychological, Adult, Anxiety/prevention & control/psychology, Attitude to Health, Critical Care/psychology, Family/psychology, Female, Humans, Imagery (Psychotherapy)/education/methods, Male, Middle Aged, Nursing Methodology Research, Nursing Staff, Hospital/psychology, Pilot Projects, Professional-Family Relations

Published Article/Book Citation

Journal of holistic nursing, 17:1 (1999) pp.71-87.

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