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Title: Re-picturing pain : the impact of an online imagery rescripting intervention on chronic pain
Author: Tyson, Jonathan M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 8250
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2015
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Background. Research has shown spontaneous imagery to be a common form of cognition in a chronic pain population. Imagery rescripting was found to be an easy and effective intervention in improving the pain experience, but similar to the immediate effects of distraction. The current study aimed to test the effects of imagery rescripting against an imagery distraction task through an online questionnaire. Method. Adults (n=126) were recruited through Internet pain support forums. An experimental design compared the immediate effects of intervention (imagery rescripting) vs. control (imagining a dream house) using Visual Analogue Scales of pain intensity, distress, physical threat and emotional threat (pain experience variables). A 4-6 week follow-up questionnaire used a repeated measures design to compare changes against baseline for pain experience variables and a measure of fear-avoidance beliefs. 106 participants met criteria for statistical analysis. Results. Both imagery rescripting and imagery distraction resulted in immediate and statistically significant improvements across all pain experience variables, to a clinically significant level. Further significant reductions were observed at follow up in fear-avoidance beliefs and levels of pain, distress and emotional threat (n=40). Conclusions. Imagery techniques are an effective way to improve the experience of chronic pain in the short term. The reductions observed at follow-up were small and may not have been due to the effects of imagery rescripting, as some participants also performed the imagery-distraction task. However, wider theoretical considerations point towards imagery rescripting as a useful therapeutic tool in chronic pain management.
Supervisor: Ogden, J. Sponsor: SABP NHS Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available