A Pilot Intervention Study to Determine the Effectiveness of Guided Imagery (GI) to Reduce the Perception of Stress n Uncomplicated Twnin Pregnancies

Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science



Department or Program Chair

Barbara Ganley, PhD

Thesis Advisor

Luanne Linnard-Palmer, EdD, RN


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness and benefits of Guided Imagery and decrease in perceived stress in uncomplicated twin pregnancies. The aim was to introduce self-care stress reduction techniques: guided imagery with Roy adaptation model as a conceptual structure.

Background/Significance: Twin pregnancy can be associated with significant physical and emotional stress (Goldenbergh, 2002). There is substantial evidence that maternal stress is associated with preterm labor and low birth weight infants (Mackey, Williams, & Tiller, 2000). This stress has significant impact on the well-being of the expectant mother and the fetus. Early detection and appropriate interventions have potential to reduce adverse sequelae of increased stress (Eshel, Leitner, Fattal-Valevski, & Harel, 2005).

This study addressed the question “Does the use of mind body techniques of Guided Imagery (GI), reduce a patient’s perception of stress in uncomplicated twin pregnancies?” It was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of mind body GI in reducing self reported stress measures in uncomplicated twin pregnancies. Participants were recruited using clinic flyers and by OB provider referrals. Participants had be 18 years or older and with uncomplicated twin gestations between 16-20 weeks by ultrasound dating. Perinatal risk factors were assessed by chart review. High risk patients were excluded. Once potential participants express interest, the PI provided them with the information required for informed consent. Five participants were randomly assigned to an intervention group. Participants completed perceived stress questionnaires and visual analog stress measurements at each of the 4 weekly intervention sessions.

Findings: This study was not statistically significant possible due to the small study size. However, the results of this study documented either a decreased perception of stress or an increased ability to manage perceived stress post GI intervention.

Conclusions: GI provides another powerful life skill in adaptation to perceived stressful times in an expectant woman’s life. GI is simple, yet effective, low-cost intervention tool that can be used to enhance an expectant mothers prenatal course and life. It is motivating and empowers the mother with providing her with as sense of control, comfort and reassurance in her prenatal period. Using Roy’s adaptation model in guiding GI may be a power life tool to help expectant women, bring into balance the broad spectrum of emotional and behavioral responses related to perceived life stressors.