Guided imagery relaxation in quality of life of patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a quasi-experiment

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Complex Hospital de Clinicas, Federal University of Parana, Brazil.

2 Erasto Gaertner Hospital, Brazil.

3 Federal University of Paraná, Brazil.

4 Department of Nursing, Federal University of Parana, Brazil.

5 Department of Nursing, University of São Paulo, Brazil.

6 Department of Statistics, Federal University of Parana, Brazil.


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the relaxation technique with guided imagery by means of virtual reality on health-related quality of life in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Methods: A quasi-experiment conducted in a Bone Marrow Transplantation Service of a public hospital in southern Brazil. From October 2019 to October 2020, forty-two adult participants who underwent transplantation were included, 35 in the intervention group and seven in the control group. A guided imagery intervention, with audio guiding the relaxation associated with nature images in 360º, was performed during the hospitalization period. Data were collected on the first day of hospitalization, on the transplantation day, during the neutropenia stage, and at pre-hospital discharge. The Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Bone Marrow Transplantation (FACT-BMT), Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-Fatigue) and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Neutropenia (FACT-N) were used to assess health-related quality of life, fatigue and neutropenia. Data were analyzed using the Generalized Linear Mixed Model for the evolution of the health-related quality of life assessments over time, considering the groups and stages. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was adopted for the correlation analyses. Results: Allogeneic transplantation was predominant: 28 (80%) in the intervention group and 5 (71.43%) in the control group. There were improvements in the health-related quality of life scores, although not significant. A significant difference was found among the stages (p <0.050) and a significant positive correlation (p <0.000) among the variables on general quality of life, additional concerns, fatigue and neutropenia in all stages. Conclusion: Patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation suffer changes in their quality of life. Interventions based on integrative practices emerge as an option to minimize them. 


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