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Visualizing a safe place reduces procedural pain
Date:4/5/2014

e patients scored their pain and anxiety levels every 15 minutes and after specific painful experiences.

The researchers found that patients who used visualisation during the procedure were in pain less often and asked for fewer painkillers. When the patients perceived pain, there were no differences between groups in the perception of pain intensity and no differences in anxiety levels.

Mrs Nrgaard said: "Patients who used visualisation expressed pain fewer numbers of times and asked for less painkillers. Their perceived pain intensity may have been the same because we interrupted their visualisation at regular intervals to record pain and anxiety levels. If they had been allowed to stay in their trance like state during the entire procedure, their perceived pain intensity may have also reduced."

The current investigation explored in more detail the experiences of 14 patients who had used visualisation during the clinical study. Qualitative interviews were conducted and subjected to inductive content analysis.

Mrs Nrgaard said: "Patients told us that visualising their own safe place during the procedure made them feel involved and helped them cope with pain and anxiety. Before the intervention patients were anxious and afraid of being on the operating table for a long time but afterwards they said visualisation had made it seem short and that it was a positive and pleasant experience."

She added: "We know that patients want to be in control when they come into hospital and into the operating room. But patients who used visualisation during their invasive procedure said they felt it allowed them to let go of the control because they felt secure and had something else to focus on."

Mrs Nrgaard continued: "Some countries, for example the US and in southern Europe, use general anaesthesia during ablation of AF which can be risky during such a long procedure and is expensive. Some of these patients could use local
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Contact: ESC Press Office
press@escardio.org
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European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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