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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Fred Muskal

First Committee Member

Linda Webster

Second Committee Member

Rachelle Kisst Hackett

Third Committee Member

David Wolfe


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of music and imagery versus imagery only interventions on inducing relaxation and reducing nausea and emesis in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Specifically, this study explored an adaptation of the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (BMGIM). Approximately 280 patients were interviewed, 43 began data collection procedures, and 20 of these individuals completed the study. Three dependent measures (heart rate, nausea, and emesis) were collected both before and after each of six intervention sessions. Experimental treatment conditions were guided imagery with music (MI) or without music (IO), alternated across the sessions. As part of the experimental treatment, participants were also encouraged to listen to music at home, i.e., to listen twice daily to CD recordings for relaxation. One recording contained a script for relaxation with music in the background, and the other contained only a script for relaxation. Moreover, after the fourth and sixth week of being in the study, the participants responded to a satisfaction survey on their perception on the benefits of MI and IO intervention. A follow-up telephone interview was conducted with each participant nine days after completion of the study. Regression analysis was used to examine factors relating to the frequency of nausea and emesis as well as heart rate. A Pearson correlation coefficient was used to examine the relationship between the extent to which patients utilized the CD for relaxation at home and the amount of improvement experienced. Descriptive analyses were employed to examine participants' responses to their perceptions of the benefits of imagery only and music with imagery interventions (i.e., to the Participant Satisfaction Survey). Results indicated a statistically significant decrease on post-heart rate for MI as well as for IO interventions. There were no statistically significant differences in heart rate, nausea, or emesis between the two experimental interventions. However, there was a significant decrease in the frequency of nausea and emesis over time, i.e., across the six-weeks of treatment. The Pearson correlation indicated no significant relationship between the times participants listened to the CD and the outcomes of nausea and emesis. Self-reports from the participants indicated that the guided imagery with music, both within the experimental intervention sessions as well as at home, seemed to be very beneficial in inducing relaxation for these particular cancer patients.



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