Evaluation of three psychologic interventions to reduce anxiety during MR imaging

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Department of Family and Community Medicine; Department of Radiology

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Anxiety; Counseling; Humans; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Patient Education as Topic; Relaxation Techniques


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The authors compared the effectiveness of three anxiety-reducing interventions for patients undergoing magnetic resonance imaging. Each of 50 subjects was randomly assigned to one of the interventions. Intervention 1 involved provision of information about the imager and nature of the examination. Intervention 2 included information and counseling. Intervention 3 included information and a 12-minute relaxation exercise. Anxiety levels were measured by means of a 20-item questionnaire before and after imaging. The latter provided a retrospective report of anxiety experienced during imaging. Patients in intervention group 3 showed significantly less increase in anxiety compared with those in groups 1 and 2. Overall, only patients who participated in intervention 1 showed a significant increase in anxiety during imaging. When anxiety levels experienced before and during the examination were compared, with the focus on each questionnaire item for each group, those in group 1 showed a significant increase in anxiety on eight of 20 items; those in group 2, three items; and those in group 3, none. Psychologic preparation that includes relaxation strategies is more effective than provision of information alone.

DOI of Published Version



Radiology. 1989 Dec;173(3):759-62.

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