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Efficacy of visualisation therapy

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An in-depth study of Integrative Medicine

In the PROPAV project (2008-2012) researchers of the Louis Bolk Institute are studying the efficacy of guided imagery (visualization) and relaxation exercises as a method to reduce pain, stress and anxiety after surgery. The study is conducted with patients who have recently undergone an operation in a hospital. The objective is to increase the choice of complementary therapies with proven efficacy. The project is carried out in collaboration with the Van Praag Institute, and is funded by various healthcare organisations.

New vision on health care

As part of this study, 50 patients received a CD with guided imagery and relaxation exercises while 50 others received regular follow-up care. All patients had recently undergone gall bladder surgery. This is generally a painful operation, requiring a high level of pain control. If complementary therapies can help to reduce pain and anxiety, this could contribute to faster recuperation and increased well-being of the patients. In the long run this could help to reduce healthcare costs. This study fits in with a new vision on health care, which focuses on health promotion and disease prevention. Integrative medicine, which combines regular and complementary care, is a natural part of this approach. The results of this study are expected to be published by the end of 2013.

The Louis Bolk Institute has various research projects on integrative medicine and complementary medicine. For more information please contact Miek Jong, head of the Health and Nutrition Department.

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Projects overview

Project leader

Miek C. Jong

Health and Nutrition