Theresa A. Flynn, Brittney A. Jones, Karla K. Ausderau; Guided Imagery and Stress in Pregnant Adolescents. Am J Occup Ther 2016;70(5):7005220020. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.019315
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. We examined the effects of a guided imagery intervention on perceived stress in pregnant adolescents.
METHOD. Thirty-five pregnant adolescents recruited from a local alternative education program participated in a guided imagery intervention. Participants listened to a pregnancy-specific guided imagery recording on four separate occasions during their pregnancies. Perceived stress was measured immediately before and after each session using the Perceived Stress Measure–9 (PSM–9).
RESULTS. Participants’ pre- and postsession PSM–9 scores for three of the four sessions demonstrated a significant reduction in stress. Participants’ baseline stress levels also decreased significantly across the four listening sessions. The greatest reductions in stress within and between sessions occurred in the early sessions, with effects diminishing over time.
CONCLUSION. Pregnant teens experienced initial short- and long-term stress reduction during a guided imagery intervention, supporting the use of guided imagery to reduce stress in pregnant adolescents.
Stress reduction during pregnancy can support the development of adolescent mothers and their children and provide lasting effects into adulthood.
A guided imagery intervention to reduce stress may be a useful component of a larger program promoting wellness in pregnant adolescents.
Occupational therapy practitioners have a role in interdisciplinary teams designing and developing interventions that nurture health and well-being in pregnant adolescents in a variety of settings.
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