Relaxation and guided imagery as an intervention for children with asthma in an elementary school setting

Date of Completion

January 2004


Education, Elementary|Education, Educational Psychology




Asthma is a pervasive inflammatory disorder of the bronchial airways that cause the normal functioning of the airways to become over-reactive (American Lung Association, 1999). This disorder affects approximately 7.7 million children in schools per year and accounts for a significant amount of absences (Kohen & Wynne, 1997). Research has speculated that current pharmacological interventions are insufficient or overaggressive in treating asthma (Brown & Fromm, 1987). It has therefore been suggested that psychological interventions may suit this population. Relaxation and Guided Imagery (RGI) is an intervention that incorporates mental representations as well as the senses in a process of relaxing all the parts of the body. Research has demonstrated its effectiveness with children with asthma (Peck, Bray & Kehle, 2003). This study served as an investigation into the effectiveness of RGI with an elementary school sample as well as determined the overall improvement in happiness, anxiety, and quality of life of the participants. Results demonstrated that RGI significantly improved the lung functioning of 3 out of 4 participants in the study. In addition, these three participants maintained positive effects during follow-up. In addition, overall happiness improved from a low to an average score for one of the participants in the study, state anxiety decreased for two of the four participants and trait anxiety decreased for all four participants. ^