Guided Imagery for Smoking Cessation in Adults: A Randomized Pilot Trial


This pilot study describes a randomized controlled trial of an audio CD—based interactive guided imagery program for smoking cessation for adults versus a wait-listed control. Feasibility, process measures, and biochemically validated abstinence were assessed at end of treatment (6 weeks) and 12 weeks, as well as at 52 weeks for intervention participants. Fifty-nine percent of intervention participants attended four of six guided imagery sessions, and 94% found the technique helpful for smoking cessation. Intervention participants had greater readiness to quit (Readiness to Quit Ladder, 8.3 vs. 7.2, p < .05) and lower state anxiety (Spielberger Index, 32 vs. 38, p < .05) at end of treatment than the control group. Abstinence rates in the intervention versus control groups were 36% versus 18% (p = .43) at 6 weeks and 30% versus 12% (p = .40) at 12 weeks, respectively. At 1 year, 24% of intervention participants remained abstinent. A guided imagery program for smoking cessation was feasible, perceived to be helpful, improved intermediate measures, and resulted in a trend toward smoking cessation.