Date of Award


Degree Type

Evidence-Based Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Jeffrey A. Coto


The standard of care in the treatment for women diagnosed with breast cancer includes identification and biopsy of the sentinel lymph nodes (SLN) of the breast (Chaterjee et al., 2017; Kneece, 2017). The process of identifying the SLNs involves radioisotope injections into or near the areola. Because this area is highly sensitive, women report this procedure to be considerably painful. The purpose of this evidence-based practice (EBP) project was to determine if the provision of a 5-minute session of guided imagery (GI), as a complementary alternative medicine, prior to SLN injections was effective in mitigating reports of procedural pain. A systematic review of the literature was conducted within five databases to evaluate the efficacy of GI in reducing pain. A convenience sample of six women, undergoing SLN injections, was provided with a 5-minute session of GI prior to their procedures. Their pain scores were rated pretest and posttest using a visual analogue scale. Posttest pain scores were compared to the pain ratings of women who previously underwent the procedure without the 5-minute session of GI. These pain scores had been recorded as part of an ongoing quality improvement project at a central Illinois hospital. Posttest pain ratings of the intervention and comparison groups were evaluated via an independent samples t- test. There was a significant difference between the intervention and comparison group ( t (2)= 2.864, p = 0.012). However, the mean pain scores of the GI group (n = 6, M = 6.67, SD= 1.86) was not significantly less than the non-GI group (n = 13, M = 3.46, SD = 2.96). Future research, using a larger sample size, is needed to further clarify the efficacy of GI as a pain control measure for minimally invasive procedures.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.