Effects of pleasant olfactory mental imagery on the arterial oxygenation in patients with open heart surgery: A randomized controlled trial

Masoud Rezaei-Nodehi, Masoumeh Bagheri-Nesami, Seyed Afshin Shorofi, Jamshid Yazdani-Charati, Rahman Ghafari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background and purpose Arterial hypoxemia is one of the most common respiratory complications following cardiac surgery. This study was intended to examine the effects of pleasant olfactory mental imagery on postoperative hypoxemia in patients undergoing open heart surgery. Materials and methods This is a randomized controlled clinical trial. The sample consisted of 80 patients who were randomly assigned to either practice olfactory mental imagery (experimental group) or receive routine care (control group). A card with the image of roses was given to patients and they were asked to look at the image, visualize the scent of roses in the mind, and then sniff as much as possible, hold their breath for 2 s and eventually exhale slowly through the nose. This procedure was consecutively repeated five times. After a fifteen-minute break, patients proceeded to practice olfactory mental imagery with other fruit images. The experimental group executed the olfactory mental imagery for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon on postoperative days 1 and 2. Results No statistically significant differences were observed between the experimental and control groups regarding sociodemographic characteristics, medical and surgical information. This study also demonstrated that the mean Spao2 was significantly higher in the experimental group (97.400 ± 1.70) than the control group (96.465 ± 1.70) (p = 0.015). Conclusion The results of this study suggest that olfactory mental imagery can improve arterial oxygenation in patients with cardiac surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-200
Number of pages7
JournalComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
Volume29
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Keywords

  • Cardiac surgery
  • Mental imagery
  • Olfactory imagery
  • Oxygen saturation

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