Affective images: Relieving chronic pain and enhancing quality of life for older persons

Mun Yee Mimi Tse, Sandra P Y Pun, Iris F F Benzie

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


With increasing life expectancy, the incidence of chronic illness and chronic pain also increase. Chronic pain robs older people of their quality of life, and limits functional mobility and ambulation, which leads to muscle atrophy. Older people are often reluctant to request pain relief, attempting to endure pain as a "normal" part of ageing. Innovative non-pharmacological interventions in pain management are appealing. In this study, affective images and pictures were used in 15 elderly patients (12 female and three male) in chronic pain who needed to perform stretching and standing exercises in their physiotherapy sessions. Pain scores were measured by the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), and health-related quality of life was measured by the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF-36). VAS and SF-36 were administered in weeks 1 and in 6. Pain scores were measured during physiotherapy session in the following weeks. There was a significant decreased in VAS from week 1 to week 6 (t = 3.607; df = 14; p < 0.05). Also, a significant decrease in VAS occurred when the patients were watching affective pictures while performing the physiotherapy exercise in weeks 2 and 3, but not in weeks 4 and 5. SF-36 increased in week 6, which indicated an increase in health-related quality of life, though not statistically significant. Affective images and pictures appear to be an effective non-pharmacological intervention in pain management for the older person.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-579
Number of pages9
JournalCyberpsychology and Behavior
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology


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