A telephone-based guided imagery tobacco cessation intervention: Results of a randomized feasibility trial

Judith S. Gordon, Melanie L. Bell, Julie S. Armin, Peter R. Giacobbi, Uma S. Nair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Evidence supports the use of guided imagery for smoking cessation; however, scalable delivery methods are needed to make it a viable approach. Telephone-based tobacco quitlines are a standard of care, but reach is limited. Adding guided imagery to quitline services might increase reach by offering an alternative approach. Purpose: To develop and test the feasibility and potential impact of a guided imagery-based tobacco cessation intervention delivered using a quitline model. Methods: Participants for this randomized feasibility trial were recruited statewide through a quitline or community-based methods. Participants were randomized to guided imagery Intervention Condition (IC) or active behavioral Control Condition (CC). After withdrawals, there were 105 participants (IC = 56; CC = 49). The IC consisted of six sessions in which participants created guided imagery audio files. The CC used a standard six-session behavioral protocol. Feasibility measures included recruitment rate, retention, and adherence to treatment. We also assessed 6-month quit rates and consumer satisfaction. Results: Both the IC and CC protocols were feasible to deliver. We finalized protocols and materials for participants, coaches and study staff, and delivered the protocols with fidelity. We developed successful recruitment methods, and experienced high retention (6 months = 81.9%) and adherence (all sessions = 66.7%). Long-term quit rates (IC = 27.9%; CC = 38.1%) compared favorably to those of quitlines, and program satisfaction was high, suggesting that the protocols are acceptable to smokers and may contribute to smoking abstinence. Conclusions: The guided imagery intervention is feasible and promising, suggesting that a fully powered RCT to test the efficacy of the intervention is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-529
Number of pages14
JournalTranslational behavioral medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021


  • Cessation
  • Guided Imagery
  • Intervention
  • Quitline
  • Smoking
  • Telephone
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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