The Effects of Guided Imagery on Test Anxiety among the 1st-Year Nursing Students: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Document Type : Original Article


Background: Many students suffer from test anxiety (TA). Some nonpharmacological therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, have been proposed for TA management. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of guided imagery (GI) on TA among the 1st year nursing students. Methods: This randomized controlled trial was conducted on forty nursing students conveniently recruited from the Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran. Participants were randomly allocated to either a control (n = 20) or an intervention (n = 20) group. In the intervention group, participants were provided with a 30‑min GI audio file to listen to once daily in the evening for 1 week. Students’ TA was measured both before and after the intervention, i.e., before their physiology midterm examination and before their physiology final examination. The data were analyzed through the Chi‑square, paired‑sample t, and independent sample t‑tests. Results: The study was completed with 38 students. The intervention and the control groups did not differ significantly from each other respecting the pretest mean score of TA (50.50 ± 13.90 vs. 44.94 ± 7.34; P = 0.13). However, the posttest mean score of TA in the intervention group was significantly less than the control group (33.90 ± 14.39 vs. 42.83 ± 13.56; P = 0.05). Although the mean score of TA did not significantly change in the control group (P = 0.55), it significantly reduced in the intervention group (P = 0.003). Conclusion: Thirty‑minute GI performed once daily for 1 week is effective in reducing TA among nursing students.