Imagination could be an effective supplement to traditional paediatric care, it has been suggested.
A study led by Miranda van Tilburg, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine's division of gastroenterology and hepatology and published in the November 2009 issue of Pediatrics, indicates that guided imagery could be of benefit to younger patients.
The trial found that children with functional abdominal pain who made use of audio recordings of guided imagery alongside their traditional medical therapy were more likely to improve their levels of pain when compared to those who did not receive the audio treatment.
It was found that the reduction in pain was maintained six months after the traditional courses of treatment concluded.
Commenting, Dr van Tilburg said that the study could lead to more chances for improved patient outcomes.
"Such self-administered treatment is, of course, very inexpensive and can be used in addition to other treatments," she concluded.
UNC is one of 16 public state universities in North Carolina and specialises in medicine.