A Controlled Breathing Intervention for Women Undergoing MRI-Guided Breast Biopsy: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Controlled breathing techniques are widely used to help people manage pain, and there is growing interest in using these approaches during painful outpatient medical procedures. The outpatient MRI-guided breast biopsy is one setting where patients may particularly benefit from breathing interventions for pain. To date, however, no studies have examined interventions for pain reduction in this setting. This randomized controlled pilot study assessed the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of a novel audio-recorded controlled breathing intervention for reducing breast and body pain in women undergoing MRI-guided breast biopsy. Fifty-eight women undergoing MRI-guided breast biopsy were randomized to a 1) controlled breathing intervention or 2) usual care condition. Assessments of pain, anxiety, distraction from pain, relaxation, blood pressure, heart rate, pain catastrophizing, and self-efficacy for managing pain and anxiety were administered. Participants were assessed at baseline, during biopsy, immediately post-biopsy, and 24 hours post-biopsy. Results demonstrated that the intervention was feasible and acceptable. However, when compared to usual care, controlled breathing did not significantly reduce pain, increase distraction from pain or relaxation during biopsy, decrease physiological reactivity, reduce pain catastrophizing, or increase self-efficacy for pain and anxiety from pre- to post-biopsy. These findings could be used to revise the controlled breathing intervention.





Van Denburg, Alyssa Newman (2020). A Controlled Breathing Intervention for Women Undergoing MRI-Guided Breast Biopsy: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/21478.


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