Title

Biofeedback-assisted relaxation training to reduce blood pressure: Do effects generalize outside the clinic?

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Abstract

Purpose: Approximately 50% of hypertensives can learn to lower their blood pressure (BP), as measured in the clinic, using biofeedback training. Such reports do not demonstrate whether the treatment effects generalize outside the clinic. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between those who lowered their clinic BP and those who lowered their ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) after biofeedback-assisted relaxation training. Methods: Fifty-four adults (17 male and 37 female; 36 white, 15 black, and 3 other races) with hypertension were studied. Biofeedback-assisted relaxation training was provided using thermal, electromyography (EMG), and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) biofeedback using Procomp+ / Multitrace biofeedback system (STENS Corp, Oakland, CA), coupled with deep breathing, autogenics, and progressive muscle relaxation. ABP was measured over 24 hours using an ambulatory BP monitor (Spacelabs Medical, Inc, Redmond, WA). Clinic BP was measured using the same instrument in the manual mode. Improvement was defined as being able to decrease BP 5 mm Hg or more. Results: For the entire sample (n=54), 50%, 44%, and 39% reduced their clinic SBP, DBP and MAP, respectively; 33%, 29% and 27% reduced their daytime ambulatory SBP, DBP and MAP respectively. For unmedicated subjects (n=12), 67%, 50%, and 42% reduced their clinic SBP, DBP and MAP, respectively; 50%, 33% and 33% reduced their daytime ambulatory SBP, DBP and MAP, respectively. Forty-four percent of those who lowered their clinic SBP, also lowered their ambulatory SBP; 45% of those who lowered their clinic DBP, also lowered their ambulatory DBP; 42% of those who lowered their clinic MAP, also lowered their ambulatory MAP. Discussion: Approximately 50% of hypertensives lowered their clinic BP using biofeedback- assisted relaxation training. This BP lowering effect generalized to an ambulatory setting for less than half of the participants.

Disciplines

Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Cardiovascular Diseases | Movement and Mind-Body Therapies | Nursing | Preventive Medicine | Therapeutics

Comments

"Biofeedback-assisted relaxation training to reduce blood pressure: Do effects generalize outside the clinic?" Presented at Proceedings of the 14th International Research Congress: St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, July 2003.

Permissions

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