Effect of slow breathing exercise and progressive muscle relaxation technique in the individual with essential hypertension: A randomized controlled trial

Author: Farhan Khan M Pathan1, Joseley Sunderraj Pandian1, Anis I Shaikh2, Mohammad Ahsan3, Shibili Nuhmani3, Amir Iqbal4, Ahmad H Alghadir4
1 Srinivas College of Physiotherapy, Mangalore, Karnataka, India.
2 Core Health Physiotherapy & Spine Care Center, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.
3 Department of Physical Therapy, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
4 Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Conference/Journal: Medicine (Baltimore)
Date published: 2023 Nov 24
Other: Volume ID: 102 , Issue ID: 47 , Pages: e35792 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000035792. , Word Count: 331

The present study aims to investigate the combined effect of slow breathing exercise (SBE) and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) technique on blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR), and anxiety in patients diagnosed with essential hypertension.

Trial design:
This study was based on a 4-arm parallel-group, randomized control design.

Sixty-four participants diagnosed with essential hypertension were randomly allocated into SBE, PMR, SBE-PMR, and Control groups, with 16 subjects each. All 3 groups received different treatments according to their name; however, the Control group received no treatment. Systolic and diastolic BP (SBP and DBP), HR, RR, and anxiety were all evaluated as the study outcomes using a digital sphygmomanometer and perceived stress scale (PSS) at baseline (pretest), 2nd week and 4th weeks post-intervention. A repeated measure analysis of variance test assessed intra-group comparison (overall) analyses across multiple time points. Bonferroni multiple comparison tests were used to analyze the mean differences between the groups. The confidence interval was kept at 95% for all the statistical analyses, that is, P < .05 is considered significant.

There was a significant change in the HR (F = 239.04, P = .0001), RR (F = 167.74, P = .0001), SBP (F = 266.64, P = .0001), DSP (F = 279.80, P = .0001), and PSS (F = 473.42, P = .0001) as an outcome of baseline measurements versus (vs) the following weeks. There were significant (F = 48.57, P = .001) differences among different training on HR. The SBE vs SBE-PMR showed an insignificant difference (F = 48.54, P = 1.000). The RR showed significant differences (F = 32.05, 0.0001) between the SBE vs PMR, SBE vs Control, PMR vs Control, and SBE-PMR vs Control groups and insignificant differences for the SBE vs SBE-PMR and PMR vs SBE-PMR groups. The SBE vs SBE-PMR groups showed insignificant differences for DPP and SBP. However, PSS showed significant differences (F = 67.12, P = .0001) among the intervention groups except for the PMR and SBE-PMR groups.

The combined interventions of SBEs and progressive muscle relaxation techniques can effectively reduce the heart rate, respiratory rate, BP, and anxiety in essential hypertensive patients compared to both techniques when given alone.

PMID: 38013368 PMCID: PMC10681448 DOI: 10.1097/MD.0000000000035792