Comparison of cardiovascular biofeedback, neuromuscular biofeedback, and meditation in the treatment of borderline essential hypertension

Author: Surwit RS//Shapiro D// Good MI
Conference/Journal: Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Date published: 1978
Other: Volume ID: 46 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 252-263 , Word Count: 200

This study compared the separate effects of three procedures for the reduction of high blood pressure in three treatment groups of eight patients, each with medically verified borderline hypertension. The three treatment groups used the following procedures: (a) biofeedback for simultaneous reductions in systolic blood pressure and heart rate; (b) biofeedback for reductions in integrated forearm and frontalis muscle electromyographic activity; and (c) meditation relaxation based on the relaxation response procedure developed by Herbert Benson. Each patient was studied in two baseline sessions, eight training sessions, and a six-week follow-up. Half of the sample returned for a one-year follow-up. Analysis of variance of the three treatment groups over eight training sessions, with twenty trials per session, revealed significant effects for trials within sessions. However, there were no significant main effects or interactions related to differences between the treatment conditions or to changes in blood pressure over the course of training sessions. Although all groups showed moderate reductions in blood pressure as compared to initial values, no technique could be seen to produce a reduction in pressure greater than that observed in the baseline sessions. Blood pressures of patients reporting for the one-year follow-up were not different from pretreatment baseline levels.