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Title:Combined Relaxation and Cognitive Restructuring Skills in the Control of Borderline Essential Hypertension
Author(s):Bush, MaryAnn Flynn
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Clinical
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential usefulness of combined relaxation and cognitive restructuring in the control of non-medicated, borderline essential hypertensives. Few studies in the literature (Chesney & Black, 1986; Seer & Raeburn, 1980) have targeted the borderline hypertensive population, and most are confounded by the concurrent use of anti-hypertensive medication. In the present study, 16 individuals, diagnosed by their physicians as borderline essential hypertensives, served as subjects. A randomized two-group, pretest, posttest design was used. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups: relaxation and cognitive skills training or attention control group. All subjects participated in a four-week baseline measurement of blood pressure and were administered the State-Trait Personality Inventory (STPI) (Speilberger, 1980) at pre- and posttreatment. Eight subjects received six 90-minute sessions of relaxation and cognitive skills training, and eight served as controls. All subjects participated in a posttreatment and one month follow-up assignments.
Relaxation and cognitive skills training were found to produce statistically significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure at posttreatment. Treatment effects appeared to be transient, however; and at one month follow-up, the reductions in systolic pressure were no longer found to be statistically significant, although they did remain below initial baseline measures. Reductions in diastolic pressures were maintained at one month follow-up, and the overall group average was 134/82 mm/Hg. Future research in the application of such procedures needs to attempt to more clearly specify the amount of relaxation required in order to maintain reductions in blood pressure posttreatment. The Trait-Anger subscale of the STPI (Spielberger, 1980) was found to be predictive of decreases in diastolic blood pressure at posttreatment. Given the importance of finding consistent predictors of treatment efficacy in the use of behavioral treatments, additional research with a larger subject pool is certainly indicated as a result of these findings. Additionally, patient education programs which emphasize the acquisition of healthy life skills would be an ideal setting for the introduction of such behavioral interventions.
Issue Date:1988
Description:139 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8823092
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1988

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