Reducing heart rate and diastolic and systolic blood pressure using nonpharmacological methods in the treatment of essential hypertension

Pfaff, Jon James (1992) Reducing heart rate and diastolic and systolic blood pressure using nonpharmacological methods in the treatment of essential hypertension. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Hypertension affects 20% of our population and can lead to heart and kidney failure, stroke, and blindness. Heightened sympathetic nervous system activity may be responsible for this disease in young patients. Eight subjects (medicated and unmedicated), 45 years of age or younger, diagnosed with essential hypertension were placed into one of two groups, one receiving four weeks of hypnosis training followed by four weeks of thermal biofeedback, or a group receiving four weeks of thermal biofeedback followed by four weeks of hypnosis training. Heart rate, diastolic and systolic blood pressures were recorded for each subject during every session of four study phases (baseline, treatment 1, treatment 2, and posttreatment). The goal of this study was to lower heart rate, diastolic and systolic blood pressures in essential hypertensive patients, aged 45 years of age or younger, by reducing peripheral sympathetic nervous system activity through the use of hypnosis and thermal biofeedback, thereby facilitating vasodilation in the periphery. Since both of these treatment strategies concentrated on the same physiological process, an examination of the effectiveness of the two interventions was performed. Both treatment modalities were found to be equally effective in significantly reducing diastolic and systolic blood pressures, however heart rate was found to increase significantly during a brief posttreatment period. The results suggest that blood pressure can be controlled using noninvasive treatment procedures alone or as an adjunct to pharmacological therapies.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5904
Item ID: 5904
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 60-67.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1992
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Hypertension--Alternative treatment

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