Instructions to change blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure biofeedback: Their effects on diastolic blood pressure, systolic blood pressure and anxiety


Seventy-nine normotensive subjects participated in a 3 (instructions to increase blood pressure, instructions to decrease blood pressure, no instructions to change blood pressure) x 2 (diastolic blood pressure biofeedback, no biofeedback) x 5 (training trials) factorial experiment. Analyses of diastolic and systolic blood pressure data revealed that the instructions to change pressure had reliable and generally comparable effects on both types of blood pressure and that the biofeedback did not add to the effects that were achieved with instructions alone. Instructions to decrease pressure also reduced self-reported levels of anxiety, but again biofeedback did not contribute to the effect. The results of this experiment suggest that the effects that have been attributed to biofeedback in previous experiments have been due to the influence of instructions or adaptation, factors that usually were not controlled for in previous experiments. © 1981.

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Journal of Psychosomatic Research