Relaxation and stress management in the treatment of essential hypertension

M J Irvine, D W Johnston, G V Marie, D A Jenner

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44 Citations (Scopus)


Thirty-two male and female hypertensives, 34 to 65 yr of age, systolic blood pressure (SBP) less than 200 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) between 90 and 109 mmHg, were randomly allocated to receive either relaxation and stress management (experimental condition) or mild physical exercise (control condition). Half the participants were taking antihypertensive drugs, which were constant for six months prior to the study and controlled during the study. Outcome measures included various measures of blood pressure in the clinic and at home, cardiovascular responsiveness, moods and 24-hr urinary adrenaline and noradrenaline. The study schedule consisted of 3-months baseline, 10 weeks treatment and 3-months follow-up. Relaxation was superior to the control procedure in reducing blood pressure as assessed by nurses blind to the participants' treatment at post-treatment for DBP and at follow-up for DBP and SBP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-450
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1986


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cognition
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Emotions
  • Epinephrine
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norepinephrine
  • Practice (Psychology)
  • Relaxation Therapy


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