Setting generality of blood pressure reductions and the psychological treatment of reactive hypertension
The setting generality of treatment effects was examined for a client with 3 years' history of essential hypertension. Self-control progressive relaxation training led to durable normotensive blood pressures (BP) in the natural environment and psychology clinic, although medical setting BP remained elevated. Further assessment indicated that this latter problem was a function of conditioned anxiety to medical setting stimuli. Systematic desensitization led to reductions in medical setting BP to normotensive levels, and laboratory psychophysiological assessments confirmed the elimination of the anxiety response. The present case study raises the issue of to what extent such reactive hypertension is a problem for other individuals similarly diagnosed and demonstrates the importance of the assessment of generality of treatment effects for essential hypertension.
Key wordshypertension progressive relaxation training systematic desensitization setting generality
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