Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 445–453 | Cite as

Setting generality of blood pressure reductions and the psychological treatment of reactive hypertension

  • Irving Beiman
  • Lewis E. Graham
  • Anthony R. Ciminero


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 words

hypertension progressive relaxation training systematic desensitization setting generality 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irving Beiman
    • 1
  • Lewis E. Graham
    • 1
  • Anthony R. Ciminero
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthens

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