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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Graduate School

First Advisor


First Committee Member

Douglas W Matheson

Second Committee Member

Gary N Howells

Third Committee Member

Kathryn A Taubert

Fourth Committee Member

Robert C Katz


In recent years, behavioral approaches for the treatment of essential hypertension have received considerable research attention. Biofeedback and relaxation training have been the behavioral treatments most often used for lowering high blood pressure. The present study compared the separate use of EMG and skin temperature biofeedback in treating essential hypertension, with a combined approach utilizing both types of feedback. Twenty-one hyper- tensive subjects were randomly assigned to one of the three experimental conditions: (a) EMG biofeedback, (b) skin temperature biofeedback, or (c) both EMG and skin temperature biofeedback. In addition, a control group consisting of patients randomly chosen from a local cardiology clinic was utilized. After an eight week treatment period, a statistically significant pretest-posttest main effect was found for treatment groups for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. However, there was no significant difference between the three treatment groups. The results did yield a significant interaction effect in comparing the treatment groups to the control group for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure reductions.





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