The effects of biofeedback in diabetes and essential hypertension.
ABSTRACT The metabolic syndrome is likely to develop in patients in whom genetic predisposition, chronic stress, negative emotion, and unhealthy lifestyle habits converge. In light of the psychophysiologic aspect of most of these factors, biofeedback, relaxation, and other psychophysiologic interventions have been studied and used in patients with elements of the metabolic syndrome, particularly diabetes and hypertension. This article reviews the rationale and evidence for biofeedback for the treatment of diabetes and hypertension, which has been shown to effectively lower blood glucose and blood pressure in numerous studies. Patients with prehypertension may be a particularly appropriate target population for biofeedback for blood pressure reduction. Further research is needed to guide identification of the best candidates for psychophysiologic intervention for these conditions, although patient readiness for change is a clear prerequisite.
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ABSTRACT: The study was aimed at examining the effect of a short Heart Rate-Biofeedback (HR-BF) protocol on systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure levels and BP emotional reactivity. Twenty-four unmedicated outpatients with pre- and stage 1 hypertension, were randomly assigned to active treatment (BF-Training) or control (BP-Monitoring) group. Subjects in BF-Training Group underwent four BF sessions. Guided imagery of stressful events was introduced during sessions 3 and 4. Control participants self-monitored their BP at home for 4 weeks. Subjects in both groups performed an emotional Speech Test before and after the training (or monitoring) period. SBP and mean arterial pressure responses to the emotional Speech Test were significantly smaller after the BF-training than the BP-monitoring. Moreover, clinic SBP and DBP were significantly reduced by about 10 mmHg in BF-Training Group, whereas they remained unchanged in control group. Self-monitored BP decreased significantly in the active treatment group and not in control group. A short BF-training, including guided imagery of stressful events, was effective in reducing BP reactions to a psychosocial stressor. BP measured in the clinic, and self-monitored at home were also significantly reduced in the BF-Training Group. HR-BF appears to be a suitable intervention for hypertensive patients, mostly when BP increase is associated with emotional activation.Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback 06/2011; 36(3):185-92. · 1.13 Impact Factor