The reliability and specificity of delta versus residualized change as measures of cardiovascular reactivity to behavioral challenges

Psychophysiology. 1991 Nov;28(6):701-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.1991.tb01017.x.


The statistical parameters that influence the reliability of delta and residualized change were examined in the context of the assessment of cardiovascular reactivity. A comparison of the relative reliabilities of these two quantification methods was performed using systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate data from two samples of 134 and 109 subjects observed during baseline and either two or four behavioral challenges. The results indicated that both delta and residualized change scores can yield reliable measures of blood pressure and heart rate reactivity to behavioral challenges, and that their reliabilities will be comparable under the conditions observed in laboratory reactivity studies. Correlations between baseline and delta did not indicate that these two measures were systematically related. Finally, delta scores are more appropriate than residuals when assessing the generalizability of responses across a variety of tasks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Psychophysiology