Exploring Effects of Therapeutic Massage and Patient Teaching in the Practice of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Blood Pressure, Stress, and Anxiety in Hypertensive African-American Women: An Intervention Study

J Natl Black Nurses Assoc. 2010 Jul;21(1):17-24.


The problem of hypertension among African-Americans is one of the major areas of health disparities. The American Heart Association (2009) noted that the prevalence of hypertension among African-Americans is perhaps among the highest in the world and this is particularly so among African-American women (44.0%). The purpose of this study was to determine how therapeutic chair massage and patient teaching in diaphragmatic breathing affected African-American women's blood pressure, stress, and anxiety levels over one week or six weeks time periods. A Modified Stress, Coping, and Adaptation Model (Roy, 1976; Lazarus, 1966), Descriptives, T-tests, Pearson Product Moment Correlations, Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), and Multivariate analysis of variance with covariate (MANCOVA) were used. Descriptive statistics indicated a significance for decreased systolic blood pressure levels for the one week post massage intervention measurement with p = .01, diastolic blood pressure level significance for the same group p = .02, significance for this group's State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) Y2 Scale score p = .01, and Roy's Largest Root p = .03.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • African Americans* / education
  • African Americans* / ethnology
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety* / ethnology
  • Anxiety* / prevention & control
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology
  • Breathing Exercises*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / ethnology
  • Hypertension* / prevention & control
  • Louisiana
  • Massage / organization & administration*
  • Massage / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Patient Education as Topic / organization & administration*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Stress, Psychological / ethnology
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Women* / education
  • Women* / psychology