Stress-management training for essential hypertension: a controlled study

Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 1997 Dec;22(4):261-83. doi: 10.1007/BF02438980.


Forty three patients with essential hypertension participated in a study on the effectiveness of stress-management training for essential hypertension. After 6-9 clinic and 48 self-measured readings of systolic and diastolic blood pressures (SBP and DBP), 22 patients were treated with a program based on education, relaxation, and problem-solving training; and another 21 patients were assigned to a waiting list control group. At post-treatment, mean reductions of clinic BP (17/13 mm Hg vs. 6.9/4.7 mm Hg for SBP/DBP), percentages of subjects who achieved at least a 5 mm Hg reduction (86/86% vs. 48/48% for SBP/DBP) and percentages of subjects who in addition achieved a normotensive level (59/68% vs. 29/14% for SBP/DBP) were significantly higher in the treated group than in the control group. Concerning self-measured BP, the effectiveness of the stress-management training was not so considerable (mean reductions of 3.6/2.4 mm Hg and percentages of subjects who achieved a 5 mm Hg reduction of 52/38% for SBP/DBP), but it was significant and maintained in a 4-month follow-up assessment (mean reductions of 4/2 mm Hg and percentages of subjects who achieved a 5 mm Hg reduction of 48/33% for SBP/DBP). It is suggested that stress-management training can be beneficial for treatment of essential hypertension.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*


  • Antihypertensive Agents