Combined behavioral and pharmacological treatment of essential hypertension

John P. Hatch, Keith D. Klatt, Josie D. Supik, Nancy Rios, Johnnie G. Fisher, Richard L. Bauer, Gary W. Shimotsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Fifty-two pharmacologically treated hypertensive patients were randomized to one of four treatment groups: (1) diastolic blood pressure biofeedback, (2) progressive deep muscle relaxation training, (3) self-directed relaxation training, or (4) medication alone. Data collection occurred during baseline, treatment, and 1-year follow-up phases in a laboratory, a medical clinic, and the patient's own home. Patients from all four groups combined showed mean blood pressure reductions of -10.2/-5.5 mm Hg on clinic recordings and -2.4/-.7 mm Hg on home recordings, which were maintained throughout the follow-up period. There were no significant differences among the four groups in terms of blood pressure reduction. Patients given adjunctive behavioral treatment showed significantly larger reductions in medication usage compared to patients treated with medication alone, but there were no significant differences among the three behaviorally treated groups. Patients who showed medication reductions did not show subsequent blood pressure elevation. The results suggest that combined behavioral and pharmacological therapy may be superior to pharmacological therapy alone in the treatment of essential hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-138
Number of pages20
JournalBiofeedback and Self-Regulation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1985


  • antihypertensive drugs
  • biofeedback
  • hypertension
  • relaxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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