Traditional Chinese medicine treatment of borderline hypertension : a study of the effects of treatment on blood pressure behaviour

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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- Non-linear dynamics, firmly rooted in Western science, provides a means and rationale guiding one approach to the empirical study of the effects of TCM on physiological rhythms. The approach lends itself to the single-case experimental design, which uses time-series data, and allows for dynamic patterns to be exposed. This thesis explores this dynamical perspective, and applies it to blood pressure data. Two subjects were chosen, and many variables, which reflected physiological, psychological and TCM factors, were collected at frequent intervals over 16 weeks (8 weeks baseline and 8 weeks treatment). The data was subjected to linear and non-linear analysis. Means and variability before and during treatment, as well as relational patterns between the many variables were analysed. Measures of entropy, using three separate analyses, were used to detect trends in complexity, an increase of which would suggest increased normality. Results: Differences between baseline and treatment were found in BP measures for Subject 1, but not for Subject 2. Psychological factors were shown to be confounding influences for Subject 2 possibly affecting treatment outcomes. Differences between baseline and treatment for TCM variables were significant for both subjects with some symptoms improving and others worsening. One TCM variable was shown to correlate with BP measures for Subject 1, while stronger correlations between many variables were found for Subject 2. Trends of entropy, measured using three different analyses, were found to increase for both subjects. Increased entropy was stronger for Subject 1 than Subject 2. The more positive trends in BP scores for Subject 1, when compared to Subject 2, were consistent using both linear and non-linear analyses. The Conclusion discussed the utility of the single case experimental design in controlling for and exposing relational patterns between variables, as well as entropy as a relevant outcome measure for TCM treatment.
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