Optimizing Blood Pressure Reduction: Predicting Success in the Home Environment

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Journal Article
Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2001, 8 (1), pp. 33 - 40
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Transferring skills to non-clinic contexts remains a challenge for clinical psychologists. Research is needed that investigates strategies of transferring clinic skills as well as factors that are associated with successful transfer. This paper presents research that involved training clients to reduce blood pressure (BP) in the home environment and isolating factors related to successful BP reduction. Subjects diagnosed with mild hypertension participated in a controlled trial investigating the efficacy of continuous BP feedback in helping to reduce systolic BP in the clinic and home environment. While the benefits of learning BP feedback in the clinic was not shown to be beneficial over a control, training in the home environment was shown to reduce BP significantly in comparison to controls. Factors shown to be associated consistently and reliably with reduction of BP in the home were those that involved beliefs or expectations of self-control. Expectations (self-efficacy) and an internal locus of control consistently predicted the ability to reduce both systolic and diastolic BP in the home environment. Implications for the behavioural treatment of hypertension are discussed. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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