Cardiovascular reactivity to and recovery from stressful tasks following a mindfulness analog in college students with a family history of hypertension

Christoffer Grant, Andrea Hobkirk, Elizabeth Persons, Vivian Hwang, Sharon Danoff-Burg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Ninety-seven (97) undergraduates with a family history of hypertension participated in a study that evaluated the effects of a brief mindfulness-induction on cardiovascular reactivity and recovery to two stressors. Materials and methods: Participants were randomized to either a mindfulness-induction or control condition and were then exposed to the cold pressor task (CPT) followed by the mirror-tracing task (MT). Blood pressure and heart rate were measured at baseline and postinduction, as well as during and immediately following each stressor. Results: There were no group differences in reactivity to either stressor. Participants in the mindfulness-analog condition experienced significantly greater latency to systolic blood pressure recovery following the CPT and a tendency toward greater latency to diastolic blood pressure recovery, although these findings were not replicated with the MT task. Conclusions: These results are contrary to what was hypothesized and to the anecdotal evidence available regarding effects of comprehensive mindfulness interventions on reactivity. The findings are discussed with respect to purported mechanisms of mindfulness and learning theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-346
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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