The perception of physical symptom and blood pressure in selected individuals




Barr, Marilynn

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64 male and female subjects (20-68 years), participated in two 30-minute laboratory experiments that assessed each subject's symptoms, moods, and estimates of systolic blood pressure relative to actual systolic blood pressure levels, along with the degree to which different types of feedback aided individuals in estimating systolic blood pressure. During the two laboratory experiments, several self-reports and autonomic measures were collected 28 times during and after each of 13 tasks intended to manipulate symptoms, moods, settings, autonomic and central nervous system activities. Following participation in the first laboratory experiment, subjects were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: no feedback, symptom feedback, situation feedback, or situation and symptom feedback. Subjects were contacted three months after completing the first laboratory experiment for a second session. Within-subject correlations for the second laboratory experiment indicated that all conditions could estimate systolic blood pressure at levels greater than chance (mean estimated-actual systolic blood pressure correlation = .32). Chi square indicated levels of accuracy for estimating systolic blood pressure differed significantly at the .05 level depending on the type of feedback given. Individuals can, with training, accurately estimate their systolic blood pressure in a changing laboratory environment.



Health Education, Education