Meditation Smartphone application effects on prehypertensive adults' blood pressure: Dose-response feasibility trial

Zachary W. Adams, John C. Sieverdes, Brenda Brunner-Jackson, Martina Mueller, Jessica Chandler, Vanessa Diaz, Sachin Patel, Luke R. Sox, Spencer Wilder, Frank A. Treiber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Essential hypertension (EH) is the most common chronic disease in the United States and a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Lifestyle interventions (e.g., diet, exercise, stress management) to reduce blood pressure (BP) are often complex with varying effectiveness. Breathing awareness meditation (BAM) is a stress management strategy with encouraging effects on BP, though widespread dissemination is hampered by the lack of an easy-to-use methodology to train and monitor BAM practices. A smartphone application (Tension Tamer [TT]) that implements BAM and tracks adherence has shown promise in addressing these gaps. This 6-month dose-response feasibility trial evaluated effects of the app on BP to further optimize BAM user guidelines. Methods: Sixty-four adults with prehypertension were randomized to complete TT-guided BAM sessions for 5-, 10-, or 15-min intervals twice daily over 6 months. Continuous heart rate readings derived from the phone's video camera via reflective photoplethysmography were used as feedback and as an index of time-stamped adherence. Outcomes (resting BP, HR) were collected at baseline, 1-, 3-, and 6-months. Results: Mixed modeling results showed a significant time effect for systolic BP (SBP) with a dose-response effect at Months 3 and 6. Adherence declined over time and was lowest in the 15-min dose condition, though SBP reductions were maintained. Generally, adherence was negatively associated with dose as the study progressed. Conclusions: Smartphone-implemented BAM appears to reduce SBP and can be a low-cost method to reach large populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)850-860
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume37
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2018

Keywords

  • Blood pressure
  • Breathing meditation
  • Essential hypertension
  • Mobile health
  • Smartphone application

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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    Adams, Z. W., Sieverdes, J. C., Brunner-Jackson, B., Mueller, M., Chandler, J., Diaz, V., Patel, S., Sox, L. R., Wilder, S., & Treiber, F. A. (2018). Meditation Smartphone application effects on prehypertensive adults' blood pressure: Dose-response feasibility trial. Health Psychology, 37(9), 850-860. https://doi.org/10.1037/hea0000584