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Heart/Blood Pressure (65)

15 Aug

At Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, Ashton, Whitworth, et al found that patients who were taught self-hypnosis/relaxation techniques before undergoing first-time elective coronary artery bypass surgery were significantly more relaxed following the operation, as compared to a control group. They also used significantly less pain medication. Surgical outcomes were the same for both groups.

Citation: Ashton C Jr, Whitworth GC, et al. Self-hypnosis reduces anxiety following coronary artery bypass surgery. A prospective, randomized trial. J. Cardiovascular Surgery(Torino). 1997 Feb; 38(1): pp. 69-75.

15 Aug

In 1998, a research team led by Linda Halpin at the Inova Heart Center of Inova Fairfax Hospital compared cardiac surgical outcomes between two groups of heart patients - with and without guided imagery. A questionnaire was developed to assess the benefits of the guided imagery program to those who elected to participate in it, and, in addition, data from the hospital financial cost-accounting database were collected and matched to the two groups of patients.

Analysis of the data revealed that patients who completed the guided imagery program had a shorter average length of stay, a decrease in average direct pharmacy costs, and a decrease in average direct pain medication costs while maintaining high overall patient satisfaction with the care and treatment provided.

Guided imagery is now used as a standard, complementary therapy to help reduce anxiety, pain, and length of stay among the cardiac surgery patients at Inova Fairfax.

Citation: Halpin LS, Speir AM, CapoBianco P, Barnett SD. Guided imagery in cardiac surgery. Outcomes in Management & Nursing Practice, 2002 Jul-Sep;6(3):132-7.

15 Aug

W J Hamel explored the effects of music therapy on the anxiety levels, heart rate and blood pressure of patients waiting for their scheduled cardiac catheterization. 101 (63 men and 38 women) patients were randomly assigned to listen to 20 minutes of pre-selected music or to a standard care control group. Measurements were taken during the waiting period and just prior to departure for the lab. The intervention group had a significant reduction in anxiety (p = 0.003) and when compared to the controls (p = 0.004). Where the heart rate and systolic blood pressure dropped in the music therapy group, it increased in the control group. This held up whether the patient was male or female, but the men as a group had higher diastolic scores than the women, and the women had higher anxiety scores than the men.

Citation: Hamel, WJ, The Effects of Music Intervention on Anxiety in the Patient Waiting for Cardiac Catheterization, Intensive Critical Care Nursing, 2001 Oct; 17 (5): pp. 279-85.

15 Aug

In controlled clinical trials, imagery has been shown to reduce heart rate reactivity, blood pressure and resting heart rate.

Citation: Sharpley CF. Maintenance amd generalizability of laboratory-based heart rate reactivity control training . Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 1994 Jun;17(3): 309-29.

15 Aug

At Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, Ashton, Whitworth, et al found that patients who were taught self-hypnosis/relaxation techniques before undergoing first-time elective coronary artery bypass surgery were significantly more relaxed following the operation, as compared to a control group. They also used significantly less pain medication. Surgical outcomes were the same for both groups.

Citation: Ashton C Jr, Whitworth GC, et al. Self-hypnosis reduces anxiety following coronary artery bypass surgery. A prospective, randomized trial. J. Cardiovascular Surgery(Torino). 1997 Feb; 38(1): pp. 69-75.

15 Aug

Reversal of Coronary Artery Disease from Lifestyle Changes

When 48 patients with moderate to severe coronary artery disease were randomized into either an intensive lifestyle change group (the changes included a 100% whole foods vegetarian diet, aerobic exercise, stress management training - imagery, meditation and yoga - and group psychosocial support.) or a usual-care control group, and both groups were studied at the 5-year follow up with coronary arteriography, the experimental group far exceeded the most optimistic expectations for improvement.

15 Aug

Preliminary findings are in from Traci Stein, MPH, Director of The Columbia Integrative Medicine Program and whiz statistician, Peri Nemerow, both from Mehmet Oz’s group at Columbia Presbyterian.

They tested out our new guided imagery for cardiac ICU & cardiac rehab on 20 patients (average age = 63) who’d undergone by-pass, valve replacement and transplant surgeries, and surveyed them for feedback on the imagery.

It turned out that 90% liked listening to the tape; 79% would recommend the tape to a friend; 71% thought it made their hospital stay more pleasant; 83.3 % felt it increased their appreciation for being alive; 80% thought it helped them to better savor the things that they loved; 80% thought it gave them confidence they would regain their strength; 66.7% said it made them feel more positively about their scars; 75% felt it made them less depressed; and 80% felt it made them more relaxed.

15 Aug

Well, the first round of Mitch Krucoff’s and Suzanne Crater’s MANTRA prayer study has been collated and published. The results, even in pilot form, are intriguing. The Duke University randomized clinical trials examined the effects of applying 4 CAM therapies - stress relaxation, imagery, touch therapy, and prayer - to cardiac patients in acute coronary intervention settings, such as the angiography lab – to measure their effects on short- and long-term procedural outcomes, including mortality.

150 Patients were randomized across 5 treatment groups: the 4 noetic conditions and standard care. Records were checked for post-procedure ischemia, death, myocardial infarction, heart failure, and urgent revascularization. Mortality was followed up for 6 months after hospitalization. Although results were not statistically significant because of the low numbers in each condition, there was a 25% to 30% absolute reduction in adverse effects in patients treated with any of the noetic therapies, as compared to standard therapy. And the lowest complication rates of all were observed in patients assigned to off-site prayer.

15 Aug

In 1998, a research team led by Linda Halpin at the Inova Heart Center of Inova Fairfax Hospital compared cardiac surgical outcomes between two groups of heart patients - with and without guided imagery. A questionnaire was developed to assess the benefits of the guided imagery program to those who elected to participate in it, and, in addition, data from the hospital financial cost-accounting database were collected and matched to the two groups of patients.

Analysis of the data revealed that patients who completed the guided imagery program had a shorter average length of stay, a decrease in average direct pharmacy costs, and a decrease in average direct pain medication costs while maintaining high overall patient satisfaction with the care and treatment provided.

Guided imagery is now used as a standard, complementary therapy to help reduce anxiety, pain, and length of stay among the cardiac surgery patients at Inova Fairfax.

Citation: Halpin LS, Speir AM, CapoBianco P, Barnett SD. Guided imagery in cardiac surgery. Outcomes in Management & Nursing Practice, 2002 Jul-Sep;6(3):132-7.
15 Aug

Essential hypertension and stress. When do yoga, psychotherapy and autogenic training help?

Another summary article from Germany by J.M. Hermann reports on the effectiveness of relaxation techniques, behavioral therapy and biofeedback for hypertension and stress, stating that these techniques lower elevated blood pressure by an average of 10 mmHg (systolic) and 5 mmHg (diastolic). Further, as a "secondary effect", these measures frequently prompt the hypertensive patient to adopt a more health-conscious lifestyle.

Citation: J. M. Hermann. Essential hypertension and stress. When do yoga, psychotherapy and autogenic training help? MMW Fortschr Med 2002 May 9;144(19):38-41.