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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 76-82

Effectiveness of behavioural therapy on the blood pressure of adults with hypertension: A systematic review in non-african populations

1 Department of Psychology, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria
2 Tuberculosis Control Unit, Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases Cluster, World Health Organization Country Office, Lagos State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Ms. Sophie Omanogo Ogiri
Department of Psychology, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_199_19

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Hypertension or high blood pressure is the foremost risk factor of cardiovascular diseases which in turn are the leading cause of death globally. Despite the widespread use of antihypertensive medication, the condition remains a global health concern. In a bid to ascertain that other therapies such as psychological treatment may be adopted as complementary treatments for hypertension, this paper therefore examines literature on the effectiveness of behavioural therapy in the treatment of hypertension, identify the technique which seems most effective though blood pressure reductions, highlight other hypertension-related domains and report sustainability of blood pressure control post-intervention. A systematic literature review of randomised control trials reporting the effectiveness of behaviour therapy on blood pressure among hypertensive adults, published between the years 2014 and 2018, was conducted. A total of 79 articles were identified from the database search after which 11 met the inclusion criteria, with 10 of the 11 studies reporting behavioural therapy to be effective in blood pressure control. Relaxation therapy and meditation training appeared to be most effective as they brought about the most significant decrements in blood pressure. The mean blood pressure reduction ranged from 2.88–36.33 mmHg (systolic) to 0.04–21.48 mmHg (diastolic). Blood pressure control was found to have been sustained from between 0.7 and 24 months post-intervention. From this current paper, behaviour intervention is a viable, albeit complementary treatment method for hypertension; however, there is the need for more research to be conducted in various parts of the world, specifically in Nigeria and in Africa at large to allow for more relatable report on this topic.

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