Blood pressure presentation mode and personality
are likely to influence biofeedback outcome. Thirty-six
normotensive subjects were randomly assigned to visual
or auditory continuous systolic feedback. “Distracting
speech” and “broad band noise” were also
superimposed and the effect on the biofeedback response
was investigated. Psychological influence was also investigated.
Systolic pressure reductions of 4 ± 4.3 mmHg (visual,
p = .04) and 5 ± 5.5 mmHg (visual + auditory,
p = .03) were achieved compared with auditory
feedback (2 ± 4.7 mmHg), which was less effective.
The addition of noise or speech had no effect on the systolic
response, but speech adversely affected diastolic reduction
(p = .04). Mood (p = .003) was associated
with systolic lowering, whereas increased trait anxiety
(p = .06) and expectation (p = .03) had
trends for opposite effects. Increased anger-hostility,
state-anxiety, and expectation (p = .06) had links
with systolic raising capability. We conclude that feedback
modality and psychological characteristics have implications
for studies investigating blood pressure manipulation capability.