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Ann Behav Med. 2012 Apr;43(2):173-80. doi: 10.1007/s12160-011-9315-8.

Applied tension and coping with blood donation: a randomized trial.

Author information

  • 1Psychology Department, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada. crystal.holly@mail.mcgill.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite the ongoing need for blood donation, few people give blood. A common reason is concern about vasovagal symptoms.

PURPOSE:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of applied tension in reducing vasovagal symptoms during blood donation and the mechanisms of action.

METHOD:

Two hundred eighty-two young adult blood donors were randomly assigned to conditions involving applied tension during the pre-donation wait period, during the blood draw, both, or no applied tension at all.

RESULTS:

Applied tension was effective in reducing vasovagal symptoms in blood donors, particularly when practiced during the pre-donation wait period (p < 0.001). People who practiced applied tension during the pre-donation wait period required less treatment for vasovagal reactions than people who did not (8% vs. 16%).

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of this study suggest that the effects of applied tension on vasovagal symptoms are not mediated entirely by exercise-related changes in blood pressure and heart rate. Rather, it may reduce anxiety or physiological consequences of anxiety. Applied tension is a useful treatment which can help people cope during blood donation and other invasive medical interventions.

PMID:
22016263
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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