Date of Award

Spring 1979

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nursing

Abstract

Stress is a major problem of contemporary society and is related to numerous physiological and health deviations. Hypertension is a condition related to stress. It is believed that an in-depth study of a person in his natural habitat over a length of time will yield valid information about the dynamics between the psychological, social and physiological processes that occur in response to stressful transactions. The researcher gained permission from an 82-year-old white female to take weekly blood pressures and to assist her in control of her hypertension, anxiety, and other stress related health deviations over a one year period. A nursing log contained blood pressure readings, patient and nurse observations of physiological, psychological, and behavioral alterations, social pressures, interventions, and analysis of her response to stresses and to therapeutic interventions. This study grew from an attempt to control hypertension and anxiety with relaxation exercises, to consultation with the client's physician for alteration of antihypertensive medications. Management of depression and modification of behavior, physiological response, and socialization patterns resulted. In addition to demonstrating that hypertension can be controlled in an elderly person, it was found that an individualized "stress response pattern" could be identified and consisted of clusters of nursing diagnoses. This response pattern has physiological, psychological, and behavioral components.

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