The field of health psychology has exploded in the last decade due to progress identifying physiological mechanisms by which psychological, social, and behavioral factors can put people's health and well-being at risk. The Handbook of Physiological Research Methods in Health Psychology provides thorough, state-of-the-art, and user-friendly coverage of basic techniques for measurement of physiological variables in health psychology research. It is designed to serve as a primary reference source for researchers and students interested in expanding their research to consider a biopsychosocial approach. Chapters addressing key physiological measures have been written by international experts with an eye towards documenting essential information that must be considered in order to accurately and reliably measure biological samples. The book is not intended to be a lab manual of specific biomedical techniques, nor is it intended to provide extensive physiological or anatomical information. Rather, it takes the approach most useful for a non-specialist who seeks guidance on how and when to collect biological measures but who will have the actual samples assayed elsewhere. The Handbook can be thought of as a primer or a gateway book for researchers new to the area of physiological measurement and for readers who would like to better understand the meaning of physiological measures they encounter in research reports.
Chapter 6: The Measurement of Blood Pressure in Cardiovascular Research
The Measurement of Blood Pressure in Cardiovascular Research
In spite of its long history, the measurement of blood pressure remains controversial. This is largely due to the variety of factors that influence the measurement, as well as its interpretation. A blood pressure measurement changes depending on who takes it, in what locale it is taken, where it is measured in the body, the subject's state of mind, caffeine and tobacco use in the hours prior to the measurement, the digit-preference bias of the assessor, the type of measuring device used, and the white coat effect; and this list is not exhaustive. In addition, the interpretation of the measure is also controversial. Little disagreement arises over blood pressure ...