Eisenberg and colleagues (15 June 1993) used meta- analysis to examine the effect of “cognitive therapies” such as biofeedback, meditation, and relaxation methods on blood pressure. Their abstract states that “cognitive interventions for essential hypertension are superior to no therapy but not superior to credible sham techniques” (p. 964). Here are some of the details from the text of the article: Mean blood pressure reductions were smallest when comparing persons experimentally treated with those randomly assigned to a credible placebo or sham intervention and for whom baseline blood pressure assessments were made during a period of more than 1 day. Under these conditions, individuals treated with cognitive behavioral therapy experienced a mean reduction in systolic blood pressure of 2.8 mm Hg (CI, – 0.8 to 6.4 mm Hg) . . . relative to controls (p. 967). The comparison included 12 studies involving 368 subjects. Do you agree with the conclusion in the abstract that cognitive interventions are not superior to credible sham techniques? What would be a better way to word the conclusion?
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