Purdue University Graduate School
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posted on 2022-09-07, 18:20 authored by Colleen Ann ToorongianColleen Ann Toorongian

Decentering can be defined as one’s ability to detach from emotional thoughts and adopt a non-judgmental view. Prior studies on 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) courses have demonstrated that as the ability to decenter increases, anxiety levels decrease. Our recent work has demonstrated that a higher ability to decenter is associated with lower arterial stiffness, however, it is unknown how decentering affects blood pressure patterns. The purpose of this study was to observe if decentering has an effect on nocturnal blood pressure dipping. Twenty- eight adults (age 25±1 years; BMI 26±1 kg/m2) volunteered for this study. All participants had a BMI <30 kg/m2, and reported no history of diabetes, smoking, or taking cardiovascular medication. Participants completed an 11-item decentering questionnaire that quantified their ability to disconnect from their emotions, then were asked to wear an ambulatory blood pressure monitor (ABPM) and actigraphy watch for 24-hours. Brachial blood pressures were measured by the ABPM every 20 minutes while awake and every 30 minutes while asleep. Systolic arterial pressure (SAP) and diastolic arterial pressure (DAP) dipping percentages were calculated by Spacelabs software from the mean values of both daytime and nighttime arterial blood pressure recordings, after adjusting sleep and wake times based on actigraphy data. Questionnaire data was analyzed using Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and a reliability analysis. This revealed a three-factor structure that explained 71.53% of the variance, consisting of meta-awareness, disidentification, and nonreactivity. Nine items remained in the final questionnaire, after deleting two items which cross-loaded. Multiple linear regression analyses indicate disidentifcation as a significant predictor of SAP dipping (𝛽𝛽 = 3.333, p = 0.032) and DAP dipping (𝛽𝛽 = 3.898, p = 0.049). Preliminary results suggest that greater disidentifcation, as a component of decentering, may be associated with lower cardiovascular risk (greater SAP and DAP dipping). These findings provide promising insight into the benefits of MBSR and decentering on ambulatory blood pressure patterns, with the potential benefits of lowering overall risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD).


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Biological Sciences

Campus location

  • Hammond

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

John J. Durocher

Additional Committee Member 2

Matthew J. Bauman

Additional Committee Member 3

Radmila S. Stanic

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