The Effects of Applied Tension on Symptoms in French-Speaking Blood Donors: A Randomized Trial

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Abstract

Blood-donation-related symptoms such as dizziness and weakness discourage people from participating in this important health-related activity. Four hundred sixty-seven young adult, French-speaking blood donors were randomly assigned to (a) a condition in which they learned a possible preventive technique called applied tension and were asked to practice it from the time they got on the donation chair until they were just about to get up, (b) a placebo condition in which they learned applied tension and were asked to practice it from the time they got on the chair until the insertion of the donation needle, or (c) a no-treatment control condition. Donors assigned to the treatment condition reported significantly fewer blood-donation-related symptoms than did donors assigned to the other conditions and rated their likelihood of returning to give blood again as greater than did those in the no treatment condition. Among donors whose chairs were not reclined, participants in the treatment condition had significantly smaller heart rate reactions to blood donation than did those in the other conditions.

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