This study assessed the enhancement of immunocompetence by relaxation and social contact in 45 geriatric residents of independent-living facilities. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three protocols: relaxation training, social contact, or no contact. Subjects in the relaxation and social-contact conditions were seen individually three times a week for a month. Blood samples and self-report data were obtained at baseline, at the end of the intervention, and at a 1-month follow-up. At the end of the intervention, the relaxation group showed a significant increase in natural killer cell activity, and significant decreases in antibody titers to Herpes simplex virus and self-rated distress; the other two groups showed nonsignificant changes. There was a general increase in the T-lymphocyte response to phytohemagglutinin stimulation at the end of the intervention, with greater change at lower mitogen concentrations. These data suggest that cellular immunocompetence may be enhanced by psychosocial interventions.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1985|