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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Dianna Sorenson


physiology of older people, hypotension, orthostatic, blood pressure measurement


The purpose of this study was to examine orthostatic parameter measurement trends among the elderly. The study investigated the trends in blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation after orthostatic changes in elderly men and women. A prospective descriptive design was used to obtain multiple serial measurements in identifying responses to postural changes. The convenience sample was composed of 5 men and 5 women residents in a long term care facility located in a mid-central region city. Orthostatic parameters were measured over a 3 day timeframe. Measurements were obtained in the early morning after rising from recumbency during the night; after breakfast (postprandial); and in the evening before retiring to bed for the night. Individual findings, comparisons, and trends were identified and displayed by graphical analysis. Major findings indicated orthostatic parameter changes were variable for all subjects. The time of greatest orthostatic parameter change occurred within the first 2 minutes after moving from a supine to standing position. Overall orthostatic heart rate changes were negligible. Diastolic blood pressure and oxygen saturation changes were minimal. Systolic blood pressure increases and decreases were the predominant parameter of orthostatic change. Somatic symptoms associated with orthostatic parameter changes were few.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Older people -- Physiology
Hypotension, Orthostatic
Blood pressure -- Measurement



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 1995 Dorothy Petersen. All rights reserved