Article

Exploring the Effectiveness of a Computer-Based Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Program in Reducing Anxiety in College Students

Graduate Psychology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, USA.
Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (Impact Factor: 1.13). 06/2011; 36(2):101-12. DOI: 10.1007/s10484-011-9151-4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Given the pervasiveness of stress and anxiety in our culture it is important to develop and implement interventions that can be easily utilized by large numbers of people that are readily available, inexpensive and have minimal side effects. Two studies explored the effectiveness of a computer-based heart rate variability biofeedback program on reducing anxiety and negative mood in college students. A pilot project (n = 9) of highly anxious students revealed sizable decreases in anxiety and negative mood following utilizing the program for 4 weeks. A second study (n = 35) employing an immediate versus delayed treatment design replicated the results, although the magnitude of the impact was not quite as strong. Despite observing decreases in anxiety, the expected changes in psychophysiological coherence were not observed.

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Available from: Gregg Henriques, May 06, 2014
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    • "The effectiveness of self-directed PA is well established (e.g., see Conn 2010a, b for reviews), but less is known about the effectiveness of self-directed MM and HRV-BF. Even though several studies suggested that PA, MM and HRV-BF reduce stress and its related symptoms (e.g., Chiesa and Serretti 2009; Conn 2010a; Henriques et al. 2011), to the best of our knowledge, the effectiveness of these three interventions has not yet been compared. Moreover, most studies that included PA, MM and, to a lesser extent, HRV- BF, examined these interventions in a face-to-face context. "
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    • "A previous study in Thailand found biofeedback intervention to be effective in reducing anxiety and managing stress among undergraduate nursing students [14]. Biofeedback intervention was also found to be effective in helping other university students in other countries with their mental health issues [15] [16]. No previous biofeedback study has been done among university students regarding depression, even though there is a high cooccurrence rate for anxiety and depression. "
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    • "Also, in certain professions, in order to handle some difficult and complex situations, biofeedback, through the control of heart rate variability, also helps to improve work conditions (Chandler, Bodenhamer-Davis, Holden, Evenson, & Bratton, 2001; Cutshall et al., 2011). Various computer programs have proven to be effective in cardiac coherence management (Edwards, 2014; Henriques, Keffer, Abrahamson, & Horst, 2011), but present technical devices tend to be expensive and not easily accessible. "
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