Mar 03, 2008
Integrating a Portable Biofeedback Device into Clinical Practice for Patients with Anxiety Disorders
Integrating a Portable Biofeedback Device into Clinical Practice for Patients with Anxiety Disorders: Results of a Pilot Study.
Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2008 Feb 20;
Authors: Reiner R
This study examined the effectiveness of a portable Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia (RSA) biofeedback device as an adjunct to CBT in persons with anxiety disorders and other disorders associated with autonomic dysfunction attending outpatient treatment. Participants were 24 individuals attending outpatient cognitive behavioral treatment for a range of anxiety disorders. Participants were assessed over a 3 week period. Outcomes included measures of anxiety (STAI-Y), sleep disturbances (PSQI), anger (STAEI), and subjective questions about the effectiveness of the device as a treatment adjunct. Significant reductions were found for anxiety and anger and for certain sleep variables (e.g. sleep latency). There was a significant dos-effect in that those who were more compliant had significantly greater reductions in most domains including sleep, anger and trait anxiety. Overall, participants found the device more helpful than other relaxation techniques such as mediation, yoga and unassisted breathing techniques but less helpful than exercise. The most frequently endorsed side effects were dizziness (15%) and sleepiness (55%). These preliminary results suggest that portable RSA biofeedback appears to be a promising treatment adjunct for disorders of autonomic arousal and is easily integrated into treatment. Results support the need for further investigation with more rigorous experimental designs.