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Jul 28, 2008

Development and preliminary evaluation of a prototype audiovisual biofeedback device

Development and preliminary evaluation of a prototype audiovisual biofeedback device incorporating a patient-specific guiding waveform.

Phys Med Biol. 2008 May 12;53(11):N197-N208

Authors: Venkat RB, Sawant A, Suh Y, George R, Keall PJ

The aim of this research was to investigate the effectiveness of a novel audio-visual biofeedback respiratory training tool to reduce respiratory irregularity. The audiovisual biofeedback system acquires sample respiratory waveforms of a particular patient and computes a patient-specific waveform to guide the patient's subsequent breathing. Two visual feedback models with different displays and cognitive loads were investigated: a bar model and a wave model. The audio instructions were ascending/descending musical tones played at inhale and exhale respectively to assist in maintaining the breathing period. Free-breathing, bar model and wave model training was performed on ten volunteers for 5 min for three repeat sessions. A total of 90 respiratory waveforms were acquired. It was found that the bar model was superior to free breathing with overall rms displacement variations of 0.10 and 0.16 cm, respectively, and rms period variations of 0.77 and 0.33 s, respectively. The wave model was superior to the bar model and free breathing for all volunteers, with an overall rms displacement of 0.08 cm and rms periods of 0.2 s. The reduction in the displacement and period variations for the bar model compared with free breathing was statistically significant (p = 0.005 and 0.002, respectively); the wave model was significantly better than the bar model (p = 0.006 and 0.005, respectively). Audiovisual biofeedback with a patient-specific guiding waveform significantly reduces variations in breathing. The wave model approach reduces cycle-to-cycle variations in displacement by greater than 50% and variations in period by over 70% compared with free breathing. The planned application of this device is anatomic and functional imaging procedures and radiation therapy delivery.

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