2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

HRV Biofeedback Training Decreases Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) Scores in Healthy Undergraduates
Christopher L. Zerr*, David Schultz, Yu Men, and David Heuermann
Dr. Fred Shaffer, Faculty Mentor

This mixed-design study explored whether HRV biofeedback training can decrease Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scores of students with low self-reported levels of depression. Twenty-one undergraduates (7 male, 14 female), 18-22 years of age, were pre-assessed on both the BDI and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), matched on STAI scores, randomly assigned to four sessions of either HRV or temperature biofeedback (TEMP), and then post-assessed on both inventories. The HRV group increased the SDNN (standard deviation of all NN intervals) from session 1 (69.3 ms) to session 4 (93.8 ms). The TEMP group increased hand temperature from session 1 (88.8oF) to session 4 (92.2oF). The HRV group reduced BDI scores from pre-assessment (6) to post-assessment (4), while TEMP group scores did not change. The HRV group achieved lower post-assessment BDI scores (4) than the TEMP group (5.9). Future replications should study a gender-balanced sample of students diagnosed with depression.

Keywords: heart rate variability, beck depression inventory, state trait anxiety, depression


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 310-5
Location: MG 2001
Time: 2:00

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