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Article

The Effect of Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Training on Mental Health of Pregnant and Non-Pregnant Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial

1
Department of Clinical, Neuro- and Developmental Psychology, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
Department of Psychiatry, Rutgers—Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, 671 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
3
Research Institute of Child Development and Education, and Research Priority Area Yield, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 127, 1001NG Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 1051; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16061051
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 13 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 23 March 2019
In this study, we examined the efficacy of heart rate variability (HRV)-biofeedback on stress and stress-related mental health problems in women. Furthermore, we examined whether the efficacy differed between pregnant and non-pregnant women. Fifty women (20 pregnant, 30 non-pregnant; mean age 31.6, SD = 5.9) were randomized into an intervention (n = 29) or a waitlist condition (n = 21). All participants completed questionnaires on stress, anxiety, depressive symptoms, sleep, and psychological well-being on three occasions with 6-week intervals. Women in the intervention condition received HRV-biofeedback training between assessment 1 and 2, and women in the waitlist condition received the intervention between assessment 2 and 3. The intervention consisted of a 5-week HRV-biofeedback training program with weekly 60–90 min. sessions and daily exercises at home. Results indicated a statistically significant beneficial effect of HRV-biofeedback on psychological well-being for all women, and an additional statistically significant beneficial effect on anxiety complaints for pregnant women. No significant effect was found for the other stress-related complaints. These findings support the use of HRV-biofeedback as a stress-reducing technique among women reporting stress and related complaints in clinical practice to improve their well-being. Furthermore, it supports the use of this technique for reducing anxiety during pregnancy. View Full-Text
Keywords: stress; anxiety; depression; sleep; psychological well-being; HRV-biofeedback stress; anxiety; depression; sleep; psychological well-being; HRV-biofeedback
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MDPI and ACS Style

van der Zwan, J.E.; Huizink, A.C.; Lehrer, P.M.; Koot, H.M.; de Vente, W. The Effect of Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Training on Mental Health of Pregnant and Non-Pregnant Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1051. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16061051

AMA Style

van der Zwan JE, Huizink AC, Lehrer PM, Koot HM, de Vente W. The Effect of Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Training on Mental Health of Pregnant and Non-Pregnant Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(6):1051. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16061051

Chicago/Turabian Style

van der Zwan, Judith Esi, Anja C. Huizink, Paul M. Lehrer, Hans M. Koot, and Wieke de Vente. 2019. "The Effect of Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Training on Mental Health of Pregnant and Non-Pregnant Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 6: 1051. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16061051

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