Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 101–112

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

  • Gregg Henriques
  • Steven Keffer
  • Craig Abrahamson
  • S. Jeanne Horst

DOI: 10.1007/s10484-011-9151-4

Cite this article as:
Henriques, G., Keffer, S., Abrahamson, C. et al. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback (2011) 36: 101. doi:10.1007/s10484-011-9151-4


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.


Anxiety Biofeedback Heart rate variability Heart rhythm coherence 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregg Henriques
    • 1
  • Steven Keffer
    • 2
  • Craig Abrahamson
    • 3
  • S. Jeanne Horst
    • 4
  1. 1.Graduate PsychologyJames Madison UniversityHarrisonburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyJames Madison UniversityHarrisonburgUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyJames Madison UniversityHarrisonburgUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyEastern Mennonite UniversityHarrisonburgUSA

Personalised recommendations