Development of a Deployable HRV Assessment and Training System

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mikayla Krystyna Paluzzi (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:

Abstract: PTSD is a debilitating psychological condition that is difficult to treat and has been directly connected to depression, anxiety, and somatic complaints consistent with a hyperaroused autonomic nervous system (ANS). In 2012, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a report on PTSD and concluded that current efforts were inadequate to ensure the psychological health of our fighting forces and requested new intervention programs with demonstrated efficacy. (IOM, 2012). Heart rate variability (HRV) measurement and training has been shown to be effective in diagnosing and ameliorating ANS dysfunction in physical, psychological and neurocognitive conditions. The purpose of this study was to run a pilot study on the Mobile Telehealth System and analyze the results before conducting an upcoming study that will determine whether mobile HRV biofeedback training can improve symptoms of PTSD in Active Duty Military Service Members (ADSM) by assisting them in learning how to gain control over their ANS. The underlying theory posits that HRV biofeedback training will improve ANS control, which is adversely affected by exposure to extreme stress and trauma. The MTS system was used to determine its effectiveness in improving HRV and found to improve HRV both while seating and standing through paced breathing. For the impending study, biofeedback training will consists of 32 sessions: two 10 minute sessions per day, 4 times a week for one month in duration. Participants will train for 10 minutes in the morning prior to breakfast and again in the evening before bed. Baseline and post training data on physiological and psychological changes include HRV, Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ), CAPS-Military version, and Profile of Mood States (POMS). The MTS system has a number of other potential applications including the ability to assess and provide intervention for the following conditions: cardiovascular, addictions, sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, effectiveness of pharmaceuticals, pain management, physical and cognitive performance, posttraumatic stress, and concussions.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
PTSD, Mobile Telehealth System, Heart Rate Variability

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