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Resilience Building Among University Students: A Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Study
National Health and Morbidity Survey 2017 stated that 1 in 5 adolescents in Malaysia are having depression while 2 in 5 are anxious and 1 in 10 adolescents are in a stress state. This statistic is worrying as adolescents will be the future leaders of our country. Due to this increasing mental health problems, heart rate variability biofeedback technologies are used to increase resilience among university students. A person who is low in resilience is easily gets stress and a higher tendency to be depressed. Based on previous research, there were many kinds of research that have been done to quantify resilience through psychometric tools for example questionnaires and surveys. However, to the best of our knowledge, there has been little research before this in investigating how efficient heart rate variability biofeedback (HRVB) in improving resilience, especially among university students. The waveform of the HRV able to reflect either the person has low or high resilience. This study is a multidisciplinary field that includes electronics, psychology, and cognitive neuroscience. The aim is to determine the impact of HRV in resilience building among university students through biofeedback training. 120 students from Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT) are selected to participate in responding to the Brief Resilience Scale (BRS). BRS is used as psychometric tools to measure the level of resilience of the students. Based on the BRS score, the subjects were divided into 3 categories of resilience which are low resilience, normal resilience, and high resilience. The research used EmWave device and software of the HeartMath Institute to collect the variations of the heart rate data. Those who have low resilience took part in the biofeedback training for 5 sessions. The intervention used in the study is the slow breathing technique (6 breaths per min). Based on the HRV power spectrum, HRV data can be divided into 3 parts which are very low frequency (VLF), low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF). The result obtained after completed all biofeedback training sessions shows that the use of heart rate variability biofeedback helped to increase the level of resilience of the students.