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The Benefit of Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback and Relaxation Training in Reducing Trait Anxiety
Previous research studies have indicated that biofeedback treatment and relaxation techniques are effective in reducing psychological and physical symptoms (Hammond, 2005; Manzoni, G. M., Pagnini, F., Castelnuovo, G., & Molinari, E., 2008). However, dearth of studies has compared heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback treatment and relaxation training to reduce trait anxiety. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of HRV biofeedback treatment and relaxation training in reducing trait anxiety compared to control group without any treatment using students in a science and engineering university of South Korea. For the present study, a total of 15 graduate students with moderate level of trait anxiety were recruited for 4 individual sessions every two weeks. They were randomly assigned into three groups: biofeedback treatment (n = 5), relaxation training (n = 5), and no treatment control group (n = 5). Our results revealed significant difference in change score of trait anxiety between the HRV biofeedback treatment and the no treatment control group. However, no significant difference was found between the relaxation training group and the no treatment control group. In addition, there was no significant difference between the HRV biofeedback treatment and the relaxation training. Results of the present study indicate that there is potential benefit in utilizing HRV biofeedback treatment for stress management programs and/or anxiety reduction treatment.