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Research Library
Publication

A Systematic Review of HeartMath® Interventions to Improve Psychological Outcomes in Individuals with Psychiatric Conditions

    • Published: 2021
    • Dr. Lucy Field1, Dr. Mark Forshaw2, and Dr. Helen Poole3
    • Integral Review, December 2021, Vol. 17, No. 1.1. Health Psychologist, Doctorate in Health Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, England.2. Ph.D. from University of Manchester, Subject Leader in Health and Applied Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, England.3. Registered Health Psychologist, Professor of Applied Health Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, England.
    • Download the complete paper, click here.

Abstract

Background and Objectives

A systematic review was undertaken to assess the effectiveness of HeartMath, heart rate variability biofeedback (HRVB) intervention studies within a variety of psychiatric conditions.

Design and Methods

Seven databases, including Web of Knowledge, Medline, Psych Info, Cinahl, Psych articles, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library and grey literature, were searched for suitable articles. Of the 1,701 citations identified, eight studies that utilised HeartMath HRVB interventions with psychiatric patients were included in the final analysis. A total of 64 patients aged 12-96 across a range of psychiatric conditions were examined in the systematic review.

Results

The review cautiously indicates that some groups of patients with psychiatric conditions report psychological improvement following HRVB HeartMath training.

Conclusions

These studies provide some evidence that HeartMath, HRVB interventions are promising in supporting beneficial outcomes for individuals with psychiatric conditions. The review points to future directions for HRVB interventions using the HeartMath technology.