An exploratory analysis of the utility of adding cardiorespiratory biofeedback in the standard care of pregnancy-induced hypertension.Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback 2013; 38(3):161-70AP
This study examined the efficacy of a cardiorespiratory biofeedback intervention compared to bed rest in the treatment of 47 women diagnosed with pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH). The investigation consisted of a historical control group with 31 PIH subjects receiving treatment as usual (TAU), bed rest and antihypertensive medications, and an experimental group with 16 PIH subjects receiving TAU and instruction on using a portable respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) biofeedback device once daily until delivery. Results indicated that systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels were unchanged for either group. Failing to find the intended main effects, a series of exploratory analyses were performed. Findings of associated hypotheses revealed that the RSA BF group had a 35 % higher birth weight than the TAU group. The gestational age at delivery was 10 % greater in the RSA BF group than in the TAU group. A significant relationship was found between the StressEraser Total and the 1-min Apgar score. Eighty-one percent of the subjects stated that the device was relaxing. Fifty percent of the subjects believed that the device helped them fall asleep. Overall, these results suggest that portable RSA biofeedback may be effective in reducing stress during pregnancy and improving perinatal outcomes.