Exploring the Impact of a 7-Week Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Protocol on Skin Severity, Quality of Life, and Mental Health in a Proof-of-Concept Pre–Post Trial of Individuals with Psoriasis

Authors

  • Sarah Jaehwa Park Bastyr University, San Diego, CA, USA
  • Devon Fox Parkinson Center for Pragmatic Research, Shoreline, WA, USA
  • Lee Young Bastyr University, San Diego, CA, USA
  • Maya Roth Bastyr University, San Diego, CA, USA
  • Baljit Khamba Bastyr University, San Diego, CA, USA

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.54434/candj.151

Keywords:

Psoriasis, psychophysiological, psychocutaneous, heart rate variability, biofeedback, mind-body

Abstract

Background: Psoriasis often coexists with psychiatric disorders and decreased quality of life (QoL), with treatments commonly overlooking the psychological impact of the disease. Heart rate variability biofeedback (HRVB) may offer a mind–body solution by providing real-time feedback on autonomic functions, teaching individuals to manage stress via controlled breathing.

Objective: To examine the impact of a 7-week HRVB protocol on skin severity (SS), QoL, and mental health (MH) in individuals with psoriasis and determine the sustainability of any outcomes post-intervention.

Methods: A single-arm, proof-of-concept pre–post trial was conducted at Bastyr University Clinic in San Diego, CA. Five individuals were recruited, screened, and underwent a 7-week HRVB protocol. Assessments included SS through the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI-P and PASI-C), QoL via the Cardiff Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), and MH using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Data collection points were baseline, post-protocol, and 1-month follow-up.

Results: Notable improvements were observed between baseline and post-protocol for PASI-P, DLQI, and GAD-7. A significant change remained for GAD-7 between baseline and follow-up. No major differences were identified for PASI-C and PHQ-9 across any timeframe, and other scales remained consistent between post-protocol and follow-up.

Conclusion: HRVB showed promise in enhancing perceived SS, QoL, and anxiety over 7 weeks. Further studies should expand participant numbers and diversify initial scores, comparing HRVB with a control group.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT05506644, retrospectively registered on 16 August 2022.

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Published

2024-03-21

How to Cite

1.
Park S, Fox D, Young L, Roth M, Khamba B. Exploring the Impact of a 7-Week Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Protocol on Skin Severity, Quality of Life, and Mental Health in a Proof-of-Concept Pre–Post Trial of Individuals with Psoriasis. CANDJ [Internet]. 2024 Mar. 21 [cited 2024 Apr. 23];31(1):19-28. Available from: https://candjournal.ca/index.php/candj/article/view/151

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Section

Original Research