Power spectral analysis of heart rate variability after biofeedback training

Marie J. Cowan, Helen Kogan, Robert Burr, Sue Hendershot, Lynne Buchanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


This study investigated the effects of biofeedback/self-management training on heart rate variability (HRV) in six sudden cardiac arrest survivors. The physiological-theoretical basis of the training was cognitively inducing respiratory sinus arrhythmia. Power spectral analyses and nonspectral analyses (Kleiger, Magid, SCANN, BB50 measures) of HRV measured before and after 5 weeks of biofeedback training are described. The posttraining Kleiger measure of mean HRV increased compared to the pretraining mean HRV (159 ± 37 ms vs 147 ± 38 ms). After training, the high frequency components (0.27-0.30 Hz) of the power density spectra were markedly increased, suggesting an increase of respiratory-driven parasympathetic activity. After training, the low frequency components (0.05 Hz) were slightly decreased, suggesting a decrease in sympathetic activity. The increases noted in the high frequency components were more striking during 9 hours at night than during the day. These data indicate that subjects who have had sudden cardiac arrest can, through biofeedback/self-management, cognitively increase their HRV over a 5-week period, consequently increasing parasympathetic activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Electrocardiology
Issue numberSUPPL.
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Kleiger standard deviation
  • respiratory sinus arrhythmia
  • self-management therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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