Gahr, Kate, Bishop, Ajay and Bruton, Anne
A preliminary study into the effect of biofeedback on end tidal carbon dioxide levels during slow breathing in healthy volunteers
At European Respiratory Society Annual Congress.
02 - 06 Oct 2006.
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To investigate the effect of visual biofeedback on end tidal carbon dioxide levels during slow breathing in healthy volunteers.
Design: Preliminary study with experimental design in which each participant experienced both conditions i.e. slow breathing with and without visual biofeedback
Human Performance Laboratory, university campus
Fifteen university students.
Baseline data and outcome measures:
Primary outcome measure was end tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2); Secondary outcomes were respiratory rate; pulserate; non-invasive oxygen saturations; lung function
There was a mean rise in ETCO2 of 0.35 k Pa (CI0.09–0.6) during slow breathing with visual biofeedback, and 0.36 k Pa (CI0.13–0.6) without biofeedback. The use of visual feedback had no observable effect on ETCO2 despite participants successfully reducing their respiratory rate further under this condition
(mean 5 breaths per minute with feedback, versus 7 without feedback). ETCO2 and respiratory rate were negatively correlated under both conditions (Pearson’sr = 0.42).
In this study of healthy volunteers manipulating respiratory rate was
found to result in a significant rise in ETCO2 levels under both conditions, but the use of visual biofeedback had no significant additional effect on ETCO2. Visual biofeedback did have a statistically significant effect on respiratory rate, enabling subjects to achieve lower rates than in the absence of biofeedback. This suggests
visual biofeedback may have a role in enabling people to reduce breathing rates, but this needs to be confirmed by larger trials.
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