Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Miesha Anderson, DNP, MS, RN, CPNP, PMHNP

Miesha Anderson
  • Committee Chair Name & Credentials:
    Natasha McClure, DNP, PNP-BC


DNP Project Abstract

Exploration of Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Among Generalized Anxiety Disorder Treatment

Anxiety treatment is challenging due to increased rates of diagnoses, co-morbidities, and stigma seeking treatment. Variations among modalities and shortages of psychiatric providers indicate the need for effective individualized non-pharmacological complementary treatment options in addition to treatments as usual (TAU). The purpose of this practice change project was to assess the impact of two weeks use of the Lief Smart Patch heart rate variability biofeedback tool on self-reported symptoms by clients diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

Twenty adult clients with GAD at a private psychiatric practice in Colorado were identified via chart review and invited to participate. Ten agreed, enrolled, and were provided with education surrounding the use of the Lief HRVbF device. Baseline GAD7 screenings were collected. Usage was monitored via a digital dashboard and the GAD7 was repeated two weeks after six hours of daily Lief use.

A paired-samples t-test was performed to compare individual GAD7 scores for clients (N=10). There was a significant difference in GAD7 scores between pre-intervention (M= 16.6, SD=3.09) and post-intervention (M=12.6, SD=3.4); t(9)=6.5079, p= 0.0001.

Implications for Practice
Lief HRVbF use had positive impact on self-reported anxiety symptoms from baseline GAD7 scores. These results support HRVbF as a beneficial adjunct to TAU in this practice.