The effect of paced diaphragmatic breathing on anxiety reduction in a socially phobic population

Webster, Bruce (1989) The effect of paced diaphragmatic breathing on anxiety reduction in a socially phobic population. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
    (Original Version)

Abstract

The present research was suggested by evidence in the literature relating the presence of anxiety to rapid, shallow respiration. A five session behavioural therapy program which included respiration therapy (experimental group) was compared to a similar therapy program which did not include respiration therapy (control group), on a number of self-report, behavioural, and physiological variables. The research design was a pretest-posttest control group design with a one month follow-up. Subjects consisted of 18 self-referred, socially phobic adults, randomly assigned to one of the two conditions. Subjects met individually with the therapist for five one-hour sessions. The experimental program involved teaching of deep diaphragmatic breathing at a target rate of six cycles per minute as a relaxation technique and as a coping device for entering socially anxious situations. In addition, imaginal exposure, role play, and homework assignments of in-vivo exposure were practiced. The control program involved unstructured self-relaxation in combination with imaginal exposure, role play, and homework assignments of in-vivo exposure. All subjects participated in the Social Interaction Test (Marzillier, Lambert, & Kellet, 1976) which involved discussion with a stranger, before and after therapy, wherein behavioural and physiological activity was assessed. The experimental condition successfully reduced the experimental subject’s respiration rate within treatment sessions. Main effects were found for both treatment groups on all self-report and behavioural measures, and for several of the physiological variables. Multivariate repeated measure analyses of variance revealed the experimental program to be significantly more effective than the control program in decreasing one self-report measure of anxiety. It was concluded that respiration therapy did not provide additive effects in anxiety reduction when combined with imaginal exposure, role play, and homework assignments of in-vivo exposure. Limitations, implications, and contributions of this study are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5884
Item ID: 5884
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 66-74.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1989
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Breathing exercises--Therapeutic use; Anxiety

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