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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2007 Sep;42(9):1054-62.

Breathing exercises with vagal biofeedback may benefit patients with functional dyspepsia.

Author information

1
Institute of Medicine, University of Bergen, Division of Gastroenterology, Medical Department, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway. ina.hjelland@med.uib.no

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Many patients with functional dyspepsia (FD) have postprandial symptoms, impaired gastric accommodation and low vagal tone. The aim of this study was to improve vagal tone, and thereby also drinking capacity, intragastric volume and quality of life, using breathing exercises with vagal biofeedback.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

Forty FD patients were randomized to either a biofeedback group or a control group. The patients received similar information and care. Patients in the biofeedback group were trained in breathing exercises, 6 breaths/min, 5 min each day for 4 weeks, using specially designed software for vagal biofeedback. Effect variables included maximal drinking capacity using a drink test (Toro clear meat soup 100 ml/min), intragastric volume at maximal drinking capacity, respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), skin conductance (SC) and dyspepsia-related quality of life scores.

RESULTS:

Drinking capacity and quality of life improved significantly more in the biofeedback group than in the control group (p=0.02 and p=0.01) without any significant change in baseline autonomic activity (RSA and SC) or intragastric volume. After the treatment period, RSA during breathing exercises was significantly correlated to drinking capacity (r=0.6, p=0.008).

CONCLUSIONS:

Breathing exercises with vagal biofeedback increased drinking capacity and improved quality of life in FD patients, but did not improve baseline vagal tone.

PMID:
17710670
DOI:
10.1080/00365520701259208
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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