Effects of BF-HRV of opioid-dependent persons with pathological gambling



It is necessary to search for and to carry out effective treatments for chemical dependency – including behavioral addictions. One of the methods used in various disorders is a biofeedback HRV (BF-HRV). The aim of the study is to examine the impact of BF-HRV on people addicted behaviorally to gambling and chemically dependent patients on opioids.

Material and methods

Twenty-four opioid addicts were examined. We used emWave (HeartMath) with a heart rhythm monitor to learn stress reduction and emotional management skills. For a detailed analysis of the HRV data was used Kubios 2.0 software (Biosignal Analysis and Medical Imaging Group).


The average value of the three components of HRV, i.e. low (LF), medium (MF) and high (HF) frequencies of spectral energy FFT recorded during six consecutive sessions of BF-HRV were the following: 1st session LF 63%; MF: 17%; HF: 19%. Changing parameters in the next sessions: 2nd session LF −9.27%, MF: +0.50%, HF: +6.19%; 3rd session LF −11.11%, MF: +1.00%, HF: −10.07%; 4th session LF −14.27%, MF: −4.17%, HF: +18.77%; 5th session LF −15.02%, MF: −2.04%, HF: +17.07%; 5th session LF −15.02%, MF: −2.04%, HF: +17.07%; 6th session LF −20.86%, MF: −4.04%, HF: +24.90.


After the BF-HRV training decrease low and medium frequencies (LF-MF) and increase high frequency (HF). Recent studies suggest that LF-HRV is an index of cardiac sympathetic control and the LF/HF ratio is an index of sympathovagal balance.

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