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Biofeedback & Depression Study

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Who is eligible to participate in the study?
What is the time commitment and financial compensation for participants?
How can I participate?
What is biofeedback?

About the Biofeedback and Depression Study

A research study funded by Miami University is examining whether autonomic nervous system biofeedback (a safe alternative to medications and talk therapy) may serve as a treatment for depression. 

Our current study is focused on women’s mental health. A member of the research team will be available to help individuals by providing: information about depression, a comprehensive diagnostic assessment, and if eligible, biofeedback treatment —a treatment that shows promise in helping depression.

Who is eligible to participate in the study?

  • Depressed women are needed for participation.

    Not sure if the term "depressed" could apply to you? Take a BRIEF SELF-TEST that can help individuals determine if they need an evaluation for a mood disorder. )

  • Participants should be aged 18-50.

  • Participants should NOT currently be receiving treatment for depression.

What is the time commitment and financial compensation for participants?

Participants’ time commitment and financial compensation for time and travel (6 visits to the lab):

  • 2 hour diagnostic interview ($10)

  • If eligible, four more 1 hour sessions ($10 for each session, for a total of $40)

  • 1 hour follow up interview ($10)

How can I participate?

Interested participants should contact the Miami University Hamilton Psychophysiology Laboratory at 513.785.3184. Prospective participants should identify where they heard about the study.

This study has been approved by the Miami University Institutional Review Board: 08-380. For questions regarding participant rights please contact Miami University Human Subjects Protection Program office at 513.529.3600.

What is biofeedback?

Biofeedback is a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately "feed back" information to the user. The presentation of this information — often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior — supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument. [1.]

Research has shown that biofeedback is effective for migraine headaches, chronic pain, asthma, and some anxiety disorders. Only a handful of studies have investigated its effectiveness in treating depression. No studies have found any negative side effects of biofeedback which is why it could potentially be an excellent treatment for women in their reproductive years. Many women may be seeking treatment for depression but are concerned about the sexual side effects of anti-depressant drugs, are trying to get pregnant, or are pregnant or nursing (and therefore may not wish to begin medications). If you are interested in learning more about biofeedback or our treatment research, please call 513-785-3184.


1. "What is biofeedback?". Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. 2008-05-18.
Retrieved 2010-02-22.



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