Comparative effectiveness of voluntary heart rate control and muscular relaxation as active coping skills for reducing speech anxiety

Robert Joseph Gatchel, al et al

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Investigated whether heart rate biofeedback training is as effective as muscular relaxation training in reducing speech anxiety. A combined muscle relaxation/biofeedback treatment group was also included in this study. All treatment groups were compared to a false-biofeedback placebo control group. This investigation also assessed whether the degree of autonomic nervous system awareness significantly influences the treatment process. 10 speech-anxious undergraduate Ss, high and low scorers on the Autonomic Perception Questionnaire, were assigned to each group. Results indicate that all 4 groups demonstrated a decrease in self-reported anxiety. Assessment of physiological measures (heart rate and skin conductance) indicated that the 3 treatment groups were associated with less physiological responding during the posttreatment assessment of anxiety, relative to the false-biofeedback group. Moreover, among the 3 treatment groups, the combined relaxation/biofeedback group demonstrated the lowest level of responding. The degree of autonomic awareness was not related to therapeutic improvement. (12 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1093-1100
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1977



  • heart rate biofeedback training &/vs muscular relaxation training, speech anxiety, college students

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