Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback to Treat Anxiety in Young People with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Lief Team
November 23, 2022 • 1 min read

Our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Matthew White, discusses his take on a new clinical study that studied the effect of Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback in treating young people with Autism-Spectrum Disorder.

What did this study investigate?   A study was just published looking at whether Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback could be helpful in treating anxiety in people with autism.  The study focused on teens and young adults on the spectrum who were able to participate in mainstream education.  

What did they find?  After 12 weeks of home-based HRV biofeedback, they showed a significant improvement in anxiety.

Why does it matter?   Anxiety is a common problem people on the spectrum, who- not surprisingly – anxiety at a greater rate than neuro-typical peers.   This small study suggests that HRV biofeedback, may be a drug-free, user-friendly, way to treat anxiety in people with ASD.  As the parent of an anxiously inclined child on the spectrum, this study has resonance for me, and I felt like I just had to share.

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