The Effectiveness of Diaphragmatic Breathing Relaxation Training for Reducing Anxiety

Perspect Psychiatr Care. 2017 Oct;53(4):329-336. doi: 10.1111/ppc.12184. Epub 2016 Aug 23.


Purpose: To evaluate the effectiveness on reducing anxiety of a diaphragmatic breathing relaxation (DBR) training program.

Design and methods: This experimental, pre-test-post-test randomized controlled trial with repeated measures collected data using the Beck Anxiety Inventory and biofeedback tests for skin conductivity, peripheral blood flow, heart rate, and breathing rate.

Findings: The experimental group achieved significant reductions in Beck Anxiety Inventory scores (p < .05), peripheral temperature (p = .026), heart rate (p = .005), and breathing rate (p = .004) over the 8-week training period. The experimental group further achieved a significant reduction in breathing rate (p < .001).

Practice implications: The findings provide guidance for providing quality care that effectively reduces the anxiety level of care recipients in clinical and community settings.

Keywords: Abdominal breathing; anxiety; effect; relaxation training.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Biofeedback, Psychology / methods*
  • Breathing Exercises / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Relaxation Therapy / education
  • Relaxation Therapy / methods*
  • Young Adult