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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

First Advisor

Douglas Matheson


The hyperventilation syndrome refers to a complex variety of symptoms which primarily influence the respiratory, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal systems, and the syndrome is associated with a breathing pattern in excess of the body's demands. Psychologically, these symptoms mimic a panic attack and can cause severe anxiety in the person experiencing them. The present study was an attempt to determine whether respiratory feedback was a beneficial treatment when used to teach breathing retraining to improve the symptoms of hyperventilation in agoraphobic patients. A multiple baseline design across 4 subjects who had been diagnosed as suffering from an anxiety disorder, namely panic attacks, was used to test the experimental hypotheses. Dependent variables measured were respiration rate, respiration mode, heart rate, subjective anxiety, and symptom relief. The results indicated that all of the participants showed improvements on at least one of the physiological variables, but showed no change on one of the two psychological variables used in this study.



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