AFSOC Special Operators: Resonance Frequency & Treating PTSD


Research Paper Title

Resonance Frequency Breathing Biofeedback to Reduce Symptoms of Subthreshold PTSD with an Air Force Special Tactics Operator: A Case Study.

Background

The prevalence rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have been estimated to be several times higher in military populations compared to the national average.

Special Tactics operators are a group that is more likely to avoid seeking psychological care due to the stigma and other consequences the diagnosis may have on their military careers. There is a need for more effective and less stigmatising interventions to treat this population.

Methods

Psychophysiological methods have been proven to be efficacious in treating PTSD, yet have received less attention as an adjunctive intervention. Resonance frequency (RF) biofeedback is a form of cardiorespiratory intervention that has shown promise as an effective treatment.

The current case study examined the use of RF biofeedback in combination with other physiological and evidence-based methods as part of a comprehensive treatment approach.

Results

The client showed a significant drop from his initial scores on a screening assessment by the end of treatment, and demonstrated continued progress despite a 3-month break from the therapy.

Conclusions

The author proposed that the synergistic effects of the multi-phased treatment approach contributed to the client’s progress. Furthermore, a case was made for using multiple techniques when treating subthreshold PTSD and related symptoms within a treatment resistant population.

Reference

Petta, L.M. (2017) Resonance Frequency Breathing Biofeedback to Reduce Symptoms of Subthreshold PTSD with an Air Force Special Tactics Operator: A Case Study. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. 42(2):139-146. doi: 10.1007/s10484-017-9356-2.

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