Effectiveness of Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Biofeedback Relaxation in Lowering Physiological Arousal among Students with Regard to Personality Features
Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2015
Pages: 228 - 235
Source ID: shanti-sources-34111
Collection: Biofeedback Devices and Wearables
Abstract: BackgroundStudents make a rather specific population, which has to overcome many obstacles in order to pursue their academic goals (Pierceall, Keim 2007). Special programmes for stress prevention, based on relaxation training are being established in universities. The effectiveness of these programmes is constantly assessed and ways of their improvement are being studied (Jones, Johnston 2000, Beddoe, Murphy, 2004). One of the directions for such studies is the studying the effectiveness of relaxation training in relation to personality characteristics. However, there is lack of studies analysing the impact of personality features on individual's ability to relax and ability to learn to relax. Both biofeedback-assisted and progressive muscle relaxation are regarded as interventions aimed at lowering stress response. These methods help to train relaxation skills as well. The aim of the study was to assess the effectiveness of biofeedback-assisted relaxation as well as progressive muscle relaxation in lowering psychophysiological parameters with regard to personality features. Method The subjects of the study were 122 university students. 105 (85 female and 20 male) of them, aged 18 to 36 (mean age 21.13 (SD 2.58), participated in all relaxation training sessions. Participants were randomly assigned into three different groups: a) four progressive muscle relaxation sessions (n = 34) or b) four biofeedback-assisted relaxation sessions (n = 35). Subjects in the c) control group participated only in the 1st and the 6th session without relaxation training (n = 36). Biofeedback-assisted relaxation was conducted using device NeXus – 10 (The Netherlands). Results and conclusions Both relaxation methods proved to be effective in lowering psychophysiological variables. Methods of lowering psychophysiological variables should be applied with regard to personality traits of individuals: the course (of four sessions) of both types of relaxation helps to lower skin conductance in persons with higher scores of openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness and helps to lower heart rate in persons with higher scores of neuroticism and extraversion.