Objective: This study aimed to compare heart rate variability metrics derived from four devices available at our Doctor of Chiropractic program educational institution.
Methods: Student and staff were recruited as study participants through campus electronic newsletters, flyers and in-course announcements. Eligibility requirements included non-smokers between the ages of 18-70 years with no known hypertension, chronic heart, or respiratory condition. Two electrocardiography and two photoplethysmography devices were used for data collection. Heart rate variability metrics derived from these devices included three time-domain and three frequency domain measures.
Results: Fifteen people responded to study recruitment efforts and met the eligibility requirements. However, data collection was only possible for three participants due to study interruption by the Covid-19 pandemic sheltering-in-place order. There was poor agreement for HRV metrics between the different devices. Variability was also noted within the same device/software system when two different investigators exported the Inter-Beat-Interval data and used different levels of artifact correction for the same volunteer participant.
Conclusion: This feasibility study identified several technical difficulties that can compromise heart rate variability measurements which should be considered for future research and by practitioners interested in the potential application of HRV within clinical and behavioral practice.
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