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The purpose

Military operations and training situations present many physical and psychological challenges for service members to adapt to and overcome. The challenges of these changing conditions necessitate having to cope with stress, which is seen as the negative perceptions, feelings, and emotions that manifest from the subjective physical and/or mental strain on life processes. In addition, service members are returning from deployments having gone through traumatic experiences that can develop into posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression or other serious conditions. The Surface Warfare Independent Duty Corpsman (IDC) School is an example of a training environment where some students may be entering the program with symptoms of PTSD, which may preclude or make it more difficult for them to perform well. Autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysregulation has been observed in patients with PTSD and those experiencing chronic stress, such that there is more arousing, sympathetic input to the heart than calming, parasympathetic input, which is usually the dominant division of the ANS involved in controlling one's heart rate. The IDC training program is an example of an environment where the service member is expected to excel while being subjected to multiple sources of stress. The fast tempo coupled with performance expectations may induce stress and actually inhibit learning. The Institute of HeartMath has developed the Coherence Advantage program which teaches one to self-regulate their emotions while focusing on breathing to compliment the active process of self-regulation. In conjunction, the emWave Personal Stress Reliever allows the user to receive heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback, hence giving the user the opportunity to self-regulate their ANS through breathing and self-regulation techniques. The proposed study will test the effectiveness of the Coherence Advantage program versus progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) in reducing stress symptomatology among Surface Warfare IDC students. The effectiveness of these two different interventions will be compared on outcomes of PTSD, depression, anxiety, sleep quality, perceived stress, attrition, and class performance.

Provided treatments

  • Behavioral: Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • Behavioral: Coherence Advantage

Locations near you

Unfortunately, there are no recruiting locations near you. Please check the list with all locations below.
Tris trial is registered with FDA with number: NCT01599598. The sponsor of the trial is United States Naval Medical Center, San Diego and it is looking for 192 volunteers for the current phase.
Official trial title:
Coherence Training for Military Personnel