Assessing the feasibility of heart rate variability as an objective indicator of anxiety in older adults with dementia living in care homes

Milena A. Quinci, Arlene J. Astell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Anxiety is reportedly prevalent in older adults with dementia living in care homes and, within this population, is most often assessed through caregiver reports. Heart rate variability (HRV) is a physiological indicator of autonomic function, whereby reduced vagally-mediated HRV is associated with a variety of anxiety symptoms and disorders. This study evaluates the feasibility of collecting HRV data within this population, presents HRV data for older adults with dementia living in a care home, and examines HRV in the context of self-reported anxiety. These data were collected during a larger study examining an exercise intervention. Results: HRV data, in the form of log-transformed root mean square of the successive differences (lnRMSSD), were in line with transformed data from previous research. These data provide a promising direction for the use of wrist-worn devices in future HRV research with people living with dementia in care homes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number48
Number of pages5
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

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