The impact of a guided paced breathing audiovisual intervention on anxiety symptoms in Palestinian children: a pilot randomized controlled trial

Lisa M. Shank*, Victoria Grace, Janna Delgado, Paul Batchelor, Alexander de Raadt St James, Avirath Sundaresan, Lara Bouchedid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Children in Palestine may be at high risk for anxiety symptoms. However, access to mental health services is limited. Therefore, the objective of this study was to conduct a pilot randomized controlled trial to examine whether a guided audiovisual paced breathing intervention was feasible, acceptable, and improved anxiety symptoms in Palestinian children. Methods: Students (6–10 years old) in an after-school program in Palestine were randomly assigned to the intervention or control condition. All participants completed a pre- and post-intervention measure of anxiety using the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale. Participants in the intervention completed 24 sessions over 8 weeks and rated breathing ease as well as pre- and post-session relaxation on a 5-point Likert scale. To examine condition differences in post-intervention anxiety, four analyses of covariance were conducted, adjusting for age, sex, and pre-intervention anxiety. Results: A total of 144 participants (65.3% girls; Mage = 7.5 ± 1.2; 50% per condition) enrolled in the study. There were no differences in demographics or baseline anxiety between the two conditions (ps >.05). Participants reported that it was easy to breathe during the sessions (Ms = 4.1–4.7, SDs = 0.5–1.1). For all but the first session, participants reported being more relaxed after the breathing session than before (ps <.003). Post-intervention, participants in the intervention reported fewer anxiety symptoms compared to participants in the control condition (ps <.01). Conclusion: A guided paced breathing audiovisual intervention was feasible and had a significant positive impact on anxiety symptoms in Palestinian children compared to a control condition. Future research should examine whether the audiovisual guided breathing intervention significantly improves long-term outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-480
Number of pages8
JournalChild and Adolescent Mental Health
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • RCT design
  • School children
  • anxiety
  • intervention

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of a guided paced breathing audiovisual intervention on anxiety symptoms in Palestinian children: a pilot randomized controlled trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this