Blackwell Scientific on behalf of the Royal Society for Mentally Handicapped Children and Adults
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research vol:57 issue:5 pages:452-461
Background Behavioural observations are the most
frequently used source of information about emotions
of people with severe or profound intellectual
disabilities but have not yet been validated against
other measures of emotion. In this study we wanted
to validate the behavioural observations of emotions
using respiration (rib cage contribution, total breath
duration, inspiratory time, expiratory time, tidal
volume, mean inspiratory flow, minute ventilation)
and heart rate variability.
Method Twenty-seven participants were presented
with four negative and four positive stimuli. During
the presentation the participants’ respiration and
HRV was measured. Each behaviour of the participant
was coded as emotive or not.
Results We found the hypothesised higher percentage
rib cage contribution, marginal lower mean
inspiratory flow and lower HRV when the expressed
emotions became more positive.