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Physiological Effects of Deep Touch Pressure on Anxiety Alleviation: The Weighted Blanket Approach

4 October, 2017

Hsin-Yung Chen, Hsiang Yang, Huang-Ju Chi, Hsin-Ming Chen (2013)


The application of deep touch pressure (DTP) has been suggested to provide positive effects on anxiety modulation. The weighted blanket (WB) is used as a DTP intervention tool for sensory modulation. However, empirical and theoretical evidence linked to the clinical effects of DTP are relatively rare.

This study conducts a quantitative analysis of behavioral assessments and performs physiological measurements, including those of electrodermal activity and heart rate variability, to understand the modulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), and the orchestration of sympathetic (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous systems (PsNS). The results suggest that the activation of PsNS plays a critical role in ANS modulation. This study provides physiological evidence to support the positive clinical effects of DTP for reducing anxiety in dental environments.