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Paul Lehrer, Ph.D.

Rutgers UniversityEOHSI – Clinical Research and Occupational Medicine
Work RWJMS Room D335 675 Hoes Lane West Piscataway NJ 08852 Work Phone: 732-235-4413
Photo of Paul Lehrer Ph.D.

Biographical Info

Research Areas

  • Heart rate variability biofeedback as a treatment for asthma: a complement or alternative to steroids?
  • Psychological treatment of comorbid asthma and panic disorder
  • Heart rate variability biofeedback as a treatment for chronic drug and alcohol abuse
  • Psychophysiological correlates of emotional stimulation: relationship to chronic mood states, and tendencies to substance abuse
  • Measurement of adaptability and health: modeling control systems, oscillations as reflecting system stability
  • Exploring psychophysiological treatment approaches for patients with multiple unexplained physical symptoms
  • Psychophysiological factors in human optimal performance

Research Highlights

  • Found that heart rate variability biofeedback is 100% effective in preventing asthma exacerbations, while allowing lower doses of steroids, producing better pulmonary function, and fewer symptoms
  • Found that heart rate variability biofeedback improves symptomatology and depression among individuals with multiple unexplained physical symptoms
  • Found that people with negative mood states tend to have a greater thoracic than abdominal component in breathing
  • Developed a cognitive behavioral treatment that effectively helps people with comorbid asthma and panic disorder, improving both diseases, allowing less use of albuterol
  • Found that airplane pilots show patterns of hyperventilation and psychophysiological hyperarousal during difficult flight tasks
  • Found that sighing plays an important role in regulation of the respiratory system
  • Stimulation of the baroreflexes by heart rate variability biofeedback: a method for increasing autonomic stability and homeostasisa

Scholarly Activities

  • Associate editor, Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback and International Journal of Stress Management
  • Recent keynote talks to various scholarly organizations, including:
    • Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback
    • German Biofeedback Society
    • Baltic Area Biofeedback Society
    • International Society for Advancement of Respiratory Psychophysiology
    • American Society for Clinical Hypnosis
  • Member of the Research Committee, UMDNJ, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • President, USA branch of the International stress Management Association
  • Past president of Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback and the International Association for Advancement of Respiratory Psychophysiology
  • Found that heart rate variability biofeedback decreases the autonomic downregulation produced by exposure to inflammatory cytokines

Recent Publications

  1. Fisher, LR, Lehrer, PM. A Method for More Accurate Determination of Resonance Frequency of the Cardiovascular System, and Evaluation of a Program to Perform It. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2021; :. doi: 10.1007/s10484-021-09524-0. PubMed PMID:34655366
  2. Lehrer, P, Kaur, K, Sharma, A, Shah, K, Huseby, R, Bhavsar, J, Sgobba, P, Zhang, Y. Correction to: Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Improves Emotional and Physical Health and Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta Analysis. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2021;46 (4):389. doi: 10.1007/s10484-021-09526-y. PubMed PMID:34623527
  3. Blase, K, Vermetten, E, Lehrer, P, Gevirtz, R. Neurophysiological Approach by Self-Control of Your Stress-Related Autonomic Nervous System with Depression, Stress and Anxiety Patients. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18 (7):. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18073329. PubMed PMID:33804817 PubMed Central PMC8036915
  4. Leyro, TM, Versella, MV, Yang, MJ, Brinkman, HR, Hoyt, DL, Lehrer, P. Respiratory therapy for the treatment of anxiety: Meta-analytic review and regression. Clin Psychol Rev. 2021;84 :101980. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2021.101980. PubMed PMID:33540222 PubMed Central PMC8302658
  5. Lehrer, P. Editor's Note: What the Journal Publishes: The Journal's Mission. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2020;45 (4):229-230. doi: 10.1007/s10484-020-09482-z. PubMed PMID:32889652
  6. Lehrer, P, Kaur, K, Sharma, A, Shah, K, Huseby, R, Bhavsar, J, Sgobba, P, Zhang, Y. Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Improves Emotional and Physical Health and Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta Analysis. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2020;45 (3):109-129. doi: 10.1007/s10484-020-09466-z. PubMed PMID:32385728
  7. Lehrer, PM, Vaschillo, EG, Vidali, V. Heart Rate and Breathing Are Not Always in Phase During Resonance Frequency Breathing. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2020;45 (3):145-152. doi: 10.1007/s10484-020-09459-y. PubMed PMID:32285231
  8. Economides, M, Lehrer, P, Ranta, K, Nazander, A, Hilgert, O, Raevuori, A, Gevirtz, R, Khazan, I, Forman-Hoffman, VL. Feasibility and Efficacy of the Addition of Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback to a Remote Digital Health Intervention for Depression. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2020;45 (2):75-86. doi: 10.1007/s10484-020-09458-z. PubMed PMID:32246229 PubMed Central PMC7250954
  9. Shah, K, Ramos-Garcia, M, Bhavsar, J, Lehrer, P. Mind-body treatments of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms: An updated meta-analysis. Behav Res Ther. 2020;128 :103462. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2019.103462. PubMed PMID:32229334
  10. Nelson, KL, Lu, SE, Oken, T, Lehrer, PM, Feldman, JM. Further Exploration of Treatment Response in Latinos with Comorbid Asthma and Panic Disorder: A Brief Report of HRV and ETCO2 as Potential Mediators of Treatment Response. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2020;45 (2):67-74. doi: 10.1007/s10484-020-09454-3. PubMed PMID:32193714 PubMed Central PMC7255951
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Categories: Faculty, Clinical Research and Occupational Medicine