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Paul Lehrer Ph.D.

Rutgers UniversityEOHSI – Clinical Research and Occupational Medicine
Address RWJMS Room D335 675 Hoes Lane West Piscataway NJ 08852 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. Lehrer, PM, Irvin, CG, Lu, SE, Scardella, A, Roehmheld-Hamm, B, Aviles-Velez, M, Graves, J, Vaschillo, EG, Vaschillo, B, Hoyte, F et al.. Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Does Not Substitute for Asthma Steroid Controller Medication. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2018;43 (1):57-73. doi: 10.1007/s10484-017-9382-0. PubMed PMID:29124506 PubMed Central PMC5871536
  2. Lehrer, PM. Heart rate variability biofeedback and other psychophysiological procedures as important elements in psychotherapy. Int J Psychophysiol. 2017; :. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2017.09.012. PubMed PMID:28935225
  3. Feldman, JM, Matte, L, Interian, A, Lehrer, PM, Lu, SE, Scheckner, B, Steinberg, DM, Oken, T, Kotay, A, Sinha, S et al.. Psychological treatment of comorbid asthma and panic disorder in Latino adults: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Behav Res Ther. 2016;87 :142-154. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2016.09.007. PubMed PMID:27668723 PubMed Central PMC5127738
  4. Eddie, D, Vaschillo, E, Vaschillo, B, Lehrer, P. Heart rate variability biofeedback: Theoretical basis, delivery, and its potential for the treatment of substance use disorders. Addict Res Theory. 2015;23 (4):266-272. doi: 10.3109/16066359.2015.1011625. PubMed PMID:28077937 PubMed Central PMC5222529
  5. Lehrer, PM, Gevirtz, R. Heart rate variability biofeedback: how and why does it work?. Front Psychol. 2014;5 :756. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00756. PubMed PMID:25101026 PubMed Central PMC4104929
  6. Lehrer, P, Buckman, JF, Mun, EY, Vaschillo, EG, Vaschillo, B, Udo, T, Ray, S, Nguyen, T, Bates, ME. Negative mood and alcohol problems are related to respiratory dynamics in young adults. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2013;38 (4):273-83. doi: 10.1007/s10484-013-9230-9. PubMed PMID:23975541 PubMed Central PMC3854952
  7. Malinovsky, I, Lehrer, P, Silverstein, SM, Shankman, SA, O'Brien, W, Samuelson, T, van Nostrand, G. An empirical evaluation of recovery transformation at a large community psychiatric rehabilitation organization. Psychol Serv. 2013;10 (4):428-41. doi: 10.1037/a0032747. PubMed PMID:23815360
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Categories: Faculty, Clinical Research and Occupational Medicine

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