Psychiatric Quarterly [psaq] ph084-psaq-363100 June 21, 2002 13:51 Style ﬁle version Nov. 19th, 1999
Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 3, Fall 2002 (
RELIABILITY OF CIRCADIAN HEART
PATTERN ANALYSIS IN PSYCHIATRY
Grant L. Iverson, Ph.D., Hans G. Stampfer, M.B.B.S.,
and Michael Gaetz, Ph.D.
The assessment of circadian heart patterns represents a new methodology for
documenting physiological dysregulation associated with psychiatric illness.
Previous research has demonstrated abnormal heart rate patterns, especially
during the bedtime interval, that are associated with depression, generalized
anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and schizophrenia. These patterns are de-
rived from heart rate data obtained while wearing an unobtrusive, two-lead
heart rate monitor over a 24-hour period. To establish basic reliability, the
second author blindly rated heart-monitored data from 50 subjects on two occa-
sions, separated by an average of 6.6 weeks (range = 2.9–15.7 weeks). Subjects
were classiﬁed as “deﬁnitely psychiatric,” “probably psychiatric,” “borderline,”
“broadly normal,” and “signature normal.” The exact category agreement rate
was 78%. If a one-category difference is permitted (e.g., “deﬁnitely psychiatric”
and “probably psychiatric” counted as an agreement), the agreement rate was
92%. Circadian heart pattern analysis is a promising new technology in psy-
chiatric research and warrants further investigation.
KEY WORDS: circadian; heart pattern; reliability.
Grant L. Iverson, University of British Columbia & HeartLink Canada Inc.
Hans G. Stampfer, University of Western Australia.
Michael Gaetz, University of British Columbia & HeartLink Canada Inc.
Address correspondence to Grant Iverson, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, 2255
Wesbrook Mall, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 2B4.
2002 Human Sciences Press, Inc.