The Potential Use of HeartMath®’s emWave Technology to Establish Evidence-Based Therapeutic Recreation Practice to Produce Physiological and Psychological Outcomes: A Systematic Literature Review




evidence-based therapeutic recreation practice, HeartMath®’s emWave device, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD), physiological outcomes, psychological outcomes



 With the capability of evidence-based therapeutic recreation interventions to produce meaningful emotional/behavioral and cognitive health outcomes, it would be valuable to establish use of HeartMath®’s emWave device as an evidence-based practice to potentially benefit individuals with various disabilities and/or diagnoses. This systematic literature review explores evidence-based practices in various fields that involve use of HeartMath®’s emWave device with individuals with and without disabilities or diagnosed health-related issues to produce and measure psychological and/or physiological change. Twenty-one databases were searched in October 2020, and 13 articles were selected for final review. Specific topics were revealed: use of HeartMath®’s emWave device, suitability and accessibility, need for standardized treatment approach, and need for formal evaluation of participant experiences. Results revealed a variety of implications and future recommendations that support future research to test the use of HeartMath®’s emWave device with individuals with various disabilities and/or diagnoses and establish evidence-based therapeutic recreation practice. 

Author Biography

Lindsey Ryan Oakes, LRT/CTRS, Temple University


 Lindsey R. Oakes is the Recreational Therapy Program Director and an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences in the College of Public Health at Temple University.