Do You Know What I Feel? A First Step Towards a Physiological Measure of the Subjective Well-Being of Persons With Profound Intellectual and Multiple Disabilities
Article first published online: 15 APR 2010
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Volume 23, Issue 4, pages 366–378, July 2010
How to Cite
Vos, P., De Cock, P., Petry, K., Van Den Noortgate, W. and Maes, B. (2010), Do You Know What I Feel? A First Step Towards a Physiological Measure of the Subjective Well-Being of Persons With Profound Intellectual and Multiple Disabilities. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 23: 366–378. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3148.2010.00553.x
- Issue published online: 10 JUN 2010
- Article first published online: 15 APR 2010
- Accepted for publication9 December 2009
- profound intellectual and multiple disabilities;
- quality of life;
- subjective quality of life
Background Because of limited communicative skills, it is not self-evident to measure subjective well-being in people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities. As a first step towards a non-interprative measure of subjective well-being, we explored how the respiratory, cardiovascular and electro dermal response systems were associated with the valence dimension of emotion.
Material and Methods Three participants were presented with staff selected negative and positive stimuli. During the presentation we measured the participants’ respiration, skin conductance, heart rate and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA). We used behavioural codings as an extra measure of emotional valence.
Results Participants showed a shallow, fast breathing pattern, used less thoracic breathing, had a higher skin conductance and had less RSA when experiencing positive emotions then when experiencing negative emotions.
Conclusion There are physiological differences between positive and negative emotions. The results also indicate that people with PIMD direct their attention away from negative stimuli.