Binaural Beat Technology: A Complementary Path to Post Deployment Wellness


Name: MeLisa Gantt

Rank: LTC

Organization: The Geneva Foundation

Performance Site: Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Ft. Belvoir, VA; Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD

Year Published: 2012

Abstract Status: Project Completed


The many facets of military deployment against the back drop of today’s economic crisis places members of the Armed Forces at higher risk for stress related health issues when compared to their civilian counterparts of the same age group.  Deployment health surveillances have shown that the 3-6 months post-deployment window is a crucial time to instill preventative measures to help decrease anxiety and promote health and well being.  One innovative complementary and alternative approach is Binaural Beat Technology (BBT).  

This auditory-neurophysiologic technique uses differing auditory tones (embedded in music) to impact brainwave activity in turn affecting mental, physical, or emotional states.  

SPECIFIC AIMS: The primary aim of this study is to assess the feasibility of implementing a BBT intervention in a military population during the high risk post-deployment window.  The secondary aim is to assess the impact of BBT on anxiety and relevant CV health measures (e.g., morning blood pressure (BP) surge, evening BP decline, heart rate variability, and c-reactive protein).  

DESIGN: This study will follow a prospective, double-blinded, randomized, repeated measures approach.  

METHOD: A sample of 56 military personnel who have recently returned from deployment will be randomly placed into two groups (music with BBT and music without BBT).  Each group will be exposed to their respective intervention for at least 30 minutes at bedtime, 3 consecutive nights each week, for 4 weeks.  Various psychologic and physiologic measures will be assessed and quantitative and qualitative data will be tracked to assess feasibility regarding retention, attrition, number of refusal during recruitment, number of drop outs, reason for dropping out, reason for staying, number of days the technology was used, selection of music, ease of use and comfort of equipment, adherence to the protocol, and evaluation of recruitment strategies.  

LONG TERM OBJECTIVE:  To conduct a series of randomized control trials to further investigate this technology in the various other brainwave frequency ranges for other common deployment health concerns (e.g., the beta frequency range to improve focus and alertness and the delta frequency range to improve sleep quality).

Final report is available on NTRL: