The number of publications investigating heart rate variability (HRV) in psychiatry and the behavioral sciences has increased markedly in the last decade. In addition to the significant debates surrounding ideal methods to collect and interpret measures of HRV, standardized reporting of methodology in this field is lacking. Commonly cited recommendations were designed well before recent calls to improve research communication and reproducibility across disciplines. In an effort to standardize reporting, we propose the Guidelines for Reporting Articles on Psychiatry and Heart rate variability (GRAPH), a checklist with four domains: participant selection, interbeat interval collection, data preparation and HRV calculation. This paper provides an overview of these four domains and why their standardized reporting is necessary to suitably evaluate HRV research in psychiatry and related disciplines. Adherence to these communication guidelines will help expedite the translation of HRV research into a potential psychiatric biomarker by improving interpretation, reproducibility and future meta-analyses.
Quintana, D.S., Alvares, G.A., Heathers, J.A.J. (2016). Guidelines for Reporting Articles on Psychiatry and Heart rate variability (GRAPH): Recommendations to advance research communication. Translational Psychiatry, 6(5), doi:10.1038/tp.2016.73