Stress Response in Swedish Ambulance Personnel Evaluated by Trier Social Stress Test
Journal of Health and Environmental Research
Volume 5, Issue 1, March 2019, Pages: 14-23
Received: Jan. 7, 2019;
Accepted: Mar. 2, 2019;
Published: Mar. 19, 2019
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Kåre Karlsson, Ambulance Services, Skaraborg Hospital, Skovde, Sweden; The Research Fund at Skaraborg Hospital, Skovde, Sweden; School of Health and Welfare, University of Jonkoping, Jonkoping, Sweden
Patrik Persson Niemelä, Ambulance Services, Skaraborg Hospital, Skovde, Sweden; The Research Fund at Skaraborg Hospital, Skovde, Sweden
Anders Jonsson, School of Health Sciences, University of Borås, Borås, Sweden; Centre for Defence Medicine, The Swedish Armed Forces, West Frolunda, Sweden
Carl-Johan Törnhage, Department of Paediatrics, Skaraborg Hospital, Skovde, Sweden; Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
According to previous research, ambulance personnel often consider themselves as healthy, but at the same time several studies show that they suffer from several stress-related illnesses, take early retirement and even suffer early death. The aim of this study was to explore mental stress during the Trier Social Stress Test. Questions were whether heart rate measurement could replace cortisol concentration in saliva as an indicator of stress and if there were differences between genders. During 20 Trier Social Stress Tests heart rate and salivary cortisol concentrations were measured. Heart rate was measured every 15 seconds and salivary cortisol was collected at seven occasions. Fourteen men and six women (sixteen ambulance nurses and four paramedics) participated. A questionnaire with background data was collected. Statistical analysis used was non-parametric tests to adjust for misalignment. During the Trier Social Stress Test women had their highest salivary cortisol concentration before start of test while the maximum values for men were 10 to 20 minutes after start. In contrast, there was no difference in heart rhythm before, during and after test between genders. No correlation between heart rate and salivary cortisol was found. There was no significant difference in stress response according to personnel’s age or level of education. Women and men exhibit different hormonal stress responses when it comes to performing unfamiliar actions, something that has not been seen before. Since no correlation could be seen between heart rate and salivary cortisol concentration they cannot replace each other as indicators of stress.
Patrik Persson Niemelä,
Stress Response in Swedish Ambulance Personnel Evaluated by Trier Social Stress Test, Journal of Health and Environmental Research.
Vol. 5, No. 1,
2019, pp. 14-23.
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