Characteristics of Psychophysiological Stress Responses in Patients with Psychosomatic Disorders

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  • 心身症患者におけるPsychophysiological Stress Responseの特徴
  • シンシンショウ カンジャ ニ オケル Psychophysiological Stress Response ノ トクチョウ

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Background : Psychophysiological Stress Response (PSR) or Psychophysiological Stress Profile (PSP) is a method for assessment of autonomic response or muscle tension at the stress task, which is clinically used for biofeedback. Psychophysiological characteristics of various diseases had been already investigated and it was found that psychophysiological hyper-reactivity is one of the characteristics of illness state. But psychophysiological characteristics of psychosomatic disorders were less well known. We investigated PSR with psychosomatie patients compared with healthy controls to clarify the characteristics. Subjects : Thirty-six patients with psychosomatic disorders who visited the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine of our Hospital and 35 healthy controls who didn't receive regular medical care were participated. Methods : Surface-electromyography (SEMG), skin temperature (TEMP), skin conductance level (SCL), nonspecific skin conductance response (SCR), blood volume pulse (BVP) and respiration (RESP) were measured with procedures of 3 steps; baseline resting period, stress period (mental arithmetic task), and post stress period. The degrees of subjective tension experienced during each period (subjective tension score; STS) were also estimated. Results : Three characteristics were found; 1) Patients with psychosomatic disorders have psychophysiological hypo-reactive stress responses to the task, 2) Pulse rate and respiratory rate was significantly higher in the baseline and post stress period, 3) STS was higher during the baseline and post stress periods in the patient group compared to the control group. Discussions : These results provide a clue to help clarify the pathology of psychosomatic diseases. We proposed a hypothesis of pathologies of the diseases to explain the results, including the concept of hypofunctional stress systems.


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