Psychological stress-induced changes in salivary alpha-amylase and adrenergic activity

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39 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aim of the study was to examine the relationships among salivary alpha-amylase, plasma catecholamines, blood pressure, and heart rate during psychological stress. This study used a pretest-post-test experimental design with a control group, using repeated measures. A total of 33 participants was divided into the experimental group (n = 16) that underwent a college academic final test as the psychological stress and the control group (n = 17) that did not undergo the test. The levels of salivary alpha-amylase and plasma catecholamines, blood pressure, and heart rate were measured seven times and stress and anxiety were measured once and twice, respectively, as subjective stress markers. Significant changes in the level of salivary alpha-amylase were found in response to psychological stress. However, the correlations of salivary alpha-amylase with the plasma catecholamines, blood pressure, and heart rate were only partially found to be statistically significant. In conclusion, it was shown that salivary alpha-amylase was sensitive to stress throughout this study. Thus, salivary alpha-amylase may be used to measure stress uninvasively in both clinical settings and nursing research where the effects of stress might be scrutinized. Furthermore, the mechanisms of illnesses that are induced by stress could be explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-484
Number of pages8
JournalNursing and Health Sciences
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • Catecholamine
  • Psychological stress
  • Salivary alpha-amylase

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