Psychophysiological stress profile

#psychology #psychiatry #coaching

One assessment tool in biofeedback is a psychophysiological stress profile which is often done in order to identify the reactions of all different bodily functions on physical, emotional or cognitive stressors. When a stimulus is presented the sympathetic nervous system gets activated. During relaxation, the bodily signals change as influenced by the parasympathetic nervous system. The evaluation of the stress profile provides indication view of the physiological parameters that are out of balance and can be addressed for training. There are many ways to conduct a stress profile by offering different cognitive, emotional or maybe even looking at physical stressors. Use, build in stroop test, math test or individual stressors through pictures, videos, audio or verbal instructions.

Stress Profiling, how is it measured ?

The following physiological "stress" parameters are measured during stress test:

Muscle Tension (EMG)Respiration
Heart Rate VariabilityBlood Volume Pulse
Skin Conductance (GSR)Temperature

Stress Test

The test starts with a baseline of 6 minutes, in which the patient is reading in silence. This is to avoid that the patient is too much occupied with relaxing.
Then periods of relaxation, marked green in the graphs, are alternated with mental stressors, marked red in the graphs. The test ends with a particular breathing exercise, which is slow breathing at a rate of 5-8 breaths per minute, depending on the normal breathing rate of the person. The stressors used are mental stressors, in the following order: 1) saying the alphabet backwards out loud, 2) think of as much animals starting with the letter R and 3) serial seven’s math task. As you will see from the following case studies this 20 minute stress profile offers a lot of valuable information for both client and therapist.

Stress Test Guide