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Ballegaard S.,Ull Care | Petersen P.B.,Ull Care | Harboe G.S.,Ull Care | Karpatschof B.,Copenhagen University | And 2 more authors.
Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation | Year: 2014

Objectives. To evaluate the possible association between pressure pain sensitivity of the chest bone (PPS) and cardiovascular physiological factors related to persistent stress in connection with a three-month PPS-guided stress-reducing experimental intervention programme. Methods. Forty-two office workers with an elevated PPS (≥ 60 arbitrary units) as a sign of increased level of persistent stress, completed a single-blinded cluster randomized controlled trial. The active treatment was a PPS (self-measurement)-guided stress management programme. Primary endpoints: Blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR) and work of the heart measured as Pressure-Rate-Product (PRP); Secondary endpoints: Other features of the metabolic syndrome. Results. PPS decreased and changes in PPS after the intervention period were significantly associated with HR, PRP, body mass index (BMI) and visceral fat index (all correlation coefficients > 0.2, p < 0.05). Compared to the control cluster group, the active cluster group obtained a significant reduction in PPS, Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and total number of elevated risk factors (p < 0.05). On an individual level, significant and clinically relevant between-group reductions were observed in respect to BP, HR, PRP, total and LDL cholesterol, and total number of elevated risk factors (p < 0.05). Conclusions. The stress intervention method applied in this study induced a decrease in PPS which was associated with a clinically relevant decrease in resting blood pressure, heart rate, work of the heart and serum cholesterols. © 2014 Informa Healthcare.

Ballegaard S.,Ull Care | Petersen P.B.,Ull Care | Gyntelberg F.,Helmholtz Center Munich | Faber J.,Herlev University Hospital | Faber J.,Copenhagen University
Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation | Year: 2012

Objectives. To examine the association between pressure pain sensitivity (PPS) at the sternum as a measure of persistent stress assessed by questionnaires in a working population. Methods. In 308 office employees PPS measurement was compared to Quality of life questionnaires: SF-36 for general physical and mental health, the Major Depression Inventory (MDI); 50 specific clinical symptoms for persistent stress; subjective evaluation of present and long-term stress level on a 7-point ordinal scale. Repeated measures were used to validate the PPS method. Results. A significant correlation between PPS and a persistent stress condition evaluated from SF-36, MDI and a number of clinical symptoms were found (all p <0.01). Persons with PPS ≥60 units had an elevated health risk profile based on the questionnaires, when compared to persons with PPS ≤40 (all p <0.05) (all odds ratios >2). When categorizing a person with PPS ≥60 as persistently stressed (27% of subject), and using SF-36, MDI and the number of stress signs for risk calculation, the remaining 73% of the subjects, with no elevated health risk factors, were identified with an 80% specificity. During home measurements, with a full day between measurements, between-measurement correlation coefficient was 0.87 and categorization reproducibility 87% (both p <0.001). Conclusions. In office workers, the PPS measurement correlated to several QOL questionnaires and was found useful for persistent stress screening. Validation studies demonstrated sufficient reproducibility including during self measurement at home. © 2012 Informa Healthcare.

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