Mood, life events, and response to exercise in a cardiovascular rehabilitation program



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The purpose of this study was to document empirically the clinically observed relationship between emotional stress, (measured by ratings of mood, pleasant and unpleasant events), and an objective measure of cardiovascular response to exercise in a coronary heart disease population participating in a comprehensive rehabilitation program. Eleven males and two females with a mean age of 58 participated in the study. The study implemented a new model of research, in which individuals are studied across many points in time and at several levels of measurement (i.e., psychological and physiological) within a a natural setting. A within subjects multiple regression analysis testing the main hypothesis that emotional stress is related to cardiovascular efficiecy during exercise did not yield statistically significant results. However, between subject differences in the relationship between emotional stress and cardiovascular efficiency were highly significant. In addition, exploratory analyses of individual differences in psychological attributes yielded statistically significant results. Subjects who were rated high on depression and somatization and low on denial tended to have stronger relationships between emotional stress and cardiovascular efficiency. These findings lend support to the primary hypothesis of this study. These results are evaluated and suggestions for future research are offered.



Heart, Diseases, Patients, Rehabilitation, Stress (Psychology)