Psychological stress brings release of cortisol, a stress hormone that maintains physiological and psychological equilibrium. If cortisol is released in embellished magnitude, it brings harmful effects not only on somatic health but also impairs cognitive functioning.
It is apparent that stress-induced variations of hypothalamus-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis functioning are implicated in the commencement and upholding of both somatic and psychiatric conditions, these and also comparable arbitrations could be used for anticipation and rehabilitation of these deleterious stress effects.
The view is the focus of the article, it is the study carried out to examine the long-term effects of cognitive-behavioral stress management (CBSM) training on cortisol stress management in healthy men and women. The article emphasizes the impact of CBSM training to attenuate cortisol stress responses in both men and women.
The article presents a sight that there is a slight variation between the sexes in response to the CBSM training. Any change in the execution of HPA axis activity alters the circadian rhythm of cortisol secretion and also high plasma cortisol levels (Touitou et al). Various laboratory and environmental stressors are linked to HPA axis response causing upper respiratory tract infection (Cohen et al, 2002) and long-term implications on cardiovascular-related incidences and also type 2 diabetes in men (Rosmond et al , 2003) and also incriminated turned down memory performance in women (Seeman et al,1997 or fractures in men and women (Greendale et al, 1999).
Knowing these impacts and their devastating consequences the article throws light on the modulation of cortisol levels by conducting randomized controlled trial study. The study also explains an examination of stability over time and generalizability with regards to gender of endocrine effects of CBSM in healthy individuals.
The subjects taken in this study were three hundred and fifteen II year psychology students, with due care to reduce individual differences and any external academic stressors. After the primitive screening, selection criterion and questionnaire provided, only 83 subjects were left for the analysis. These participants were randomly selected and assigned in eight groups as per the CBSM group sessions with restricted N=12. Of these groups 1-4 were under the treatment (N=42) and rest 5-8 were categorized as control groups (N=41).
The article has the advantage of selecting the participants for both control and treated groups of negligible demographic variables (including age, gender, habitual smoking, use of oral contraceptives and body mass).
The treatment was performed for four months and all the subjects underwent a standardized psychological stress test (Trier Social Stress Test, TSST, Kirschbaum et al, 1993). In this study, TSST was performed for treated CBSM group every 2-week period whereas for the controls it is for 4-week period.
The article does not imply about the fact that the participant were provided the same kind of