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Flashcards in Stress Deck (10):

What are the effects of stress?

Affective: shock, distress, anxiety, fear, depression, anger, frustration, lowered self-esteem , guilt 

Behavioural: smoking, alcohol, help seeking delay, poor adherence, relapse, social withdrawal, illicit drugs, sexual function  

Cognitive: poor attention, errors in decision-making, hypervigilance for threats, bias to interpret ambiguous events as threatening, memory loss and learning difficult

Physiological: activation of nervous system, hormone production, metabolic function, immune function, fatigue, disease and illness


What are the physiological effects of stress on patients?

On the ward: 
Slower wound healing
More post-surgery complications
Longer in-patient stay
More staff time per day
More analgesia use
Less satisfaction with treatment - associated with poor adherence

After discharge: 
Longer recovery, e.g. return to work
More service use, e.g. related symptoms
Less use of rehabilitation services
Increased risk of co-morbidity and early mortality


What are the three perspectives to understand stress?

Stimulus: Focus on the cause (stressor)
Response: Focus on the effect (physiological)
Process:  Focus on the person-environment        interaction (transaction)


Define stress

Stress is a non-specific physiological response to a
   threat to one’s physical or emotional well-being


What are the three stages of physiologcal response to stress?

Alarm: fight or flight response - nervous,                           endocrine and immune systems activated for defence against threat

Resistance: conservation response initiated  to return homeostasis, but becomes counterproductive if alarm continues

Exhaustion: depletion of physiological resources - collapse of adaptive responses, immune failures and disease outcomes


Name four clinical conditions associated with physiological effects of stress








What are the three dimensions used to describe stress? 

Chronicity: discrete sudden traumas to continuous chronic stressors, e.g. car accident and diabetes

Magnitude: life changing events to daily hassles, e.g. getting married / divorced and car parking at WMS

Inclusiveness: individuals to societies


Describe the transactional model of stress

Framework for evaluating how to cope with stressful events. Person-environment transactions. 

Causal chain of influence:

  • Person faced with a stimulus/stressor
  • Primary appraisal: evaluates stressor as a threat, challenge or irrelevent
  • Secondary appraisal: evaluates what the person can do - available resourses and options
  • A coping response is made (cognitive and behavioural activities initatied to manage demands of the event). This can be problem focused- directed at changing the stressful situation or emotion focused - aimed at changing how a person thinks/feels

Stress is a subjective post-appraisal outcome


Name the two coping mechanisms for stress

Problem-focused coping: attempts to manage or change aspects of the stressor. Most effective when stressor is open/responsive to change. 

Emotion-focused coping: Attempts to remove or reduce emotional distress. Most effective when the stressor cannot be changed. 


Name four stress management techniques

Visualisation/imagery: Use of senses, imagine a peaceful/relaxed scene, e.g. Beach.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Tense and release of muscles.

Passive muscle relaxation: Imagining state of relaxation in muscles without tensing.

Autogenic: “self-hypnosis” – imagining muscles/body/limbs, are heavy warm and relaxed.

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