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Reduced heart rate responding to trauma reliving in trauma survivors with PTSD : correlates and consequences

Halligan, Sarah L. and Michael, Tanja and Wilhelm, Frank H. and Clark, David M. and Ehlers, Anke. (2006) Reduced heart rate responding to trauma reliving in trauma survivors with PTSD : correlates and consequences. Journal of traumatic stress, 19 (5). pp. 721-734.

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Abstract

The authors investigated whether heart rate (HR) responses to voluntary recall of trauma memories (a) are related to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and (b) predict recovery 6 months later. Sixty-two assault survivors completed a recall task modeled on imaginal reliving in the initial weeks postassault. Possible cognitive modulators of HR responsivity were assessed; dissociation, rumination, trauma memory disorganization. Individuals with PTSD showed a reduced HR response to reliving compared to those without PTSD, but reported greater distress. Notably, higher HR response but not self-reported distress during reliving predicted greater symptom reduction at follow-up in participants with PTSD. Engagement in rumination was the only cognitive factor that predicted lower HR response. The data are in contrast to studies using trauma reminders to trigger memories, which have found greater physiological reactivity in PTSD. The authors' observations are consistent with models of PTSD that highlight differences between cued or stimulus-driven retrieval and intentional trauma recall, and with E. B. Foa and M. J. Kozak's (1986) hypothesis that full activation of trauma memories facilitates emotional processing.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology
07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Ehemalige Einheiten Psychologie > Abteilung Klinische Psychologie und Psychiatrie
07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Ehemalige Einheiten Psychologie > Psychophysiologie (Wilhelm)
UniBasel Contributors:Wilhelm, Frank H and Michael, Tanja
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Kluwer Academic
ISSN:0894-9867
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
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Last Modified:28 Sep 2017 15:21
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:45

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