- The relationship between negative emotions and acute subjective and objective symptoms of childhood asthma.
- Psychological Medicine
- Volume | Issue number
- 28 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Examined whether negative emotions influence subjective rather than objective symptoms of asthma, breathlessness, and airways obstruction in 40 asthmatic children (aged 7-18 yrs). The Ss were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 experimental conditions: (1) viewing an emotional film of 10 min; (2) performing standardized physical exercise of modest intensity up to a heartbeat of 170 beats/min; (3) combination of conditions (1 and then 2); and (4) combination of conditions (2 and then 1). Lung function, breathlessness and state anxiety were measured pre- and post-test. Respiration sounds were recorded continuously for assessment of emotional breathing patterns. Results confirmed a successful induction of anxiety via increased state anxiety and respiratory rate. Airways obstruction and breathlessness increased significantly after exercise only. Significantly more breathlessness was reported when negative emotions preceded exercise. Breathlessness was statistically independent of lung function, severity of asthma, symptoms in the past 4 wks, anxiety, or age. The authors conclude that negative emotions affect subjective, rather than objective, symptoms of childhood asthma
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