Modulation of cellular immunity in medical students.

The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States
Journal of Behavioral Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.1). 03/1986; 9(1):5-21. DOI: 10.1007/BF00844640
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study assessed the psychosocial modulation of cellular immunity in 34 medical-student volunteers. The first blood sample was obtained 1 month before examinations, and the second on the day of examinations. There were significant declines in the percentage of helper/inducer T-lymphocytes, in the helper/inducer-suppressor/cytotoxic-cell ratio, and in natural killer-cell activity in the blood samples obtained on the day of examinations. Half of the subjects were randomly assigned to a relaxation group which met between sample points; the frequency of relaxation practice was a significant predictor of the percentages of helper/inducer cells in the examination sample. Three biochemical nutritional assays (albumin, transferrin, and total iron-binding protein) were within normal limits on both samples. Data from the Brief Symptom Inventory showed significantly increased global self-rated distress associated with examinations in the no-intervention group, compared to nonsignificant change in the relaxation group. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed.

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    Health psychology and quality of life research, Alicante; 01/1995
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    ABSTRACT: Background For several decades, psychological stress has been observed to be a significant challenge for medical students. The techniques and approach of mind-body medicine and group support have repeatedly demonstrated their effectiveness at reducing stress and improving the quality of the education experience. Discussion Mind-Body Skills Groups provide medical students with practical instruction in and scientific evidence for a variety of techniques that reduce stress, promote self-awareness and self-expression, facilitate imaginative solutions to personal and professional problems, foster mutual understanding among students, and enhance confidence in and optimism about future medical practice. The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, which developed this model 20 years ago, has trained medical school faculty who offer these supportive small groups to students at more than 15 US medical schools. This paper describes the model, surveys its use in medical schools, summarizes published research on it, and discusses obstacles to successful implementation as well as its benefits. Summary Mind-Body Skills groups have demonstrated their effectiveness on reducing stress in medical students; in enhancing the students’ experience of medical education; and in helping them look forward more confidently and hopefully to becoming physicians. The experience of these 15 institutions may encourage other medical schools to include mind-body skills groups in their curricula.
    BMC Medical Education 09/2014; 14(1):198. DOI:10.1186/1472-6920-14-198 · 1.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cognitive and neurobiological evidence supports the premise that hypnotic susceptibility is a trait underpinned by neurocognitive and biological flexibility. Here it is proposed that this flexibility may represent an exceptional ability, one often associated with creativity, and a vulnerability inter alia for psychopathology. Associations with vulnerability were prompted by evidence from three investigations showing positive correlations between items from a schizotypy scale and hypnotic susceptibility. These belonged essentially to positive syndromes of schizotypy encompassing unreality experiences and cognitive activation, as well as to a nonspecific factor, social anxiety. Items included vividness of thoughts and perceptions, belief in psychic phenomena, rapid free flowing divergent thoughts, and perceptual alteration. Personality correlates of hypnotizability on occasion have disclosed corresponding cognitive phenomena including perceptual alteration, vividness of imagery, fantasy proneness, absorption, imaginative involvement, and creativity. Associations between hypnotisability and psychopathology have been proposed since the 19th century with warnings about precipitating psychosis in vulnerable individuals, issues which have been overlooked latterly or explained away. Schizotypy and psychosis have been associated with exceptional ability as well as psychopathology, while as with hypnotisability they may be adaptive traits with evolutionary advantages. Together this evidence is construed as support for primary associations of hypnosis with predominantly positive and nonspecific schizotypal features (though further research with negative schizotypy is warranted) and a vulnerability for psychopathology. These putative relations may provide fresh leads about the enigmatic nature of hypnotisability and procedures for identifying vulnerable individuals.

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