The use of wound healing assessment methods in psychological studies: a review and recommendations.
ABSTRACT To provide a critical review of methods used to assess human wound healing in psychological research and related disciplines, in order to guide future research into psychological influences on wound healing.
Acute wound models (skin blister, tape stripping, skin biopsy, oral palate biopsy, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene tubing), surgical wound healing assessment methods (wound drains, wound scoring), and chronic wound assessment techniques (surface area, volumetric measurements, wound composition, and assessment tools/scoring systems) are summarized, including merits, limitations, and recommendations.
Several dermal and mucosal tissue acute wound models have been established to assess the effects of psychological stress on the inflammatory, proliferative, and repair phases of wound healing in humans, including material-based models developed to evaluate factors influencing post-surgical recovery. There is a paucity of research published on psychological factors influencing chronic wound healing. There are many assessment techniques available to study the progression of chronic wound healing but many difficulties inherent to long-term clinical studies.
Researchers need to consider several design-related issues when conducting studies into the effects of psychological stress on wound healing, including the study aims, type of wound, tissue type, setting, sample characteristics and accessibility, costs, timeframe, and facilities available. Researchers should consider combining multiple wound assessment methods to increase the reliability and validity of results and to further understand mechanisms that link stress and wound healing.
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ABSTRACT: To investigate the effects of social isolation on oral mucosal healing in rats, and to determine if wound-associated genes and microRNAs (miRNAs) may contribute to this response. Rats were group housed or socially isolated for 4 weeks before a 3.5 mm wound was placed on the hard oral palate. Wound closure was assessed daily and tissues were collected for determination of gene expression levels and miRNAs (i.e., miR-29a,b,c and miR-203). The predicted target of these microRNAs (i.e., vascular endothelial growth factor A, VEGFA) was functionally validated. Social isolation stress delayed the healing process of oral palatal mucosal wounds in rats. Lower mRNA levels of interleukin-1β (IL1β), macrophage inflammatory protein-1α (MIP1α), fibroblast growth factor 7 (FGF7), and VEGFA were found in the biopsied tissues of isolated animals on days 1 and/or 3 post-wounding. Intriguingly, the isolated rats persistently exhibited higher levels of miR-29 family members and miR-203. Our results confirmed that VEGFA is a direct target of these miRNAs, as both miR-29a,c and miR-203 strongly and specifically suppressed endogenous VEGFA expression in vitro. This study in rats demonstrates for the first time that social isolation delays oral mucosal healing, and suggests a potential role for healing-associated gene and miRNA interactions during this process via modulation of VEGF expression.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e72359. · 3.73 Impact Factor