Haemodynamic effects of mental stress during cardiac arrest simulation testing on advanced life support courses

Claudio Sandroni, Andrea Scapigliati, Massimo Antonelli, Peter Fenici, Fabio Cavallaro, Maria Grazia Bocci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the haemodynamic response to the mental stress induced by being evaluated as a team leader in simulated advanced life support (ALS) scenarios. METHODS: Healthcare providers participating as candidates to ALS courses were monitored while acting as team leaders in a cardiac arrest testing scenario (CASTest). Heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were measured before, during and after the CASTest. The correlation between the haemodynamic responses and sex, age, body mass index (BMI) and marks on course multiple choice questions (MCQs) were studied using multiple linear regression. RESULTS: Eighty-eight subjects (46 women, 42 men, mean age 34.9+/-6.8 years) were enrolled. Mean HR, SBP and DBP increased significantly during the CASTest and reached a peak after a phase of the scenario which included an unsuccessful defibrillation. Ten minutes after the CASTest, HR, SBP and DBP were still significantly higher than their respective baseline values. A significant positive correlation was found between the DBP and SBP response during the scenario and the BMI, and between the DBP response and the candidates' age. The haemodynamic stress response was neither correlated with the candidates' marks in the course MCQ nor with their instructor potential (IP). CONCLUSION: During the testing scenario the ALS candidates showed a significant haemodynamic response to mental stress, which depended mainly on their age and BMI rather than on their knowledge and skills.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-44
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • advanced life support
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • heart arrest
  • stress


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