Author(s): Weidmann A, Conradi A, Groger K, Fehm L, Fydrich T
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Abstract To understand mental disorders, analogue paradigms provide an indispensable contribution. In posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the stressful film paradigm is a frequently used analogue approach: Films depicting traumatic events are shown to non-clinical participants in order to elicit stress responses analogue to responses to traumatic events in real life. Previous studies used a large variety of films, which is problematic with regard to the comparability of results. The main goal of this study was to identify a film clip that (a) consistently provokes stress reactions and (b) provokes reactions that are as similar as possible to traumatic stress. We randomly exposed 105 male and female participants to one of four stressful films, differing, e.g., in content and origin. Intrusive memories of the film, reported immediately after the film and during a diary phase of three days, as well as distress, heart rate, and several mood states were measured. A film clip depicting rape elicited the most consistent reactions that were characterized by a higher heart rate, more distress and more intrusive memories, compared to the other three clips. Intrusive memories across all films were especially related to an increase in heart rate and disgust in response to the film.
This article was published in Anxiety Stress Coping
and referenced in Journal of Depression and Anxiety