Impaired cardiac profile in adolescents with an increasing trajectory of anxiety when confronting an acute stressor

de la Torre-Luque, A., Fiol-Veny, A., Bornas, X. et al. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry (2017). doi:10.1007/s00787-017-1009-8

Maladaptive patterns of cardiac adjustment to stress in adolescents may reveal their vulnerability to anxiety disorders (ADs). Traditional research in this field has focused on anxiety levels, whereas the time course of anxiety has rarely been considered. Nevertheless, since overall anxiety decreases as adolescence progresses, increasing time courses are clinically relevant and can be associated with maladaptive contextual adjustment. In this study, the cardiac pattern of adjustment to stress in adolescents with increasing anxiety was analysed. A sample of 44 adolescents (M = 14.88 years, SD = 0.53, 45.45% boys) were exposed to a socially relevant stress induction protocol, and their cardiac functioning was recorded. Participants with a trajectory of increasing anxious symptomatology over a 12-month period (n = 24) showed attenuated heart rate levels in the stage of maximum stress in comparison to their non-increasing anxious counterparts (p < 0.05), as well as a heightened pattern of sample entropy throughout the stress induction (p < 0.05). These findings suggest a loss of cardiac flexibility in those adolescents at risk of ADs when confronting an acute stressor.

Uso de una red social segura para el estudio de la ansiedad en la adolescencia

Bornas, X.; Llabrés, J.; Balle, M.; de la Torre-Luque, A.; Fiol-Veny, A.

The aim of this paper is to introduce the TrANS Project and the first results obtained from two studies. This Project allows to examine trajectories of anxiety symptoms and state anxiety in adolescents by means of ICT, in particular a secure social network for data collection. Study 1 describes the structure and functioning of the secure social network XS2 and provides results of the participant’s login and use. Study 2 presents the fluctuations of the daily emotional state and the use of maladaptive emotion regulation strategies during an exam period, as well as the influence of risk factors on these fluctuations. In conclusion, the advantages derived from the use of a secure social network are emphasized, in comparison to other traditional data collection methods, in the study of the adolescent anxiety.