Effect of Progressive Muscle Relaxation in Female Health Care Professionals

Author(s): Chaudhuri A, Ray M, Saldanha D, Bandopadhyay AK

Background: Increasing population, fast paced industrialization, increased, competitiveness, unanticipated problems in the work place have increased the stress among the females working in health care in recent times. Aim: The aim of the following study is to detect the stress levels among female health care professionals in the age group of 25‑35 years and its impact on health. Subjects and Methods: A prospective cross‑sectional pilot project was conducted in a tertiary care hospital in Eastern part of India, after receiving approval from the Institutional Ethics Committee and informed consent form was taken from the subjects. Stress level in the subjects was assessed according to the presumptive life event stress scale. Females with scores above 200 were selected. For these, initial assessment of anthropometric measurement, electrocardiogram and lipid profile analysis, resting pulse rate, blood pressure, physical fitness index (PFI), breath holding time (BHT), isometric hand grip (IHG) test results were evaluated and recorded. All subjects were given training of progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) for 3 months. After 3 months, the lipid profile and vital parameters, Perceived Stress Scale values were re‑evaluated and subjects were asked to repeat the same exercises and data thus recorded were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16 (SPSS Inc. Released 2007. SPSS for Windows, Version 16.0. Chicago, SPSS Inc.). Results: Significant decrease in resting heart rate, blood pressure and Perceived Stress Scale levels was seen after PMR training in the subjects. Results of BHT, IHG tests and PFI were significantly increased after PMR training. There was a significant decrease in total cholesterol, triglyceride and low‑density lipoprotein cholesterol in subjects after practicing PMR for 3 months. Conclusions: Increasing stress among female health care professionals is a cause for concern and there is a need to adopt early life‑style modification by practicing relaxation exercises to ameliorate stress and to improve not only their quality‑of‑life in general, but patient care in particular.


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