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Autonomic nervous system and hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis response to experimentally induced cold pain in adolescent non-suicidal self-injury – study protocol

König, Julian ; Rinnewitz, Lena ; Warth, Marco ; Kaess, Michael

In: BMC psychiatry, 15 (2015), Nr. 150. pp. 1-8. ISSN 1471-244X

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Abstract

Background: Adolescent non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is associated with altered sensitivity to experimentally induced pain. Adolescents engaging in NSSI report greater pain threshold and pain tolerance, as well as lower pain intensity and pain unpleasantness compared to healthy controls. The experience of pain is associated with reactivity of both the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. However, previous research has not yet systematically addressed differences in the physiological response to experimentally induced pain comparing adolescents with NSSI and age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Methods/Design: Adolescents with NSSI and healthy controls undergo repeated painful stimulation with the cold pressor task. ANS activity is continuously recorded throughout the procedure to assess changes in heart rate and heart rate variability. Blood pressure is monitored and saliva is collected prior to and after nociceptive stimulation to assess levels of saliva cortisol. Discussion: The study will provide evidence whether lower pain sensitivity in adolescents with NSSI is associated with blunted physiological and endocrinological responses to experimentally induced pain compared to healthy controls. Extending on the existing evidence on altered pain sensitivity in NSSI, measured by self-reports and behavioural assessments, this is the first study to take a systematic approach in evaluating the physiological response to experimentally induced pain in adolescent NSSI. Trial Registration: Deutsche Register Klinischer Studien, Study ID: DRKS00007807 ; Trial Registration Date: 13.02.2015

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: BMC psychiatry
Volume: 15
Number: 150
Publisher: BioMed Central
Place of Publication: London
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2015 08:11
Date: 2015
ISSN: 1471-244X
Page Range: pp. 1-8
Faculties / Institutes: Service facilities > Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit
Medizinische Fakultät Heidelberg > Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik
Medizinische Fakultät Heidelberg > Psychosomatische Universitätsklinik
Subjects: 610 Medical sciences Medicine
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