Portions of this study were presented at the Society of Behavioral Medicine's 22nd annual meeting.
Perceived coping ability mediates the relationship between PTSD severity and heart rate recovery in veterans†
Article first published online: 30 JUN 2005
Copyright © 2004 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Journal of Traumatic Stress
Volume 17, Issue 1, pages 23–29, February 2004
How to Cite
Kibler, J. L. and Lyons, J. A. (2004), Perceived coping ability mediates the relationship between PTSD severity and heart rate recovery in veterans. J. Traum. Stress, 17: 23–29. doi: 10.1023/B:JOTS.0000014672.16935.9c
- Issue published online: 30 JUN 2005
- Article first published online: 30 JUN 2005
- posttraumatic stress disorder;
- heart rate;
- cognitive appraisal;
Most psychophysiological studies of PTSD have not assessed physiological recovery, correlational relationships between PTSD severity and physiological measures within clinical populations, or mediation by cognitive appraisal. Relationships of PTSD severity to psychophysiological reactivity (to acoustic startle), habituation, and recovery were assessed in 29 combat veterans, and mediation by cognitive appraisal (perceived threat and coping ability) was assessed in a subset (n = 16) of participants. Heart rate (HR) recovery was linearly related to PTSD severity. Perceived ability to cope with the lab task, but not perceived threat inherent in the task, mediated the HR recovery—PTSD association. Potential implications of delayed HR recovery for functioning, treatment outcome, and health-risk in PTSD are presented. Cognitive appraisal may represent an important target for treatments.