Brosschot, J.F., Verkuil, B. and Thayer, J.F. (2010) Conscious and Unconscious Perseverative Cognition: Is a Large Part of Prolonged Physiological Activity Due to Unconscious Stress? Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 69, 407-416.
ABSTRACT: Current research indicates that stress problems primarily could be conceptualized as deficiencies in recovery and recuperation between stress periods. Accordingly, interventions should put more emphasis on this aspect. A group based intervention program focusing exclusively on recovery behavior in everyday life was evaluated in this quasi-experimental, waiting-list control group study, where the control group was also treated in a second phase. Thirty-two self-referred female subjects, considering themselves in need of treatment for stress related health problems, were available for analyzes. Fifteen of these constituted the first phase treatment group (INT), while the remaining 17 subjects were placed on waiting list (WLC). Adding a few late applicants leaved 20 subjects later treated in the second intervention phase. Significant and clinically meaningful positive effects emerged in the INT—compared to the WLC-group on recovery behaviors, stress—and recovery experiences, as well as on burnout symptoms, worry, anxiety and depression. Secondary analyzes of all treated subjects indicated that the positive change the primary clinical endpoint was predicted by the increase in frequency of recovery behaviors and by the decrease in the worry level. Thus, the present intervention model merits further research with more rigorous experimental design as well as with follow-up assessments.