Heart rate variability and occupational stress - systematic review
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CitationJärvelin-Pasanen, Susanna. Sinikallio, Sanna. Tarvainen, Mika P. (2018). Heart rate variability and occupational stress - systematic review. Industrial Health, 56 (6) , 500-511. 10.2486/indhealth.2017-0190.
The aim of this systematic review was to explore studies regarding association between occupational stress and heart rate variability (HRV) during work. We searched PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, Cinahl and PsycINFO for peer-reviewed articles published in English between January 2005 and September 2017. A total of 10 articles met the inclusion criteria. The included articles were analyzed in terms of study design, study population, assessment of occupational stress and HRV, and the study limitations. Among the studies there were cross-sectional (n=9) studies and one longitudinal study design. Sample size varied from 19 to 653 participants and both females and males were included. The most common assessment methods of occupational stress were the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) and the Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) questionnaire. HRV was assessed using 24 h or longer Holter ECG or HR monitoring and analyzed mostly using standard time-domain and frequency-domain parameters. The main finding was that heightened occupational stress was found associated with lowered HRV, specifically with reduced parasympathetic activation. Reduced parasympathetic activation was seen as decreases in RMSSD and HF power, and increase in LF/HF ratio. The assessment and analysis methods of occupational stress and HRV were diverse.