Effect of autogenic training on cardiac autonomic nervous activity in high-risk fire service workers for posttraumatic stress disorder

J Psychosom Res. 2006 May;60(5):439-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2005.09.005.


Objective: We investigated the effect of autogenic training (AT) on cardiac autonomic nervous activity in fire services workers with the use of the questionnaire of the Japanese-language version of Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R-J) and indexes of heart rate variability.

Methods: We studied 22 male fire services workers who were divided into posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-related stress group (n=10) and control group (n=12). They underwent AT twice or three times a week for 2 months.

Results: Posttraumatic stress disorder-related stress group showed a significantly higher cardiac sympathetic nervous activity and a significantly lower cardiac parasympathetic nervous activity than control group at baseline. Autogenic training significantly decreased cardiac sympathetic nervous activity and significantly increased cardiac parasympathetic nervous activity in both groups. These changes were accompanied by a significant decrease in the total points of IES-R-J.

Conclusion: Autogenic training is effective for ameliorating the disturbance of cardiac autonomic nervous activity and psychological issues secondary to PTSD.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autogenic Training*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Fires
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System / physiology*
  • Rescue Work*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / prevention & control*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology*