Negative Mental States and Their Association to the Cognitive Function of Nurses
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Journal of Psychophysiology, 2019, 33 (3), pp. 207 - 218
- Issue Date:
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© 2018 Hogrefe Publishing. Nurses' inherently stressful occupation leaves them at a higher risk of developing negative mental states (stress, anxiety, and depression). However, research examining the effect of negative mental states on these health professionals' cognitive performance is sparse. Thus, the present study aimed to assess the link between negative mental states and cognitive performance in nurses (n = 53). Negative mental state data was obtained using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, brain activity was measured using electroencephalography, and finally, cognitive performance was assessed using the Cognistat and the Mini-Mental State Examination. Significant negative correlations (p <.05) were observed between anxiety and attention, and all three negative mental states and memory performance. Electroencephalographic changes indicated that increases in anxiety were significantly associated (p <.05) with decreases in gamma reactivity at fronto-central sites. The current study suggests that higher levels of negative mental states are associated with domain-specific cognitive impairments, and variations in gamma reactivity; possibly reflecting less optimal cortical functioning.
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