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Research Library

Personality Traits Affect Anticipatory Stress Vulnerability and Coping Effectiveness in Occupational Critical Care Situations

    • Published: 2022
    • Sophie Schlatter1,2,3, Simon Louisy4, Brice Canada5, Corentin Therond4, Antoine Duclos1,6, Chris Blakeley3, Jean-Jacques Lehot1,3,4, Thomas Rimmele3,4,7, Aymeric Guillot2, Marc Lilot1,3,4, and Ursula Debarnot2,8
    • Scientific Reports 12, 20965 (2022). DOI: Research on Healthcare Performance (RESHAPE), University of Lyon, Lyon, France.2. Inter-University Laboratory of Human Movement Biology, Lyon, France.3. High Fidelity Medical Simulation Centre (CLESS), University of Lyon, Lyon, France.4. Departments of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France.5. Laboratory of Sport Vulnerabilities and Innovations, University of Lyon, France.6. Health Data Department, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France.7. Pathophysiology of Injury Induced Immunosuppression, Biomerieux-Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France.8. Institut Universitaire de France, Paris, France.
    • Download the complete paper, click here.


The present study aimed at investigating the influence of personality on both anticipatory stress vulnerability and the effectiveness of coping strategies in an occupational stressful context. Following assessment of individual personality traits (Big Five Inventory), 147 volunteers were exposed to the anticipation of a stressful event. Anxiety and cardiac reactivity were assessed as markers of vulnerability to anticipatory stress. Participants were then randomly assigned to three groups and subjected to a 5-min intervention: relaxation breathing, relaxation breathing combined with cardiac biofeedback, and control. The effectiveness of coping interventions was determined through the cardiac coherence score achieved during the intervention. Higher neuroticism was associated with higher anticipatory stress vulnerability, whereas higher conscientiousness and extraversion were related to lower anticipatory stress vulnerability. Relaxation breathing and biofeedback coping interventions contributed to improve the cardiac coherence in all participants, albeit with greater effectiveness in individuals presenting higher score of openness to experience. The present findings demonstrated that personality traits are related to both anticipatory stress vulnerability and effectiveness of coping interventions. These results bring new insights into practical guidelines for stress prevention by considering personality traits. Specific practical applications for health professionals, who are likely to manage stressful situations daily, are discussed.