top of page
< Back
Che stress di lavoro

Alice Dilda



Prehospital emergency medicine operators work in conditions of prolonged stress [1]. It is believed that heart rate

variation can be used to predict behavioral responses to stress [2,3]. Stress affects how the individual perceives the

situation and their ability to deal with it [4,5].

Materials and methods

The population analysed (6 total operators) included nurses and doctors of the Vicenza Ambulance Control Centre. The

personnel was divided into a group of 3 experts (Exp) with more than 2 years of experience and 3 non-experts (NoExp).

The analysed operators wore the HealBe GoBe2 smartwatch during each mission (64 total missions with yellow and red

codes). The HealBe GoBe2 smartwatch records the heart rate (HR) every 5 minutes, before and after the alarm, on

scene and returning to the Control Centre.

After each mission, the operators filled out the questionnaire on the PainZero app regarding their state of mind: cheerful,

insecure, relaxed, annoyed, satisfied, alone, anxious, down and guilty. For each question they established a score from 1

(not at all) to 7 (a lot).


The repeated measure ANOVA showed “time” and “group” significant effects (Table 1) with the NoExp group having

greater heart rate throughout the assessment. Moreover, the HR on scene was significantly greater compare with the

other assessment timings.

A daily average of the feelings expressed on the PainZero app by the operators was performed and the between group

analysis was performed using the Mann-Whithey test. The Radar graph (Figure 1) shows that experts (Exp) feel more

satisfied and happier during their shift. Inversely, non-experts (NoExp) feel more down, insecure, anxious and alone after

a rescue mission.


Healthcare workers with more experience on scene have significantly lower heart rates than non-experts. Experienced

operators feel happier and more satisfied than non-experienced operators after a rescue mission.

The study is continuing by icreasing the sample and adding data regarding to the quality of sleep under stress and



[1] Hearns S. Peak Performance Under Pressure. Lessons from a Helicopter Rescue Doctor. CoreCognition. 2019.

[2] Chalmers T, Maharaj S, Lees T, Lin CT, Newton P, Clifton-Bligh R, McLachlan CS, Gustin SM, Lal S: Impact of

acute stress on cortical electrical activity and cardiac autonomic coupling. J. Integr. Neurosci 2020; 19(2),


[3] Kim HG, Cheon EJ, Bai DS, Lee YH, Koo BH. Stress and Heart Rate Variability: A Meta-Analysis and Review of

the Literature. Psychiatry Investig. 2018 Mar;15(3):235-245.

[4] Lazarus RS and Folkman S: Stress, appraisal and coping. New York- Springer 1984.

[5] Tomaka J, Blascovich J, Kelsey RM and Leitten CL. Subjective, physiological and behavioural effects of threat

and challenge appraisal. Journal of personality and social Psychology 1993; 65 (2): 248-260.


The HealBe GoBe2 smartwatches and PainZero app used in this study were provided free of charge by Pain Chronicles,

and technical support was provided by MST Innovation.

Che stress di lavoro


A, Dilda, Registrar in Emergency Medicine, University of Verona

G, Gallo, MD Founding partner MST Innovation and Pain Chronicles - Vicenza

N, Valè, PhD, Neuromotor and Cognitive Rehabilitation Research Centre (CRRNC), University of


F, Politi, MD Head Physician Centrale Operativa SUEM 118 - Vicenza

F, Bertoncello, MD Centrale Operativa SUEM 118 - Vicenza

Emergenza PreOspedaliera

bottom of page