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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

versão impressa ISSN 1645-0086

Psic., Saúde & Doenças v.7 n.2 Lisboa  2006


Cortisol como variável em psicologia da saúde

António José de Almeida Soares& Maria da Graça Pereira Alves *

Universidade do Minho, Departamento de Psicologia, Braga, Portugal


Resumo: O artigo faz uma pequena revisão sobre a investigação passada e recente no campo do Stress. É dada particular atenção às alterações fisiológicas decorrentes das situações de stress e distress, principalmente em cuidadores informais de pacientes com doença crónica. São referidos métodos de avaliação das hormonas de stress, bem como dos seus benefícios, limitações e implicações na saúde física e mental. Por fim, são feitas considerações acerca da importância do cortisol como método válido de estudo em Psicologia da Saúde.

Palavras chave: Ansiedade, Cortisol, Cuidador, Depressão, Doença crónica, PTSD, Saúde, Stress.


Cortisol as a variable in health psychology

Abstract: The article revises past and recent research in Stress. Special relevance is given to the physiological changes that occur due to stress and distress situations, mainly in informal caregivers of chronically ill patients. Some methods of assessment of stress hormones are reviewed, along with their benefits, limitations and implications to physical and mental health. Finally, the importance of the use of cortisol as a valid method of study in Health Psychology is emphasized.

Key words: Anxiety, Caregiver, Cortisol, Chronic disease, Depression, Health, PTSD, Stress.



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Recebido em 18 de Janeiro de 2006 / aceite em 7 de Maio de 2006