Research: CRUESS and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 63


CRUESS and colleagues, Department of Psychology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida 33124-2070, USA examined salivary cortisol and mood during relaxation training in symptomatic, HIV-positive gay men.



In 30 symptomatic, HIV-positive gay men participating in a 10-week, group-based, cognitive-behavioural stress management intervention, cortisol levels in saliva samples and mood were assessed within the therapy sessions immediately before and after 45-minute relaxation exercises. Subjects also recorded their stress levels and compliance with daily home relaxation practice.


Pre-session salivary cortisol levels decreased over the course of the 10-week period and were associated with decreases in global measures of total mood disturbance and anxious mood and with decreases in self-reported stress level during home practice. Greater reductions in cortisol levels occurred during the first three therapy sessions and were associated with more frequent home relaxation practice.


Salivary cortisol appears to represent an objective neuroendocrine marker for changes in anxiety and distress observed during relaxation training in symptomatic, HIV-positive men.


Cruess DG et al. Reductions in salivary cortisol are associated with mood improvement during relaxation training among HIV-seropositive men. Journal of Behavioral Medicine 23 (2): 107-22. Apr 2000.

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