Emotional stability during a chamber saturation dive to 49.5 atmospheres absolute

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The emotional stability of 6 28–33 yr old male US Navy volunteers was assessed during a 32-day chamber dive to 49.5 atmospheres absolute (ATA). A self-report mood inventory and a pain complaint survey were administered daily to each diver, with urinary excretion levels of epinephrine, norepinephrine, 11- and 17-hydroxycorticosteroids (OHCS) determined predive and at 10 intervals during the dive. The mood inventory indicated substantial increases in fatigue and hostility at 49.5 ATA, with an accompanying decline in perceived well-being. Divers reported the fewest pain complaints while exposed to maximum pressure, whereas a high incidence of complaints occurred during compression and decompression. Urinary concentrations of 17-OHCS were significantly related to mood inventory scales of anxiety and well-being, with concentrations of epinephrine significantly correlated with anxiety scores. The most stressful portions of the dive were the periods immediately preceding attainment of maximum pressure and of 1 ATA (surface). (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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