Effect of Progressive Muscle Relaxation on DASS Score and Reaction Time
Keywords:Stress, Reaction time, Progressive muscle relaxation, DASS Score.
Background: Reaction time is a reliable indicator of rate of processing of sensory stimuli by central nervous
system and its execution in the form of motor response. It is found to be affected by factors like physiological
stress, mood and diseases like neuropathy & nerve injury. Various relaxation interventions have shown to
reduce stress, but there are fewer reports about the effect of progressive muscle relaxation on stress and
Objective: The present investigation was undertaken to study the effect of progressive muscle relaxation on
visual and auditory reaction times (RTs) & on Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) Score.
Method: 66 students who had moderate to severe stress & who met the inclusion & exclusion criteria were
enrolled in the study and were randomly divided into 2 groups- subjects & controls. 33 subjects were given
progressive muscle relaxation training daily for 6 weeks. DASS score, visual & auditory reaction time were
recorded before & after the training period. The readings were compared within the group & also with the
age matched 33 controls who did not receive Progressive muscle relaxation training.
Results & Interpretation: In the study group, there was decrease in the DASS score after the training.
There was a significant decrease (P< 0.001) in visual RT (from 255.4 ± 58.0ms to 208.6 ± 37.8ms) as well
as auditory RT (from 225.2 ± 061.4ms to 187.9 ± 038.5ms). whereas the change in reaction time & DASS
score was not significant in the control group.
Conclusion: Decrease in DASS Score & reduction in reaction times following progressive muscle relaxation
technique, shows that it is a very effective tool in decreasing the stress levels in individuals. Progressive
muscle relaxation is an easy and inexpensive method as it may help students to concentrate better & excel
in their studies.
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