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Abstract

Venipuncture training is an integral part of healthcare educational programs. Despite its extensive use, no previous studies have evaluated the psychobiological impact of this procedure among health-care students. Participants were 26 healthy students, practicing venipuncture on each other as part of their curricular activity. Self reported pencil and paper questionnaires aimed at assessing depression, anxiety and mood states were administered before and after venipuncture and saliva sample collection. Anti heat shock protein (Hsp) 70 and cortisol levels in blood and saliva were collected from the participants. A reduction in anxiety, anger and confusion mood states took place after venipuncture. All participants had high levels of cortisol and anti-Hsp 70 in the serum and saliva. Anti-Hsp 70 and cortisol evaluated in the serum were correlated with some of the mood variables. Routine educational practices such as venipuncture elicit significant psychological stress. If confirmed by additional studies it will have a significant implication on health-care educational practices.

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