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Psychophysiological anxiety response of a rescue helicopter crew in a crane rescue manoeuvre
  1. Marta Vicente-Rodriguez1 and
  2. V J Clemente-Suárez1,2
  1. 1 Faculty of Sport Science, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Villaviciosa de Odón, Spain
  2. 2 Grupo de Investigación en Cultura, Educación y Sociedad, Universidad de la Costa, Barranquilla, Colombia
  1. Correspondence to V J Clemente-Suárez, Sport Science, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Villaviciosa de Odón 28670, Spain; vctxente{at}


Background This research aimed to analyse the psychophysiological modifications of a rescuer helicopter crew in a crane rescue manoeuvre.

Methods We analysed in eight participants (32.5±6.6 years) divided in four categories (pilot, mechanic, rescuer and control) with variables of anxiety, rating of perceived exertion (RPE), stress subjective perception (SSP), heart rate, blood oxygen saturation (BOS), skin temperature, blood lactate, cortical arousal, autonomic modulation, legs and hands strength, legs flexibility, spirometry, urine, and short-term memory before and after a helicopter crane rescue manoeuvre.

Results The manoeuvre produced a significant (p≤0.05) increment in the RPE, SSP, anxiety, blood lactate and sympathetic modulation, and a decrease in BOS and pulmonary capacity.

Conclusion A helicopter rescue crane manoeuvre produced an increase in the sympathetic nervous system modulation, increasing the psychophysiological response of the crew independently of their experience or role. This information allowed us to improve actual specific operative training in this population.

  • accident & emergency medicine
  • altitude medicine
  • education & training (see medical education & training)
  • occupational & industrial medicine
  • sports medicine

Data availability statement

No data are available. All the data are in the text.

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  • Contributors MV-R: data collection, analysis and writing of the manuscript. VJC-S: design, data collection, analysis and writing of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.