Background: Researchers face the difficulty of inducing psyquitchosocial stress in a laboratory setting using a method that institutional review boards could consider an acceptable research protocol.
Methods: This article describes the Trier Social Stress Test, a research protocol that can be used to induce psychosocial stress and capture the integrated aspects of an individual's biologic and psychological responses.
Results: The test involves 15 minutes of psychosocial stress induced by a mock job interview and followed by a mental arithmetic challenge before a panel of three judges. The discomfort associated with performance requirements induces stress in socially acceptable ways that can be measured using physiologic and/or psychological parameters.
Conclusions: This method allows stress to be induced and measured in a controlled, laboratory setting.