Correction of Exam Stress in University Students by Short-Term Inhalation of Xenon-Oxygen MixtureAuthor(s): Gaisa T. Kairov, Vladimir V. Udut, Konstantin G. Gurevich*, Victoria A. Zaborova and Vladimir P. Fisenko
Background: It is known that studying at a higher educational institution is inevitably associated with the impact of constant mental overload, chronic emotional stress, and a number of other aggressive factors among which exam stress occupies a special place.
Aim: To study the efectiveness of treating exam stress in students with short-term inhalation of xenon-oxygen mixture.
Materials and methods: The study involved 100 healthy male volunteers–5th year students of a higher educational institution. Of these, 50 volunteers aged 22-25 and weighing 75.0 kg ± 4.3 kg constituted the main group, and the control group was represented by 50 healthy volunteers aged 20-24 weighting 4.0 kg ± 2.9 kg. The study of the level of exam stress, hormonal status and the state of the tone of the autonomic nervous system in both groups was carried out according to a single protocol in four stages: Stage I–a month before the exam; Stage II–30 minutes before the exam; Stage III–immediately before the exam after inhalation of air-oxygen mixture at the concentration of 1:1 at the gas flow of 10 l/min for the control group and of xenon-oxygen mixture at the concentration of 1:1 at the gas flow of 10 l/min for the main group; Stage IV–a day after the exam.
Statistical analysis: Statistica 6.0 was used for statistical processing of the research results. All the available data samples were tested in terms of normal distribution by the value of the coefficients of asymmetry and kurtosis. The hypothesis of the normality of distributions of random variables was accepted if the coefficients of asymmetry and kurtosis in absolute value did not exceed their standard deviations 3 times and 5 times, respectively. For each sample, the mean value of the trait (X) and the mean error of the mean value (m) were calculated. The Wilcoxon test was used to assess the reliability of sample differences. Differences were considered valid at P<0.05.
Results: Short-term inhalation of xenon-oxygen mixture significantly improves the psychophysiological parameters of the student’s emotionalvolitional sphere: the level of reactive and personal anxiety decreases, the level of stress-limiting hormone-insulin increases, and the sympathetic and parasympathetic effects on the cardiovascular system decrease.
Conclusion: Short-term inhalation of xenon-oxygen mixture increases the level of hormones of adaptation and resistance of the body, has a pronounced anti-stress effect, and reduces the level of pathological adaptive reactions in the conditions of exam stress in students, which reflects a decrease in the level of reactive and personal anxiety.