Aims: The aim of this study is to examine whether context effects impact stress reactivity, more than commercially available treatments such as Bach flower remedies.
Method: This is a double-blind placebo-controlled randomised trial. It was designed firstly to evaluate the effects of Bach Flower solution versus placebo in stress reactivity and recovery, and secondly to examine the role of an enhanced practitioner-participant interaction along with cognitive stress reappraisal.
Healthy volunteers will be randomised to receive 4 drops of Bach flower remedy diluted in 240mls of water or to a credible Placebo solution. Within these treatment groups, participants will be further randomised to receive either an Enhanced interaction (warm, friendly) along with positive stress appraisal, or a Neutral or limited interaction along wtih a neutral or negative stress appraisal. Stress will be induced using the Sing-a-song stress test (SSST). Heart rate reactivity and recovery will be measured to evaluate physiological stress, the interaction will be assessed using the Consultation and Relational Empathy Questionnaire (CARE, Mercer et al., 2004), and treatment beliefs will be assessed using the Credibility / Expectancy Questionnaire (Devilly & Borkovec, 2000).
Results: Data collection is currently in progress.
Conclusion: The study was approved by the University College Cork Social Research Ethics Committee. The trial will be completed by April 2017.