Psychogenic pseudosyncope (PPS) represents a peculiar diagnostic challenge. Investigating the link between dysregulated appraisal and altered affective reactivity in people with suspected PPS might provide novel clinical insights and valuable diagnostic data. This pilot study aimed at testing the potential of a structured protocol based on a standardized emotion induction task for the assessment of affective appraisal and autonomic reactivity in individuals suffering from PPS episodes. The comparison of psychometric, explicit appraisal, and implicit autonomic data from two individuals with suspected PPS and a group of control participants has highlighted peculiar clinical profiles connoted by: altered appraisal of affective stimuli, parallel differences in motivational-affective traits, and generalized modulation of cardiovascular activity in response to emotion-laden images.
Keywords: Assessment; emotional reactivity; appraisal; psychogenic pseudosyncope; autonomic measures