How to measure stress? - Tech undergrad asking

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juiceboxbot
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I'm an Interactive Media student in the UK and I'm doing my final BSc project on developing a VR tool that aids de-stressing using creative means (eg using repetitive motions to simulate knitting, building a tower or colouring in etc).
In order to see how effective the tool I make is, I want to measure how stressed the participant was before undergoing the VR exercise, and how de-stressed they are afterwards, thus seeing how effective the exercises were. In order to measure I'd ask participants to fill out the same questionnaire before and after the experience.
However all means of measuring stress in questionnaire form appears to be ones that are like, "In the past month, how often have you felt like you couldn't cope?" or measuring how many times something has affected the person in the past week. Obviously before and after a 15minute exercise the number of times the person felt low in the past month isn't going to change...is there any official questionnaire that measures short term stress/"how you feel RIGHT now" out there that could help me?
THANK YOOOOUUUUU
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Nerol
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(Original post by juiceboxbot)
I'm an Interactive Media student in the UK and I'm doing my final BSc project on developing a VR tool that aids de-stressing using creative means (eg using repetitive motions to simulate knitting, building a tower or colouring in etc).
In order to see how effective the tool I make is, I want to measure how stressed the participant was before undergoing the VR exercise, and how de-stressed they are afterwards, thus seeing how effective the exercises were. In order to measure I'd ask participants to fill out the same questionnaire before and after the experience.
However all means of measuring stress in questionnaire form appears to be ones that are like, "In the past month, how often have you felt like you couldn't cope?" or measuring how many times something has affected the person in the past week. Obviously before and after a 15minute exercise the number of times the person felt low in the past month isn't going to change...is there any official questionnaire that measures short term stress/"how you feel RIGHT now" out there that could help me?
THANK YOOOOUUUUU
That I am aware of, there isn't really one for immediate stress.

Could you perhaps measure heart rate and blood pressure before and after to see if they become lower? This could be an indicator of reduced stress levels. Alternatively, could you make your own self-report questionnaire? Or possibly use one of the existing ones to give participants, say, a week before the experiment, then again immediately after the task? The way the participants perceive their stress could change after the VR exercise. While this may not exactly show it reduces stress, it could show participants perceive their stress less intensely after the task. You could use one of these methods and then, perhaps, simply ask participants if they feel more relaxed or less stressed after the task, with a simple yes/no answer. The only real way to show for sure that the VR task reduces stress levels would be to measure physical markers (eg. cortisol levels), but you can certainly look into how performing the task might affect perception/experience of stress.

Hope this helps!
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