University of Haifa
  • Haifa, Israel
Recent publications
Recent studies show that conflict situations are a quite frequent reality in schools. These conflict occurrences can be attributed, among other things, to the lack of conflict resolution skills among school personnel. This paper presents a mixed methods study aimed to evaluate the effect of the “Mind the Conflict” intervention model on novice teachers’ self-awareness and sense of efficacy in conflict situations, as well as their ability to express empathy toward the “other” in the conflict. The study sample comprised 61 teachers, aged 25–55, most of them females, drawn from primary public schools across Israel. Forty-two teachers were trained in the model as part of an Induction into Teaching course (experimental group). Nineteen teachers who took an unrelated course constituted the control group. Data sources included pre-post questionnaires administered to both groups, and final papers gathered from the experimental group. Results showed that at the end of the course, teachers exposed to the model reported significantly higher empathy levels in conflict situations, and that this ability was a significant predictor of their sense of efficacy in these situations. These findings were supported by data from the qualitative analysis. Possible contributions stemming from the use of the model for novice teachers are discussed.
Based on research from previous pandemics, studies of critical care survivors, and emerging COVID-19 data, we estimate that up to 30% of survivors of severe COVID will develop PTSD. PTSD is frequently undetected across primary and secondary care settings and the psychological needs of survivors may be overshadowed by a focus on physical recovery. Delayed PTSD diagnosis is associated with poor outcomes. There is a clear case for survivors of severe COVID to be systematically screened for PTSD, and those that develop PTSD should receive timely access to evidence-based treatment for PTSD and other mental health problems by multidisciplinary teams.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a well-documented negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of frontline healthcare workers (HCWs). Whilst no research has to date been carried out to explore the challenges experienced by the families of HCWs, some previous research has been conducted with military families, demonstrating that family members of deployed military personnel may also be affected seriously and negatively. Objectives: This study aimed to explore the experiences, views, and mental health impact on frontline HCWs' families during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK and what support the families of frontline HCWs may need. Method: Close family members and friends of HCWs were interviewed. Transcripts were analysed in line with the principles of reflexive thematic analysis. Results: We completed fourteen interviews with three siblings, one mother, one friend, and nine spouses of HCWs. Family members were highly motivated to support healthcare workers and felt an intense sense of pride in their work. However, they also experienced increased domestic responsibilities and emotional burden due to anxiety about their loved ones' work. The fact that sacrifices made by family members were not noticed by society, the anxiety they felt about their family's physical health, the impact of hearing about traumatic experiences, and the failure of healthcare organisations to meet the needs of the HCWs all negatively affected the family members. Conclusions: We have an ethical responsibility to attend to the experiences and needs of the families of healthcare professionals. This study emphasises the experiences and needs of family members of healthcare professionals, which have hitherto been missing from the literature. Further research is needed to hear from more parents, siblings and friends, partners in same sex relationships, as well as children of HCWs, to explore the variety of family members and supporters' experiences more fully. Highlights: • COVID19 has impacted families of HCWs as well as workers themselves. They have experienced more anxiety, increased practical burden, significant physical health risks and been exposed vicariously to workers' traumatic experiences. We must ensure HCW families are better supported.
This paper examines discriminatory attitudes of Israeli Jews towards non-Jewish immigrants admitted into Israel under the Law of Return. We looked at three spheres of discrimination: admission, political rights, and welfare rights and focused on the role of realistic socioeconomic and symbolic threats in the emergence of discriminatory attitudes. We used a mixed-methods approach that allowed to test our hypotheses among a representative sample (survey) and examine the logics underlying the respondents’ justifications for endorsing discrimination (focus groups/in-depth interviews). The findings show that discrimination endorsement is strongest in the case of admission and political rights where Israeli Jews seek to prevent the presence of outgroups and deny them the right to become part of the society. By contrast, discrimination with respect to welfare rights is less pronounced – possibly because it is not viewed as awarding membership in society, but rather providing individuals their basic needs based on universalistic or democratic values.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) poses an ongoing challenge to society, to health systems, and to the trauma victims themselves. Today PTSD is often considered an incurable chronic problem that lacks effective treatment. While PTSD is closely related to memory, it also affects many physiological systems. PTSD is usually treated with medications and psychotherapy with moderate success, leaving a substantial proportion of patients with enduring distress and disability. Therefore, a search for better treatment options is vital. In this paper, we propose a model in which a conversation-based technique is integrated with bodily manipulation through acupuncture. This approach first emerged in clinical experience showing intriguing results from treating PTSD patients using acupuncture as a main strategy. Its theoretical foundations derive from the clinic and rely on contemporary neuroscience’s understanding of memory consolidation and reconsolidation processes. Research shows that acupuncture can have potentially positive effects at three levels: (a) achieving a balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic neural activity; (b) reducing activation in the limbic system, hence inducing a calming effect; (c) reshaping the functional connectivity map within important and relevant cortical regions that encompass the default-mode network. We suggest that coupling traumatic memory retrieval leading to reconsolidation, combined with acupuncture, offers considerable potential for positive clinical improvement in patients with PTSD. This may explain the positive results of the described case studies and can pave the path for future advances in research and treatment in this field.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the important role of professionals in designing and communicating effective policies. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the level of trust in the COVID-19 national public health policy among public health professionals in Israel and its correlates during the first wave of the pandemic. Methods: A purposive sampling of public health professionals in Israel, through professional and academic public health networks (N = 112). The survey was distributed online during May 2020. Level of trust was measured by the mean of 18 related statements using a 5-point Likert scale, where 1 means not at all and 5 means to a very high extent, and grouped as low and high trust by median (2.75). Results: A moderate level of trust in policy was found among professionals (Mean: 2.84, 95% Cl: [2.70, 2.98]). The level of trust among public health physicians was somewhat lower than among researchers and other health professionals (Mean: 2.66 vs. 2.81 and 2.96, respectively, p = 0.286), with a higher proportion expressing low trust (70% vs. 51% and 38%, respectively, p < 0.05). Participants with a low compared to high level of trust in policy were less supportive of the use of Israel Security Agency tools for contact tracing (Mean = 2.21 vs. 3.17, p < 0.01), and reported lower levels of trust in the Ministry of Health (Mean = 2.52 vs. 3.91, p < 0.01). A strong positive correlation was found between the level of trust in policy and the level of trust in the Ministry of Health (rs = 0.782, p < 0.01). Most professionals (77%) rated their involvement in decision making as low or not at all, and they reported a lower level of trust in policy than those with high involvement (Mean = 2.76 vs. 3.12, p < 0.05). Regarding trust in the ability of agencies to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, respondents reported high levels of trust in the Association of Public Health Physicians (80%) and in hospitals (79%), but very low levels of trust in the Minister of Health (5%). Conclusions: This study shows that Israeli public health professionals exhibited moderate levels of trust in COVID-19 national public health policy and varied levels of trust in government agencies during the first wave of COVID-19. The level of trust in policy was lower among most of the participants who were not involved in decision making. The level of trust found is worrisome and should be monitored, because it may harm cooperation, professional response, and public trust. Professionals' trust in policy-making during early stages of emergencies is important, and preemptive measures should be considered, such as involving professionals in the decision-making process, maintaining transparency of the process, and basing policy on scientific and epidemiological evidence.
In 2000, the list of the Israeli Kibbutz Industry Association included 346 factories. In 2017, only 203 of those plants still appeared on the list, most of the others were sold. This paper propounds a theory that explains these facts from a kibbutz perspective. The paper rests on a meta-analysis of three case studies of kibbutz enterprises conducted between 2009 and 2015, and other sources of data. The main claim is that kibbutz factories previously operated as family businesses; but in recent decades, they have experienced a process of "de-familiarization", described in this paper, that often led to their sale. No literature relates to this dramatic recent development in kibbutz industry yet. In addition, this study sheds some light on change processes which may affect ownership in family business.
Background Evidence suggests a gradual decrease in the effectiveness of the anti-COVID-19 vaccines, stressing the potential need for periodical booster shots. However, it is hard to tell whether previously applied policies for enhancing vaccine acceptance will be as effective for repeated periodical booster shots during a pandemic. Hence, this study aims to explore the effectiveness of different health policies on periodical vaccination acceptance amidst an ongoing pandemic. Methods A cross sectional online experiment was performed in a representative sample of 929 Israeli citizens. Participants were randomly allocated to 4 groups simulating different hypothetical periodical-vaccination-promoting policy scenarios: (1) Mandate (N = 229); (2) a negative monetary incentive (N = 244); (3) a positive monetary incentive (N = 228) and (4) information provision (N = 228). Compliance intentions and vaccine-acceptance-related variables were measured. Analysis included multivariate hierarchic logistic and linear regressions. Results Compliance intentions levels were medium (M = 3.13 on a 1–5 scale). Only 20.2% of the sample demonstrated strong acceptance of periodical vaccination, which is lower than the acceptance rate of the seasonal flu shot in the country in the year preceding the pandemic. Type of policy was related to the extent to which a respondent strongly agreed to be periodically vaccinated or not. Specifically, strong acceptance was more likely when positive or negative incentives were presented in comparison to the mandate or information provision conditions. However, when examining the extent of compliance among respondents who were less decisive, the type of policy did not predict the extent to which these respondents intended to comply. In addition, compliance intentions were related with the perceived benefits and barriers of the vaccine, the perceived efficacy of getting vaccinated and social norms. Hesitator’s intentions were additionally associated with anti-COVID-19 vaccination history, perceived severity of the disease and trust in government. Conclusions Pandemic-containing vaccines may be perceived as less effective and beneficial than pandemic-preventing vaccines. Individuals with different levels of motivation for periodical vaccination during a pandemic may be affected by different factors. While strongly opinionated individuals are affected by the type of vaccination-promoting policy, hesitators are affected by a larger number of factors, which provide policy makers with greater opportunities to enhance their vaccination intentions.
Evidence of marine fish stock depletion in the eastern Mediterranean Sea due to the cumulative impact of anthropogenic activities has led to new fishing limits. In the first-ever evaluation of the Israeli fish stock and fisheries resource rents with the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) methodology, we apply a novel approach by combining results from scenarios of the Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) suite of models with SEEA to construct physical and monetary accounts for the marine fisheries in the Israeli Mediterranean. We analysed changes in fish stock biomass and stock value during two time periods and two scenarios: BAU and the new Israeli fishing regulations. This research is also the first attempt to quantify the economic impact of invasive species in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. We find that the value of the fish stock over the Israeli continental shelf was approximately NIS 592 million in 2010, mainly due to the trawl fishery. A similar analysis of invasive and native commercial functional groups indicates an increase in the economic value of native commercial groups and a reduction in the economic value of the invasive groups under the new fishery regulations.
In lakes and oceans, links between modern sediment density flow processes and deposits preserved in long-term geological records are poorly understood. Consequently, it is unclear whether, and if so how, long-term climate changes affect the magnitude/frequency of sediment density flows. One approach to answering this question is to analyze a comprehensive geological record that comprises deposits that can be reliably linked to modern sediment flow processes. To address this question, we investigated the unique ICDP Core 5017-1 from the Dead Sea (the largest and deepest hypersaline lake on the Earth) depocenter covering MIS 7-1. Based on an understanding of modern sediment density flow processes in the lake, we link homogeneous muds in the core to overflows (surface flood plumes, ρflow<ρwater), and link graded turbidites and debrites to underflows (ρflow>ρwater). Our dataset reveals (1) overflows are more prominent during interglacials, while underflows are more prominent during glacials; (2) orbital-scale climate changes affected the flow magnitude/frequency via changing salinity and density profile of lake brine, lake-level, and source materials.
Although most studies in the field of literacy development suggest that writing and reading are two sides of the same coin, very little is known about writing in kindergarten in comparison to the vast number of studies on reading. In this study, we explored the connections between writing and reading using correlation and regression analyses conducted on data collected from 60 normally developing Arabic-Speaking kindergartners. Kindergartners’ writing (handwriting and spelling), reading (reading accuracy and reading fluency), and orthographic and fine motor skills were measured. A large correlation was found between writing and reading measures. Separate stepwise regression analyses for writing and reading revealed that the alphabet and orthographic choice tasks were salient predictors of both skills and explained 46% and 57% of the variance in writing and reading, respectively. Surprisingly, the analysis indicated that fine motor skills did not contribute directly to writing or reading. These findings, discussed in relation to previous findings in the literature, confirm the connection between writing and reading and emphasize the role of orthographic knowledge in early writing and reading abilities, among Arabic-speaking kindergarten children.
We present an abstract framework for asymptotic analysis of convergence based on the notions of eventual families of sets that we define. A family of subsets of a given set is called here an “eventual family” if it is upper hereditary with respect to inclusion. We define accumulation points of eventual families in a Hausdorff topological space and define the “image family” of an eventual family. Focusing on eventual families in the set of the integers enables us to talk about sequences of points. We expand our work to the notion of a “multiset” which is a modification of the concept of a set that allows for multiple instances of its elements and enable the development of “multifamilies” which are either “increasing” or “decreasing”. The abstract structure created here is motivated by, and feeds back to, our look at the convergence analysis of an iterative process for asymptotically finding a common fixed point of a family of operators.
Purpose We aimed to describe the weight-for-age Z-score growth trajectory (WAZ-GT) of infants with complex congenital heart disease (cCHD) after neonatal cardiac surgery in the first 4 months of life and assess potential risk factors. Methods We utilized data from a previously reported trial of the REACH telehealth home monitoring (NCT01941667) program which evaluated 178 infants with cCHD from 2012 to 2017. Over the first 4 months of life, weekly infant weights were converted to WAZ. WAZ-GT classes were identified using latent class growth modeling. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to examine the associations between potential risk factors and WAZ-GT classes. Results Four distinct classes of WAZ-GT were identified: maintaining WAZ > 0, 14%; stable around WAZ = 0, 35%; partially recovered, 28%; never recovered, 23%. Compared with reference group “stable around WAZ=0,” we identified clinical and sociodemographic determinants of class membership for the three remaining groups. “Maintaining WAZ > 0” had greater odds of having biventricular physiology, borderline appetite, and a parent with at least a college education. “Partially recovered” had greater odds of hospital length of stay>14 days and being a single child in the household. “Never recovered” had greater odds hospital length of stay >14 and > 30 days, tube feeding at discharge, and low appetite. Conclusions This study described distinct classes of WAZ-GT for infants with cCHD early in infancy and identified associated determinants. Practice implications Findings from this study can be used in the identification of infants at risk of poor WAZ-GT and in the design of interventions to target growth in this vulnerable patient population.
Mineral segmentation in ceramic thin sections containing different minerals, in which there are no evident and close boundaries, is a rather complex process. The results of such a process are used in archaeology for analyzing the origin and manufacturing techniques of ancient ceramics. In this paper we present a methodology for the segmentation and analysis of thin sections of material segments and reaching some conclusions in a fully automatic way. We employ machine learning and computer vision techniques to analyze a video of the thin section sample, acquired under an optical microscope. When examined under polarized light, the color of segments may vary during sample rotation. This variation is due to the optical properties of the materials and it provides valuable information about the material inclusions in the sample. Using the video as our input, we perform an entire-video segmentation. To accomplish this task, we developed a hierarchical categorical mean-shift-based algorithm. Using the entire-video segmentation we examine the detected segments and gather statistical information about their sizes, shapes and colors and present an overall report about the sample. We tested the algorithm on nine specimens of ancient ceramics, taken from three different Mediterranean sites. The results show clear differences between the sites in the amounts, sizes and shapes of the segments present in the specimens.
Across the prehistoric period in Mainland Southeast Asia (MSEA), very few architectural remains and settlements have been identified and there is an absence of evidence for dwellings and domestic spaces. Loc Giang (3980–3270 cal BP) in Long An Province, southern Vietnam is one of the few prehistoric settlements excavated in the region, revealing compacted, laterally extensive layers hypothesised to be floors in association with several other occupation deposit types. Due to the complex occupation stratigraphy encountered in the field, as well as intensive post-depositional processes of tropical environments, a state-of-the-art micro-geoarchaeological approach was used to identify site formation processes. Here, we present a description and depositional history of eight major deposit types (microfacies); among these, we identify constructed lime mortar floors, pile dwellings, evidence for the systematic treatment of waste, and prepared organic deposits likely associated with the management of dog and pig populations. Through the study of site formation we reconstruct at high resolution the nature of dwellings and organisation of domestic spaces within one of the earliest neolithic and sedentary settlements in the region. We demonstrate that within destructive burial environments of the tropics, micro-geoarchaeology offers an effective scientific toolkit for detecting settlement features with low macro-archaeological visibility, thereby enabling us to reconstruct pile dwellings and associated lime floors that were poorly characterised previously in MSEA prehistory.
Disciplinary differences between mental health and legal discourses limit the implementation of mental health knowledge (MHK) in legal proceedings. This study examined the interchange between these discourses, focusing on sexual assault cases that required testimonies of mental health expert witnesses (MHEWs) in Israel. 42 multi-perspective interviews including 16 MHEWs and 26 legal practitioners were analyzed using critical discourse analysis. Participants’ statements relayed three depictions of the interchange between mental health and legal discourses: a dichotomized one, which regards both discourses as incompatible; a tactical one, which regards MHK as beneficial when serving legal interests; and a radical one, which regards MHK as imperative to legal discretion, placing therapeutic considerations ahead of legal ones. The study provides a first empirical analysis of the law-mental-health interchange. In particular, it identifies an emerging practice of therapeutic-legal ("theralegal") discretion, which reflects an understanding that legal considerations alone cannot address complex criminal legal issues.
Ataxia is an impairment of the coordination of movement or the interaction of associated muscles, accompanied by a disturbance of the gait pattern. Diagnosis of this clinical sign, and evaluation of its severity is usually done using subjective scales during neurological examination. In this exploratory study we investigated if inertial sensors in a smart phone (3 axes of accelerometer and 3 axes of gyroscope) can be used to detect ataxia. The setting involved inertial sensor data collected by smartphone placed on the dog's back while walking in a straight line. A total of 770 walking sessions were evaluated comparing the gait of 55 healthy dogs to the one of 23 dogs with ataxia. Different machine learning techniques were used with the K-nearest neighbors technique reaching 95% accuracy in discriminating between a healthy control group and ataxic dogs, indicating potential use for smartphone apps for canine ataxia diagnosis and monitoring of treatment effect.
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3,813 members
Gerry Leisman
  • Movement & Cognition Laboratory Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences
Gustavo Mesch
  • Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Reout Arbel
  • Faculty of Education
Mount Carmel, 31905, Haifa, Israel
Head of institution
Prof. Ron Rubin