This article describes a trial of a psychoeducational intervention designed to modify negative attitudes toward flexible sigmoidoscopy screening and thereby increase screening attendance. The intervention materials addressed the multiple barriers shown to be associated with participation in earlier studies. Adults ages 55-64 (N = 2,966), in a "harder-to-reach" group were randomized either to receive an intervention brochure or to a standard invitation group. Attitudes and expectations were assessed by questionnaire, and attendance at the clinic was recorded. Compared with controls, the intervention group had less negative attitudes, anticipated a more positive experience, and had a 3.6% higher level of attendance. These results indicate that psychoeducational interventions can provide an effective means of modifying attitudes and increasing rates of screening attendance.
A total of 4,213 boys and girls 11 years of age were screened in two Moscow administrative districts. Preventive measures were conducted in one district and were directed at excess body mass, systolic blood pressure, blood lipids (only among boys), cigarette smoking, and physical inactivity. A reference group of peers, who did not receive advice on prevention, was selected from another district. The intervention was targeted to three groups--schoolchildren, their parents, and teaching staff. It included round-table discussions, lectures, and the distribution of health-education materials relating to dietary habits and smoking. Over a 3-year period, these measures resulted in nonsignificant decline in the age-specific increase in body mass compared to the reference group. The intervention group had smaller subscapular skinfold thickness measurements than the reference group. These differences were significant. Mean systolic blood pressure increased with age in both groups. The increase was less in the intervention group than in the reference group and affected boys less than girls. A significant decrease in lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides) was observed in the intervention district. We conclude that additional study is needed to evaluate more precisely the effectiveness of such prevention efforts.
Although a large body of research on hardiness (a personality construct with dimensions of commitment, control, and challenge) has accumulated, several fundamental issues remain unresolved. Although there are several hardiness scales, the properties of these scales have not been compared. There is debate as to whether hardiness is one or several characteristics. Research studying the pathways through which hardiness exerts its effects has not been comprehensively evaluated. Whereas critics have argued that hardiness does not buffer stress, others have suggested that hardiness buffers for working adults, for males, and in prospective analyses. There is also growing concern that hardiness is related to neuroticism. A review of the literature supports the following conclusions: The Dispositional Resilience Scale (DRS) has several advantages over alternative scales; DRS items form three factors that are consistent with hardiness theory; hardiness dimensions generally show low to moderate intercorrelations; the most common way of categorizing subjects as high or low in hardiness is not consistent with hardiness theory; hardiness does not buffer stress, and it does not buffer stress for working adults, for males, or in prospective analyses; both old and new hardiness scales inadvertently measure neuroticism. Recommendations for future research are provided.
Reducing certain sedentary behaviors (e.g., watching television, using a computer) can be an effective weight loss strategy for youth. Knowledge about whether behaviors cluster together could inform interventions.
Estimates of time spent in 6 sedentary behaviors (watching television, talking on the telephone, using a computer, listening to music, doing homework, reading) were cluster analyzed for a sample of 878 adolescents (52% girls, mean age = 12.7 years, 58% Caucasian).
The clusters were based on the sedentary behaviors listed above and compared on environmental variables (e.g., household rules), psychosocial variables (e.g., self-efficacy, enjoyment), and health behaviors (e.g., physical activity, diet).
Four clusters emerged: low sedentary, medium sedentary, selective high sedentary, and high sedentary. Analyses revealed significant cluster differences for gender (p < .002), age (p < .002), body mass index (p < .001), physical activity (p < .01), and fiber intake (p < .01).
Results suggest a limited number of distinct sedentary behavior patterns. Further study is needed to determine how interventions may use cluster membership to target segments of the adolescent population.
The influence of cigarette smoking on resting energy expenditure (REE) in normal-weight and obese smokers was investigated. Participants were 20 normal-weight and 20 obese female smokers assessed over a 2-day period. The results indicated that REE increased in both obese and normal-weight smokers after smoking, but the increase was greater for normal-weight participants. The normal-weight group showed a 9.7%, 5.8%, and a 3.6% increase in REE during the three 10-min blocks constituting the 30-min postsmoking phase. However, the obese group showed a 3.9% and a 0.7% increase in REE and a 0.8% decrease in REE during this postsmoking phase. Between-group comparisons revealed a differential rate of change in REE after smoking, indicating that the obese group's change of REE at every postsmoking time point was on average 70 kcal/day below that of the normal-weight group. The metabolic effect of smoking is reproducible, and the obese smokers reliably show an attenuated effect. However, the reliability of the change is lower for both normal-weight and obese smokers. The results have potential implications for discouraging obese persons from taking up smoking and intervening among those who already smoke.
Within the past 20 years, public and professional attention has focused on the legitimacy of research and treatment of substance abuse in women as a "special population." Recent efforts, however, have not as yet closed the gap in knowledge about factors promoting or perpetuating alcohol and other substance use problems in women. Materials that are presented in this article were selected to provide a broad spectrum of information about biological, psychological, and sociocultural aspects of substance abuse as it affects women. Data reported include findings from several studies conducted in our laboratories that have examined these effects. Overall, the discussion summarizes past knowledge, reviews current findings, points to unanswered questions, and concludes with a series of research recommendations that emerge from empirical data.
Following the trajectory hypothesis for the validity of self-rated health (SRH), we tested whether subjective recovery of health, that is, return to the same or higher level of SRH after a major health event, independently predicts better long-term prognosis.
Participants were 640 patients (≤ 65 years) admitted to the eight medical centers in central Israel with incident MI in a 1-year period (mean age 54, 17% female). Baseline data were collected within days of the index MI. SRH in the preceding year was assessed at baseline, and current SRH was assessed 3-6 months later. Recurrent ischemic events (recurrent MI, hospitalization with unstable angina pectoris, or cardiac death) were recorded during a mean follow-up of 13 years.
A reduced risk of recurrent events was associated with an upward change of one level (e.g., from 3 at T1 to 4 at T2) in SRH (HR = 0.76, 95%CI: 0.69-0.85), controlling for baseline retrospective SRH. Risk was still significantly lower for each unit of improvement after adjusting for sociodemographics, preevent comorbidity, cardiac risk factors, MI severity, and early post-MI events (HR = 0.85, 95% CI 0.75-0.95).
Individuals who perceived themselves 3-6 months after a first MI to be healthier than they had been in the year preceding the MI were more likely to survive event-free throughout the next 13 years, controlling for baseline retrospective SRH and multiple cardiac risk factors. Failure to experience such subjective recovery of one's health is a serious risk factor, which indicates that SRH should be monitored regularly after a MI.
An 8-year follow-up study of a representative sample of children with elevated and normal blood pressures (BPs) was conducted within the framework of cooperation under the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. This study demonstrated the tracking phenomenon for systolic blood pressure for both boys and girls but no such phenomenon for diastolic blood pressure. Tracking was also observed for body mass. Using criteria for elevated BP developed under the cooperative study, we observed that the prevalence of elevated BP was higher for boys than girls. By ages 18 to 20 years, 16.7% of the boys had BP greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg/90 mm Hg, but only 0.8% of the girls had reached this level. There were no statistically significant relationships between BP level, smoking, and physical activity. Increases in the prevalence of smoking and declines in the level of physical activity were observed with an increase in age.
In African American and White children and adolescents (N = 147), socioeconomic status (SES) was measured in 2 ways: (a) using neighborhood-level measures of population density, median income, educational attainment, and the number of children born to single mothers and (b) using family-level measures of parents' occupation and education. Structural equation modeling revealed that both lower family SES and lower neighborhood SES were independently associated with greater hostility and consequently greater cardiovascular reactivity to laboratory stressors in African Americans. Independent of neighborhood SES, only lower family SES was associated with greater cardiovascular reactivity in Whites. Heightened cardiovascular reactivity was associated with greater left ventricular mass (LVM) in Whites and marginally greater LVM in African Americans. Results suggest the importance of using multiple indicators of SES and confirm the relationship between SES and LVM in African Americans and Whites, albeit through different pathways.
Physical exercise has been linked to higher cognitive functioning and enhanced brain plasticity in aging humans. The most consistent positive effects have been reported for executive functions associated with frontal brain regions. In rodents, however, running has been shown to induce functional and structural changes in the hippocampus, a brain region known to be important for memory. It is still a matter of debate which cognitive functions are susceptible to exercise and whether an increase in cardiovascular fitness is beneficial for cognitive functioning. Moreover, little is known about the impact of exercise on cognition in middle-aged humans.
Sixty-eight sedentary men and women between 40 and 56 years of age were randomly assigned to one of two training programs: aerobic endurance training (cycling) or nonendurance training (stretching/coordination). Both groups exercised twice a week for six months. Additionally, a sedentary control group was tested. At baseline and after six months, episodic memory, perceptual speed, executive functions, and spatial reasoning were assessed with standardized psychometric tests, and all participants underwent a cardiovascular fitness test.
Significant improvements in memory were observed in both the cycling and the stretching/coordination group as compared with the sedentary control group. The improvement in episodic memory correlated positively with the increase in cardiovascular fitness. The stretching/coordination training particularly improved selective attention as compared with the cycling training.
The results suggest that cardiovascular fitness has beneficial effects even in high-functioning middle-aged participants, but that these benefits are very specific to memory functions rather than a wider range of cognitive functions.
Self-perceptions of aging (SPA) are argued to be an indicator of the ability to adapt to heath decline in late life. Our objective was to examine the influence of psychological resources in maintaining positive self-perceptions of aging in the face of declining health in older adults.
Time-varying change in health (medical conditions), physical functioning (ADLs), and psychological resources (expectancy of control and self-esteem) on change in SPA were examined over 16 years (5 waves) in a large representative sample (N = 1569) of older adults (65 + years at baseline) from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Aging.
Multilevel structural equation models revealed mediating effects of psychological resources at the within-person level for the relationship between decline in ADLs and SPA. At the between-person level, the relationship between medical conditions and SPA was not mediated by psychological resources, whereas ADLs and SPA were shown to be indirectly associated through self-esteem and expectancy of control.
Results demonstrate that maintaining self-esteem and an expectancy of personal control can buffer the effects of declining ADLs on perceptions of aging. Findings have clinical implications regarding psychological interventions aimed at improving resilience in older adults, which may ultimately increase health outcomes and quality of life.
Reports an error in "Posttraumatic stress symptoms in parents of children with cancer within six months of diagnosis" by Madeleine J. Dunn, Erin M. Rodriguez, Anna S. Barnwell, Julie C. Grossenbacher, Kathryn Vannatta, Cynthia A. Gerhardt and Bruce E. Compas (Health Psychology, 2012[Mar], Vol 31, 176-185). The authors have reported an error in their data that impacts the results and discussion sections of this published paper. The authors detected that they miscalculated the cut-off score on the Impact of Events Scale-Revised (IES-R). They reported that 66% of mothers and 60% of fathers met the modified diagnostic criteria for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Using the correct scoring, 11% of mothers and 9% of fathers met criteria. A corrected Table 2 is provided in the erratum. The erratum also provides corrections to: the note for Table 3; the first sentences of the second and third paragraphs of the Results section; and the second paragraph of the Discussion section. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2011-21630-001.) Objective: To investigate levels and correlates of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in mothers and fathers of children and youth with cancer. Methods: Mothers (n = 191) and fathers (n = 95), representing 195 families of children and youth with cancer, completed measures of PTSS (Impact of Event Scale-Revised), depression (Beck Depression Inventory-II), and anxiety (Beck Anxiety Inventory) between 2 and 22 weeks after their child's cancer diagnosis or recurrence of initial diagnosis. Results: Substantial subgroups of mothers (41%) and fathers (30%) reported levels of PTSS that exceeded cut-offs for elevated symptoms, and these subgroups of parents were characterized by heightened symptoms of depression and anxiety. Fathers of children and youth treated for relapse reported higher rates of elevated PTSS than fathers of children and youth treated for first-time diagnosis, but mothers' rates were similar. Mothers and fathers reported comparable mean levels of PTSS that were strongly positively correlated with symptoms of anxiety and depression. PTSS and other symptoms of distress were negatively related to education level for fathers. Conclusion: These findings provide additional evidence that mothers and fathers experience substantial PTSS near the time of their child or adolescent's cancer diagnosis during the first 6 months of treatment. Results suggest that PTSS may be part of a broader pattern of emotional distress and that a substantial portion of both mothers and fathers of children and youth with cancer may be in need of supportive mental health services within the first 6 months of their child's diagnosis. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
Cancer may be viewed as a psychosocial transition with the potential for positive and negative outcomes. This cross-sectional study (a) compared breast cancer (BC) survivors' (n = 70) self-reports of depression, well-being, and posttraumatic growth with those of age- and education-matched healthy comparison women (n = 70) and (b) identified correlates of posttraumatic growth among BC survivors. Groups did not differ in depression or well-being, but the BC group showed a pattern of greater posttraumatic growth, particularly in relating to others, appreciation of life, and spiritual change. BC participants' posttraumatic growth was unrelated to distress or well-being but was positively associated with perceived life-threat, prior talking about breast cancer, income, and time since diagnosis. Research that has focused solely on detection of distress and its correlates may paint an incomplete and potentially misleading picture of adjustment to cancer.
Objective: This study, conducted in cancer patients, aimed to evaluate longitudinally whether the presence of insomnia is associated with the occurrence of self-reported infections. Method: Patients scheduled to receive a curative surgery for a first diagnosis of nonmetastatic cancer were solicited on the day of their preoperative visit. In total, 962 cancer patients completed the Insomnia Interview Schedule and a clinical interview to assess infectious symptoms at 6 time points: at the perioperative phase (baseline), as well as 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18 months later. At each assessment, patients were categorized into the following 3 groups: insomnia syndrome (SYN), insomnia symptoms (SX), and good sleepers (GS). Results: The analyses revealed that SYN patients at 1 time point were at a significantly higher risk of reporting at least 1 infectious episode at the subsequent assessment (OR = 1.31, p = .04), whereas SX patients were at a marginally significant higher risk of reporting such episodes (OR = 1.19, p = .08), as compared with GS. Conclusions: Although these results need replication and the causality needs to be established, they suggest that insomnia may potentiate the risk of experiencing infections during the cancer care trajectory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
The transtheoretical model (TTM) posits that processes of change and the pros and cons of smoking predict progressive movement through the stages of change. This study provides both a cross-sectional replication and a prospective test of this hypothesis. As part of a larger study of worksite cancer prevention (the Working Well Trial), employees of 26 manufacturing worksites completed a baseline and 2 annual follow-up surveys. Of the 63% of employees completing baseline surveys, 27.7% were smokers (N = 1,535), and a cohort of these smokers completed the 2-year follow-up. Cross-sectional results replicated previous studies with virtually all the processes of change and the cons of smoking increasing in linear fashion from precontemplation to preparation (all ps < .00001), and the pros of smoking decreasing (p < .01). However, contrary to the hypothesis, the baseline processes of change and the pros and cons of smoking failed to predict progressive stage movements at either the 1- or the 2-year follow-ups. Possible explanations for these findings and concerns about the conceptual internal consistency of the TTM are discussed.
Behavioral and psychological consequences of HIV counseling and testing (HIV C&T) for women were examined in a longitudinal, prospective study. Women who received HIV C&T at community health clinics (n = 106) and a comparison group of never-tested women (n = 54) were interviewed five times over 18 months. There was no change in risk behaviors as a consequence of testing: tested and untested women engaged in high-risk sexual behavior at baseline and 18 months later. Tested women reported more anxiety, depression, and intrusive thoughts about AIDS than did untested women. Although tested women were more concerned about AIDS, their potential risk factors over the study period generally were equivalent to those for untested women. HIV counseling and testing should be considered one aspect of a broader program of HIV prevention. Identification of alternative interventions must be a public health priority.
An automated telehealth counseling system, aimed at inactive midlife and older adults, was shown previously to achieve 12-month physical activity levels similar to those attained by human advisors. This investigation evaluated the sustained 18-month impacts of the automated advisor compared with human advisors.
Following the end of the 12-month randomized, controlled trial, participants who had been randomized to either the human advisor (n = 73) or automated advisor (n = 75) arms were followed for an additional 6 months. During that period, human or automated advisor-initiated telephone contacts ceased and participants were encouraged to initiate contact with their advisor as deemed relevant. The primary outcome was moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), measured using the Stanford Physical Activity Recall and validated during the major trial via accelerometry.
The two arms did not differ significantly in 18-month MVPA or the percentage of participants meeting national physical activity guidelines (ps >.50). No significant within-arm MVPA differences emerged between 12 and 18 months. Evaluation of the trajectory of physical activity change across the 18-month study period indicated that, for both arms, the greatest physical activity increases occurred during the first 6 months of intervention, followed by a relatively steady amount of physical activity across the remaining months.
The results provide evidence that an automated telehealth advice system can maintain physical activity increases at a level similar to that achieved by human advisors through 18 months. Given the accelerated use of mobile phones in developing countries, as well as industrialized nations, automated telehealth systems merit further evaluation.
The authors investigated the within-person association of reported mood with blood pressure and total cholesterol (TC) levels, each assessed 4 times over an 18-month period in 128 men and 154 women. Change over time in tense arousal was significantly positively associated with changes over time in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) but not TC. A change in hedonic tone was significantly associated with SBP (an increase in negative affect was associated with an increase in SBP) but not with DBP or TC. There were no sex differences in associations of mood with SBP or TC. However, increases in tense arousal and negative affect were significantly associated with an increase in DBP for women but not men.
Cross-sectional studies in cancer have revealed the presence of clusters of symptoms (e.g., gastrointestinal, emotional) and of patients (e.g., low or high levels of symptoms), but not much is known about their longitudinal evolution. In addition, their relationships with medical factors (e.g., cancer sites, treatments) and possible consequences (e.g., functioning) have yet to be established. This prospective study assessed the presence of clusters of patients in 828 participants scheduled to undergo surgery for cancer.
The patients completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Insomnia Severity Index, the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory, the EORTC Quality-of-Life-Questionnaire-C30, and a physical symptoms questionnaire at baseline and 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18 months later.
Cluster analyses identified between five and eight clusters of patients depending on the time point. The "Low Symptoms" cluster was the most common (24.8 to 35.0% of the sample), whereas one with predominant nausea and vomiting symptoms was among the least common (1.6 to 3.5%). Significant differences were found between cancer sites, treatment regimens, quality of life, and functioning scores. Prostate cancer patients and those treated by surgery only were overrepresented in the "Low" cluster, whereas breast cancer patients were more likely to fall into the "Moderate - Night Sweats" cluster. Clusters with more severe psychological symptoms were associated with lower functioning and quality of life.
This study revealed distinct clusters of patients that varied in number during cancer treatments. Findings also identified some clusters associated with lower quality of life and functioning, which should receive more clinical attention.
This study examined the use of a stress and coping model of adjustment to multiple sclerosis (MS). A total of 122 MS patients were interviewed and completed self-administered scales at Time 1 and 12 months later, Time 2 (n = 96). Predictors included stressful life events, illness (duration, severity, and disability), social support, appraisal (threat and control/challenge), and coping (problem focused and emotion [wishful thinking, self-blame, and avoidance] focused). Adjustment outcomes were Time 2 depression, global distress, social adjustment, and subjective health status. Results from hierarchical regression analyses indicated that after controlling for the effects of Time-1 adjustment, better Time-2 adjustment was related to less disability, greater reliance on problem-focused coping, and less reliance on emotion-focused coping. There was limited support for the stress buffering effects of coping and social support. Findings offer some support for the use of a stress and coping model of adaptation to MS.
This article presents evidence for sex-specific temporal associations between major cigarette marketing campaigns and increases in youth smoking initiation using national survey data for 1910-1977 (N = 165,876). Considerable smoking initiation occurred in males under 18 and born before 1890 when marketing focused only on males. Initiation in male youth increased greatly during 1910-1919; in 1912, R.J. Reynolds launched its unprecedented campaign for Camel brand. Initiation in female youth began in the mid-1920s, coincident with the Chesterfield and Lucky Strike women's marketing campaigns. In the late 1960s, smoking uptake among young females again increased rapidly, coincident with large-scale marketing of women's brands. Male initiation did not increase with these campaigns. Thus, in each instance, major marketing impact occurred in youth smoking initiation only in the sex group targeted.
Researchers in many fields are interested in the robust observation that higher socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with better mental and physical health. Prominent explanations for the association involve effects of stress due to relative material and social adversity in lower socioeconomic environments, but early-life intelligence may also contribute directly to both later-life socioeconomic status and health. Here, we evaluated the effects of early-life IQ on mental and physical health outcomes at age 70, in the context of effects of SES.
The Lothian Birth Cohort of 1936 took part in the Scottish Mental Survey of 1947, providing a measure of IQ at age 11. They have been extensively surveyed at age 70.
Body mass index, constraints on daily life activities, hospital anxiety and depression, number of diseases, level of physical activity, weekly units of alcohol consumption, and pack-years of smoking.
SES had apparently direct effects on most outcomes, but age 11 IQ was also involved in several, either directly or because it contributed to SES. Several interactions helped to integrate these associations. High age-11 IQ tended to buffer effects of adverse environments on physical and mental problems in old age.
To explore associations between the 5-factor model (FFM; neuroticism, extraversion, openness/intellect, agreeableness, and conscientiousness), personality traits, and measures of whole-brain integrity in a large sample of older people, and to test whether these associations are mediated by health-related behaviors.
Participants from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 completed the International Personality Item Pool measure, a 5-factor public-domain personality measure (http://ipip.ori.org), and underwent a structural magnetic resonance brain scan at the mean age of 73 years, yielding 3 measures of whole brain integrity: average white matter fractional anisotropy (FA), brain-tissue loss, and white matter hyperintensities (N = 529 to 565). Correlational and mediation analyses were used to test the potential mediating effects of health-related behaviors on the associations between personality and integrity.
Lower conscientiousness was consistently associated with brain-tissue loss (β = -0.11, p < 0.01), lower FA (β = 0.16, p < 0.001) and white matter hyperintensities (β = -0.10, p < 0.05). Smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, physical activity, body mass index and a composite health-behavior variable displayed significant associations with measures of brain integrity (range of r = 0.10 to 0.25). The direct effects of conscientiousness on brain integrity were mediated to some degree by health behaviors, with the proportions of explained direct effects ranging from 0.1% to 13.7%.
Conscientiousness was associated with all 3 measures of brain integrity, which we tentatively interpret as the effects of personality on brain aging. Small proportions of the direct effects were mediated by individual health behaviors. RESULTS provide initial indications that lifetime stable personality traits may influence brain health in later life through health-promoting behaviors.
In a prospective cohort study the authors examined associations between childhood intelligence at age 11 and inflammatory and hemostatic biomarkers in middle age.
Participants were 9,377 men and women born in the United Kingdom in March 1958, and whose blood plasma samples at age 45 years were analyzed for levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), D-dimer, fibrinogen, tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) antigen, and von Willebrand factor (VWF). Sex-adjusted linear regression models tested cognition-blood biomarker associations, with and without adjustment for potential confounding by parental socioeconomic status and potential mediation by cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors at midlife. Cognitive tests taken at age 50 enabled the inflammation-cognition association to be tested for reverse causation, by adjusting for age 11 intelligence.
Higher childhood intelligence test scores were significantly associated (p < .001) with lower adult levels of CRP (beta coefficient = -0.068), t-PA antigen (β = -0.014), D-dimer (β = -0.011), fibrinogen (β = -0.011), and VWF antigen (β = -0.008). Early life factors including parental socioeconomic status accounted for 24%-44% of these associations, whereas further adjustment for adult CVD risk factors largely attenuated the effects (82%-100%). The significant inverse associations between age 45 biomarker levels and age 50 cognition could be accounted for to a substantial degree by childhood intelligence (50%-100% attenuation).
Childhood intelligence is predictive of inflammatory and hemostatic biomarker status at middle age, which may be largely explained by health behaviors. This highlights the need to consider possible bidirectional associations between cognition and inflammation (and hemostasis) in lifecourse models of CVD-related health.
Numerous studies document that stress accelerates disease processes in a variety of diseases including HIV. As a result, investigators have developed and evaluated interventions to reduce stress as a means to improve health among persons living with HIV. Therefore, the current meta-analysis examines the impact of stress-management interventions at improving psychological, immunological, hormonal, and other behavioral health outcomes among HIV+ adults.
This meta-analytic review integrated the results of 35 randomized controlled trials examining the efficacy of 46 separate stress management interventions for HIV+ adults (N=3,077).
Effect sizes were calculated for stress processes (coping and social support), psychological/psychosocial (anxiety, depression, distress, and quality of life), immunological (CD4+ counts and viral load), hormonal (cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate [DHEA-S], cortisol/DHEA-S ratio, and testosterone) and other behavioral health outcomes (fatigue).
Compared to controls, stress-management interventions reduce anxiety, depression, distress, and fatigue and improve quality of life (d+s=0.16 to 0.38). Stress-management interventions do not appear to improve CD4+ counts, viral load, or hormonal outcomes compared with controls.
Overall, stress-management interventions for HIV+ adults significantly improve mental health and quality of life but do not alter immunological or hormonal processes. The absence of immunological or hormonal benefits may reflect the studies' limited assessment period (measured typically within 1-week postintervention), participants' advanced stage of HIV (HIV+ status known for an average of 5 years), and/or sample characteristics (predominately male and White participants). Future research might test these hypotheses and refine our understanding of stress processes and their amelioration.
We conducted a citation analysis to explore the impact of articles published in Health Psychology and determine whether the journal is fulfilling its stated mission.
Six years of articles (N = 408) representing three editorial tenures from 1993-2003 were selected for analysis.
Articles were coded for several dimensions enabling examination of the relationship of article features to subsequent citations rates. Journals citing articles published in Health Psychology were classified into four categories: (1) psychology, (2) medicine, (3) public health and health policy, and (4) other journals.
The majority of citations of Health Psychology articles were in psychology journals, followed closely by medical journals. Studies reporting data collected from college students, and discussing the theoretical implications of findings, were more likely to be cited in psychology journals, whereas studies reporting data from clinical populations, and discussing the practice implications of findings, were more likely to be cited in medical journals. Time since publication and page length were both associated with increased citation counts, and review articles were cited more frequently than observational studies.
Articles published in Health Psychology have a wide reach, informing psychology, medicine, public health and health policy. Certain characteristics of articles affect their subsequent pattern of citation.
Beliefs about HIV treatment effectiveness and the impact of HIV treatments on HIV transmission risks were initially related to sexual risk-taking in the late 1990s when multidrug HIV treatments first became available. This study examined changes in beliefs about the effects of HIV treatment for preventing HIV transmission and their association to sexual risk behaviors between the years 1997 and 2005.
Anonymous surveys were administered to a convenience sample of gay and bisexual men attending a large community event in Atlanta, Georgia in 1997 (N = 498) and again at the same community event in 2005 (N = 448). Analyses were performed for men living with HIV/AIDS and for men who have not been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
Rates of unprotected anal intercourse in the previous 3 months.
There were significant increases in high-risk sexual practices that coincided with increased beliefs that HIV treatments can reduce the chance of transmitting HIV. However, optimistic beliefs about the health benefits of HIV treatments decreased over the 8 years and were not related to risk behaviors.
Beliefs about how HIV treatments impact HIV infectiousness remain associated with HIV transmission risk behavior and interventions targeting at-risk as well as HIV-positive men who have sex with men must directly address these beliefs and perceptions.
The use of combination antiretroviral therapy in conjunction with the clinical use of viral load measurements have contributed to the "resurrection" of thousands of individuals who were expected to be on a downward spiral with symptomatic HIV/AIDS. In this context, those living with HIV face a host of new challenges, such as adhering to complicated medication regimens, maintaining low levels of HIV risk behaviors, reassessing future goals, and considering return to work. These issues, and others, present behavioral health practitioners and researchers with an exciting agenda for research and intervention. In pursuing this agenda, it is vital that innovations in health psychology maintain pace and integrate seamlessly with rapidly developing medical advances in the field. In so doing, health psychology will maintain its critical role in combating the HIV epidemic in this new era of treatment.
In an extremely well-controlled study, Cohen et al. (1998) add to prior knowledge of stress-illness relationships by showing that self-reports of stress occurrence and duration of 1 month or more, rather than estimates of stressor severity, predict susceptibility to experimentally induced colds (i.e., viral replication and cold symptoms). Although ruling out obvious behavioral and personality factors as causes of the association of stressors to colds, they were unable to identify mediational immune factors, a deficit attributable to the difficulty of assessing the multi-layered, dynamic physiological processes within the bidirectional connections of the nervous (stress) and immune systems. The findings provide an interesting complement to data, showing that people use stressor duration in evaluating the illness implications of somatic symptoms (Cameron et al., 1995), and suggest caution with regard to overestimating the prevalence of stress-induced colds in natural settings.
To assess the transtheoretical model applied to smoking cessation using the framework of N. D. Weinstein, A. J. Rothman, and S. R. Sutton (1998), which is the general framework for designing and evaluating stage models of health behavior.
Results and conclusion:
The transtheoretical model applied to smoking cessation does not satisfy the criteria required of a valid stage model. Most significantly, the evidence indicates that the stages of change are not qualitatively distinct categories.
In this commentary, the authors highlight the findings of the meta-analysis by N. Crepaz and G. Marks (2001). The role of affect in sexual risk behavior, although intuitively obvious, is not well understood and has been largely ignored by HIV prevention researchers in favor of social-cognitive models of behavior. Crepaz and Marks synthesized the results from studies that have examined the relation of negative affect (e.g., depression, anxiety, anger) to sexual risk behavior and concluded that in the literature to date, these variables appear unrelated. The authors suggest that the Crepaz and Marks findings are not surprising given the methods used in the reviewed studies and suggest methodological approaches that will allow more sensitive analyses of the association between affect and sexual risk behavior.
Health communication can help reduce the cancer burden by increasing processing of information about health interventions. Negative affect is associated with information processing and may be a barrier to successful health communication.
We examined associations between negative affect and information processing at the population level. Symptoms of depression (6 items) and cancer worry (1 item) operationalized negative affect; attention to health information (5 items) and cancer information-seeking experiences (6 items) operationalized information processing.
Higher cancer worry was associated with more attention to health information (p<.01) and worse cancer information-seeking experiences (p<.05). More symptoms of depression were associated with worse information-seeking experiences (p<.01), but not with attention.
We found population-level evidence that increased cancer worry is associated with more attention to health information, and increased cancer worry and symptoms of depression are associated with worse cancer information-seeking experiences. Results suggest that affect plays a role in health information processing, and decreasing negative affect associated with cancer communication may improve experiences seeking cancer information.
In her critique of social cognition or reasoned action models, J. Ogden (see record 2003-05896-016) claimed that such models are not falsifiable and thus cannot be tested, that the postulated relations among model components are true by definition, and that questionnaires used to test the models may create rather than assess cognitions and thus influence later behavior. The authors of this comment challenge all 3 arguments and contend that the findings Ogden regarded as requiring rejection of the models are, in fact, consistent with them, that there is good evidence for the validity of measures used to assess the models' major constructs, and that the effect of completing a questionnaire on cognitions and subsequent behavior is an empirical question.
A study by R. J. Contrada et al. (2004; see record 2004-13299-001) suggested that religious involvement affects recovery from coronary artery bypass graft surgery. This finding makes a significant contribution to the growing literature on the role of religion in health and illness, yet it is unlikely to have a comparable impact on coronary artery bypass graft surgery research. Why? What determines the importance of psychosocial predictors of medical outcomes? How can health psychologists increase the impact of biopsychosocial research?
In this reply to K. E. Freedland's (see record 2004-13299-002) comments on R. J. Contrada et al. (see record 2004-13299-001), it is shown that the statistical issues he raised, and his preferred interpretation of the findings, were adequately addressed in the original article. It is argued that methodological limitations also were fully characterized and do not differ in kind from those of biomedical studies. Other issues discussed include the merits of focusing on distal versus proximal causation, plausibility of explanatory mechanisms for health effects of religious involvement, and potential practical applications that do not require manipulation of religious involvement. The article is concluded by commenting on subtle aspects of discourse that may unnecessarily polarize discussions of possible physical health effects of religious involvement.
Replies to the comments by E. Schnall (see record 2004-13299-016) on the current author's original article (see record 2003-05896-014), which examined whether adding hypnosis enhances cognitive-behavioral pain treatments. Here, the author addresses Schnall's critique point-by-point, and concludes that--Schnall aside--a a voluminous body of research has clearly established that both hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral treatments are useful for reducing pain, and all evidence from a small but growing literature currently suggests that there is no benefit in adding one procedure to the other.
Comments on the article by Bellg et al (see record 2004-18051-001). To test the effects of a behavioral change on specific health outcomes, the Behavior Change Consortium insists on strict adherence to fidelity at 5 steps in behavioral trials: study design, provider training, treatment delivery, treatment receipt, and enactment of treatment skills. The authors argue that the demand for fidelity at every step ignores 2 critical sets of factors: (a) there are few theoretically grounded empirical studies of the processes involved in successful transitions in this sequence and (b) trials with perfect fidelity absent a theoretical model of transitions will produce evidence for interventions that lack a conceptual basis for adaptation to differences among diseases, treatments, patients, practitioners, medical institutions, and cultures and that therefore cannot be implemented in clinical practice.
Comments on an article by T. A. Herzog (see record
2008-13168-006). Herzog applied 14 criteria to transtheoretical model (TTM)-based smoking cessation studies, and concluded that "no study in the existing smoking cessation literature provides a true and full test of the TTM." But a few examples are provided that show how his list of unvalidated criteria can be fundamentally flawed. Herzog’s conclusion in the abstract is “The transtheoretical model applied to smoking cessation does not satisfy the criteria required of a valid stage model.” But, Herzog concluded that the studies were not adequate to test TTM. Does he believe his review proved the null hypothesis based on inadequate studies? Did all researchers apply TTM inadequately or are his criteria inadequate? (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Reports an error in "Physician and patient communication training in primary care: Effects on participation and satisfaction" by Kelly B. Haskard, Summer L. Williams, M. Robin DiMatteo, Robert Rosenthal, Maysel Kemp White and Michael G. Goldstein (Health Psychology, 2008[Sep], Vol 27, 513-522). There was a typographical error in the text on page 521, in the first sentence of the first full paragraph. The corrected sentence is provided in the erratum. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2008-13168-002.) Objective: To assess the effects of a communication skills training program for physicians and patients. Design: A randomized experiment to improve physician communication skills was assessed 1 and 6 months after a training intervention; patient training to be active participants was assessed after 1 month. Across three primary medical care settings, 156 physicians treating 2,196 patients were randomly assigned to control group or one of three conditions (physician, patient, or both trained). Main Outcome Measures: Patient satisfaction and perceptions of choice, decision-making, information, and lifestyle counseling; physicians' satisfaction and stress; and global ratings of the communication process. Results: The following significant (p < .05) effects emerged: physician training improved patients' satisfaction with information and overall care; increased willingness to recommend the physician; increased physicians' counseling (as reported by patients) about weight loss, exercise, and quitting smoking and alcohol; increased physician satisfaction with physical exam detail; increased independent ratings of physicians' sensitive, connected communication with their patients, and decreased physician satisfaction with interpersonal aspects of professional life. Patient training improved physicians' satisfaction with data collection; if only physician or patient was trained, physician stress increased and physician satisfaction decreased. Conclusion: Implications for improving physician-patient relationship outcomes through communication skills training are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "Perceived group devaluation, depression, and HIV-risk behavior among Asian gay men" by David H. Chae and Hirokazu Yoshikawa (Health Psychology, 2008[Mar], Vol 27, 140-148). In the aforementioned article, the second sentence of the Results portion of the abstract should read: Among participants most attracted to Whites, group devaluation was associated with higher levels of nonprimary partner UAI; but was associated with lower levels of nonprimary partner UAI among those most attracted to non-Whites. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2008-03424-002.) Objective: This study examined depressive mood and HIV-risk behavior in relation to perceived group devaluation and group identity. Design: Cross-sectional survey of 192 Asian gay men. Main Outcome Measures: Depressive mood assessed using the Centers for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and self-reported receptive or insertive unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) in the past 3 months. Results: Group devaluation was positively associated with depressive mood. Among participants most attracted to Whites, group devaluation was associated with higher levels of nonprimary partner UAI, among those most attracted to non-Whites. Among participants reporting higher levels of group devaluation, those with more positive personal evaluations of the Asian gay community had lower levels of total UAI compared to those with more negative personal evaluations of the Asian gay community. Conclusions: Results suggest that group devaluation is associated with higher levels of depressive mood among Asian gay men. Asian gay men most attracted to non-Whites or hold more positive evaluations of their group may be buffered from the influence of high perceived group devaluation on UAI. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "Stable negative social exchanges and health" by Jason T. Newsom, Tyrae L. Mahan, Karen S. Rook and Neal Krause (Health Psychology, 2008[Jan], Vol 27, 78-86). In the aforementioned article, there is an error in the Appendix. The labels for the factors Unsympathetic or insensitive behavior and Rejection or neglect were transposed. The revised table, listing the items correctly under each factor, is presented in the erratum. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2008-00647-011.) Negative social exchanges with family, friends, and neighbors are known to be an important source of stress in daily life, and chronic stress is theorized to have especially potent impacts on health. Little is known about the health effects of stably high levels of negative social exchanges, however. In a national, longitudinal study of older adults (N = 666), we examined the association between stable negative social exchanges and health over a 2-year period. Trait-state-error models indicated that higher levels of stable negative social exchanges were significantly predictive of lower self-rated health, greater functional limitations, and a higher number of health conditions over 2 years after controlling for initial levels of health and sociodemographic variables. These results highlight the importance of examining continual and recurring interpersonal problems in efforts to understand the health effects of social relationships. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved).
Comments on the original article, "Influence of stressors on breast cancer incidence in the Women's Health Initiative" by Y. L. Michael et al (see record 2009-03297-001). The current authors assert that Michael et al (2009) missed an opportunity for a straightforward reporting of null findings concerning the association between stress and incidence of cancer. They urge greater skepticism toward the claims about a stress-cancer link more generally. Using data from the Women's Health Initiative, Michael and colleagues suggested an association between stress and the incidence of breast cancer. However, the current authors believe their results and those from other studies failed to confirm that stress is a risk factor of breast cancer. Starting with their abstract and continuing in their discussion, Michael et al selectively and inaccurately reported findings with a strong confirmatory bias, and with further selective and uncritical reference to the existing literature. Moreover, they inadvertently perpetuated the direct and indirect influence of discredited data in the literature purporting to show a stress-cancer link.
Reports an error in "Relationship of early life stress and psychological functioning to blood pressure in the CARDIA study" by Barbara J. Lehman, Shelley E. Taylor, Catarina I. Kiefe and Teresa E. Seeman (Health Psychology, 2009[May], Vol 28, 338-346). A URL for supplemental materials was included due to a production error. There are no supplemental materials for this article. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2009-06704-010.) Objective: Low childhood socioeconomic status (CSES) and a harsh early family environment have been linked with health disorders in adulthood. In this study, the authors present a model to help explain these links and relate the model to blood pressure change over a 10-year period in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults sample. Design: Participants (N = 2,738) completed measures of childhood family environment, parental education, health behavior, and adult negative emotionality. Main Outcome Measures: These variables were used to predict initial systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP, respectively) and the rate of blood pressure change over 10 years. Results: Structural equation modeling indicated that family environment was related to negative emotions, which in turn predicted baseline DBP and SBP and change in SBP. Parental education directly predicted change in SBP. Although African American participants had higher SBP and DBP and steeper increases over time, multiple group comparisons indicated that the strength of most pathways was similar across race and gender. Conclusion: Low CSES and harsh family environments help to explain variability in cardiovascular risk. Low CSES predicted increased blood pressure over time directly and also indirectly through associations with childhood family environment, negative emotionality, and health behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).
During the 2009-2010 H1N1 flu pandemic, many institutions installed alcohol-based hand sanitizer dispensers in public settings in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. Yet, usage of these dispensers remained low.
Point-of-use reminder signs were designed to emphasize four theoretically grounded health beliefs: perceived susceptibility, social norms, consequences of the behavior framed as gains, and consequences of the behavior framed as losses. From October 2009 to March 2010, 58 sanitizer dispensers in public buildings were randomly assigned to have one of the four signs placed next to it, and dispenser usage was continually monitored.
All signs were associated with greater sanitizer usage compared to no sign. The gain-framed sign was associated with greatest usage (66% over no sign). Signs emphasizing susceptibility to H1N1 were associated with the lowest usage (41% over no sign). Although usage declined over time and closely mirrored trends in public interest about H1N1, the influence of the signs was not dependent on degree of public interest.
This experimental field study shows how simple, theoretically grounded signs can serve as cues to action in promoting the adoption of preventive behaviors. Gain-framed signage is particularly effective in promoting hand hygiene in a flu pandemic.
Responds to the comments by J. C. Coyne and C. Johansen (see record 2011-09497-016) on the current author's original article, "Influence of stressors on breast cancer incidence in the Women's Health Initiative" (see record 2009-03297-001). Coyne and Johansen (2011) took issue with the study conducted by the current authors' group (Michael et al., 2009), which analyzed the interaction between stressful life events and social support on breast cancer risk among 83,334 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI). While the current authors agree with the Coyne and Johansen that too often null results are difficult to publish due to confirmatory bias that privileges results that support an alternative hypothesis, they strongly disagree with the assertion that their group selectively reported findings, inaccurately reported findings, or provided selective and uncritical reference to the existing literature. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved).
Responds to the comments by L. R. Jewett, E. G. Newton, S. Smith, and B. D. Thombs (see record 2010-14873-001) on the current authors' original article, "Avoidant coping as predictor of mortality in veterans with end-stage renal disease" (see record 2009-06704-009). In their commentary, Jewett et al note that oddities often encountered in very small datasets-such as the one used by Wolf and Mori-and, as a result, stronger evidence must be accrued from larger, more robust samples. In this response, Jewett et al acknowledge that theirs is a preliminary study of a small and highly select sample and recognize the limited generalizability of our results. Jewett et al maintain that they do not assert that there should be radical changes in clinical or research programs based on their study results, but instead, suggest that further follow-up would be valuable and that readily available and commonly used assessment and intervention procedures may be appropriate in ameliorating avoidant coping in the endstage renal disease (ESRD) population. At the same time, given the focus on mortality, the risk of doing nothing because the evidence is preliminary far outweighs the minimal costs associated with assessing and addressing avoidant coping, particularly since psychological assessment, including of coping behavior, is part of the standard of practice in this population. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).
Ccomments on the original article "Loneliness impairs daytime functioning but not sleep duration," by L. C. Hawkley, K. J. Preacher, and J. T. Cacioppo (see record 2010-04888-004). The association between daytime dysfunction and loneliness in this article was attributed to nonrestorative sleep caused by loneliness. Loneliness can be divided into two forms: social and emotional, where social indicates a measure of social connectedness or isolation, and emotional indicates a perceived presence or lack of emotional support and closeness (Weiss, 1973). It is possible that the emotional loneliness construct is related to poor sleep quality, rather than social loneliness. Based on the results of their own study, the current authors suggest it is unlikely that the association between loneliness and sleep is due solely to the threat of sleeping alone. Rather, it is proposed that emotional loneliness is the key aspect of loneliness that correlates with sleep quality. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved).
Comments on the original article 'Are interventions theory-based? Development of a theory coding scheme' by Susan Michie and Andrew Prestwich (see record 2010-00152-001). In their admirable effort to develop a coding scheme for the theoretical contribution of intervention research, Michie and Prestwich rightly point out the importance of the presence of a comparison condition when examining the effect of an intervention on targeted theoretical variables and behavioral outcomes (Table 2, item 15). However, they fail to discuss the critical importance of the nature of the comparison condition. Weaker comparison conditions will yield stronger intervention effects; stronger comparison conditions will yield a stronger science of behavior change.
In their article, Crum, et al. (see record 2011-09907-001) report intriguing results on the power of the mind to determine the body's physiological responses. They find that given the identical milkshake, participants led to believe that the milkshake is a high-calorie, "indulgent" milkshake have an up-and-down ghrelin response that is characteristic of hunger followed by satiety. When the same participants drink the same milkshake on another occasion but are led to believe that it is a low-calorie, "sensible" milkshake, their ghrelin response is essentially flat. These simple findings have impressive implications. The current authors hope that these findings will be the straw that, when added to the wealth of existing evidence on this point, finally does away with the "calories in/calories out" model that dominates the medical dieting literature. The larger implication of this study-that all calories are not created equal if they are not perceived equally-calls for dieting studies to move beyond designs that involve telling participants to simply cut their calories. The study clearly underscores the need for more sophisticated studies that integrate medicine, physiology, and psychology to improve metabolic health. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "Identification of distinct depressive symptom trajectories in women following surgery for breast cancer" by Laura B. Dunn, Bruce A. Cooper, John Neuhaus, Claudia West, Steven Paul, Bradley Aouizerat, Gary Abrams, Janet Edrington, Debby Hamolsky and Christine Miaskowski (Health Psychology, 2011[Nov], Vol 30, 683-692). An incorrect version of the article was printed. The online version of the article has been corrected. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2011-13463-001.) An incorrect version of the article was printed] Objective: Depressive symptoms, common in breast cancer patients, may increase, decrease, or remain stable over the course of treatment. Most longitudinal studies have reported mean symptom scores that tend to obscure interindividual heterogeneity in the symptom experience. The identification of different trajectories of depressive symptoms may help identify patients who require an intervention. This study aimed to identify distinct subgroups of breast cancer patients with different trajectories of depressive symptoms in the first six months after surgery. Method: Among 398 patients with breast cancer, growth mixture modeling was used to identify latent classes of patients with distinct depressive symptom profiles. These profiles were identified based on Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale scores completed just prior to surgery, and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 months after surgery. Results: Four latent classes of breast cancer patients with distinct depressive symptom trajectories were identified: Low Decelerating (38.9%), Intermediate (45.2%), Late Accelerating (11.3%), and Parabolic (4.5%) classes. Patients in the Intermediate class were younger, on average, than those in the Low Decelerating class. The Intermediate, Late Accelerating, and Parabolic classes had higher mean baseline anxiety scores compared to the Low Decelerating class. Conclusions: Breast cancer patients experience different trajectories of depressive symptoms after surgery. Of note, over 60% of these women were classified into one of three distinct subgroups with clinically significant levels of depressive symptoms. Identification of phenotypic and genotypic predictors of these depressive symptom trajectories after cancer treatment warrants additional investigation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).