Marica Cassarino

Marica Cassarino
University College Cork | UCC · School of Applied Psychology

B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.

About

60
Publications
7,070
Reads
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367
Citations
Introduction
Environmental Psychologist interested in the psychological and behavioural mechanisms that lead people to interact with natural and built environments, and how that interaction may impact wellbeing.
Additional affiliations
August 2019 - present
University College Cork
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • I teach Lifespan Development and Research Methods/Design in Psychology
January 2018 - August 2019
University of Limerick
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • The project explored the impact of Health and Social Care Professional teams in the emergency department on older adults' care
June 2017 - December 2017
University College Cork
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • The project, funded by Liberty Insurance Ltd., adopted an ecological approach to review and critically discuss the existing literature on the individual, social and environmental factors that put young drivers at risk of road fatalities and violations.
Education
September 2007 - October 2009
University of Padova
Field of study
  • Clinical Psychology
September 2004 - July 2007
University of Padova
Field of study
  • Cognitive Psychology and Psychobiology

Publications

Publications (60)
Article
Full-text available
Background There is encouraging evidence that interdisciplinary teams of Health and Social Care Professionals (HSCPs) can enhance patient care in the Emergency Department (ED), especially for older adults with complex needs. However, no formal process evaluations of implementations of ED-based HSCP interventions are available. The study aimed to ev...
Article
Lee, N., Setti, A., & Cassarino, M. (2022). Gratitude as a predictor of pro-environmental behaviour? A survey investigation considering the role of environmental values and nature connectedness. Journal of Ecopsychology, 2, 2, 1-12. https://joe.nationalwellbeingservice.com/volumes/volume-2-2022/volume-2-article-2/ Background: Implementation of eff...
Preprint
Full-text available
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) has caused significant mental health challenges across various populations but the psychological impact on university students, who represent a population particularly vulnerable to psychological distress, are yet to be understood. Using a socio-ecological lens, this qualitative research used online...
Article
Raising the public’s awareness on the causes and consequences of air pollution is crucial to incentivise behavioural and policy change that can benefit the health of people and the environment. Air quality forecasting (AQF) can inform early public health warnings and help manage exposure and behaviour; however, it is important to understand people’...
Poster
Full-text available
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals1 urge to design urban communities that promote health, wellbeing, and equality (SDGs 3,10,11). The Global Happiness Policy Report 20182 identifies urban planning as one of the key determinants of happiness, posing the challenge to understand how our changing built environment can sustain people’s psy...
Article
Full-text available
1. The benefits of exposure to nature for health and well-being have been demonstrated across multiple disciplines. Recent work has sought to establish one 'dose' or type of nature exposure that is universally beneficial, which has proven difficult. 2. We use the principles of psychopharmacology to look beyond the use of dose as a concept for presc...
Article
Full-text available
Promoting physical activity amongst older adults represents a major public health goal and community-led exercise programmes present benefits in promoting active lifestyles. Commercial activity trackers potentially encourage positive behaviour change with respect to physical exercise. This qualitative study investigated the experiences and attitude...
Article
Full-text available
Background Older adults frequently attend the emergency department (ED) and experience high rates of adverse events following ED presentation. This randomised controlled trial evaluated the impact of early assessment and intervention by a dedicated team of health and social care professionals (HSCPs) in the ED on the quality, safety, and clinical e...
Article
Full-text available
Urban planning and design can impact mental health, but it is unclear how ever-growing and changing cities can sustain the psychological wellbeing of vulnerable groups, who are among the most mentally sensitive to spatial inequalities. This systematic review synthesised quantitative and qualitative studies on urban design interventions and their im...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant social and spatial restrictions. While everyone has felt the impacts of this health crisis, limited evidence is available about the experiences of young individuals with physical disabilities; this group faces many challenges due to the pandemic restrictions, including increased vulnerability,...
Article
Full-text available
Despite extensive evidence of the restorative effects of nature, the potential vitalizing effects of connecting with nature are yet understudied, particularly in higher education settings. University students face high levels of stress and anxiety, and may benefit from nature-based interventions that enhance positive states such as vitality. Using...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies suggest that the lived environment can affect cognition across the lifespan. We examined, in a large cohort of older adults (n = 3447), whether susceptibility to a multisensory illusion, the Sound-Induced Flash Illusion (SIFI), was influenced by the reported urbanity of current and childhood (at age 14 years) residence. If urban envi...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Detection of delirium in hospitalised older adults is recommended in national and international guidelines. The 4 'A's Test (4AT) is a short (<2 minutes) instrument for delirium detection that is used internationally as a standard tool in clinical practice. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of diagnostic test accuracy of...
Article
Full-text available
The number of students affected by exam anxiety continues to rise. Therefore, it is becoming progressively relevant to explore innovative remediation strategies that will help mitigate the debilitating effects of exam anxiety. The study aimed to investigate whether green environment exposure, delivered by virtual reality (VR) technology, would serv...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Understanding the impact of local communities on wellbeing is a paramount Sustainable Development Goal. In order to inform people-centred planning interventions, it is important to understand what demographic groups need supportive communities the most and where. This study explored associations between perceived neighbourhood character...
Article
Full-text available
Background There is some evidence that health and social care professional (HSCP) teams contribute to enhanced patient and process outcomes in increasingly crowded emergency departments (EDs), but the views of service users and providers on this model of care need investigation to optimize implementation. Objective This qualitative study investiga...
Preprint
Full-text available
The number of students affected by exam anxiety continues to rise. Therefore, it is becoming progressively relevant to explore innovative remediation strategies that will help mitigate the debilitating effects of exam anxiety. The study aimed to investigate whether green environment exposure, delivered by virtual reality (VR) technology, would serv...
Research
Full-text available
Background: The promotion of pro-environmental behaviours (PEBs) at the individual level is seen as important to reversing the anthropogenically induced shift in the Earth’s climate. Implementation of effective environmental policies requires an understanding of the personal factors predisposing people to engage in such behaviours. As a psychologic...
Research
Full-text available
The Pedestrian Cork Survey 2020 was a collaborative project between the community advocacy group Pedestrian Cork (https://pedestriancork.wordpress.com/), a local branch of the Irish Pedestrian Network, and the School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork. This community-led study aimed to understand the experiences of walking outdoors in...
Preprint
Objective: Detection of delirium in hospitalised older adults is recommended in national and international guidelines. The 4 'A's Test (4AT) is a short (<2 min) instrument for delirium detection that is used internationally as a standard tool in clinical practice. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of diagnostic test accuracy of the...
Research
Full-text available
The current report aimed to investigate the relationship between PEB and dispositional gratitude in a general population sample. A further aim was to explore the potential moderating roles of nature relatedness and environmental value orientation, two concepts related to PEB. The study protocol is publicly available at https://aspredicted.org/xc5rz...
Preprint
Full-text available
The benefits of exposure to nature for health and wellbeing have been demonstrated across multiple disciplines, with empirical data serving as a foundation for conceptual frameworks. However, with fundamental issues apparent even within the definition of what “nature” means, and a general assumption that nature will be beneficial to all in all ways...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Older people are frequent emergency department (ED) users who present with complex issues that are linked to poorer health outcomes following the index visit, often have increased ED length of stay, and tend to have raised healthcare costs. Encouraging evidence suggests that ED teams involving health and social care professionals (HSCP...
Preprint
Background : Older people are frequent Emergency Department (ED) users who present with complex issues that are linked to poorer health outcomes post-index visit, often have increased ED length of stay and tend to have raised healthcare costs. Encouraging evidence suggests that ED teams involving health and social care professionals (HSCPs) can con...
Preprint
Background : Older people are frequent Emergency Department (ED) users who present with complex issues that are linked to poorer health outcomes post-index visit, often have increased ED length of stay and tend to have raised healthcare costs. Encouraging evidence suggests that ED teams involving health and social care professionals (HSCPs) can con...
Preprint
Background : Older people are frequent Emergency Department (ED) users who present with complex issues that are linked to poorer health outcomes post-index visit, often have increased ED length of stay and tend to have raised healthcare costs. Encouraging evidence suggests that ED teams involving health and social care professionals (HSCPs) can con...
Article
Full-text available
Background Older adults are frequent users of emergency services and demonstrate high rates of adverse outcomes following emergency care. There is some evidence to suggest that Health and Social Care Professions (HSCP) teams working in the emergency department (ED) can enhance the care of older adults but the quality of these studies is mixed. This...
Article
Full-text available
Background Introducing Health and Social Care Professional (HSCP) teams to the emergency department (ED) has increasingly demonstrated benefits for ED patient and process outcomes. However, there is a dearth of research exploring the views of key ED stakeholders on the role of HSCP teams in care delivery the ED. This qualitative study investigated...
Presentation
Full-text available
In this mixed-methods study, we investigated older people's preferences of outdoor spaces for walking and associations with cognitive and sensory vulnerability.
Article
Full-text available
Background - Dedicated Health and Social Care Professional (HSCP) teams have been proposed for emergency departments (EDs) in an effort to improve patient and process outcomes. This systematic review synthesises the totality of evidence relating to the impact of early assessment and intervention by HSCP teams on quality, safety and effectiveness of...
Preprint
Background Older people are frequent Emergency Department (ED) users who present with complex issues that are linked to poorer health outcomes post-index visit, often have increased ED length of stay and tend to have raised healthcare costs. Encouraging evidence suggests that ED teams involving health and social care professionals (HSCPs) can contr...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Health and social care professionals (HSCPs) have increasingly contributed to enhance the care of patients in emergency departments (EDs), particularly for older adults who are frequent ED attendees with significant adverse outcomes. For the first time, the effectiveness of a HSCP team intervention for older adults in the ED has been t...
Article
Full-text free e-copy: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/JvI7uUJxIyUWtwM6Yw9V/full?target=10.1080/0361073X.2019.162749 Background/Study Context: An accumulating body of literature indicates that contact with natural settings can benefit health and wellbeing. Numerous studies support Attention Restoration Theory (ART), which suggests that even sho...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Two major global health challenges are the rapidly ageing population and the high prevalence of obesity in all age groups. Older adults are also susceptible to age-related loss of muscle strength, termed dynapaenia. The co-occurrence of both obesity and dynapaenia, termed dynapaenic obesity (DO), has been associated with poorer health...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Physical exercise, particularly walking, benefits healthy ageing. Understanding the environmental circumstances in which exercise occurs is crucial to the promotion of physical activity in older age. Most studies have focused on the structural dimensions of environments that may foster walking; however, individual differences in how old...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Attention Restoration Theory (ART) suggests that walking or being in natural settings, as opposed to urban environments, benefits cognitive skills because it is less demanding on attentional resources. However, it is unclear whether the same occurs when the person is performing a complex task such as driving, although it is proven that...
Poster
Full-text available
Promoting interdisciplinary work is becoming an essential component of practice education in allied health. Health and Social Care Professionals are increasingly seeing extended scope of practice to the emergency department. Synthesizing the evidence on the effectiveness of interdisciplinary allied work in emergency departments can inform practice...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Finding cost-effective strategies to improve patient care in the emergency department (ED) is an increasing imperative given growing numbers of ED attendees. Encouraging evidence indicates that interdisciplinary teams including health and social care professionals (HSCPs) enhance patient care across a variety of healthcare settings. Ho...
Article
The involvement of young novice drivers in road crashes and violations has remained a significant transport and public health issue worldwide. Despite extensive evidence that multiple individual, social, and environmental factors contribute to risk while driving, crashes among young novice drivers have decreased only marginally. There is a need to...
Article
Background: Geographical variations in cognitive health have been extensively explored, but the evidence on adult individuals with disabilities is inconclusive. While urban living is suggested as more cognitively stimulating than rural dwelling in epidemiological research, both rurality and urbanity can present barriers that may negatively impact...
Presentation
Full-text available
In an increasingly older and urbanised world, identifying environmental factors that contribute to cognitive health in ageing is a current priority for research and policy. Using outdoor spaces benefits mental and physical health as we grow old; however, little is yet known on which specific environmental characteristics (e.g., presence of green, w...
Article
Background - Understanding how increasing urbanisation affects health inequalities with ageing has gained growing interest [1], but the synergistic influence of environmental and individual factors on cognitive ageing is yet unclear [2]. The present study investigated the impact on cognitive health of living in more or less densely populated areas...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Exposure to green scenes has been proven restorative for directed attention (Attention restoration theory, ART) in young adults, but very few studies have beneficial effects of green on older adults’ attention. The present study aimed to test ART on older individuals considering the potential influence of current environment of residenc...
Thesis
Full-text available
Ageing and urbanisation worldwide, and the increasing risk of chronic conditions such dementia and cognitive impairment with higher life expectancy, urge to understand the impact of city or rural living on healthy cognitive ageing. Based on the premise that environmental features influence cognition, my doctoral project investigated whether differe...
Conference Paper
Navigating an urban environment requires the brain to process complex sensory information coming from multiple sources (e.g., the body’s movement, noise, traffic, crowded places) and deal with multiple tasks at the same time (e.g., crossing the road while holding a conversation). As individuals grow old and develop functional limitations, they beco...
Article
Full-text available
The lived environment is the arena where our cognitive skills, preferences, and attitudes come together to determine our ability to interact with the world. The mechanisms through which lived environments can benefit cognitive health in older age are yet to be fully understood. The existing literature suggests that environments which are perceived...
Article
Background: Recent evidence indicates that rural individuals show poorer cognitive performance than urban dwellers. Urban environments offer a wider range of cognitive stimulation, and are associated with higher levels of tonic arousal. A cross-sectional association between urban living and better performance in global cognition (Montreal Cognitive...
Article
Objectives - Stimulating environments foster cognitive vitality in older age. However, it is not known whether and how geographical and physical characteristics of lived environments contribute to cognitive ageing. Evidence of higher prevalence of dementia in rural rather than urban contexts suggests that urban environments may be more stimulating...
Article
Global ageing demographics coupled with increased urbanisation pose major challenges to the provision of optimal living environments for older persons, particularly in relation to cognitive health. Although animal studies emphasise the benefits of enriched environments for cognition, and brain training interventions have shown that maintaining or i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Global ageing, coupled with increasing urbanisation, poses the challenge to provide supportive environments where to grow old. While there is evidence of geographical variations of dementia, a systematic investigation of key environmental factors for cognitive health in older age is lacking. The study explored the association between urbanisation a...

Network

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
This collaborative project aims to build interdisciplinary capacity to better understand how the planning and design of urban environments can impact the wellbeing of vulnerable groups (UN definition https://tinyurl.com/ya9fokuk)
Project
This HRB funded project aims to determine and measure the impact of a Health and Social Care Professionals (HSCP) early assessment and intervention in the Emergency Department (ED) in enhancing the quality of patient care by safely avoiding hospital admission (or reducing duration of admission) and optimising overall patient flow. The project is a joint collaboration between researchers in the School of Allied Health (SAH) at the University of Limerick, Ireland, and clinical colleagues at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda (OLOH).