Rachel Menzies

Rachel Menzies
The University of Sydney · School of Psychology

Masters of Clinical Psychology/PhD

About

35
Publications
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Publications

Publications (35)
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Research spanning the fields of clinical, social and health psychology suggests that death anxiety is an important construct. However, no comprehensive, psychometrically adequate measure of the construct exists. The current studies outline the development of a new measure of death anxiety, the Death Anxiety Beliefs and Behaviours Scale...
Chapter
A growing body of research suggests that death anxiety may underlie numerous mental health conditions. Given this, it is essential to develop treatments that specifically target fears of death. This chapter first outlines how to effectively assess for death anxiety using a clinical interview and self-report measures. Next, various approaches to tre...
Chapter
The fear of death has been argued to be an important transdiagnostic construct, which underlies a wide range of psychological disorders. Death anxiety features centrally in many conditions, such as specific phobias, panic disorder, somatic symptom-related disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, rec...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Psychosocial treatments have been shown to benefit people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) on various outcomes. Two evidence-based interventions are cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). However, these interventions have been compared only once. Results showed that CBT outperformed MBSR on som...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD) commonly receive non-evidence based, ineffective treatments. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) has been demonstrated to be the gold standard treatment for treating SAD. Scalable web-based CBT programs ensure evidence-based treatment procedures, but low treatment adherence remains problematic. This stud...
Article
Despite research demonstrating positive outcomes of conscious death reflection, very little research directly examines a core proposition of existential psychologists—that death reflection provides an opportunity for more authentic living. The current study compared individuals chronically exposed to genuine mortality cues (funeral/cemetery workers...
Article
Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is the most common psychosocial issue amongst cancer survivors. However, fear of progression (FoP) has been studied outside of the cancer context. This review aimed to: (1) meta-synthesize qualitative studies of FoP in illnesses other than cancer; and (2) quantify the relationship between FoP and anxiety, depression,...
Article
Full-text available
Growing empirical evidence has revealed the central role of death anxiety in numerous mental health conditions. Given this, there is a significant need for treatments which specifically address fears of death. Whilst such treatments have only recently been developed within clinical psychology, the discipline of philosophy has a long history of offe...
Article
Objective: To determine the efficacy of psychological interventions in studies of adults with migraine, in reducing pain, and functional and psychosocial difficulties. Background: A recently published Cochrane Review showed no strong evidence for psychological intervention for adults with migraine. However, this review was limited by stringent i...
Article
Previous research has highlighted the potential role of existential concerns (ECs) in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). However, empirical research has thus far only demonstrated the role of one existential issue in this disorder: namely, death anxiety. The present study explored the relationships between OCD symptoms and five ECs: Death anxiety...
Preprint
Previous research has highlighted the potential role of existential concerns (ECs) in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). However, empirical research has thus far only demonstrated the role of one existential issue in this disorder: namely, death anxiety. The present study explored the relationships between OCD symptoms and five ECs: Death anxiety...
Article
Avoidance is a hallmark symptom and a primary maintaining factor in anxiety disorders. Theories of anxiety disorders have focused not only on overt avoidance, but also on more subtle avoidance known as ‘safety behaviours’. Safety behaviours involve behaviours which aim to reduce anxiety or prevent a feared outcome from occurring. In the long-term,...
Article
Background Death anxiety has been empirically implicated in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Research has shown that secure attachments appear to protect against fear of death, and are also associated with reduced risk of mental illness. However, few studies have investigated the moderating effect of attachment style in the relationship between...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Fear of cancer recurrence or progression (FCR) is common amongst cancer survivors and an important minority develop clinically significant levels of FCR. However, it is unclear how current clinical services might best support the growing numbers of cancer survivors. Purpose: The aim of this study is to develop recommendations for fut...
Article
Full-text available
Emerging research suggests that death anxiety is a transdiagnostic construct, which may underpin a number of mental illnesses. Although cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) has been found to be the most effective treatment for death anxiety, no self-guided treatments for this construct exist at present. Furthermore, there is a growing need for accessi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Emerging research suggests that death anxiety is a transdiagnostic construct, which may underpin a number of mental illnesses. Although CBT has been found to be the most effective treatment for death anxiety, no self-guided treatments for this construct exist at present. Further, there is a growing need for accessible, scalable, and cost-effective...
Article
Accumulated empirical evidence suggests that death anxiety is strongly associated with multiple mental health conditions. Despite this, few studies have experimentally explored whether manipulating reminders of death could influence the symptoms of mental illnesses. The present, preregistered study used a mortality salience design to assess whether...
Article
Objectives A body of research has demonstrated high rates of comorbidity among individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Further, recent empirical evidence has demonstrated the relevance of death anxiety in OCD. Given that the trajectory towards OCD remains unclear, the current study aimed to examine which disorders individuals typicall...
Article
Full-text available
Recent theoretical and empirical research has demonstrated a relationship between death anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), with a focus on compulsive washing. However, no study has examined whether death anxiety plays an important role across various symptom domains of OCD. The present studies explored the relationship between death a...
Article
Full-text available
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a surge in anxiety across the globe. Much of the public’s behavioural and emotional response to the virus can be understood through the framework of terror management theory, which proposes that fear of death drives much of human behaviour. In the context of the current pandemic, death anxiety, a recently...
Article
Full-text available
Psychedelic therapies can engender enduring improvements in psychological well-being. However, relatively little is known about the psychological mechanisms through which the salutary effects of psychedelics emerge. Through integrating extant research on psychedelics with contemporary existential psychology, we present a novel hypothesis that reduc...
Chapter
Recent research has highlighted the enormity of psychological suffering reported in communities around the globe. Healthcare systems are buckling under the strain of dealing with the extent of emotional pain arising from the traumas of everyday life. At the same time, questions are being raised about the effectiveness of psychological treatment pro...
Article
Recent research suggests that the transdiagnostic construct of death anxiety may be a basic fear underlying a range of anxiety disorders. Although the investigation of death anxiety in clinical populations is relatively recent, the death anxiety literature as a whole has a longer history evidenced by the number of instruments developed to measure t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Death anxiety has been implicated theoretically and empirically in mental health, and has been proposed to be a transdiagnostic construct. However, it has largely been investigated in relation to specific disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder. Few studies have assessed the relationship between death anxiety and psychopathology using hete...
Article
Death anxiety has been proposed as a transdiagnostic construct, underlying numerous mental disorders. Although it has been argued that treatments, which reduce death anxiety, are needed, research investigating the impact of interventions on death fears has produced mixed results. As such, the current meta-analysis aimed to examine the effect of psy...
Article
The studies presented in this article explored the relevance of death fears to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). In Study 1, the relationships between death anxiety and a variety of markers of psychopathology were examined in 171 treatment-seeking participants with OCD. Moderate to large correlations between Collett-Lester Fear of Death scale sc...
Article
Death anxiety is considered to be a basic fear that may underpin a range of psychiatric conditions. The present paper proposes that the dread of death is a central driver of most presentations of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). Compulsive washers often identify chronic or fatal diseases, such as HIV, as being associated with their anxiety, and...
Article
Death anxiety is considered to be a basic fear underlying the development and maintenance of numerous psychological conditions. Treatment of transdiagnostic constructs, such as death anxiety, may increase treatment efficacy across a range of disorders. Therefore, the purpose of the present review is to: (1) examine the role of Terror Management The...

Questions

Questions (2)
Question
I'm using a particular scale in my research (I did not develop this scale myself), and one of the subscales consists of just 3 items. One of those items is significantly affecting the internal reliability of the subscale in my sample - deleting this item would lift the subscale's alpha coefficient from .67 to .83.
Is it better to:
a) delete the item, to make the results from that subscale more interpretable, or
b) keep the item in, given that a subscale consisting of 2 items is hardly a subscale at all?
Thanks in advance!
Question
I'm hoping to include studies that include 3 or more comparison groups (e.g., Control, Treatment 1, Treatment 2) in a meta-analysis using CMA. So far, I've been unable to find any tutorials or videos explaining how to do this.
The only thing I've found is a section from the Cochrane Handbook suggesting that when you have multiple comparison groups, you should collapse these down into two (e.g., Control vs. Treatment 1+ Treatment 2) - but surely this means you can't look at specific differences between treatment types? Or is there a way to do this by collapsing all treatment groups into one group, and using treatment type as a moderator?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Death has fascinated scholars and laypeople alike. Recent research with a strong empirical component suggests that reminders of death leads people to defend their worldview and beliefs more strongly and show a variety of outcomes from increased aggression to increased benevolence. Our lab investigated a few related outcomes, and is currently focused on the role that existential concern has in clinical populations.
Project
To examine the effect of psychological interventions on reducing death anxiety. https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/display_record.php?ID=CRD42017058994