[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The most common mental health problems among refugees are depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is an effective treatment for PTSD. However, no previous randomized controlled trial (RCT) has been published on treating PTSD symptoms in a refugee camp population.
Examining the effect of EMDR to reduce the PTSD and depression symptoms compared to a wait-list condition among Syrian refugees.
Twenty-nine adult participants with PTSD symptoms were randomly allocated to either EMDR sessions (n=15) or wait-list control (n=14). The main outcome measures were Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) at posttreatment and 4-week follow-up.
Analysis of covariance showed that the EMDR group had significantly lower trauma scores at posttreatment as compared with the wait-list group (d=1.78, 95% CI: 0.92-2.64). The EMDR group also had a lower depression score after treatment as compared with the wait-list group (d=1.14, 95% CI: 0.35-1.92).
The pilot RCT indicated that EMDR may be effective in reducing PTSD and depression symptoms among Syrian refugees located in a camp. Larger RCTs to verify the (cost-) effectiveness of EMDR in similar populations are needed.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · European Journal of Psychotraumatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Self-talk can help people redirect their attention focused on themselves to the tasks they are working on with important consequences for their task performance. Across four experiments and two different types of languages, Turkish and Slovak, people describing their own behaviors to themselves, as well as merely reading or writing sentences depicting some ﬁctitious events, in the passive (vs. the active) voice performed better on various tasks of motor and verbal performance. The effect was present to the extent that people maintained their control over task-distracting thoughts or felt more responsible for their task success/failure. In sum, talking about task behaviors in the passive voice may increase the perceived role of task-related factors while decreasing the role of agent-related factors in achieving task success, whereby the task focus, hence performance, increases. The results are important for understanding the role of self-talk in performance with implications for changing important outcomes.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Applied Cognitive Psychology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A meta-analysis of 150 research reports summarizing the results of multiple behavior domain interventions examined theoretical predictions about the effects of the included number of recommendations on behavioral and clinical change in the domains of smoking, diet, and physical activity. The meta-analysis yielded three main conclusions. First, there is a curvilinear relation between the number of behavioral recommendations and improvements in behavioral and clinical measures, with a moderate number of recommendations producing the highest level of change. A moderate number of recommendations is likely associated with stronger effects because the intervention ensures the necessary level of motivation to implement the recommended changes, thereby increasing compliance with the goals set by the intervention, without making the intervention excessively demanding. Second, this curve was more pronounced when samples were likely to have low motivation to change, such as when interventions were delivered to non-patient (vs. patient) populations, were implemented in non-clinic (vs. clinic) settings, used lay community (vs. expert) facilitators, and involved group (vs. individual) delivery formats. Finally, change in behavioral outcomes mediated the effects of number of recommended behaviors on clinical change. These findings provide important insights that can help guide the design of effective multiple behavior domain interventions.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Psychological Bulletin
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Communication of lung cancer risk information between providers and African-American patients occurs in a context marked by race-based health disparities.
A controlled experiment assessed whether perceived physician race influenced African-American patients’ (n = 127) risk perception accuracy following the provision of objective lung cancer risk information.
Participants interacted with a virtual reality-based, simulated physician who provided personalized cancer risk information.
Participants who interacted with a racially discordant virtual doctor were less accurate in their risk perceptions at post-test than those who interacted with a concordant virtual doctor, F(1,94) = 4.02, p = .048. This effect was amplified among current smokers. Effects were not mediated by trust in the provider, engagement with the health care system, or attention during the encounter.
The current study demonstrates that African-American patients’ perceptions of a doctor’s race are sufficient to independently impact their processing of lung cancer risk information.
No preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Annals of Behavioral Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Natural selection favoured survival of individuals who were able to avoid disease.
The behavioural immune system is activated especially when our sensory system comes
into contact with disease-connoting cues and/or when these cues resemble disease threat.
We investigated whether or not perception of modern risky technologies, risky behaviour,
expected reproductive goals and food neophobia are associated with the behavioural immune
system related to specific attitudes toward genetically modified (GM) products. We found
that respondents who felt themselves more vulnerable to infectious diseases had significantly
more negative attitudes toward GM products. Females had less positive attitudes toward
GM products, but engaging in risky behaviours, the expected reproductive goals of females
and food neophobia did not predict attitudes toward GM products. Our results suggest that
evolved psychological mechanisms primarily designed to protect us against pathogen threat
are activated by modern technologies possessing potential health risks.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Given that unwanted thoughts are enhanced when suppressed, we tested among college freshmen who were about to take an academic exam if an acceptance strategy consisting of not suppressing intrusive thoughts will improve test performance. This strategy proved superior to students' own default strategies as much as a modified, alternative strategy, avoiding the antecedents of intrusive thoughts. Moreover, the combination of the two strategies counteracted a stronger, negative effect of test anxiety on test performance as compared with each strategy used alone. The results suggest that not only intrusive thoughts per se but also the suppression of these thoughts can disrupt test performance, and hint that approaching such thoughts with acceptance may not interfere with simultaneously working toward avoiding the antecedents of these thoughts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Humans (Homo sapiens) are unique primates due to a lack of a thermally insulating fur covering, typical of all other primates. Our primary goal was to examine the "ectoparasite avoidance mediated by mate choice hypothesis" suggesting that women prefer men lacking chest hair in order to avoid ectoparasite loads. We predicted that women living in areas with high prevalence of pathogens (n = 161) would be less likely to show a preference for a male with chest hair in comparison with women living in areas with low pathogen prevalence (n = 183). We found that overall preference for man chest hair was low, but there were no significant associations between perceived vulnerability to diseases or disgust sensitivity and preference of men who have had experimentally removed chest hair. Women who lived in an environment with a high parasite prevalence rate (Turkey) showed a similar preference for man chest hair as did women from an environment with low parasite prevalence (Slovakia). The participants biological fathers' chest hair had no significant effect on their preference for men with chest hair. Women living in a high-parasite-prevalence environment reported a higher disgust score in the sexual domain and more recent experiences with illnesses, suggesting that parasites influence sensitivity to sexual disgust. These results provide no support for the ectoparasite avoidance hypothesis mediated by mate choice and suggest that shaved men bodies are preferred more by women.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Archives of Sexual Behavior
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Risk perceptions and disease worry of 1,959 healthy adults were measured in a telephone-based survey. In the model for each of eight health conditions, people's perceived risk was related to their worry for that condition (p < .0001) and their worry for the other seven conditions (p < .001). There was also an interaction indicating that the less people were worried about a certain condition, the more their worry about the other seven conditions increased their risk perception for that condition (p < .0001). The results are important for preventing biased risk perceptions in multiple-disease contexts.
No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Journal of Health Psychology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although essential for psychology, introspective self-talk has rarely been studied with respect to its effects on behavior. Nevertheless, the interrogative compared with the declarative form of introspective talk may elicit more intrinsically motivated reasons for action, resulting in goal-directed behavior. In Experiment 1, participants were more likely to solve anagrams if they prepared for the task by asking themselves whether they would work on anagrams as opposed to declaring that they would. In the next three experiments, merely writing Will I as opposed to I will as part of an ostensibly unrelated handwriting task produced better anagram-solving performance and stronger intentions to exercise, which suggests that priming the interrogative structure of self-talk is enough to motivate goal-directed behavior. This effect was found to be mediated by the intrinsic motivation for action and moderated by the salience of the word order of the primes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over the next decade, advances in genomics will make it increasingly possible to provide patients with personalized, genetic-based risks of common diseases, allowing them the opportunity to take preventive steps through behavioral changes. However, previous research indicates that people may insufficiently adjust their subjective risk to the objective risk value communicated to them by a healthcare provider, a phenomenon called anchoring-and-adjustment bias. In this narrative review, we analyze existing research on how patients process disease-risk information, and the processing biases that may occur, to show that the bias observed in disease-risk communication is potentially malleable to change. We recommend that, to reduce this bias and change patients' misperceptions of disease risk in clinical settings, future studies investigate the effects of forewarning patients about the bias, tailoring risk information to their numeracy level, emphasizing social roles, increasing motivation to form accurate risk perception, and reducing social stigmatization, disease worry and information overload.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2009 · Medical Decision Making