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 Degree Discipline: Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine
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Heart rhythm variability in persons with chronic pain.

Heart rhythm variability in persons with chronic pain.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Saxon, LaDonna Christine
Description: The present study evaluated the utility of heart rhythm coherence (HRC) feedback to reduce the reported pain intensity of patients enrolled in a multimodal pain management program. Participants were recruited and assigned to a usual treatment group (UT) or a heart rhythm coherence feedback group (UT+HRC). It was hypothesized that UT+HRC participants who achieved heart rhythm coherence would report a reduction of pain intensity, as measured by the McGill Pain Inventory. For those whose pain intensity decreased, it was also expected that their self reported levels of depression as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition and state anger as measured by the State Trait Anger Inventory would decrease. It is also hypothesized that with a reduction in pain levels, anger, and depression, blood pressure would also decrease among those who had high blood pressure prior to the intervention. Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) were used to investigate the relationship between treatment condition, coherence status and pain levels. A series of independent t-tests were utilized to investigate the change in pain, depression, and state anger from baseline to posttest, followed by Pearson product moment correlation coefficients on difference scores to understand the relationship between the outcome variables for Hypothesis 2. ...
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Hierarchical neuropsychological functioning in pediatric survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Hierarchical neuropsychological functioning in pediatric survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Date: August 2007
Creator: Larery, Angela R. D.
Description: Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is one of the most common types of pediatric cancers. Improvements in treatment within the last 20 years have resulted in reduced mortality and a greater focus upon quality of life. Several researchers have documented neuropsychological impairments in children following treatment for ALL; however, there have not been any comparative studies documenting differences in neuropsychological functioning based upon treatment modality despite the documented effects of radiation therapy and combined radiation/chemotherapy upon the developing brain. In addition, past studies have focused on unitary measures, ignoring the hierarchical relationship between basic cognitive functions and more abstract skills. This study examined the neuropsychological functioning of 81 children who were treated for ALL at a metropolitan children's hospital. All children were tested a minimum of two years after the final treatment session and were administered the NEPSY. Results do not support any interactions or main effects with the exception of the age of the child at diagnosis. Children diagnosed prior to the age of 5 showed greater impairments on tasks measuring attention, memory, and visuospatial reasoning in comparison to peers diagnosed after age 6.
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Identifying AD/HD subtypes using the cognitive assessment system and the NEPSY

Identifying AD/HD subtypes using the cognitive assessment system and the NEPSY

Date: August 2001
Creator: Pottinger, Lindy Sylvan
Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the ability of the Cognitive Assessment System (CAS) and the NEPSY, A Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment, to differentiate between the subtypes of Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). The CAS and NEPSY are neuropsychological instruments which provide norms for AD/HD children in general. This study examined the performance of the two subtypes of AD/HD on the CAS and NEPSY. In addition, this study examined the performance of the two AD/HD groups on the Screening Test for Auditory Processing Disorders (SCAN). Since AD/HD children tend to have difficulty with language, the SCAN was used to determine if any of the AD/HD subjects had auditory processing difficulties that might impact their performance on the CAS and/or NEPSY subtests. The sample consisted of 118 children between the ages of 8 and 12 years of age. Using the DSM-IV criteria, the children were diagnosed as having three types of AD/HD: A Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type (AD/HD-HI), a Predominantly Inattentive Type (AD/HD-I) and a Combined Type The subtypes were also identified by the Attention Deficit Disorders Evaluation Scale-Home Version (ADDES-H). Only two subtypes, AD/HD-I and AD/HD-C, were identified by the ADDES-H. There were not enough AD/HD-HI subjects to include in ...
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Improving the Definition of Exercise Maintenance: Evaluation of Concepts Related to Adherence

Improving the Definition of Exercise Maintenance: Evaluation of Concepts Related to Adherence

Date: August 2002
Creator: Wilcox, Susan E.
Description: Physical activity has been demonstrated in the literature as an effective way to reduce the risk for development of chronic disease. The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) of behavior change has been developed as a means to predict and facilitate movement into healthier lifestyle behaviors. The model is centered on "stages of change", which describe a continuum of readiness to engage in a health behavior change. Stages contain temporal, qualitative, and quantitative characteristics. This was a six-month study that evaluated the effectiveness of stage-matched (theorized to be pertaining only to the maintenance stage of change) vs. generic (theorized to be pertaining to anyone, regardless of stage) newsletters in assisting subjects to attain the Maintenance stage of change. It also sought to identify further qualitative characteristics that can differentiate between the Action and Maintenance stages of change. Results indicated that monthly stage-matched newsletters were no more effective in helping subjects reaching Maintenance than were the generic newsletters. Exerciser self-schema was related to stages of change, but those relationships differed from baseline to six-month follow-up, indicating development of exerciser self-schema during the study period. Implications of this are discussed. Other concepts discussed included "structure" of change process, in that three new scores were developed ...
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Individual attachment styles and the correspondence/compensation hypotheses in relation to depression and depressive experiences.

Individual attachment styles and the correspondence/compensation hypotheses in relation to depression and depressive experiences.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Hill, Mary Kathleen
Description: Two hundred twenty individuals participated in the present study from a university population. The study examined the relationship among attachment styles to caregivers, relationship with God, depressive symptomology, and depressive experiences. Attachment theorists have suggested a connection between childhood attachment to caregivers and current attachment to God through the idea that individuals have "working models" that form how they interpret present relationships. For the most part, the results of the current study supported the idea of correspondence between attachment to caregiver and attachment to God. Individual attachment styles to caregivers matched their attachment style to God. However, when caregiver religiousness was included as a moderating variable, results supported the theory of combined compensation-correspondence for those with insecure attachments to caregivers. Individuals with insecure attachment to caregivers were more likely to compensate for their insecure attachment bonds through participation in religious activity, whereas their internal, private relationship with God corresponded with their previous insecure attachment bonds. Individuals with insecure attachment to caregivers were more likely to endorse symptoms of depression and report introjective, but not anaclitic, depressive experiences. With respect to attachment to God, introjective depressive experiences were positively related to both anxious and avoidant attachments, whereas, anaclitic depressive experiences were ...
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Influence of executive function on medication adherence in neurologically impaired and non-impaired elderly.

Influence of executive function on medication adherence in neurologically impaired and non-impaired elderly.

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Date: August 2006
Creator: Zartman, Andrea Leigh
Description: Medication non-compliance has become one of the most prevalent reasons for hospitalization and doctor's visits by the elderly. As the elderly population is more likely to have decreased cognitive abilities, it is suggested that neuropsychological factors, especially executive function, are more influential in medication non-compliance than once thought. This study looked at executive function performance on a traditional battery of neuropsychological tests, self-report of perceived ability to perform executive function tasks, and the newly developed Pillbox Test, a performance based IADL measure. The Pillbox Test is designed to replicate a type of medication-management specific IADL as a means to asses executive function. Standard executive function measures only tap a portion of executive function, but it is believed that the Pillbox Test incorporates all four theoretical domains of executive function. The multiple measures of executive function performance were compared in three prevalent subgroups of the elderly population (mixed neurological group, cardiac medical-control group, and healthy community-control group). Results found significant differences, where the community-control and cardiac groups outperformed the mixed neurological group on the large majority of executive function tasks. Smaller differences were also noted between the community-control and cardiac groups and between the cardiac and mixed neurological groups. Together, these ...
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An item response theory analysis of the Rey Osterrieth Complex Figure Task.

An item response theory analysis of the Rey Osterrieth Complex Figure Task.

Date: December 2008
Creator: Everitt, Alaina
Description: The Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Task (ROCFT) has been a standard in neuropsychological assessment for six decades. Many researchers have contributed administration procedures, additional scoring systems and normative data to improve its utility. Despite the abundance of research, the original 36-point scoring system still reigns among clinicians despite documented problems with ceiling and floor effects and poor discrimination between levels of impairment. This study is an attempt to provide a new method based upon item response theory that will allow clinicians to better describe the impairment levels of their patients. Through estimation of item characteristic curves, underlying traits can be estimated while taking into account varying levels of difficulty and discrimination within the set of individual items. The ultimate goal of the current research is identification of a subset of ROCFT items that can be examined in addition to total scores to provide an extra level of information for clinicians, particularly when they are faced with a need to discriminate severely and mildly impaired patients.
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Lean on Me: Social Support Compensation and Risk of Death in Older Adults with Type 2 Diabetes

Lean on Me: Social Support Compensation and Risk of Death in Older Adults with Type 2 Diabetes

Date: August 2014
Creator: Smith, Lauren M.
Description: Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) has an estimated incidence of nearly 11 million US adults aged 65 years and older. Evidence suggests that the quality of the marital relationship is an important factor for diabetes related health outcomes affecting self-management and adherence (Kiecolt-Glaser & Newton, 2001). However, an individual in need may compensate for primary support that is unavailable or not optimal by looking for other sources of support, which may be important for health outcomes (Rini, et al., 2008). The present study examined compensation for poor spousal support through other social relationships. A total of 12,640 participants reported they had diabetes and were married (Male = 6,317 and Female = 6,323), and of this group 1,084 men and 583 women had died over the course of the study period. Women reported lower spousal support, but significantly more aggregated social support across relationships than men. Few persons reported low spousal support and low support compensation, rendering the cell sizes highly unequal and the associated data uninterpretable. Ancillary analyses were conducted with the idea that some variance in total compensation support may moderate mortality risk finding that higher aggregated social support across non-spousal relationships was associated with lower risk of death accounting ...
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A Measure of Dependency in Patients with Chronic Illness: Clinical Ecology

A Measure of Dependency in Patients with Chronic Illness: Clinical Ecology

Date: December 1985
Creator: Jones, Frances McManemin
Description: This study briefly reviews both historical and recent conceptualizations of dependency. In particular, it focuses on this concept's applicability to patients with chronic illnesses, especially those with allergies. Type and degree of dependency were seen as an important factor in the approach to the medical and psychological treatment of clinical ecology patients. The purpose of the study was to develop an objective measure of dependency which could quickly identify patients whose dependency conflicts interfere with the treatment process. The study was divided into three phases. In the first phase test responses by 84 inpatients to the CAQ, MMPI, and the HAT as well as historical and demographic data were analyzed by a series of stepwise discriminant analysis. The 53 resulting items were examined for those which most concisely discriminated between the two identified groups (pathologically dependent and nonpathologically dependent). These 15 items were used to test 120 additional patients in phase II. Fourteen items were retained and the coefficients obtained classified the patients in phase I and II with a 98.81 percent and 94.17 percent degree of accuracy respectively. These classification coefficients were used to classify another 30 patients in phase III with a 96.67 percent rate of accuracy. These ...
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Mirthful Laughter and Directed Relaxation: a Comparison of Physiological Response

Mirthful Laughter and Directed Relaxation: a Comparison of Physiological Response

Date: August 1985
Creator: Woods, Barbara Jane Simmons
Description: The differences among certain physiological changes occurring in response to mirthful laughter, directed relaxation, and verbal speech were investigated. These changes included amount of muscle tension, as measured with surface electromyography, in the forehead and in the upper body as recorded from the forearms bilaterally, peripheral surface skin temperature, heart rate, and respiration rate. The study sought to determine whether the net effect of laughter, as measured on these five variables after a three-minute refractory period, is a more relaxed state than existed before the laughter. Determination of the similarity between the changes following laughter and the changes following directed relaxation was made in comparison with the changes following verbal speech. Factors of prior anxiety, pre- and post-self-esteem levels, humor level, and laughter intensity were examined. Historical and theoretical perspectives were reviewed, as well as the known information on physiological responses to laughter.
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