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The Role of Spirituality in Ethnic Minority Patients with COPD

Description: COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States and is the sixth leading cause of death for low-to middle income countries (Downs & Appel, 2006; GOLD, 2011). COPD is a largely preventable disease due to the lifestyle factors that heavily contribute to disease onset and severity. Although traditionally COPD research has focused on health outcomes related to risk factors, compliance, comorbid psychological and physical conditions, and treatment interventions, a growing body of research suggests religious and spiritual factors may play an equally important role in health outcomes for several medical conditions, including pulmonary disease. However, studies of this kind have not specifically examined COPD nor have they examined the role of religious and spiritual beliefs in COPD management among ethnic minority patients. As such, the current study aimed to examine whether spiritual ethnic minority patients with COPD hold religious fatalistic attitudes and less active religious problem solving . A sample of 35 ethnic minority patients from the Louis. B. Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center (LSCVAMC) Outpatient Pulmonary Clinic in Cleveland, OH. were recruited to participate in the study. Due to the acknowledgeable limitations of the present study, results are preliminary but convey associations between religious health fatalistic beliefs and religious problem solving approaches. Implications and areas of future study are discussed.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Bell, Keisha

Quantitative EEG Analysis of Individuals with Chronic Pain

Description: Recent advances in neuroimaging and electromagnetic measurement technology have permitted the exploration of structural and functional brain alterations associated with chronic pain. A number of cortical and subcortical brain regions have been found to be involved in the experience of chronic pain (Baliki et al., 2008; Jensen et al., 2010). Evidence suggests that living with chronic pain shapes the brain from both an architectural and a functional perspective, and that individuals living with chronic pain display altered brainwave activity even at rest. Quantitative EEG (qEEG) is a method of spectral analysis that utilizes a fast Fourier transform algorithm to convert analog EEG signals into digital signals, allowing for precise quantification and analysis of signals both at single electrode locations and across the scalp as a whole. An important advance that has been permitted by qEEG analysis is the development of lifespan normative databases against which individual qEEGs can be compared (Kaiser, 2006; Thatcher et al, 2000). Pilot data utilizing qEEG to examine brainwave patterns of individuals with chronic pain have revealed altered EEG activity at rest compared to age- and gender-matched healthy individuals (Burroughs, 2011). The current investigation extended the findings of the pilot study by utilizing qEEG to examine a larger sample of individuals with chronic pain. Individuals with chronic pain displayed significantly reduced slow wave activity in frontal, central, and temporal regions. Findings will be presented in terms of specific patterns of altered EEG activity seen in individuals with chronic pain.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Burroughs, Ramona D.

Behavior Patterns among Children with a History of Metopic Synostosis

Description: Metopic synostosis is a condition in which the metopic suture of the human cranium fuses prematurely and may be related to poor behavioral inhibition leading to behaviors commonly associated with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The purpose of this project was to examine the behavior patterns among children with a history of metopic synostosis. It was hypothesized that children with a history of metopic synostosis would exhibit many of the same behavioral patterns associated with ADHD. It was also hypothesized that children with a history of simple synostosis not involving the metopic suture would not evidence this type of behavioral pattern. In order to test these hypotheses, the behavior of three groups of children was compared including (1) children who had a history of metopic synostosis (M= 7.63 years, SD = 1.92 years), (2) children who had a history of simple craniosynostosis not involving the metopic suture (M= 7.54 years, SD = 1.88 years), and (3) a group of children diagnosed with ADHD (M=7.78 year, SD = 1.87 years). It was found using the Home and School versions of the Attention Deficit Disorders Evaluation Scale (ADDES) that children with a history of metopic synostosis demonstrate significantly more behavioral disturbances than children with a history of simple craniosynostosis not involving the metopic suture. Using the BASC Teacher Rating Form it was found that children with a history of metopic synostosis have a behavior pattern similar to children diagnosed with ADHD and a dissimilar behavior pattern compared to children who have a history of craniosynostosis not involving the metopic suture. Using the BASC Parent Rating Form it was found that children with a history of metopic synostosis have a behavior pattern dissimilar to children diagnosed with ADHD and a dissimilar behavior pattern compared to children who have a history of craniosynostosis not involving ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Kuper, Bradley D.

Women Receiving Genetic Counseling for Breast Cancer Risk: Cancer Worry, Psychological Distress, and Risk Recall Accuracy

Description: This follows an earlier study of the same data set, which, through its findings, presented new questions that are investigated in this study. Both studies used a prospective controlled design, wherein women receiving genetic counseling for breast cancer risk were randomized into two groups. Subjects receiving an audiotaped recording of their genetic consultation (tape group) were compared to subjects who also had a genetic consultation but did not receive an audiotaped recording of it (no-tape group). Participants were drawn from attendees at the genetic clinics of two London hospitals and included 115 women with a family history of breast cancer. Cancer worry and psychological distress were assessed before genetic consultation (baseline), and at one- and six-month follow-ups by post. Objective risk was estimated by the geneticist during the consultation, and subjective risk was assessed at one month follow-up. The goals of the current study were to investigate relationships between cancer worry, psychological distress, and recall of genetic risk for breast cancer in a sample of women receiving genetic counseling for breast cancer risk, and to investigate the role sociodemographic variables on cancer worry, psychological distress, or risk recall for these women. Results for this sample of women with a family history of breast cancer found that there were consistent relationships between cancer worry, psychological distress, objective risk, and subjective risk before and after genetic consultation. This suggests that women=s psychological responses are appropriate to their level of cancer risk. There were no differences found between the tape and no-tape groups for objective or subjective risk, or for nearness of recall accuracy or degree of under-/over-estimation. Provision of an audiotaped recording of the genetic consultation did not appear to enhance recall of risk information. The role of sociodemographic variables on the psychological and risk variables assessed in this study was very ...
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Date: May 1999
Creator: Wade Walsh, Margo

Partial Reinforcement in Frontalis Electromyographic Training

Description: This study investigated the role of reinforcement schedule and instructional set in frontalis EMG training. The experiment consisted of four groups participating in 30 minute sessions on three consecutive days. Group conditions were intermittent feedback (alternating 100 second trials), continuous feedback, motivated control and no-treatment control. Excepting the no-treatment controls, each subject was instructed that extra credit points were available contingent on the number of seconds in criterion. An individual criterion based on each subject's initial baseline microvolt level was utilized.
Date: December 1983
Creator: Capriotti, Richard

The relationship between racial discrimination induced anger and smoking among Black adolescents.

Description: This study explored whether a relationship exists between smoking behaviors and racial discrimination induced anger among Black adolescents. Participants consisted of 134 Black adolescents from 14 to 18 years of age who frequently visited a recreation center in the Northeast. Forty-four participants were males and 90 were females. All participants were administered a modified version of the CAGE questionnaire, a background information questionnaire, and a measure designed to assess the extent to which they feel angry because they had been discriminated against. Only age was found to be predictive of scores on the CAGE. Only gender was found to be predictive of smoking frequency. The Black Anger Measure (BAM) was significantly correlated with smoking behaviors. Some implications for theory, research and practice are suggested.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Miller, Aletha Rena

Cognitive Dysfunction in Middle-Aged Adults vs. Older Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Description: The presence of cognitive deficits in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is well-documented. Specifically, short- and long-term memory, attention/vigilance, and executive function (e.g. processing speed, mental flexibility, and problem solving) are affected. Cognitive deficits in aging occur in similar areas (i.e., memory and processing speed). Given that a greater percentage of older adults experience sleep-disordered breathing as compared to middle-aged adults, it is possible that OSA may account for some of the deficits typically attributed to aging. This study investigated this hypothesis by comparing middle-aged and older adults with and without OSA on computer-based measures of cognitive performance. No effect of OSA or an interaction between OSA and age on cognitive function was found; an effect of age on processing speed, distinguishing stimuli rapidly, attention, spatial ability/mental flexibility, and both working memory and short-term visual memory was found. This study also explored whether or not cognitive function may be improved in persons with OSA by re-assessing those participants one month after treatment. An effect of treatment on improvements on processing speed, distinguishing stimuli rapidly, mental flexibility, and short term memory was found. Overall, findings reflect the ability of treatment to improve cognitive function among OSA patients, regardless of lack of deficits when compared to those without OSA.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Dolan, Diana C.

Psychological Stress Reactivity and Recovery: The Role of Cognitive Appraisals, Ethnicity and Sex

Description: The aim of this research was to investigate the role of sex, ethnicity and cognitive appraisals, separately and in combination, on the physiological stress response. One hundred and eight undergraduate students from two North Texas universities participated in the study. They were subjected to a laboratory stressor and heart rate, peripheral temperature and cortisol levels were measured pre-, during-, and post- stressor. Perceived stress and cognitive appraisals were measured via self-report. Multivariate analysis of variance tests were conducted to analyze the main and interaction effects during baseline, reactivity and post-stress recovery. Results indicated some significant main effects for sex and ethnicity but no consistent pattern of results or interactions among variables were revealed. The study's implications and areas of future research are discussed.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Malhotra, Damini

Evaluation of skill maintenance, performance factors, and external validity in a behavioral parent training program.

Description: Child maltreatment affects 900 thousand children in the U.S. every year and impacts all areas of daily functioning. Behavioral parent training (BPT) programs have effectively taught parenting and demonstrated externally valid outcomes (i.e., lower recidivism rates). Skill maintenance assessments for BPTs have mixed results. The Behavior Management and Parenting Services (BMAPS) program has shown effective skill training for court-mandated families. This study assessed skill maintenance and performance factors that may have impaired parents using an ABAB single-case research design in Phase 1 & external validity with a survey in Phase 2. Results for Phase 1 found that most BMAPS parents acquired all parenting tools to criteria, dropped below criteria at the 3 month probe, then fully demonstrated their regained skills after a brief review. Psychological and classroom factors do not appear to have systematically influenced performance at any time, although homework completion was associated with better scores at the end of class. Phase 2 results found a 91% reunification rate and a 0% recidivism rate over 1-3 years. All limitations aside, it appears that the BMAPS program is able to effectively train skills to criteria and these skills can be sustained with a booster session. The vast majority of parents we contacted were reunified with their children and none were involved with additional charges of child maltreatment.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Scherbarth, Andrew J.

Female Orgasm From Intercourse: Importance, Partner Characteristics, and Health

Description: Previous research indicates that women prefer orgasms triggered by penile-vaginal intercourse (PVI) as compared to those triggered by direct manual stimulation of the clitoris. However, for reasons that are not well understood, most women are unable to reach PVI orgasms as often as they desire. In addition, it is unclear why many women prefer PVI orgasms to those triggered by direct clitoral stimulation. This study developed a more precise measure of PVI orgasm frequency and evaluated key predictors of this frequency, including duration of intercourse, physical and psychological health, and partner traits with implications for either mating quality or relationship quality. The present study also measured PVI orgasm importance and investigated why it is important for many women. The sample consisted of 835 adult women with experience in PVI. Mean PVI orgasm frequency was 50%, with 39.4% of women never or rarely having PVI orgasms, 37.1% sometimes having PVI orgasms, and 23.5% almost always or always having PVI orgasms. As a median response, women believed that PVI orgasm was “very important” and perceived importance was correlated with orgasm frequency (r = .31, p < .001), as were reasons for importance. Duration of intercourse showed a linear relationship with PVI orgasm frequency, but this finding was qualified for women at the low and high extremes of the orgasm frequency distribution. Body esteem, anxiety during intercourse, exercise, and general pain predicted PVI orgasm frequency. Sensitive male traits, although valued by women even more highly than alpha male traits, showed notably weaker relationships with PVI orgasm than did male alpha traits. This is consistent with evolutionary theories of orgasm, and it supports the view that the female orgasm may function to favor some males over others in terms of sire choice. Clinical and theoretical implications of the present findings are discussed.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Powers, Catherine R.

Predictors of Hiv-related Neurocognitive Impairment in an Hiv/aids Population

Description: Although, in the United States HIV infectivity has increased, survival rates have also improved due to highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART). Adherence to HAART successfully prevents the progression of AIDS and AIDS-related morbidity for many living with HIV. Unfortunately, HAART’s permeability into the central nervous system (CNS) is limited; thus, the prevalence of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) still persists. The health belief model (HBM) is the theory often used to explain and predict behavior in relation to chronic illness. This model incorporates perceptions of susceptibility, vulnerability, and severity towards a particular illness, and beliefs regarding perceived efficacy and benefits of treatment. This study expands the existing model. Many who live with HIV have a long history of negative experiences, such as stigmatization, traumatic events, and discrimination. I examined supplementary psychosocial and physiological predictor variables, such as stigma, trauma, ethnicity, general medical conditions, HIV-opportunistic infections, and falls; all relevant to disease progression in HIV. Previous researchers found links between stigma and immune function, trauma and memory, ethnicity and neuropsychological impairment, and symptom load and CNS-related alterations. Therefore, this study examined how these different psychosocial predictor variables are associated with HIV-related neurocognitive impairment. My model explained 38.6% of the variance in the outcome variable, and I found that trauma (B = -.15, OR = .87; CI 95% = .75, 1.0, p = .05), ethnicity (B = 2.2, OR = 9.0, CI 95% = 1.68, 48.48, p =.01), general medical conditions (B = .30, OR = 1.34; CI 95% = 1.0, 1.81, p = .05), and falls (B = 2.0, OR = 7.2; CI 95% = 1.1, 47.0, p = .04), were all significant predictors of HIV-related neurocognitive impairment. However, contrary to my hypothesis, HIV-related opportunistic infections and HIV-related stigma were not significant predictors of HIV-related neurocognitive impairment. I hope that my results ...
Date: August 2012
Creator: Steinberg, Tara, C.

Use of the Beck Depression Inventory in Northern Brazil

Description: The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is a popular screening and research instrument for measuring severity of depression. The instrument was translated to Portuguese for use in Brazil in 1979; however, it was not until recently that its psychometric properties have been tested empirically for the Brazilian population. The purpose of the present study was to explore the BDI's psychometric properties in a northern region of Brazil and to test for possible relationships between certain demographic variables and BDI outcomes. Samples used in this study were from an urban area in Roraima, the northernmost state of Brazil. The BDI showed adequate levels of internal consistency in nonclinical and clinical samples. Female respondents had significantly higher scores than male respondents. Those who had lower levels of education, income, or occupational status had significantly higher scores than those with higher levels of these variables. Adolescents had significantly higher scores than adults from all age groups except those from age 19 to 22. No significant difference was found between those who identified themselves as “indigenous” and those who identified themselves as “non-indigenous.” Regression analysis results showed that the combination of gender, education, and age best accounted for the variance in BDI scores. An ANCOVA revealed that clinically depressed adults had significantly higher BDI scores than nonclinically depressed adults. Factor analysis results showed that there were two main factors in the item structure for both female respondents and male and female respondents combined: one factor of mainly cognitive-affective items and the other factor of mainly somatic items. The results were discussed in terms of the future use of the BDI in Brazil.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Albert, Christopher

Anxiety, Depression, and Sleep Disorders: Their Relationship and Reduction with Neurotherapy

Description: This study investigated the relationship among anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances and the treatment of these three disorders through neurotherapy. Research suggests that these conditions commonly co-occur in the general population and that central nervous system (CNS) arousal may play a primary role in the development and maintenance of these disorders. Several recent studies suggested that neurotherapy, a biofeedback-based treatment for CNS dysregulation, might be an effective treatment for comorbid conditions, particularly the ones of interest here, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. This investigation used a clinical case-series design to assess pre/post neurotherapy changes on objective measures of anxiety, depression, and sleep and to determine whether changes in anxiety and depression then predict improvements in sleep quality. Data for 23 participants (10 males) were obtained from files of adults (Mage = 40.22 years, SD = 16.20) who received at least 15 neurotherapy sessions (M = 47.83 sessions, SD = 22.23) the University of North Texas Neurotherapy Lab. Matched pair t-tests revealed that symptoms of sleep disturbance, depression, and anxiety showed significant improvements following neurotherapy. Neurotherapy treatment effect sizes generally ranged from moderate to large (d = .414 - .849). Multiple regression analysis found that changes in self-reported anxiety symptoms, but not depressive symptoms, predicted observed improvements in sleep quality (adjusted R2 = .26). Last, the implications and limitations were discussed in relation to neurotherapy practice and the associated research.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Fisher, Christopher, Alan

The Cross-Validation of AD/HD Instruments and the Relationship to Neurocognitive and Behavioral Measures

Description: The purpose of this study was twofold: to determine the construct validities of comparable AD/HD instruments that were developed according to our current, DSM-IV classification system for AD/HD; and to identify potential +neurocognitive and socioemotional markers for AD/HD. The sample consisted of 145 children ages 8 to 11 years of age who were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), or Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). Children were administered a battery of neurocognitive tests and completed a self-report measure of personality. Parents completed several, AD/HD instruments pertaining to their children. The AD/HD instruments used in this study were the Attention Deficit Disorder Evaluation Scale-Home Version (ADDES), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Test (ADHDT), and the Attention Problems and Hyperactivity scales from the BASC-Monitor (BASC-M). Of interest was how each AD/HD instrument compared to the DSM-IV, particularly in terms of the cross-consistency of AD/HD subtype classifications. The findings showed that the AD/HD instruments classified participants differently from the initial, DSM-IV entry diagnosis. Rates of agreement were better for some of the AD/HD instruments than for others yet there was little overall consistency. The neurocognitive measures used in the study were the Cognitive Assessment System-Basic Battery scales. The socioemotional measures used in the study were two parent-report scales from the BASC-M (Internalizing Problems and Adaptive Skills), and the child report scales from the BASC-Self Report of Personality. Results showed that the neurocognitive measures were relatively insensitive to AD/HD symptomatology while a nearly opposite trend was observed on the socioemotional measures. For the most part, participants classified as the ADHD-Combined Type (ADHD-CT), (regardless of which AD/HD instrument was used) had the most significant impairment in areas of social functioning and emotional symptoms across parent and self-reports.
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Date: August 2002
Creator: Hudson, Christine V.

The Effect of Web-Based Support as an Adjunct to a Self-Help Smoking Cessation Program

Description: For the past quarter century, the public has been educated and warned about the dangers of smoking, and both smokers and health researchers have been in search of cost-effective, smoking cessation programs that will lead to long-term cessation. This study used a randomized experimental design to investigate the effectiveness of adding Web-based support materials to a nationally sponsored self-help smoking intervention. There was no significant increase in abstinence rates nor progression through the stages of change by those participants who had access to the Web site. However, there were some overall significant trends that suggested these self-help interventions were successful at decreasing daily rates of smoking and nicotine dependency, as well as tended to encourage repeated quit attempts. Although Web-based supports did not appear to increase the effectiveness of the nationally sponsored self-help intervention, this study demonstrated overall 12 week follow-up abstinence rates of 30-32%--greater than what might be expected, given average success rates of other self-help interventions. This study also supports the notion that women may face additional barriers to smoking cessation. Limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
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Date: August 2002
Creator: Johs-Artisensi, Jennifer Lynn

Development of a Differential Neurocognitive Profile for Alzheimer’s Dementia and Vascular Dementia

Description: Alzheimer’s Dementia (AD) is among the most common diseases in the Geriatric population, and its prevalence is expected to quadruple by 2047.Vascular Dementia (VaD) is the second most frequent cause of dementia, with studies indicating VaD accounts for 10-20% of dementia cases across the globe. A diagnostic model differentiating AD and VaD would be clinically and scientifically valuable, considering the treatment approaches for these conditions are different. Although there are differences between AD and VaD on their neuropsychological profiles, a diagnostic model that successfully differentiates AD and VaD on neuropsychological testing has not been developed, despite previous attempts. Our study addresses this gap in the literature by examining two diagnostic models used to predict the conversion of AD from mild cognitive impairment, and a third model was proposed to differentiate AD from VaD. We conducted ROC Analyses using the variables LM II Standard Score, Animals Total, and CDRS Sum based on a previous diagnostic model. The sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of mild VaD were calculated for all possible scores of each test measure. The Animals Total cutoff score of 7 achieved excellent sensitivity and specificity, receiving 96% and 92%, respectively. In this sample, patients who could name at least seven animals under 60 seconds were highly likely to be diagnosed with VaD. LM II Scaled Score also achieved statistical significance (p <0.001) and a cutoff score of 4 received 96% sensitivity and 77% specificity. Patients who achieved an LM II Scaled Score of 4 or higher were highly likely to be diagnosed with VaD.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Hill, Jonathan

Treatment Outcomes Related to EEG-Biofeedback for Chemical Dependency: Changes in MMPI-2™ (University of Minnesota) Personality Measures and Long Term Abstinence Rates

Description: Peniston and Kulkosky (1989, 1990) demonstrated the effectiveness of alpha-theta EEG-Biofeedback (EEG-BFB) in treating inpatient alcoholics noting significant improvements in depression, psychopathology, serum β-endorphin levels, and abstinence rates. The present study is an extension of a previously unpublished replication of the Peniston EEG-BFB protocol with 20 chemically dependent outpatients (Bodenhamer-Davis, Callaway, & DeBeus, 2002). Fifteen subjects were "high risk for re-arrest" probationers. Data for the EEG-BFB group was collected from archival records. Subjects completed an average of 39 sessions (SD = 6.096), with 33 of those being EEG-BFB. Pre/post-treatment MMPI-2s™ (University of Minnesota) were collected and follow-up (4-11 years) data obtained (abstinence rates, re-arrests in some cases). Treatment effects were evaluated by comparing assessment data (pre/post) and documenting abstinence rates. Post-treatment MMPI-2 results were within normal limits, with several scales significantly reduced from baseline suggesting less psychopathology. Results were then compared to 20 subjects receiving standard addiction treatment (OT-CD group), but not EEG-BFB. OT-CD subjects completed a 2-week inpatient program followed by 18 outpatient sessions. Pre/post assessment and follow-up data was collected on the OT-CD group. The OT-CD group's post-assessment results showed three elevations (MMPI-2 scales 4/6/8), suggestive of characteriological problems. Post-MMPI-2 results of the two groups were compared via ANCOVAs. Findings indicated no significant differences between groups on targeted scales; however, there was a trend for the EEG-BFB group to have lower scores. Follow-up data was obtained on 13 EEG-BFB subjects. Results indicated 92% (n = 12) were sober, with 8% (n = 1) claiming significantly reduced alcohol intake. Probationer re-arrest and revocation rates were collected on the subset of probationers (n = 14 out of 15). The majority of the probationers (79%, n = 11) had not been re-arrested nor had their probation been revoked. Short-term follow-up information (35-131 days post-assessment), available at the time of writing, for ...
Date: May 2005
Creator: Callaway, Tonya Gayle

Personality Factors and Trust in Placebo Medical Trials

Description: Prior research has reported that individual differences influence both placebo and nocebo responses. The present study examined how individual personality, as well as trust, influence placebo/nocebo belief and symptom reporting after receiving an inert capsule that for some was described as an active “cognitively-enhancing” trial medication. Individuals (N = 104) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: condition A participants were told they’d received the medication, condition B participants were told they’d received a placebo, and condition C participants were told, via random assignment, each would receive either the medication or placebo (after the experiment this condition listed the group – medication or placebo - each believed s/he was in). The study was completed in the UNT Student Health and Wellness Center to provide context in a medical setting. Of the 104 participants, 46 (44.2%) were either placed by experimental design or self-report in the medication group. Participants with a belief in medication ingestion, regardless of condition (i.e., A or C), reported significantly more symptoms (M = 16.65, SD = 3.178), than participants who believed they had ingested a placebo (M = 14.21, SD = 2.58), t (102) = 4.32, p = .001. Aspects of Neuroticism and Extroversion, as well as trust were correlated with symptom reporting and/or placebo/nocebo responses. It appears that that personality is part of a combination including trust, context and expectations. It is recommended that future research on personality and placebo effects consider the role of individual factors, context and communication of expectations.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Baker, Brandon Wade Roger

Treatment Effects Related to EEG-Biofeedback for Crack Cocaine Dependency: Changes in Personality and Attentional Variables

Description: EEG biofeedback (neurotherapy) has been demonstrated as effective in the treatment of alcoholism, as evidenced by Peniston and Kulkosky's research efforts. These neurotherapy pioneers evaluated the efficacy of alpha-theta brain wave biofeedback as a treatment for chronic alcohol abuse, citing 80% abstinence rates as measured by improvements in psychopathology, serum beta endorphin levels, and long-term alcohol abstinence. Most research with alpha-theta EEG biofeedback has addressed alcohol addiction. Cocaine is now considered to be the most common drug problem of patients entering treatment for drug abuse. To date, only one controlled study has been published that researched alpha-theta neurofeedback in the treatment of "crack" cocaine addiction. The present study was an extension of a 4-year EEG-biofeedback treatment outcome project underway at a faith-based homeless mission in Houston, Texas, with male "crack" cocaine addicts. Changes in personality, attention, and impulsivity were measured following 30 sessions of a non-individualized EEG -biofeedback protocol. Experimental subjects received a variant of the Peniston-Kulkosky alpha-theta protocol for 30 sessions while controls received all elements of the experimental protocol except the EEG biofeedback. Assessment measures included the MMPI-2 and the IVA. Although experimental subjects showed greater mean improvement on most MMPI basic scales and all IVA Attention related measures, results indicated no significant differences between control and experimental groups. The present study did not result in significant differences between control and experimental groups on attentional or personality variables in crack cocaine addicts. Implications and limitations of the study are discussed.
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Date: August 2005
Creator: Burkett, Virginia Shannon

Differences in Perceptual-motor Functioning Between Blind and Sighted Adults: a Neuropsychological Perspective.

Description: The purpose of the study was to explore perceptual-motor differences between blind and sighted adults from a neuropsychological perspective, and to analyze differences within the blind group. Perceptual-motor abilities were examined using the Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation System (CVES), a vocational rehabilitation and neuropsychological battery designed for use with blind populations. The data were processed using Analysis of Covariance. Results showed that sighted persons had better motor abilities, while persons with blindness were more skilled at haptic identification of shape and texture. Analysis within the blind group showed that texture identification skills are better when blindness occurs earlier in life and to the extent that the blindness is total. Later onset blindness and the retention of some functional vision may not lead to a refocusing of attentional states necessary to develop haptic images. New neural connections may develop in persons with congenital/total blindness, a hypothesis in line with recent neuroradiological findings that occipital lobe activation occurs when congenitally blind individuals engage in tactile processing tasks. One implication of the findings is that teaching individuals who retain some functional vision to read Braille is probably counterproductive. These individuals would be better served by learning to use a CCTV and large print books. Future researchers should examine blindness from a multivariate perspective, examining subsets of blind groups based on age at onset, visual status, and other pertinent variables. Other implications are discussed and recommendations for future research are provided.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Joyce, Arthur

Treatment efficacy in a chronic pain population: Pre- to post-treatment.

Description: The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effects of a multidisciplinary pain management program on five measures of subjective psychosocial factors. Ninety-five participants in the comprehensive multidisciplinary treatment group and the standard medical intervention control group were surveyed about various psychosocial factors using Axis II of the West Haven - Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory (MPI), pre- to post-treatment. It was hypothesized that post-treatment levels would be significantly lower than pre-treatment levels for all five psychosocial variables. Additionally, gender and ethnicity variables were examined. Based on preliminary analyses indicating pre-treatment differences between the experimental and control group, five 2 x 2 x 3 analyses of covariances (ANCOVAs) were used to examine the above hypotheses. Results indicated significant differences between the treatment conditions on measures of control, with the comprehensive group feeling more in control than the standard group at post-treatment. No other significant main effects for treatment condition were found on the measures of pain severity, interference with daily activities, negative mood, or social support. However, a significant gender main effect was found for social support at post-treatment, with females reporting more social support than males. A significant gender x ethnicity interaction was also found for post-treatment control, with African-American females exhibiting higher levels of control than the other groups. Finally, a significant gender x treatment condition was found for negative mood, with males in the comprehensive group reporting more affective distress than those in the standard group. In this study, control appeared to be an integral factor in the chronic pain sample and greatly improved with comprehensive multidisciplinary treatment; while other areas of relative efficacy were not confirmed in this population.
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Date: December 2004
Creator: Bernstein, Dana N.

The Effects of Perceived Locus of Control and Dispositional Optimism on Chronic Pain Treatment Outcomes.

Description: The financial cost for health care and lost productivity due to chronic pain has been estimated at over $70 billion per year. Researchers have attempted to discover the psychosocial and personality factors that discriminate between people who learn to cope well with chronic pain and those who have difficulty adjusting. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of perceived locus of control and dispositional optimism on chronic pain treatment outcomes. Subjects reported significantly lower post-treatment pain levels as compared with pre-treatment levels (M = 0.66, SD = 1.58), t(45) = 2.85, p = .007 (two-tailed), but decreased pain was not associated with scores on the internality dimension of the Pain Locus of Control Scale (PLOC) or on the Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R) (a measure of dispositional optimism). Overall, participants' increased coping ability was associated with scores on the LOT-R, but not with scores on the internality dimension of the PLOC. Subjects with the lowest pre-treatment scores on the LOT-R demonstrated significantly greater increases in post-treatment coping ability than those with the highest scores (F(2,40) = 3.93, p < .03). Participants with the highest pre-treatment scores on both the PLOC internality dimension and the LOT-R demonstrated greater post-treatment coping ability (F(2,32) = 4.65, p < .02), but not less post-treatment pain than other subjects. Participants' post-treatment LOT-R scores were significantly higher than their pre-treatment scores (M = 2.09, SD = 3.96), t(46) = 3.61, p = .001 (two-tailed), but post-treatment PLOC internality scores were not significantly higher than pre-treatment scores. Implications of these results are discussed.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Worsham, Scott L.

A Culturally Sensitive Intervention in Pain Management Settings: Use of Dichos in Multi-Ethnic Pain Groups.

Description: The present study explored whether use of Spanish language sayings, or dichos, improved group climate within multi-ethnic chronic pain groups. Use of this form of figurative language fits within psychological theory identifying use of metaphor as a means of promoting change and creating new meaning. Further, metaphor use is consistent with the broader aims of experiential therapy. Group climate was measured by group members' self reports using the Group Climate Questionnaire-Short Form. A pilot study involving Latino Americans in medical and non-medical contexts aided in categorizing dichos as high versus low-relevance. It was anticipated that clients would rate high-relevance sessions as involving greater engagement, and less conflict and avoidance than low-relevance groups. Participants were recruited from four multidisciplinary pain management clinics offering similar programs. Once every four to six weeks, group leaders were provided with a list of either high or low-relevance dichos, and were blind to the existence of dichos categories. Three hierarchical regression analyses were employed to determine whether dichos relevance, characterized as low, mixed or highly relevant, contributed to variance in group conflict, avoidance and engagement. Dichos familiarity was the last variable entered into the regression equation, with gender, ethnicity and acculturation score entered in sequential fashion. Consistent with predictions, low-relevance groups yielded higher conflict scores than all groups combined. Also, high-relevance groups predicted lower avoidance when compared to all groups. In contrast to hypotheses, high-relevance groups predicted lower ratings of group engagement when compared to all groups. Post-hoc analysis indicated the mixed-relevance groups yielded significantly higher engagement scores than the low and high-relevance groups. Implications of these findings are discussed in relation to impact on approaches to group therapy with Latino American clients, and within the chronic pain population. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are offered.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Riley, Celeste Arden

The theory of planned behavior and adherence to a multidisciplinary treatment program for chronic pain.

Description: The primary objective of this study was to examine the association between the theory of planned behavior (TBP) and adherence to a multidisciplinary pain center (MPC) treatment program for chronic pain. While the results of several studies have provided support for the efficacy of MPC treatment in chronic pain, the problems of adherence and attrition are important. TPB is a cognitive/social model of behavior that has been used to predict a variety of behaviors, although it has never been used to predict adherence to a multidisciplinary chronic pain treatment program. It was predicted that Adherence would be predicted by Intentions and that Intentions would be predicted by 1) Perceived Social Norms, 2) Perceived Behavioral Control, 3) Attitudes Toward New Behavior (completing the treatment program), and 4) Attitude Toward Current Behavior (maintaining current treatment and coping strategies). It was found that the total Intentions scores did not predict the total Adherence scores. However, Intentions was predicted by 1) Perceived Behavioral Control, 2) Attitudes Toward New Behavior (completing the treatment program), and 3) Attitude Toward Current Behavior (maintaining current treatment and coping strategies). The finding that Perceived Social Norms did not predict Intentions was consistent with results of previous studies with the TBP. The secondary objective was to examine the extent to which MPC treatment affects patients' attitudes towards behaviors that are associated with successful pain management. The majority of the patients (82%) developed a more favorable attitude toward the program and their average report of the importance of the program was 6.78 on a 10-point scale. The majority of patients (74%) reported experiencing a greater decrease in pain than expected, and the average amount of pain decrease was 5.39 on a 10-point scale.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Rogers, Randall E.