This study assessed the intrapersonal and interpersonal functioning of a three-couple expedition group that included a 2 1/2-year-old child which was ice-locked on a boat in the High Arctic during a major portion of the expedition. Personality assessment indicated that team members were generally well adjusted, scoring relatively higher on well-being and achievement and relatively lower on stress reactivity. Weekly mood ratings showed that the group exhibited significantly higher positive than negative affect. Reported negative events were relatively most frequent at the beginning of the Arctic stay and toward the end of the darkness period and were lowest during the initial darkness interval. The period of darkness had both a salutary and negative impact. A highly important means of coping with stress was seeking emotional support from one's partner. Selection of couples with strong bonds with their partner appears to be one viable approach for crew selection for long-duration missions.
This randomized controlled trial was designed to evaluate the 2-year costs and effects of a proactive, public health nursing case management approach compared with a self-directed approach for 129 single parents (98% were mothers) on social assistance in a Canadian setting. A total of 43% of these parents had a major depressive disorder and 38% had two or three other health conditions at baseline.
Study participants were recruited over a 12 month period and randomized into two groups: one receiving proactive public health nursing and one which did not.
At 2 years, 69 single parents with 123 children receiving proactive public health nursing (compared with 60 parents with 91 children who did not receive public health nursing services) showed a slightly greater reduction in dysthymia and slightly higher social adjustment. There was no difference between the public health and control groups in total per parent annual cost of health and support services. However, costs were averted due to a 12% difference in non-use of social assistance in the previous 12 months for parents in the public health nursing group. This translates into an annual cost saving of 240,000 dollars (Canadian) of costs averted within 1 year for every 100 parents.
In the context of a system of national health and social insurance, this study supports the fact that it is no more costly to proactively service this population of parents on social assistance.
OBJECTIVE: Few community studies have addressed the longitudinal course of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in traumatized refugees in early resettlement. This longitudinal study investigated changes from the first (T1) to the second interview (T2), 3 years later. The relationship between traumatic exposures and psychosocial factors/psychological symptom load were examined. METHOD: Local health professionals performed the interviews, using rating scales and a structured questionnaire. A total of 240 (52%) refugees attended. RESULTS: Unchanged Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 and increase in Harvard Trauma Questionnaire and post-traumatic stress symptoms-16 between T1 and T2 were found, indicating the severity and chronicity of problems. Mean post-traumatic stress score was 15% above cut-off. Severe life-threatening trauma and present life in exile with unemployment and unresolved family reunion were risk factors. CONCLUSION: Early diagnostic interview should be followed by targeted approach. Pinpointing those in need of specialist services is essential. An interdisciplinary approach is necessary in this work.
Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) is independently associated with an increased risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) can reduce mortality and morbidity, but low compliance rates are seen.
To explore and describe the experiences of CPAP-treatment in a young male patient with severe OSAS during a 6-month period from the couple's perspective. METHODS AND THE CASE: A single case study with a phenomenographic approach was employed. Diagnostic procedures of OSAS and initiation of treatment with Auto-CPAP, humidifier and a nasal mask were performed during 4 visits. Conceptions were collected at 4 different occasions during the 6-month period (before, and 2 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months after treatment initiation) by means of interviews with a 33-year old male patient and his female partner.
Totally 17 different structural aspects were found to fluctuate during the 6-month period in relation to; influence of stressors, social reactions and adaptation to increase compliance.
An increased knowledge about the influence of stressors, the social reactions, and the adaptation can help healthcare personnel to identify and better understand concerns of other patients and spouses during different time phases of the initial 6-month period of CPAP-treatment.
Associations between the sense of humor and survival in relation to specific diseases has so far never been studied.
We conducted a 15-year follow-up study of 53,556 participants in the population-based Nord-Trøndelag Health Study, Norway. Cognitive, social, and affective components of the sense of humor were obtained, and associations with all-cause mortality, mortality due to cardiovascular diseases (CVD), infections, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases were estimated by hazard ratios (HRs).
After multivariate adjustments, high scores on the cognitive component of the sense of humor were significantly associated with lower all-cause mortality in women (HR = 0.52, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.33-0.81), but not in men (HR = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.59-1.32). Mortality due to CVD was significantly lower in women with high scores on the cognitive component (HR = 0.27, 95% CI = 0.15-0.47), and so was mortality due to infections both in men (HR = 0.26, 95% CI = 0.09-0.74) and women (HR = 0.17, 95% CI = 0.04-0.76). The social and affective components of the sense of humor were not associated with mortality. In the total population, the positive association between the cognitive component of sense of humor and survival was present until the age of 85 years.
The cognitive component of the sense of humor is positively associated with survival from mortality related to CVD and infections in women and with infection-related mortality in men. The findings indicate that sense of humor is a health-protecting cognitive coping resource.
Swine flu (H1N1) reached pandemic proportions in 2009, yet ambivalence was met concerning intentions to be vaccinated. The present investigation determined predictors of perceived H1N1 contraction risk and vaccination intentions among Canadian adults (N = 1,027) responding to an online questionnaire. The relatively low rate of vaccination intent (30.12%, and 34.99% being unsure of their intent) was related to a sense of invulnerability regarding illness contraction and symptom severity. Most individuals were skeptical that H1N1 would be widespread, believing that less than 10% of the population would contract H1N1. Yet, they also indicated that their attitudes would change once a single person they knew contracted the illness. Also, worry regarding H1N1 was related to self-contraction risk and odds of individuals seeking vaccination. Moreover, vaccination intent was related to the perception that the threat was not particularly great, mistrust of the media to provide accurate information regarding H1N1, and whether individuals endorsed problem-focused versus avoidant coping strategies. Given the role media plays in public perceptions related to a health crisis, trust in this outlet and credibility regarding the threat are necessary for adherence to recommended measures to minimize health risk.
It has become clear that nursing is a high-risk occupation with regards to stress-related diseases. In this study, we were interested in nurses' experiences of stress and the emotions arising from stress at work. Results showed that nurses experienced negative stress which was apparently related to the social environment in which they worked. Four nurses were interviewed. The method used was grounded theory. Analysis of the interviews singled out absence of response as the core category. Recurring stressful situations obviously caused problems for the nurses in their daily work. Not only did they lack responses from their supervisors, they also experienced emotions of frustration, powerlessness, hopelessness and inadequacy, which increased the general stress experienced at work. Our conclusion is that the experience of absence of response leads to negative stress in nurses.
Although drinking patterns in women have received increased attention, few studies have focused on middle-aged women. Drinking patterns were investigated in a population sample of 513 Swedish women aged 50-59, and analysed in relation to social situation, and mental and physical health. The chi-square test was used to analyse differences in proportions. Variables showing significant differences were entered into a multivariate or multinomial logistic regression model. Abstainers and occasional drinkers had lower levels of education and more often regular medical control compared with weekly drinkers. Furthermore, abstainers more often had disability pension. Among women drinking alcohol, 56.6% affirmed binge drinking within the last year and 39.4% within the last month. Binge drinkers did not differ in terms of social situation, mental or physical health, compared with other drinkers. Drinking to relieve tension was affirmed by 7.2%. These women had more mental symptoms and less contact with friends compared with other drinkers; furthermore, they were more often binge drinkers. Binge drinking was common and health and social consequences of this drinking pattern in middle-aged women need to be further explored. Women drinking to relieve tension may need intervention for both drinking habits and mental health.
In a population-based study 219 family members of cognitively impaired elderly (casegroup) and 255 family members of cognitively healthy elderly (control-group) were interviewed about their situation as a caregiver to an old person. Twenty-six family members in the case-group reported abusive behavior in the care of the elderly at home. These family members are compared with 154 family members in the control-group, reporting other coping strategies than abusive. In the abusive group most of the elderly were in a mild stage of dementia, and the family members reported more strain in the care situation. The family members were older, judged their health as deteriorated, and were mostly living together with the dependent elderly.