The purpose of the study was to describe the sense of coherence (SOC) of three groups of Finnish polytechnic students (n=287) at the beginning of their studies and to follow it during a period of 3 year amongst the health care students (n=63) of this group. The associations between SOC and smoking, drinking and physical exercise were also studied. The data were collected with a questionnaire which included Antonovsky's (Adv. Nurs. Sci. 1(1983)37) SOC scale. Data analysis was with SPSS statistical software. The students showed a strong sense of coherence at the beginning of their studies. Physical activity was related to the strength of SOC, but no association was found with smoking and drinking. Health care students showed a stronger SOC at the beginning of their studies than the two other groups. During the follow-up focused on the health care students, SOC weakened in 6%, remained unchanged in 65% and strengthened in 32% of the participants. Smoking, drinking and physical exercise showed no association with these changes. Future research should be focused on identifying factors that are related to SOC during education.
Primary school teachers in Québec suffer psychological distress, as shown by the Québec Health Survey (M. Gervais, 1993; Santè Québec, 1995). The authors applied and extended the French model (F. Guérin, A. Laville, F. Daniellou, J. Duraffourg, & A. Kerguelen, 1991) of analysis of work activity to observing classroom teaching (14 women in 10 classrooms for a total of 48 hr 24 min) to identify stressful elements. The authors observed a rapid sequence of actions, eye fixations of short duration, little physical or mental relaxation, multiple simultaneous activities, and uncomfortable temperature and humidity levels. Teachers use many strategies to teach, to create a learning environment, and to maintain attention in classrooms under adverse conditions. Examination of these strategies led to recommendations to improve relations between the teachers and their supervisors and to make the classroom an easier place to teach.
This study examined adolescents' attitudes of cosmetic surgery, as well as the relationships between these attitudes, body appreciation, body ideal internalization, and fashion blog reading. The sample comprised 110 (60 boys, 50 girls) late adolescents (mean age 16.9 years) from a Swedish high school. The results indicated that younger adolescents seem somewhat more accepting of cosmetic surgery. This was especially the case for boys' acceptance of social motives for obtaining cosmetic surgery (boys' M=2.3±1.55 vs. girls' M=1.7±0.89). Girls', and to a limited extent boys', internalization of the thin ideal was related to more favorable cosmetic surgery attitudes. Athletic ideal internalization and body appreciation were unrelated to these attitudes. Finally, girls who frequently read fashion blogs reported higher thin ideal internalization, and also demonstrated a slight tendency of more cosmetic surgery consideration.
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a relatively rare, inherited connective tissue disorder and skin hyperextensibility, joint hypermobility, chronic joint and limb pain, blood vessel and tissue fragility are frequent symptoms. The aims of this study were to describe the degree to which individuals with EDS accept and cope with perceived limitations related to the syndrome, and to determine the relationships between acceptance of disability (AD), sense of coherence (SOC), functional health status and background data. Four questionnaires were mailed: the AD scale Modified (ADM), the SOC Scale, the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP) and a background form. The respondents with EDS were recruited through the EDS National Association in Sweden and the response rate was 74% (69 females and eight males). The Ethical Committee at Huddinge University Hospital (ref. no. 152/95) approved the study. This study has shown that the level of AD and SOC in individuals with EDS is similar to other patient groups, e.g. individuals with ostomy and with diabetes. Further, the SOC was in concordance with that of the general population. Those working full-time accepted their disability to a greater degree than those on sick leave or disability pension. A multiple regression analysis showed that a greater AD was associated with a higher level of SOC and a better functional health status. The SOC and SIP together accounted for 50% of the variance in the ADM. For health promotion in nursing practice it is important to have insight into the problem areas which may influence the overall life situation for an individual with EDS. A key issue for nurses is to identify individuals with low acceptance of their disease and/or low SOC in order to support these persons' adaptation process. Future research on EDS may be directed towards projects focusing on the development and implementation of models to strengthen the level of AD and SOC in this group.
Low back pain (LBP) is common already in adolescence, and many risk indicators including both psychosocial and lifestyle factors have been recognized. Our purpose was to assess whether the co-occurrence of psychosocial (externalizing and internalizing) problems and lifestyle factors (leisure time physical activity, sedentary behaviour, sleep, smoking, and overweight/obesity) associate with LBP at 16 years cross-sectionally or with new LBP at 18-year follow-up.
The study population, drawn from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986, consisted of 1625 participants (712 boys and 913 girls) who completed a questionnaire on potential explanatory factors at 16 years and on LBP at 16 and 18 years. The outcome measure was 'reporting LBP' or 'consultation for LBP' during the past 6 months. Latent Class Analysis (LCA) was utilized to study the co-occurrence of the explanatory factors.
Among both genders, four clusters were found. Externalizing behaviour problems were associated with 'reporting LBP' (RR 1.5, boys 1.4, girls) and 'consultation for LBP' (RR 1.6 for both genders) at baseline among both genders. In addition, the cluster of multiple risk behaviours was associated with both 'reporting LBP' (RR 1.3) and 'consultation for LBP' (RR 2.5) and the obese cluster with 'consultation for LBP' (RR 1.7) among girls. Externalizing behaviour problems at 16 years predicted 'consultation for LBP' at 18 years among girls (RR 3.6).
Our results stress the role of psychosocial factors in reporting and seeking care for adolescent LBP.
Health, illness and treatment representations have been described as key factors for return to work. The Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) is a quantitative tool available to assess these factors. However, an adaptation is necessary before its use with workers on prolonged work disability presenting musculoskeletal disorders (MSD).
Two distinct phases were carried out, firstly, by adapting the IPQ-R for a population of workers in prolonged work disability related to an MSD and, secondly, by conducting a pre-test on the adapted questionnaire to assess item clarity. PHASE 1: The Technique for Research of Information by the Animation of a Group of Experts (TRIAGE) was selected to proceed with the adaptation. TRIAGE is an inductive and structured method aiming at the attainment of group consensus. Consensus was obtained in two steps: for the individual production, each expert had to judge the pertinence of the questioned elements and suggested new elements if needed; for the group production, all suggestions submitted were sorted according to TRIAGE systematic procedure, in order to retain the most pertinent ones by group consensus. Analysis was done simultaneously to data collection, by the attainment of group consensus. The group of experts consisted of six clinicians and two researchers. For the clinicians, selection criteria consisted of: being an occupational therapist or a psychologist and working for at least 2 years in a vocational rehabilitation setting for workers in prolonged work disability; for the researchers, being affiliated to a university and to have pursued a least one research project regarding prolonged work disability following MSD and development/validation of assessment tools. As a result of the adaptation process eight items were excluded because they were not considered pertinent by the experts. The label "illness" was changed for "current health condition" and 26 new items have been added to the questionnaire to better account for the work disability. The adapted questionnaire appears to present good content validity. PHASE 2: The assessment tool was then pre-tested using a widely known method for trans-cultural adaptation of questionnaires. This method adds a 7-point scale following each item in order to assess item clarity. When the questionnaire is filled, questions are asked to the respondent about items with low rating (4 or less on 7) in order to identify potential ambiguities. Inclusion criteria for the respondents consisted of: being between 18 and 64 of age, having more than 3 months of absence from work related to an MSD and being admitted in a rehabilitation program. Workers absent from work for more than a year, unable to understand and/or read French, suffering from an MSD related to a specific pathology, or presenting major psychiatric problems as indicated in their medical record were excluded. Nine workers were recruited using convenience sampling. Average clarity rating was above 4 for each item, suggesting that the adapted questionnaire was clear. Characteristics of participants seem to be representative of the target population.
A questionnaire was adapted in order to better assess the representations of workers in a situation of work disability following an MSD. The rigorous process used in this study ensures the quality of the adaptation, but a validation study must be conducted before the implementation of the questionnaire in clinic and research.
There is an accumulating body of research related to the psychosomatic study of blood pressure. One variable that has received attention is defense use. We examined the relation between defense use and blood pressure in men and women of different ages.
A random sample of 667 participants was selected from a population-based study. Resting blood pressure was obtained, and each participant was rated for defense use by a trained observer using Defense-Q. An Adaptive Defense Profile (ADP) score was calculated for each participant, and this score was related to blood pressure.
Regression analyses revealed a significant main effect for the ADP score for both diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Those persons with higher ADP scores had lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure. As well, a significant Age x Sex x ADP score interaction was found for diastolic blood pressure. Older women with a less ADP score had higher diastolic blood pressure.
These findings suggest the continued investigation of defense use and blood pressure.
The adolescent marijuana literature is reviewed. Studies show that the prevalence of marijuana use is generally quite low in elementary schools. In junior and senior high samples, findings vary greatly from place to place. The prevalence of use increased dramatically during the 1970s although the use patterns may have peaked already in some areas. The use of marijuana increases with age, but some evidence suggests that a slight drop-off in use occurs near the end of high school. Female use seems to be increasing more than male use. Use seems to be somewhat more prevalent in middle- and upper-middle-class homes and in broken homes. Mixed support has been found for the hypothesis that marijuana users have parents that are more permissive. Parents of marijuana users are generally characterized as being less warm and supportive, and more inclined toward the use of drugs themselves. Peer and sibling use of marijuana seem to be particularly important predictors of adolescent marijuana use. Findings on personality characteristics of marijuana users are not extensive and are somewhat contradictory. There is some evidence that users tend to be somewhat alienated, external in their locus of control, and possibly higher on anxiety. Users are also characterized by a higher value on independence vs achievement and more positive attitudes toward marijuana use. Behavioral correlates of marijuana use include greater use of alcohol and other drugs, and poorer school performance.
Fifty-two extremely premature born and 54 full-term controls were assessed regarding behavioral outcomes, risk-taking and self-perceived quality of life. Behavioral outcomes were assessed with the Achenbach Youth Self Report; risk-taking was estimated regarding alcohol and nicotine use; self-perceived quality of life and future expectations were rated; and attention and hyperactivity problems were surveyed retrospectively with the Wender Utah Rating Scale. The prematurely born reported fewer problems than full-term born on the externalizing scale (delinquent behavior and aggressive behaviour); and they reported less alcohol consumption. No difference was observed between the two groups concerning nicotine use, views about quality of life and expectations for the future or in the retrospective assessment of attention and hyper-activity problems. Conclusively, the prematurely born adolescents described a quality of life and future expectations comparable to full-term born controls. They also reported fewer behavioral problems and less risk-taking behavior.