This retrospective study examined the prevalence of depression and psychosomatic disorders among Soviet Jewish immigrants, and how such problems might have affected their children's adaptation. A 36-item English and Russian questionnaire was sent to 452 Soviet Jewish immigrants, requesting information on possible problems they or their children had had during the first three years after immigration. Ninety people responded, 78% of whom had children. Immigrants with depression and psychosomatic illness reported greater behaviour, academic, peer interaction, and child-parent difficulties in their children. Those who were married, were proficient in English, were professionals in the USSR and/or Canada and who had supportive friends, were more likely to adapt well. Because of the low response rate, the failure to validate the questionnaire, and the possible overrepresentation of professionals the findings are presented as preliminary pending further exploration. They are discussed for their relevance to the early identification of difficulties in immigrants and their children, and to the need for timely and informed intervention.
It has long been recognized that members of the Jewish community generally do not sign organ donor cards or consent to the donation of the organs of their family members. In order to address this issue, the position of Jewish law on organ donation was examined and a sample of the Jewish population of Toronto was surveyed in an attempt to better understand the reasons for the observed reluctance to donate within this community. The results confirmed that the rate of signing organ donor cards was much lower in the Jewish community than in the general population, and although other reasons do exist, the major barrier to donation was a perception that Jewish law prohibits such action. The study of Jewish law revealed that organ donation is permitted and, in fact, encouraged by all branches of modern Judaism. Finally, in response to these results, a guide titled "Organ Donation: A Jewish Perspective" was compiled to help explain both the religious and medical aspects of organ donation for Jewish people and transplant personnel.
Results from several national studies in the United States suggests that: (1) religious beliefs and practices are highly prevalent; (2) spirituality and religion are statistically and clinically relevant to mental health and symptoms; and (3) many patients have a preference for spiritually integrated care. However, existing protocols that assess for salient religious themes in psychiatric settings are time-consuming to administer, relevant only to specific populations (e.g., Christians), and have poor psychometric properties. Further, evidence suggests that religious beliefs can take on a positive and negative valence, and both of these dimensions are worthy of assessment. We, therefore, developed a brief (six-item) self-report measure of positive and negative core beliefs about God which is uniquely suited for use with a broad range of religious patients. Across three studies, we evaluated its psychometric properties and ability to predict symptoms of anxiety and depression. Results provide support for the validity and reliability of our measure and further highlight the salience of both positive and negative religious beliefs to psychiatric symptoms. It is hoped that this measure will help to decrease the burden of spiritual assessment in psychiatric and medical settings, and further have research utility for this area of study.
Our purpose was to describe and compare Cambodian, Vietnamese, Soviet Jewish, and Ukrainian refugee caregivers and elders on life experiences, health status, and knowledge of available services. Detailed interviews were conducted with 105 female caregivers and 52 elders. Similar patterns emerged across all groups with regard to filial obligation, minimal knowledge of services, impact of immigration, and retention of cultural ties. Findings confirmed the special health and social service needs of refugee families in transition.
Traumatic events in one's younger years can have an impact on how an individual copes with later life. One traumatic experience for Jewish individuals was the Holocaust. Some of these people are moving into long-term care facilities. It was within this context that the research question emerged: What are Holocaust survivor residents' perceptions of a life lived as they move into a long-term care facility? For this qualitative study, Holocaust survivors were individually interviewed. Findings emphasize that nursing care needs to ensure that Holocaust survivor residents participate in activities, receive timely health care, and receive recognition of their life experiences.
This descriptive, phenomenological study investigated the cultural and spiritual meanings of the childbirth experience from the personal perspectives of 30 Canadian Orthodox Jewish and 30 American Mormon women. Fewer Jewish women had childbirth education and attendance of their partners during childbirth than did Mormon women. Participants in the study, having codified belief systems, expressed the primary importance of bearing children in obedience to religious law. Birth was articulated as a bittersweet paradox, often accompanied by a sense of empowerment. Women described the importance of personal connectedness with others and with God, the importance of childbearing, and the spiritual and emotional dimensions of their childbirth experiences. Religious beliefs help women define the meaning of childbirth and may provide coping mechanisms for the intensity of giving birth. It is essential for holistic nurses to value and acknowledge the cultural and spiritual dimensions of the childbirth experience.
The legacy of the Holocaust lingers on, continuing to have a marked and pervasive effect on the survivors-and their second, third and fourth generation descendants. This is now well documented in the professional literature, in novels, on film and in museums. What has been virtually non-existent is activity which brings together the descendants of perpetrators and of victims to interact and move toward some rapprochment in the here and now, and for the future, and a literature documenting and analyzing such activity. This article describes a second dialogue session between German and Israeli mental health professionals, all of whom are descendants of survivors and/or are treating such descendants. This meeting was held during the International Family Therapy Association Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, in October 1995, and some Mexican colleagues who had inherited the Holocaust legacy also participated, as did several others from Sweden and the United States. The interchanges about their memories and deeply entrenched feelings were heated, emotional and profound. All involved indicated they had experienced great anguish about coming, and in being present, and that during the session they felt some relief and gained some understanding of the "other." They urged continuation of this dialogue process, begun during a conference in Budapest, Hungary, in 1994.
Data were used on 275 Jewish individuals aged 50 and older in outpatient treatment for depression in this retrospective cross-sectional study. Holocaust survivors who were in work camps, in ghettos, or in hiding (HS-WGH) and holocaust survivors who were in concentration camps (HS-CC) were more likely to suffer posttraumatic stress disorder compared to other survivors (HS-OT) and controls. The HS-WGH and HS-CC groups had at least a threefold greater odds of suicidal ideation compared to controls. Suicidal ideation rates did not differ significantly between HS-OT group and controls. Among survivors, HS-WGH had a threefold greater odds of suicidal ideation compared to HS-OT. The results are applicable to survivors of similar atrocities and show that differing types and severities of traumatic experiences have important implications for treatment planning.
Anecdotal reports suggest that child survivors of the Nazi persecution are functioning well as adults. Ratings of their parents by a randomly selected community sample of young adult Ashkenazi Jews on a scale that measured Schizoid, Paranoid, Depressive/Masochistic and Type A/Normal Aggressive symptoms permitted verification of these reports. Among the parents were groups who were children, adolescents, or young adults in 1945, at the end of World War II. Child-survivor parents did not differ from native-born parents on these measures 40 years later, whereas, consistent with the empirical findings of others, survivors who were adolescents or young adults at the end of the war manifested more paranoid and depressive/masochistic symptoms than native-born parents. To explain this possible greater long-term resilience among those who were child survivors, reference is made to later caretakers, endowment, cognitive and social development, and psychodynamics.