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Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ., Volume 14, Issue 3 (March 2024) – 23 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Dog-assisted therapy (DAT) is an intervention that promotes psychological, physical, and social functioning in children and adults. This study explores the experiences of adults with intellectual disabilities who received DAT in mental healthcare. Conventional therapies do not adequately meet the needs of these patients. An experiential therapy like DAT that requires less emphasis on cognitive and verbal abilities may be suitable. Data were collected through interviews, a logbook and focus groups. The qualitative analyses revealed predominantly positive experiences, emphasizing physical contact, emotional support, and social engagement. The patients valued DAT’s experiential and non-intrusive approach, which fostered autonomy and personhood. Further research is needed to determine efficacy, cost-effectiveness and implementation strategies in clinical practice. View this paper
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26 pages, 705 KiB  
Article
Adaptation and Validation of the Academic Stress Scale in the Italian Context: Latent Structure, Reliability, and Concurrent Validity
by Lucrezia Perrella, Ernesto Lodi and Patrizia Patrizi
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 782-807; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030051 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 529
Abstract
The present study describes the Italian adaptation of the Academic Stressors Scale (E-CEA) of the Academic Stress Questionnaire, evaluating the relationships with general and domain-specific well-being and verifying the significant predictors and the amount of variance explained by the “non-intellective” academic competencies on [...] Read more.
The present study describes the Italian adaptation of the Academic Stressors Scale (E-CEA) of the Academic Stress Questionnaire, evaluating the relationships with general and domain-specific well-being and verifying the significant predictors and the amount of variance explained by the “non-intellective” academic competencies on the scores of student stress dimensions. The participants are 1305 students from all the different degree courses. The Italian version of the E-CEA, composed of 38 items, showed good psychometric properties both in terms of reliability and factorial structure with good fit indices. The 6 sub-dimensions, for the most part overlapping with those of the original version of the instrument, show good construct and concurrent validity as negative relationships were found with general and domain-specific well-being indices. With regard to the regressions performed, several dimensions of “non-intellective” academic competencies turned out to be significant predictors (with negative effect) with respect to the stress levels perceived in the academic environment by university students: in particular, time organization, emotional control, the ability to relate to professors and intrinsic motivation could decrease stress levels, while dedication to study and the tendency to involve one’s parents in one’s university career seemed to increase stress levels. Regarding the practical implications of the results, suggestions are provided in supporting the career paths of students to reduce risk factors for stress development and to promote academic well-being. Full article
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15 pages, 1684 KiB  
Article
Spirituality, Quality of Life, and Health: A Japanese Cross-Sectional Study
by Takeshi Yoshizawa, Abdelrahman M. Makram, Randa Elsheikh, Sadako Nakamura, Engy Mohamed Makram, Kazumi Kubota, Nguyen Tien Huy and Kazuhiko Moji
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 767-781; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030050 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 461
Abstract
Background: Current reports suggest a positive association between spirituality and quality of life (QoL) in elders. While most studies are qualitative studies and there has been little validation in quantitative studies using scales to measure spirituality. Hence, we aimed to study the effect [...] Read more.
Background: Current reports suggest a positive association between spirituality and quality of life (QoL) in elders. While most studies are qualitative studies and there has been little validation in quantitative studies using scales to measure spirituality. Hence, we aimed to study the effect of spirituality on mental health and QoL in older people residing in Kumejima Town in Japan. Methods: An interview-based survey was conducted between September 2010 and 2011 on residents of Kumejima Town aged 65 years or older. This survey-based study employed the Spirituality Health Scale for the Elderly (SP Health Scale) alongside assessments of basic attributes (e.g., age, sex); physical, mental, social health, spirituality, and QoL. We conducted a causal structure model to explore causal relationships between these factors. Results: Our study included 338 participants, including 72.5% female with an average age and standard deviation of 77.2 ± 6.4 years. Our analysis revealed a significant association between spiritual health and QoL even after accounting for the impact of physical and mental health, which challenged the conventional belief that QoL inevitably diminishes with age and declining health. These results suggest that enhancing spirituality may offer a means to prevent declines in QoL, fostering a positive outlook on life as individuals age. Conclusion: Our study suggests that improving spiritual health can enhance QoL, even in the presence of health challenges and aging. This novel perspective opens doors to redefining health as a state that coexists with illness, with spirituality serving as an integral component. A shift in our understanding of health that prioritizes spirituality, could benefit people of all ages, offering a more holistic approach to well-being that aligns with new medical technologies and evolving perceptions of health. Full article
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14 pages, 588 KiB  
Article
Educational Approach: Application of SWOT Analysis for Assessing Entrepreneurial Goals in Senior Dental Students
by Maria Antoniadou and Antonia Kanellopoulou
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 753-766; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030049 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 755
Abstract
The SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis is a framework used to evaluate a company’s competitive position and to develop strategic planning. In the competitive dental sector, it can aid dentists in identifying and analyzing internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as [...] Read more.
The SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis is a framework used to evaluate a company’s competitive position and to develop strategic planning. In the competitive dental sector, it can aid dentists in identifying and analyzing internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats. This study focuses on senior dental students of the Department of Dentistry at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, aiming to scrutinize their use of SWOT analysis and assess its application as a tool for evaluating entrepreneurial goals and making career decisions in dental entrepreneurship. The research sample comprises 116 senior dental students (N1) in the final undergraduate year of their dental education, with data collection accomplished through the administration of an e-questionnaire during the obligatory course of “Organization and management of dental practices” in December 2023. The data extracted from the SWOT analysis encompass internal and external factors, gender distinctions, and outcomes derived from Stepwise Binary Logistic Regression concerning predictor markers. The results from the SWOT analysis of 114 valid questionnaires (N2), revealed that participants identified communication skills (50%) and organization skills (49.10%) as their primary strengths, followed by favorable personal traits contributing to goal success (36%). Weaknesses predominantly centered around emotional and personal traits like anxiety (41.20%) and other characteristics, alongside practical challenges such as lack of initial capital (24.60%). Main opportunities included collaboration with experienced dentists (33.30%) and access to training programs (27.20%), while economic instability in Greece (77.20%) and the saturated dentist profession (26.30%) were perceived as significant threats. Gender differences were notable, with female dentists more likely to report organization skills as a strength and anxiety as a weakness. Values such as industriousness, persistence, and ethics were commonly shared, with actions focusing on training programs (57.9%) and gaining experience with experienced dentists (29.8%). Cluster analysis identified two subgroups, with one emphasizing utilizing all available options (n = 49) and the other prioritizing on gaining professional skills and experience (n = 65). Logistic regression indicated that participants valuing industriousness were less likely to explore all available options, while those recognizing personal traits were more likely to do so. The study’s outcomes highlight key predictor factors linked to a proactive orientation in career decision-making among senior dental students. These insights offer valuable implications for educational institutions and career counselors. Full article
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31 pages, 4082 KiB  
Article
Validation of the Gaming Skills Questionnaire in Adolescence: Effects of Gaming Skills on Cognitive and Affective Functioning
by Triantafyllia Zioga, Chrysanthi Nega, Petros Roussos and Panagiotis Kourtesis
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 722-752; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030048 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 749
Abstract
Given the widespread popularity of videogames, research attempted to assess their effects on cognitive and affective abilities, especially in children and adolescents. Despite numerous correlational studies, robust evidence on the causal relationship between videogames and cognition remains scarce, hindered by the absence of [...] Read more.
Given the widespread popularity of videogames, research attempted to assess their effects on cognitive and affective abilities, especially in children and adolescents. Despite numerous correlational studies, robust evidence on the causal relationship between videogames and cognition remains scarce, hindered by the absence of a comprehensive assessment tool for gaming skills across various genres. In a sample of 347 adolescents, this study aimed to develop and validate the Gaming Skill Questionnaire (GSQ) and assess the impact of gaming skills in six different genres (sport, first-person shooters, role-playing games, action-adventure, strategy, and puzzle games) on cognitive and affective abilities of adolescents. The GSQ exhibited strong reliability and validity, highlighting its potential as a valuable tool. Gaming skills positively affected executive function, memory, overall cognition, cognitive flexibility, and emotion recognition, except for empathy. Various game genres had different effects on cognitive and affective abilities, with verbal fluency influenced mainly by sports, executive functions by action, strategy, and puzzle, and emotion recognition positively impacted by action and puzzle but negatively by sports and strategy games. Both age and gaming skills influenced cognitive flexibility, with gaming having a greater effect. These intriguing genre-specific effects on cognitive and affective functioning postulate further research with GSQ’s contribution. Full article
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13 pages, 937 KiB  
Article
Examining Students’ Acceptance and Use of ChatGPT in Saudi Arabian Higher Education
by Abu Elnasr E. Sobaih, Ibrahim A. Elshaer and Ahmed M. Hasanein
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 709-721; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030047 - 17 Mar 2024
Viewed by 738
Abstract
This study examines students’ acceptance and use of ChatGPT in Saudi Arabian (SA) higher education, where there is growing interest in the use of this tool since its inauguration in 2022. Quantitative research data, through a self-reporting survey drawing on the “Unified Theory [...] Read more.
This study examines students’ acceptance and use of ChatGPT in Saudi Arabian (SA) higher education, where there is growing interest in the use of this tool since its inauguration in 2022. Quantitative research data, through a self-reporting survey drawing on the “Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology” (UTAUT2), were collected from 520 students in one of the public universities in SA at the start of the first semester of the study year 2023–2024. The findings of structural equation modeling partially supported the UTAUT and previous research in relation to the significant direct effect of performance expectancy (PE), social influence (SI), and effort expectancy (EE) on behavioral intention (BI) on the use of ChatGPT and the significant direct effect of PE, SI, and BI on actual use of ChatGPT. Nonetheless, the results did not support earlier research in relation to the direct relationship between facilitating conditions (FCs) and both BI and actual use of ChatGPT, which was found to be negative in the first relationship and insignificant in the second one. These findings were because of the absence of resources, support, and aid from external sources in relation to the use of ChatGPT. The results showed partial mediation of BI in the link between PE, SI, and FC and actual use of ChatGPT in education and a full mediation in the link of BI between EE and actual use of ChatGPT in education. The findings provide numerous implications for scholars and higher education institutions in SA, which are also of interest to other institutions in similar contexts. Full article
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10 pages, 549 KiB  
Article
Duration Perception and Reading in Typically Developing Adults and Adults with Developmental Dyslexia: Implications for Assessment and Intervention
by Aikaterini Liapi, Susana Silva and Vasiliki Folia
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 699-708; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030046 - 15 Mar 2024
Viewed by 424
Abstract
While the link between beat perception and reading skills is attributed to a general improvement in neural entrainment to speech units, duration perception (DP) is primarily linked to a specific aspect of speech perception, specifially discriminating phonemes of varying lengths. Our previous study [...] Read more.
While the link between beat perception and reading skills is attributed to a general improvement in neural entrainment to speech units, duration perception (DP) is primarily linked to a specific aspect of speech perception, specifially discriminating phonemes of varying lengths. Our previous study found a significant correlation between DP and pseudoword reading in both typically developing (TD) individuals and adults with dyslexia (DD). This suggests that, like beat, DP may also enhance overall speech perception. However, our previous study employed a composite measure that did not discriminate speed from accuracy. In this study, we sought to replicate the link between DP and pseudoword reading in a new sample and explore how it might vary depending on the reading parameter being measured. We analyzed the performance of 60 TD vs. 20 DD adults in DP, word reading and pseudoword reading tasks, analyzing the latter for both speed and accuracy. Indeed, duration skills correlated positively with pseudoword reading accuracy. In TD adults, there was no association between DP and reading speed, whereas DD individuals exhibited slower reading speed alongside improved duration skills. We emphasize the potential usefulness of DP tasks in assessment and early intervention and raise new questions about compensatory strategies adopted by DD adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Research in Clinical and Health Contexts)
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14 pages, 906 KiB  
Review
Artificial-Intelligence-Based Clinical Decision Support Systems in Primary Care: A Scoping Review of Current Clinical Implementations
by Cesar A. Gomez-Cabello, Sahar Borna, Sophia Pressman, Syed Ali Haider, Clifton R. Haider and Antonio J. Forte
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 685-698; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030045 - 13 Mar 2024
Viewed by 752
Abstract
Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) are the first point of contact in healthcare. Because PCPs face the challenge of managing diverse patient populations while maintaining up-to-date medical knowledge and updated health records, this study explores the current outcomes and effectiveness of implementing Artificial Intelligence-based [...] Read more.
Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) are the first point of contact in healthcare. Because PCPs face the challenge of managing diverse patient populations while maintaining up-to-date medical knowledge and updated health records, this study explores the current outcomes and effectiveness of implementing Artificial Intelligence-based Clinical Decision Support Systems (AI-CDSSs) in Primary Healthcare (PHC). Following the PRISMA-ScR guidelines, we systematically searched five databases, PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, IEEE, and Google Scholar, and manually searched related articles. Only CDSSs powered by AI targeted to physicians and tested in real clinical PHC settings were included. From a total of 421 articles, 6 met our criteria. We found AI-CDSSs from the US, Netherlands, Spain, and China whose primary tasks included diagnosis support, management and treatment recommendations, and complication prediction. Secondary objectives included lessening physician work burden and reducing healthcare costs. While promising, the outcomes were hindered by physicians’ perceptions and cultural settings. This study underscores the potential of AI-CDSSs in improving clinical management, patient satisfaction, and safety while reducing physician workload. However, further work is needed to explore the broad spectrum of applications that the new AI-CDSSs have in several PHC real clinical settings and measure their clinical outcomes. Full article
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16 pages, 1851 KiB  
Article
Alexithymia as a Risk Factor for an Internet Addiction in Adolescents and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
by Magdalena Anna Skotalczyk, Karolina Anna Dąbrowska, Joanna Smorońska-Rypel, Krzysztof Maria Wilczyński and Małgorzata Janas-Kozik
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 669-684; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030044 - 12 Mar 2024
Viewed by 537
Abstract
The aim of the study is to investigate the association of alexithymia with Internet addiction and autism spectrum disorders among adolescents and young adults. The links between alexithymia, ASD and other mental disorders are still a largely unexplored topic in psychiatry. An intriguing [...] Read more.
The aim of the study is to investigate the association of alexithymia with Internet addiction and autism spectrum disorders among adolescents and young adults. The links between alexithymia, ASD and other mental disorders are still a largely unexplored topic in psychiatry. An intriguing question is to what extent alexithymia can be a component of the clinical picture of ASD, and to what extent it is an independent phenomenon often co-occurring with ASD. The study group consisted of young Poles aged 11 to 35 (n = 229), including women (n = 167; 73%), men (n = 53; 23%) and non-binary people (n = 9; 4%). The following questionnaires were used in the Polish validated version as screening tools and shared online: AQ (Autism Quotient), TAS-20 (Toronto Alexithymia Scale), IAT (Internet Addiction Test). Among the subjects, 15 people admitted that they had received an official diagnosis of ASD, while 26 people showed a significantly increased severity of autistic traits on the AQ questionnaire. People with ASD who also exhibit alexithymia features are certainly more prone to problematic use of the Internet. In contrast, such a risk in people with ASD without alexithymia is comparable to the general population. Full article
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12 pages, 1689 KiB  
Article
ChatGPT’s Response Consistency: A Study on Repeated Queries of Medical Examination Questions
by Paul F. Funk, Cosima C. Hoch, Samuel Knoedler, Leonard Knoedler, Sebastian Cotofana, Giuseppe Sofo, Ali Bashiri Dezfouli, Barbara Wollenberg, Orlando Guntinas-Lichius and Michael Alfertshofer
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 657-668; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030043 - 08 Mar 2024
Viewed by 753
Abstract
(1) Background: As the field of artificial intelligence (AI) evolves, tools like ChatGPT are increasingly integrated into various domains of medicine, including medical education and research. Given the critical nature of medicine, it is of paramount importance that AI tools offer a high [...] Read more.
(1) Background: As the field of artificial intelligence (AI) evolves, tools like ChatGPT are increasingly integrated into various domains of medicine, including medical education and research. Given the critical nature of medicine, it is of paramount importance that AI tools offer a high degree of reliability in the information they provide. (2) Methods: A total of n = 450 medical examination questions were manually entered into ChatGPT thrice, each for ChatGPT 3.5 and ChatGPT 4. The responses were collected, and their accuracy and consistency were statistically analyzed throughout the series of entries. (3) Results: ChatGPT 4 displayed a statistically significantly improved accuracy with 85.7% compared to that of 57.7% of ChatGPT 3.5 (p < 0.001). Furthermore, ChatGPT 4 was more consistent, correctly answering 77.8% across all rounds, a significant increase from the 44.9% observed from ChatGPT 3.5 (p < 0.001). (4) Conclusions: The findings underscore the increased accuracy and dependability of ChatGPT 4 in the context of medical education and potential clinical decision making. Nonetheless, the research emphasizes the indispensable nature of human-delivered healthcare and the vital role of continuous assessment in leveraging AI in medicine. Full article
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9 pages, 251 KiB  
Article
Stability of and Change in Psychopathological Risk Levels in Pre-Early Adolescents before, during, and after Their Study Sojourns: A Descriptive Study
by Luca Cerniglia and Silvia Cimino
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 648-656; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030042 - 08 Mar 2024
Viewed by 415
Abstract
Background: Adolescents can benefit from studying abroad in terms of personal development, cross-cultural encounters, and academic enrichment. This article digs into the psychological challenges that students may face before and during their study abroad, focusing on the emotional components of their experiences. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Adolescents can benefit from studying abroad in terms of personal development, cross-cultural encounters, and academic enrichment. This article digs into the psychological challenges that students may face before and during their study abroad, focusing on the emotional components of their experiences. Methods: The current descriptive study sought to assess the stability or change in levels of psychopathological risk in a sample of N = 195 adolescents before and during a study abroad sojourn. To examine psychological symptoms in pre-adolescents, teachers were asked to complete a report-form questionnaire. Results: The findings of this study revealed that students’ psychological functioning changed significantly after their study abroad experience. Anxious/depressed and withdrawn ratings specifically increased from the pre-sojourn assessment (T1) to the evaluation during the stay (T2), then remained consistent (T3). In addition, the scores for rule-breaking and aggressive conduct changed, increasing from T1 to T2 and then decreasing from T2 to T3. This trend implies that teenagers may struggle with behavioral challenges early in their study abroad experience, but subsequently adjust and improve their conduct as they grow more used to the new environment. Conclusions: this research offers insight into the emotional and behavioral issues that adolescents face when studying abroad, underlining the significance of treating psychopathological risk factors in this demographic. Full article
25 pages, 4517 KiB  
Article
An Analytic Hierarchy Process Contingency Analysis of Factors Affecting the Emigration Decision of Medical Doctors in Turkey
by Cigdem Kadaifci, Y. Ilker Topcu and Enrique Mu
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 623-647; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030041 - 07 Mar 2024
Viewed by 669
Abstract
While the importance of explicitly identifying and considering contingent factors such as decision content and context is widely accepted as a way to ensure the validity of the decision analysis for the specific task at hand, few studies include this. This research uses [...] Read more.
While the importance of explicitly identifying and considering contingent factors such as decision content and context is widely accepted as a way to ensure the validity of the decision analysis for the specific task at hand, few studies include this. This research uses a contingency theoretical approach to study factors affecting the emigration decision of medical doctors (MDs) for the specific case of Turkey. The motivation for conducting this study arises from the observation that the growing trend in emigration among MDs from Turkey is having a significant impact on the country’s healthcare system. Dealing with the emigration of MDs is crucial for ensuring an effective and sustainable healthcare system, especially in terms of the availability of services, satisfaction, and employment of the healthcare staff. Contextual factors were explicitly identified through consultation with experts, while the generic factors were retrieved from the specialized medical migration literature. The Analytic Hierarchy Process method was utilized to prioritize the factors. Seventy-three participants were surveyed about their intention to either study or work abroad. The findings reveal that low remuneration and anxiety about their future due to the political situation in the country constitute the two most important factors driving the decision to emigrate. Full article
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14 pages, 1481 KiB  
Review
The Effects of Nature Exposure Therapies on Stress, Depression, and Anxiety Levels: A Systematic Review
by Diana Marcela Paredes-Céspedes, Norida Vélez, Alejandra Parada-López, Yesith Guillermo Toloza-Pérez, Eliana M. Téllez, Claudia Portilla, Carolina González, Leany Blandón, Juan Carlos Santacruz and Jeadran Malagón-Rojas
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 609-622; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030040 - 07 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1037
Abstract
Background: Mental well-being plays a pivotal role within the broader spectrum of health and illness, encompassing factors such as stress, depression, and anxiety. Nature-based therapeutic interventions have emerged as a promising approach to addressing these mental health challenges. This study seeks to assess [...] Read more.
Background: Mental well-being plays a pivotal role within the broader spectrum of health and illness, encompassing factors such as stress, depression, and anxiety. Nature-based therapeutic interventions have emerged as a promising approach to addressing these mental health challenges. This study seeks to assess the impact of these interventions on stress, depression, and anxiety levels. Methods: We conducted an extensive search for randomized clinical trials that examined stress, anxiety, and depression levels. The selected studies underwent a rigorous risk-of-bias assessment following the guidelines outlined in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews. Results: Our review encompassed findings from eight publications. Among them, two studies measuring cortisol levels revealed significant differences between the pre-test and post-test measurements within the intervention groups. In two studies that employed the Stress Response Inventory, a significant decrease in stress levels was observed within the intervention groups in contrast to the control groups. However, no significant differences were noted in studies that utilized the Restorative Outcome Scale. In the assessment of anxiety and depression levels, three studies employed the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, while four studies utilized The Profile of Mood States scale; none of these studies demonstrated significant differences. Conclusions: The current body of evidence offers limited support for advocating nature-based therapeutic interventions as a primary approach to reducing stress, depression, and anxiety. Full article
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25 pages, 3966 KiB  
Article
Technology-Supported Behavior Change—Applying Design Thinking to mHealth Application Development
by Ramona Schweitzer, Stephan Schlögl and Marco Schweitzer
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 584-608; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030039 - 07 Mar 2024
Viewed by 615
Abstract
Non-communicable diseases are the leading cause of global deaths. The risk of their development and progression is increased by modifiable behavioral risk factors. Yet, despite the known benefits of primary and secondary prevention, people often do not follow recommendations for a healthier lifestyle. [...] Read more.
Non-communicable diseases are the leading cause of global deaths. The risk of their development and progression is increased by modifiable behavioral risk factors. Yet, despite the known benefits of primary and secondary prevention, people often do not follow recommendations for a healthier lifestyle. To this end, mobile health (mHealth) applications offer features for behavioral interventions. Yet, reported user engagement is often low. The objective of the work presented in this article is thus to evaluate the suitability of Design Thinking (DT) as a means to inform the development of an mHealth application that helps increase long-term engagement, and consequently supports individuals in sustainably changing their lifestyle. Applying the DT approach, key user needs and challenges were investigated and used to design a first low-fidelity mHealth application prototype. Think-Aloud analysis, task completion, and post-test interviews were then used to evaluate the prototype and generate early-stage insights. Subsequently, a structured, retrospective analysis of this process, evaluating the insight-generation potential of each step in the DT process cycle, was used to reflect on its suitability to inform mHealth application development. The respective results highlight (1) the distinct value of the DT method, particularly in the early stages of a development project; (2) the strong need for interdisciplinary collaboration in such projects, so as to capture realistic end-user requirements and improve the overall effectiveness of the application design; and (3) the significance of integrating behavioral change theories into the design of mHealth applications, in order to promote long-term engagement. Full article
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21 pages, 1536 KiB  
Article
Cultural Divergence in Psychedelic Use among Medical Students: An ESPAD-Adapted Survey among Poles and Iraqis
by Ahmed Al-Imam, Marek A. Motyka and Michal Michalak
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 563-583; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030038 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 536
Abstract
Psychedelics can profoundly alter cognition and consciousness. Their use in Middle Eastern countries, including Iraq, is ambiguous. We aim to investigate psychedelic awareness and use among Iraqi and Polish medical students. We surveyed 739 university students from Poland (315) and Iraq (424) using [...] Read more.
Psychedelics can profoundly alter cognition and consciousness. Their use in Middle Eastern countries, including Iraq, is ambiguous. We aim to investigate psychedelic awareness and use among Iraqi and Polish medical students. We surveyed 739 university students from Poland (315) and Iraq (424) using 31 adapted questions from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD). We conducted multivariable analyses based on binary logistic regression to identify the factors associated with psychedelic awareness and use. Most of the respondents were females (65.6%) and senior medical students (69.6%). Notably, the Polish students displayed a higher prevalence of psychedelic use (21.6% compared to 1.2%, p < 0.001), while the Iraqi participants exhibited a lower familiarity with psychedelics (p < 0.001). The multivariable model demonstrated a commendable level of statistical accuracy and satisfactorily conformed to the Hosmer–Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test (statistical accuracy = 91.61%, Nagelkerke R2 = 0.488, p-value = 0.848). Several factors emerged as correlates of increased psychedelic use, including lacking an intact religious belief system or commitment to its practice (OR = 7.26, 95% CI [2.33, 22.60]). Additionally, those who perceived a low risk associated with sporadic psychedelic use (3.03, [1.44, 6.36]) were likelier to engage in such behavior. Other factors included residing in Poland (2.82, [0.83, 9.55]), maintaining positive attitudes toward psychedelics (2.49, [1.20, 5.14]), frequent social nightlife activities (2.41, [1.26, 4.61]), male gender (2.05, [1.10, 3.85]), and cigarette or tobacco smoking (2.03, [1.06, 3.86]). Significant disparities exist between Poles and Iraqis, influenced by religiosity, perceptions of the usage risks, geographical location, gender, attitudes toward psychedelics, parental leniency, and social freedom, especially concerning nightlife activities. Addressing the factors influencing psychedelic usage is paramount to responsible psychedelic engagement and culturally sensitive interventions to prevent misuse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disparities in Mental Health and Well-Being)
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9 pages, 1420 KiB  
Article
The Translation and Preliminary Psychometric Validation of the Ghosting Questionnaire in Urdu
by Waqar Husain, Asma Sadiqa, Eman Zahid, Fatima Idrees, Achraf Ammar, Zahra Saif, Khaled Trabelsi, Seithikurippu R. Pandi-Perumal, Mary V. Seeman and Haitham Jahrami
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 554-562; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030037 - 01 Mar 2024
Viewed by 793
Abstract
Background: “Ghosting” refers to the practice of abruptly cutting off all contact with a person with whom you have been in constant correspondence. The break comes without warning and without understandable provocation. The term most commonly applies to online romantic relationships. The motives [...] Read more.
Background: “Ghosting” refers to the practice of abruptly cutting off all contact with a person with whom you have been in constant correspondence. The break comes without warning and without understandable provocation. The term most commonly applies to online romantic relationships. The motives for and effects of ghosting have been studied, and validated research questionnaires have been developed; however, there are no such questionnaires available for Urdu speakers. The purpose of this study was to adapt the “Ghosting Questionnaire (GQ)” for use in Pakistan and India, two of the world’s most populous countries—a process that involves translation, adaptation, and validation. Methods: The study’s methodology involved translating the GQ into Urdu using both forward and backward translation techniques. Convergent validity, test–retest reliability, internal consistency, confirmatory factor analysis, and goodness of fit were all components of the psychometric analyses. Conclusions: The Urdu version of the GQ demonstrated a good internal consistency, with the Cronbach’s alpha and McDonald’s omega both exceeding 0.90. It also showed a high test–retest reliability—(0.96). The one-factor structure was confirmed by the confirmatory factor analysis, which agreed with the original English version of the GQ. Full article
14 pages, 289 KiB  
Article
Dog-Assisted Therapy in Mental Health Care: A Qualitative Study on the Experiences of Patients with Intellectual Disabilities
by Anke van Schooten, Nienke Peters-Scheffer, Marie-José Enders-Slegers, Inge Verhagen and Robert Didden
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 540-553; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030036 - 29 Feb 2024
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Abstract
(1) Background: Dog-assisted therapy (DAT) is an experiential intervention to promote psychological, physical, and social functioning in children and adults. Only few studies have been conducted on DAT in adults with a mild intellectual disability or borderline intellectual functioning (MID-BIF). The purpose of [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Dog-assisted therapy (DAT) is an experiential intervention to promote psychological, physical, and social functioning in children and adults. Only few studies have been conducted on DAT in adults with a mild intellectual disability or borderline intellectual functioning (MID-BIF). The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of patients with MID-BIF undergoing DAT in a mental health care facility. (2) Method: Seven patients completed 13 to 15 sessions of DAT. Within two weeks of completing the program, they were interviewed using a semi-structured interview. The transcripts of the interviews were analysed using interpretational phenomenological analysis. In addition, the patients’ relatives and the DAT therapist were interviewed, and a focus group discussion took place with each patient’s treatment team. (3) Results: The patients’ experiences were predominantly positive. Physical contact with the dog calmed them down. The dog offered them emotional support and helped them to make contact inside and outside the therapy and the setting where they lived. The patients also liked the fact that DAT focused on the dog rather than their problems, that the therapy was experiential and using a positive approach, and that, during the therapy, they did not feel like a patient but a human being. DAT is a promising therapy for patients with MID-BIF in mental health care facilities, but more research into its effectiveness and cost-effectiveness and ways to implement DAT in clinical practice is needed to make more definitive statements. Full article
9 pages, 253 KiB  
Article
No End in Sight; Assessing the Impact of Internet Gaming Disorder on Digital Eye Strain Symptoms and Academic Success
by Georgios D. Floros, Mikes N. Glynatsis and Ioanna Mylona
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 531-539; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030035 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 483
Abstract
Background: Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) has been associated with symptoms of Digital Eye Strain (DES) and poor academic performance among adolescent students. The purpose of this study is to assess whether a student’s achievement of a specific academic goal within a short period [...] Read more.
Background: Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) has been associated with symptoms of Digital Eye Strain (DES) and poor academic performance among adolescent students. The purpose of this study is to assess whether a student’s achievement of a specific academic goal within a short period of time can be directly predicted by symptoms of IGD and DES. Methods: This is a cross-sectional survey of 140 high school graduates who received an examination of visual acuity as a pre-requisite for entering the written admission examinations of law enforcement and military academies. The students completed the Digital Eye Strain Questionnaire (DESQ) and the Ten-Item Internet Gaming Disorder Test (IGDT-10) and stated their own evaluation of their chances for success. They were contacted following their admission examinations, and their success or failure to be admitted was recorded. Results: The students with IGD symptomatology were more likely to present with symptoms of DES. They were also more pessimistic about their chances of success in the subsequent written admission examinations; none succeeded, while the rest of the students recorded an expected rate of success. A combination of IGD and complaints related to the prolonged fixation of the upper body in a specific viewing position was the best predictor variable set for future success in admission examinations. Conclusions: IGD is associated with a failure to achieve academic success. Combining a factor for physical discomfort during prolonged sessions of gaming with the typical criteria for IGD may expand the predictive validity of the construct of gaming disorder. Full article
26 pages, 925 KiB  
Article
The Reflective Mind of the Anxious in Action: Metacognitive Beliefs and Maladaptive Emotional Regulation Strategies Constrain Working Memory Efficiency
by François-Xavier Cécillon, Martial Mermillod, Christophe Leys, Hippolyte Bastin, Jean-Philippe Lachaux and Rebecca Shankland
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 505-530; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030034 - 26 Feb 2024
Viewed by 684
Abstract
The Attentional Control Theory (ACT) posits that, while trait anxiety may not directly impact performance, it can influence processing efficiency by prompting the use of compensatory mechanisms. The specific nature of these mechanisms, which might be reflective, is not detailed by the ACT. [...] Read more.
The Attentional Control Theory (ACT) posits that, while trait anxiety may not directly impact performance, it can influence processing efficiency by prompting the use of compensatory mechanisms. The specific nature of these mechanisms, which might be reflective, is not detailed by the ACT. In a study involving 110 students (M = 20.12; SD = 2.10), surveys were administered to assess the students’ metacognitive beliefs, trait anxiety, and emotion regulation strategies (ERSs). The participants engaged in two working memory exercises: the digit span task from the WAIS-IV and an emotional n-back task. The findings indicated that anxiety, metacognitive beliefs, and maladaptive ERSs did not affect task performance but were correlated with increased response times. Several regression analyses demonstrated that a lack of confidence in one’s cognitive abilities and maladaptive ERSs predict higher reaction times (RT) in the n-back task. Additionally, maladaptive ERSs also predict an increased use of strategies in the digit span task. Finally, two mediation analyses revealed that anxiety increases processing efficiency, and this relation is mediated by the use of maladaptive ERSs. These results underscore the importance of the reflective level in mediating the effects of trait anxiety on efficiency. They highlight the necessity of incorporating metacognitive beliefs and maladaptive emotion regulation strategies for a thorough comprehension of the Attentional Control Theory. Recognizing these factors offers valuable perspectives for enhancing cognitive capabilities and fostering academic achievement. Full article
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17 pages, 925 KiB  
Article
Psychological Distress and Behavioral Vigilance in Response to Minority Stress and Threat among Members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Andrew S. Franks, Rin Nguyen, Y. Jenny Xiao and Dena M. Abbott
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 488-504; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030033 - 26 Feb 2024
Viewed by 696
Abstract
Stigmatization, hostility, and violence towards the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community have increased sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to conduct research to promote understanding of the effects of such stigmatization on the AAPI community. Accordingly, the present study [...] Read more.
Stigmatization, hostility, and violence towards the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community have increased sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to conduct research to promote understanding of the effects of such stigmatization on the AAPI community. Accordingly, the present study used a combined minority stress and integrated threat framework to examine whether factors related to AAPI identity would moderate the relationship between stigmatization/threat associated with AAPI identity and increased psychological distress and behavioral vigilance. AAPI individuals were recruited online from both Turk Prime and Reddit and completed measures of perceived stigmatization; integrated threat; depression, anxiety, and stress; and behavioral vigilance. Perceptions of stigmatization and threat predicted relevant outcomes both as individual predictors and in multivariate analyses. However, factors relating to the strength of AAPI identification did not moderate the effects of stigmatization and threat on psychological distress and behavioral vigilance, which is a result that failed to support this aspect of the broader conceptual model on which this project was based. Instead, these proposed moderators were themselves predicted by stigmatization and threat variables. The implications of these findings for effective interventions to alleviate the negative consequences of anti-Asian stigmatization are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Collective Trauma in the Modern Society)
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14 pages, 1416 KiB  
Article
Resilient Moderating Effect between Stress and Life Satisfaction of Mothers and Fathers with Children with Developmental Disorders Who Present Temporary or Permanent Needs
by Óscar Gavín-Chocano, Inmaculada García-Martínez, Virginia Torres-Luque and Lara Checa-Domene
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 474-487; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030032 - 23 Feb 2024
Viewed by 492
Abstract
(1) Background: The stress experienced by parents with children with developmental disorders who present temporary or permanent needs, makes them experience a series of daily situations that may be linked to coping strategies. Resilient attributes are considered one of the factors that have [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The stress experienced by parents with children with developmental disorders who present temporary or permanent needs, makes them experience a series of daily situations that may be linked to coping strategies. Resilient attributes are considered one of the factors that have a decisive influence on the behavior of parents related to raising their children and that affect greater well-being and life satisfaction. The objective of this research is to study the mediating effect of resilient attributes between parental stress and life satisfaction; (2) Methods: In this study, mothers and fathers of boys and girls from 0 to 6 years old with developmental disorders from different Early Childhood Care Centers (CAIT) in the Province of Jaén (Andalusia) [Spain]. Of them, 96 are mothers (78.0%) and 27 are fathers (22.0%), with a mean age of 37.85 years (±5.043). The Parenting Stress Index-Short Form (PSI-SF), Resilience Scale (RS-14), and Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) were used. The structural equations model (PLS-SEM) was applied to estimate the proposed theoretical model, from an explanatory-predictive perspective; (3) Results: The results showed the coefficients of determination Parental distress [(Q2 = 0.144); (R2 = 0.329)]; Personal competence [(Q2 = 0.106); (R2 = 0.246)]; Acceptance of self and life [(Q2 = 0.094); (R2 = 0.172)] and Life satisfaction [(Q2 = 0.182); (R2 = 0.563)], in the estimation of the reflective model, indicating a moderate fit; (4) Conclusions: The present investigation is not conclusive; however, the implications of these findings are discussed and suggestions for future research are considered. Full article
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11 pages, 1040 KiB  
Article
Mastering Sedation and Associated Respiratory Events through Simulation-Based Training: A Randomised Controlled Trial Involving Non-Anaesthesiology Residents
by Jean-Noël Evain, Tran Do, Hakim Harkouk, Pierre Drolet, Roger Perron, Mihai Georgescu, Arnaud Robitaille and Issam Tanoubi
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 463-473; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030031 - 23 Feb 2024
Viewed by 473
Abstract
Non-anaesthetists commonly administer procedural sedation worldwide, posing the risk of respiratory events that can lead to severe complications. This study aimed to evaluate whether simulation-based learning could lead to enhancements in the clinical proficiency of non-anaesthesiology residents in managing sedation and related respiratory [...] Read more.
Non-anaesthetists commonly administer procedural sedation worldwide, posing the risk of respiratory events that can lead to severe complications. This study aimed to evaluate whether simulation-based learning could lead to enhancements in the clinical proficiency of non-anaesthesiology residents in managing sedation and related respiratory complications. Following the evaluation of baseline clinical performance through a pre-test simulation, 34 residents were randomly allocated to either participate in an innovative simulation-based learning module (intervention group) or view a brief self-learning video (control group). After a one-month period, their clinical performance was assessed again in a post-test simulation involving respiratory arrest during procedural sedation. Two independent assessors rated each resident’s performance using video recordings and a scoring tool with scores ranging from 0 to 19/19. The two assessments were averaged for each performance, and the pre- to post-test change was calculated for each resident. While baseline clinical performance was similar, mean (SD) increase in clinical performance was significantly greater in the intervention group than in the control group (+2.4 (1.6) points versus +0.8 (1.3) points, respectively; p = 0.002). Our simulation-based learning sedation module resulted in the enhanced management of sedation-related complications compared to baseline and minimal self-learning. Simulation-based medical education may offer an effective approach for equipping non-anaesthesiology residents with essential skills to mitigate risks associated with sedation. (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02722226). Full article
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16 pages, 525 KiB  
Article
Effect of an Active Break Intervention on Attention, Concentration, Academic Performance, and Self-Concept in Compulsory Secondary Education
by Julen Maiztegi-Kortabarria, Silvia Arribas-Galarraga, Izaskun Luis-de Cos, Sebastián Espoz-Lazo and Pedro Valdivia-Moral
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 447-462; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030030 - 22 Feb 2024
Viewed by 633
Abstract
(1) Background: Society’s shift to a tech-focused era and has created a hyper-connected, sedentary lifestyle. The purpose of this study is to address two objectives: firstly, to describe and analyze the effects of an active breaks program associated with the learning of curricular [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Society’s shift to a tech-focused era and has created a hyper-connected, sedentary lifestyle. The purpose of this study is to address two objectives: firstly, to describe and analyze the effects of an active breaks program associated with the learning of curricular content (CF-AB) on levels of attention, concentration, and academic performance (AP); secondly, to examine the relationship between intense physical activity (PA), attention, concentration, academic self-concept, basic psychological needs, and academic performance in schoolchildren who practice CF-ABs. (2) Method: A randomized controlled trial quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test study with a non-probabilistic sample included 313 secondary school students divided into intervention and control groups. The intervention, a curricular-focused academic break (CF-AB) (8 weeks, 5–10 min/session), is taken in the middle of the class and linked with the subject content. Measuring instruments: Attention Test D2, ad hoc test for the AP, self-concept AF5, Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction Scale in General (BNSG-S), and the Global PA Questionnaire (GPAC.V2). (3) Results: Attention and concentration improved in both groups, with no significant differences. There were no significant differences in academic self-concept, but the intervention group showed higher scores in basic psychological needs. AP correlated positively with concentration, academic self-concept, and physical activity. A proportion of 20% of the variance of AP in spelling is explained by the regression model. Students who improved the most in AP practiced intense PA outside school, with good self-concept and satisfactory social relationships. Although concentration was related to AP, it did not explain the improvement. (4) Conclusion: CF-ABs may have a positive impact on attention and AP, with socioemotional factors and PA playing an important role in this effect. (5) Limitations and Future Research: The relationship between PA performed in class and AP should be considered with caution due to the multifactorial nature of AP. Future research should consider the number of sessions per week, the prolongation of the same during the school year, the intensity and duration of the activity, and the intervention type of active breaks. In addition, attention should be paid to possible incident factors in AP related to personal and social variables. Full article
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15 pages, 699 KiB  
Article
Associations of Mental Health Issues with Health Literacy and Vaccination Readiness against COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities—A Cross-Sectional Analysis
by Linda Sanftenberg, Maresa Gschwendner, Andreas Grass, Marietta Rottenkolber, Isabel Zöllinger, Maria Sebastiao, Thomas Kühlein, Dagmar Hindenburg, Ildikó Gágyor, Domenika Wildgruber, Anita Hausen, Christian Janke, Michael Hoelscher, Daniel Teupser, Tobias Dreischulte, Jochen Gensichen and on behalf of the BACOM Study Group
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2024, 14(3), 432-446; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe14030029 - 20 Feb 2024
Viewed by 503
Abstract
Vaccinations against COVID-19 are of the utmost importance in long-term care facilities. During the pandemic, mental health issues increased significantly. This cross-sectional analysis aimed to assess the associations of depression and anxiety with health literacy in people in need of care and the [...] Read more.
Vaccinations against COVID-19 are of the utmost importance in long-term care facilities. During the pandemic, mental health issues increased significantly. This cross-sectional analysis aimed to assess the associations of depression and anxiety with health literacy in people in need of care and the association of depression and burnout with vaccination readiness against COVID-19 in health care workers (HCWs). Within our cross-sectional study, people in need of care were assessed for symptoms of depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7), and health literacy (HLS-EU-Q16). Among HCWs, we assessed symptoms of depression (PHQ-9) and burnout (MBI-HSS), as well as psychological antecedents of vaccination (5C) to measure vaccination readiness against COVID-19. A multivariate regression analysis was performed. Symptoms of a major depression were significantly associated with reduced health literacy (p = 0.010) in people in need of care. Among HCWs, symptoms of depression and burnout reduced vaccination readiness against COVID-19 significantly. In particular, collective responsibility was reduced in HCWs suffering from burnout symptoms (p = 0.001). People in need of care and their HCWs could benefit from intensified target group-specific vaccination counseling. Additionally, more attention should be paid to the protection of mental health in long-term care facilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Promoters and Barriers of Vaccination)
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