Although neurocognitive impairment is an established risk factor for medication non-adherence, standard neurocognitive tests developed for clinical purposes may not fully capture the complexities of non-adherence behavior or effectively inform theory-driven interventions. Prospective memory, an innovative cognitive construct describing one’s ability to remember to do something at a later time, is an understudied factor in the detection and remediation of medication non-adherence. This review orients researchers to the construct of prospective memory, summarizes empirical evidence for prospective memory as a risk factor for non-adherence, discusses the relative merits of current measurement techniques, and highlights potential prospective memory-focused intervention strategies. A comprehensive literature review was conducted of published empirical studies investigating prospective memory and medication adherence. Overall, reviewed studies suggest that prospective memory is an important component of medication adherence, providing incremental ecological validity over established predictors. Findings indicate that prospective memory-based interventions might be an effective means of improving adherence.
chronic disease treatment; medication adherence; episodic memory; neuropsychological assessment; review
The association between racism and the physical health of native U.S. populations has yet to be examined despite their high risk for stress-related disorders and a history of discrimination toward them. We examined the correlation between perceived racism and the two physiological stress indices of cortisol level and blood pressure in 146 adult Native Hawaiians. Attributed and felt racism were assessed with a 10-item shortened version of the Oppression Questionnaire. Height, weight, blood pressure (BP), and salivary cortisol samples (AM and PM) were collected and analyzed along with information on Hawaiian ancestry, BMI, age, sex, marital status, education level, general psychological stress, and ethnic identity. The results indicated that Native Hawaiians reporting more attributed racism had significantly (p < .05) lower average cortisol levels than those reporting less attributed racism, after adjusting for socio-demographic, biological, and psychosocial confounders. Native Hawaiians reporting more felt racism had a significantly higher systolic BP than those reporting less, but this association was not significant after adjusting for the aforementioned confounders. Racism appears to be a chronic stressor that can “get under the skin” of Native Hawaiians by affecting their physical health and risk for stress-related diseases, possibly, through mechanisms of cortisol dysregulation.
Native Hawaiian; racism; discrimination; physiological stress; salivary cortisol; blood pressure
Current measures of internalized weight bias assess factors such as responsibility for weight status, mistreatment because of weight, etc. A potential complementary approach for assessing internalized weight bias is to examine the correspondence between individuals’ ratings of obese people, normal weight people, and themselves on personality traits. This investigation examined the relationships among different measures of internalized weight bias, as well as the association between those measures and psychosocial maladjustment. Prior to the beginning of a weight loss intervention, 62 overweight/obese adults completed measures of explicit and internalized weight bias as well as body image, binge eating, and depression. Discrepancies between participants’ ratings of obese people in general and ratings of themselves on both positive and negative traits predicted unique variance in measures of maladjustment above a traditional assessment of internalized weight bias. This novel approach to measuring internalized weight bias provides information above and beyond traditional measures of internalized weight bias and begins to provide insights into social comparison processes involved in weight bias.
Internalized weight bias; Weight stigma; Body image; Binge eating; Depression
In a stepped-care approach to treatment, patients are transitioned to more intensive treatments when less intensive treatments fail to meet treatment goals. Self-help programs are recommended as an initial, low intensity treatment phase in stepped-care models. This investigation examined the effectiveness of a self-help, stepped-care weight loss program. Fifty-eight overweight/obese adults (BMI ≥ 27 kg/m2) participated in a weight loss program. Participants were predominately Caucasian (93.1%) and female (89.7%) with a mean BMI of 36.6 (SD = 7.1). Of those completing the program, 57% of participants (N = 21) who remained in self-help maintained an 8% weight loss at follow-up. Participants who were stepped-up self-monitored fewer days and reported higher daily caloric intake than self-help participants. Once stepped-up, weight loss outcomes were equivalent between individuals who remained in self-help compared to those who were stepped-up. Individuals who were stepped-up benefited from early intensive intervention when unsuccessful at losing weight with self-help.
Weight loss treatment; Obesity; Stepped-care; Self-help
To evaluate the prevalence of insomnia in MS patients with comorbid depression, associations between psychological symptoms, MS symptoms and insomnia, and to test effects of a psychotherapy intervention on insomnia symptoms.
Participants with MS and depression were randomized to two 16-week protocol based psychotherapies: telephone administered cognitive behavioral therapy and telephone administered supportive emotion focused therapy. MS symptoms were measured at baseline. Depression, insomnia, anxiety were evaluated at pre-treatment, mid treatment (8 weeks), and post treatment (16 weeks).
Data were available for 127 participants. Prevalence of insomnia ≥ 3 times per week was 78% at pre treatment and 43% at post treatment. Insomnia symptoms at baseline were associated with depression, MS related mood symptoms and anxiety. Middle of the night awakenings were associated with swallowing and speech problems. Improvements in insomnia were associated with improvement in depression and anxiety, but treatment type did not predict improvement. Participants with residual insomnia were more likely to have major depressive disorder, greater MS severity and elevated anxiety.
Rates of insomnia in patients with comorbid MS and depression are higher than those reported in the general MS population. The greatest improvements in insomnia were seen in those with the most improvement in depression and anxiety, particularly for sleep onset insomnia. Despite this improvement, a nearly half of participants continued to report insomnia. Results suggest additional treatment of insomnia is needed beyond the treatment of comorbid psychological disorders.
multiple sclerosis; depression; insomnia
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a secular behavioral medicine program that has roots in meditative spiritual practices. Thus, spirituality may partly explain Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction outcomes. Participants (N = 279; M (SD) age = 45(12); 75% women) completed an online survey before and after an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesis that, following Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, the relationship between enhanced mindfulness and improved health-related quality of life is mediated by increased daily spiritual experiences. Changes in both spirituality and mindfulness were significantly related to improvement in mental health. Although the initial mediation hypothesis was not supported, an alternate model suggested that enhanced mindfulness partly mediated the association between increased daily spiritual experiences and improved mental health-related quality of life (indirect effect: β = 0.07, P = 0.017). Effects on physical health-related quality of life were not significant. Findings suggest a novel mechanism by which increased daily spiritual experiences following Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction may partially explain improved mental health as a function of greater mindfulness.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction; Spirituality; Quality of life; Meditation; Mediation
Patients make medical decisions in consultation with their partner, family, and friends. However, little is known about the ways in which these close others influence their decisions, particularly with respect to discrete decisions such as those related to medical treatments. This cross-sectional study investigated their influence on the surgical decisions of inflammatory bowel disease patients referred for surgery to remove their colon (N = 91). Guided by research on social control and classic research on power and influence in close relationships, we identified four types of close other decision influence: persuasion, assistance with understanding, indirect influence, and negative influence. Linear logistic and regression analyses showed that patients were more likely to have surgery when their close other used persuasion, and they reported lower decisional conflict when their close other helped them understand the decision. Patients were less likely to have surgery and reported greater decisional conflict when their close other used negative influence tactics. Findings demonstrate the importance of considering social context when investigating patient decision making.
Decision making; Interpersonal; Partner; Social control; Social influence
Few behavioral interventions have been conducted to reduce high-risk sexual behavior among HIV-positive Men who have Sex with Men (HIV+MSM). Hence, we lack well-proven interventions for this population.
Positive Connections is a randomized controlled trial (n=675 HIV+MSM) comparing the effects of two sexual health seminars – for HIV+MSM and all MSM – with a contrast prevention video arm. Baseline, 6-, 12- and 18-month follow-up surveys assessed important psychosexual variables and frequency of serodiscordant unprotected anal intercourse (SDUAI).
At post-test, intentions to avoid transmission were significantly higher in the sexual health arms. However, SDUAI frequency decreased equally across all arms, from 15.0 at baseline to 11.5 at 18 months. HIV+MSM engaging in SDUAI at baseline were more likely to leave the study.
Tailoring interventions to HIV+MSM does not appear to increase the effectiveness of HIV prevention. A sexual health approach appears no more effective than video-based HIV prevention.
HIV+MSM; MSM; HIV prevention; behavioral interventions; unsafe sex; prevention for positives
This 12-month, 2 arm, single blind randomized controlled exercise trial examined relationships among changes in multidimensional self-esteem as a function of intervention mode (i.e., walking vs. flexibility-toning-balance). Data were collected on three equidistant occasions (baseline, 6 and 12 months). One-hundred seventy-nine older adults (Mage = 66.38) began the study and 145 completed assessments at all time points. Participants completed measures of physical and global self-esteem as well as demographic information. There were no significant group differences at baseline on these demographic indicators or esteem variables. Data were analyzed using linear and parallel process growth modeling procedures. Results supported the position that across both groups, domain-level (i.e., physical self-worth) was dependent upon sub-domain-level (i.e., perceived attractiveness, strength, and condition) esteem change. Furthermore, greater improvements were observed in the flexibility-toning-balance group, in terms of perceived strength and attractiveness esteem, compared to the walking group. Our findings support theoretically-based predictions and extend the literature showing unique psychological responses conditional on specific types of physical activities.
Self perceptions; Physical activity; Growth models; Modes of exercise
In a laboratory study we examined the hypothesis that placebo expectations enhance the initial identification of placebo-relevant sensations over placebo-irrelevant sensations. Participants (N = 102) were randomly assigned to one of three expectation groups. In the first group, participants ingested a placebo capsule and were told it was caffeine (deceptive expectation). In a second group, participants ingested a placebo capsule and were told it may be caffeine or it may be a placebo (double-blind expectation). Participants in the third group were given no expectation. All participants then tallied the placebo-relevant and placebo-irrelevant sensations they experienced during a 7-min period. Participants in the deceptive expectation group identified more placebo-relevant sensations than placebo-irrelevant sensations. No-expectation participants identified more placebo-irrelevant sensations than placebo-relevant sensations. Participants given the double-blind expectation identified an equal amount of placebo-relevant and irrelevant sensations. The amount of both placebo-relevant and placebo-irrelevant sensations detected mediated the relationship between the expectation manipulation and subsequent symptom reports. These data support the position that expectations cause placebo responding, in part, by altering how one identifies bodily sensations.
Placebo effect; Expectation; Symptom perception; Attention
Theory and empirical evidence suggest that perceived barriers to opportunity, such as discrimination, can lead to the adoption of unhealthy behaviors. The study assessed the relationship between perceived racial/ethnic, language and legal status barriers to opportunity and substance use among Latino immigrant men in North Carolina. Logistic regression was used to test for the association between perceived barriers and odds of binge drinking in the past 30 days and cigarette smoking. In both crude and adjusted models, perceived language barriers (OR = 3.05, 95% CI: 1.78 – 5.25) and legal status barriers (OR = 2.25, 95% CI: 1.26 – 4.01) were associated with increased odds of having engaged in binge drinking. Perceived barriers to opportunity were not significantly associated with cigarette smoking. Further research is needed to better understand the effect of language and legal status barriers on health among Latino immigrants.
Alcohol; Tobacco; Latino; Immigrant
Cocaine abuse among HIV patients is associated with faster disease progression and mortality. This study examined the relationship between neurocognitive functioning and medication adherence in HIV patients with (n= 25) and without (n= 39) current cocaine dependence. Active users had greater neurocognitive impairment (mean T-score= 35.16 vs. 40.97, p < .05) and worse medication adherence (mean z-score= −0.44 vs. 0.27, p < .001). In a multiple regression model, neurocognitive functioning (β= .33, p < .01) and cocaine dependence (β= −.36, p < .01) were predictive of poorer adherence. There was a significant indirect effect of cocaine dependence on medication adherence through neurocognitive impairment (estimate= −0.15, p < .05), suggesting that neurocognitive impairment partially mediated the relationship between cocaine dependence and poorer adherence. These results confirm that cocaine users are at high risk for poor HIV outcomes and underscore the importance of treating both neurocognitive impairment and cocaine dependence among HIV patients.
HIV/AIDS; cocaine dependence; antiretroviral therapy; medication adherence; neurocognitive functioning
Personal attributions for cancer risk involve factors that individuals believe contribute to their risk for developing cancer. Understanding personal risk attributions for melanoma may dictate gene-environment melanoma risk communication strategies. We examined attributions for melanoma risk in a population-based sample of melanoma survivors, first degree family members, and family members who are also parents (N=939). We conducted qualitative examination of open-ended risk attributions and logistic regression examining predictors (demographics, family member type, perceived risk) of the attributions reported (ultraviolet radiation [UVR] exposure, heredity/genetics, phenotype, personal melanoma history, miscellaneous). We found a predominance of risk attributions to UVR and heredity/genetics (80% and 45% of the sample, respectively). Those reporting higher education levels were more likely to endorse attributions to heredity/genetics, as well as to phenotype, than those of lower education levels. First-degree relatives and parent family members were more likely to endorse heredity/genetic attributions than melanoma survivors; melanoma survivors were more likely to endorse personal history of melanoma attributions compared to first-degree relatives and parent family members. These findings inform the development of risk communication interventions for melanoma families.
risk perceptions; risk attributions; melanoma families
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is relatively common among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) and may be associated with antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence. We examined the relationship between PTSD symptom severity and adherence among 214 African American males. Because PLHA may experience discrimination, potentially in the form of traumatic stress (e.g., hate crimes), we also examined whether perceived discrimination (related to race, HIV status, sexual orientation) is an explanatory variable in the relationship between PTSD and adherence. Adherence, monitored electronically over 6 months, was negatively correlated with PTSD total and re-experiencing symptom severity; all 3 discrimination types were positively correlated with PTSD symptoms and negatively correlated with adherence. Each discrimination type separately mediated the relationship between PTSD and adherence; when both PTSD and discrimination were included in the model, discrimination was the sole predictor of adherence. Findings highlight the critical role that discrimination plays in adherence among African American men experiencing posttraumatic stress.
HIV; adherence; posttraumatic stress; discrimination; mediation
To examine how chronic stress in major life domains [relationship, work, sympathetic-caregiving, financial] relates to CVD risk, operationalized using the inflammatory marker C-Reactive Protein (CRP), and whether gender differences exist.
Participants were 6583 individuals aged 45 to 84 years, recruited as part of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Demographic and behavioral factors, health history, and chronic stress were self-reported. CRP was obtained through venous blood draw.
In aggregate, gender by chronic stress interaction effects accounted for a significant, albeit small, amount of variance in CRP (p<.01). The sympathetic-caregiving stress by gender interaction was significant (p<.01); the work stress by gender effect approached significance (p=.05). Women with sympathetic-caregiving stress had higher CRP than those without, whereas no difference in CRP by stress group was observed for men.
Findings underscore the importance of considering gender as an effect modifier in analyses of stress – CVD risk relationships.
Cardiovascular disease; C-reactive Protein; chronic stress; gender; inflammation; stress domains
Racism is a stressor that contributes to racial/ethnic disparities in mental and physical health and to variations in these outcomes within racial and ethnic minority groups. The aim of this paper is to identify and discuss key issues in the study of individual-level strategies for coping with interpersonal racism. We begin with a discussion of the ways in which racism acts as a stressor and requires the mobilization of coping resources. Next, we examine available models for describing and conceptualizing strategies for coping with racism. Third, we discuss three major forms of coping: racial identity development, social support seeking and anger suppression and expression. We examine empirical support for the role of these coping strategies in buffering the impact of racism on specific health-related outcomes, including mental health (i.e., specifically, self-reported psychological distress and depressive symptoms), self-reported physical health, resting blood pressure levels, and cardiovascular reactivity to stressors. Careful examination of the effectiveness of individual-level coping strategies can guide future interventions on both the individual and community levels.
This research tested if a 12-session coping improvement group intervention (n = 104) reduced depressive symptoms in HIV-infected older adults compared to an interpersonal support group intervention (n = 105) and an individual therapy upon request (ITUR) control condition (n = 86). Participants were 295 HIV-infected men and women 50-plus years of age living in New York City, Cincinnati, OH, and Columbus, OH. Using A-CASI assessment methodology, participants provided data on their depressive symptoms using the Geriatric Depression Screening Scale (GDS) at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and 4- and 8-month follow-up. Whether conducted with all participants (N = 295) or only a subset of participants diagnosed with mild, moderate, or severe depressive symptoms (N = 171), mixed models analyses of repeated measures found that both coping improvement and interpersonal support group intervention participants reported fewer depressive symptoms than ITUR controls at post-intervention, 4-month follow-up, and 8-month follow-up. The effect sizes of the differences between the two active interventions and the control group were greater when outcome analyses were limited to those participants with mild, moderate, or severe depressive symptoms. At no assessment period did coping improvement and interpersonal support group intervention participants differ in depressive symptoms.
HIV; AIDS; Older adults; Coping; Intervention; RCT
Although a well-established literature implicates religiosity as a central element of the African American experience, little is known about how individuals from this group utilize religion to cope with specific health-related stressors. The present study examined the relation between religious coping and hospital admissions among a cohort of 95 adults with sickle cell disease—a genetic blood disorder that, in the United States, primarily affects people of African ancestry. Multiple regression analyses indicated that positive religious coping uniquely accounted for variance in hospital admissions after adjusting for other demographic and diagnostic variables. Specifically, greater endorsement of positive religious coping was associated with significantly fewer hospital admissions (β = −.29, P<.05). These results indicate a need for further investigation of the roles that religion and spirituality play in adjustment to sickle cell disease and their influence on health care utilization patterns and health outcomes.
Religious coping; Hospital admissions; Sickle cell disease
Both habit strength and action planning have been found to moderate the intention-exercise behaviour relationship, but no research exists that has investigated how habit strength and action planning simultaneously influence this relationship. The present study was designed to explore this issue in a prospective sample of undergraduate students (N = 415): action planning, habit strength, intention, attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control were assessed at baseline and exercise behaviour was assessed 2 weeks later. Both habit strength and action planning moderated the intention-exercise relationship, with stronger relationship at higher levels of planning or habit strength. Decomposing a significant action planning × habit strength × intention interaction showed that the strength of the intention-exercise relationship progressed linearly through levels of action planning and habit strength. These novel results show that action planning strengthens the intention-habit strength interaction in the exercise domain: exercise interventions should therefore focus on simultaneously bolstering action planning and habit strength.
Exercise behaviour; Intention-exercise relationship; Habit strength; Action planning; Interaction
This meta-analysis synthesized studies on emotional well-being as predictor of the prognosis of physical illness, while in addition evaluating the impact of putative moderators, namely constructs of well-being, health-related outcome, year of publication, follow-up time and methodological quality of the included studies. The search in reference lists and electronic databases (Medline and PsycInfo) identified 17 eligible studies examining the impact of general well-being, positive affect and life satisfaction on recovery and survival in physically ill patients. Meta-analytically combining these studies revealed a Likelihood Ratio of 1.14, indicating a small but significant effect. Higher levels of emotional well-being are beneficial for recovery and survival in physically ill patients. The findings show that emotional well-being predicts long-term prognosis of physical illness. This suggests that enhancement of emotional well-being may improve the prognosis of physical illness, which should be investigated by future research.
Meta-analysis; Emotional well-being; Recovery; Survival; Prognosis; Physical illness
Research on the conceptualization of adherence to treatment has not addressed a key question: Is adherence best defined as being a uni-dimensional or multi-dimensional behavioral construct? The primary aim of this study was to test which of these conceptual models best described adherence to a weight management program. This ancillary study was conducted as a part of the POUNDS LOST trial that tested the efficacy of four dietary macro-nutrient compositions for promoting weight loss. A sample of 811 overweight/obese adults was recruited across two clinical sites, and each participant was randomly assigned to one of four macronutrient prescriptions: (1) Low fat (20% of energy), average protein (15% of energy); (2) High fat (40%), average protein (15%); (3) Low fat (20%), high protein (25%); (4) High fat (40%), high protein (25%). Throughout the first 6 months of the study, a computer tracking system collected data on eight indicators of adherence. Computer tracking data from the initial 6 months of the intervention were analyzed using exploratory and confirmatory analyses. Two factors (accounting for 66% of the variance) were identified and confirmed: (1) behavioral adherence and (2) dietary adherence. Behavioral adherence did not differ across the four interventions, but prescription of a high fat diet (vs. a low fat diet) was found to be associated with higher levels of dietary adherence. The findings of this study indicated that adherence to a weight management program was best conceptualized as being multi-dimensional, with two dimensions: behavioral and dietary adherence.
Adherence; Overweight; Obesity; Randomized controlled trial; Lifestyle behavior modification
The primary aim of this study was to test the association of early (first 6 months) adherence related to diet, self-monitoring, and attendance with changes in adiposity and cardiovascular risk factors. This study used data from the 24-month POUNDS LOST trial that tested the efficacy of four dietary macronutrient compositions for short-and long-term weight loss. A computer tracking system was used to record data on eight indicator variables related to adherence. Using canonical correlations at the 6 and 24 month measurement periods, early behavioral adherence was associated with changes in percent weight loss and waist circumference at 6 months (R = 0.52) and 24 months (R = 0.37), but was not associated with cardiovascular disease risk factor levels. Early dietary adherence was associated with changes in insulin at 6 months (R = 0.19), but not at 24 months (R = 0.08, ns). Early dietary adherence was not associated with changes in adiposity.
Obesity; Weight management; Adherence; Computer tracking; Waist circumference; Insulin
Although depressive symptoms have been linked to stroke, most research has been in relatively ethnically homogeneous, predominantly white, samples. Using the United States based Health and Retirement Study, we compared the relationships between elevated depressive symptoms and incident first stroke for Hispanic, black, or white/other participants (N = 18,648) and estimated the corresponding Population Attributable Fractions. The prevalence of elevated depressive symptoms was higher in blacks (27%) and Hispanics (33%) than whites/others (18%). Elevated depressive symptoms prospectively predicted stroke risk in the whites/other group (HR = 1.53; 95% CI: 1.36–1.73) and among blacks (HR = 1.31; 95% CI: 1.05–1.65). The HR was similar but only marginally statistically significant among Hispanics (HR = 1.33; 95% CI: 0.92–1.91). The Population Attributable Fraction, indicating the percent of first strokes that would be prevented if the incident stroke rate in those with elevated depressive symptoms was the same as the rate for those without depressive symptoms, was 8.3% for whites/others, 7.8% for blacks, and 10.3% for Hispanics.
Stroke; Depression; Minority; Risk factor; Psychosocial; Disparities
This study examined the timing of smoking onset during mid- or late adolescence and the time-varying effects of refusal self-efficacy, parental and sibling smoking behavior, smoking behavior of friends and best friend, and parental smoking-specific communication. We used data from five annual waves of the ‘Family and Health’ project. In total, 428 adolescents and their parents participated at baseline. Only never smokers were included at baseline (n = 272). A life table and Kaplan–Meier survival curve showed that 51% of all adolescents who did not smoke at baseline did not start smoking within 4 years. The risk for smoking onset during mid- or late adolescence is rather stable (hazard ratio between 16 and 19). Discrete-time survival analyses revealed that low refusal self-efficacy, high frequency of communication, and sibling smoking were associated with smoking onset one year later. No interaction effects were found. Conclusively, the findings revealed that refusal self-efficacy is an important predictor of smoking onset during mid- or late adolescence and is independent of smoking-specific communication and smoking behavior of parents, siblings, and (best) friend(s). Findings emphasize the importance of family prevention programs focusing on self-efficacy skills.
Smoking onset; Refusal self-efficacy; Smoking-specific parenting; Adolescence; Friends; Discrete-time survival analysis
Unrealistically optimistic or pessimistic risk perceptions may be associated with maladaptive health behaviors. This study characterized factors associated with unrealistic optimism (UO) and unrealistic pessimism (UP) about breast cancer. Data from the 2005 National Health Interview Survey were analyzed (N=14,426 women). After accounting for objective risk status, many (43.8%) women displayed UO, 12.3% displayed UP, 34.5% had accurate risk perceptions (their perceived risk matched their calculated risk), and 9.5% indicated “don’t know/no response.” Multivariate multinomial logistic regression indicated that UO was associated with higher education and never smoking. UP was associated with lower education, lower income, being non-Hispanic Black, having ≥3 comorbidities, current smoking, and being overweight. UO was more likely to emerge in younger and older than in middle-aged individuals. UO and UP are associated with different demographic, health, and behavioral characteristics. Population segments that are already vulnerable to negative health outcomes displayed more UP than less vulnerable populations.
Unrealistic optimism; unrealistic pessimism; breast cancer; health behavior