The goal of the study was to examine the relationships among fatigue catastrophizing, core dysfunctional beliefs, and fatigue in breast cancer radiotherapy patients. Seventy-eight patients participated (mean age=56.3, SD=10.5).Patients completed questionnaires on: fatigue catastrophizing, core dysfunctional beliefs and fatigue in their last week of radiotherapy. Using bootstrapping procedures to obtain estimates and confidence intervals for indirect effects, results showed that core beliefs (Need for Comfort and Demandingness for Fairness) had significant indirect effects on fatigue through fatigue catastrophizing, as indicated by the 95% CI (02 to.19 for Need for Comfort, .01 to .16 for Demandingness for Fairness).
Fatigue catastrophizing; fatigue; core beliefs; breast cancer
Marriage can enhance health for individuals with a chronic disease, yet
spouses may also undermine disease management. The current study investigated
spousal undermining of dietary regimen in 129 patients with type 2 diabetes. A
total of 40 patients reported that their spouses tempted them with forbidden
foods, and 15 reported that their spouses conveyed disregard for their diabetic
diet. Spousal tempting was associated with worse dietary adherence, and spousal
disregard with worse non-dietary adherence. Spousal undermining is relatively
rare, but is associated with patients’ disease management and warrants
further investigation to better understand how spouses influence
partners’ day-to-day management of chronic disease.
aging; diet; family; health behavior; older persons
The current study assessed the reliability and validity of the Health Care Alliance Questionnaire (HCAQ), which was developed using a Delphi process and embedded in an on-going perinatal outcomes study. The HCAQ exhibited content and face validity, and high reliability. Results indicated concurrent validity in relation to satisfaction with practitioner, and discriminant validity in relation to interpersonal sensitivity and posttraumatic stress disorder. The HCAQ demonstrated predictive validity in relation to perceptions of practitioner’s care during labor and postpartum depression. Overall, results suggest that alliance may be an important factor in maternity care processes and outcomes. Further psychometric work is warranted.
alliance; factor analysis; posttraumatic stress disorder; prenatal care; psychometrics
Little is known about the impact of HIV and aging on cognitive functioning. This New York City cross-sectional study of aging HIV-positive gay and bisexual men assessed their neuropsychological state. Working memory and verbal abstract reasoning were relatively intact. After 55 years of age, attention abilities were impaired. Executive function impairment was present regardless of age and education. Results suggest the need for HIV-specific norms, and the use of neuropsychological assessments (i.e. baseline and over time) as a cost-effective way to assess HIV-related cognitive decline in developed and under-developed countries.
age; AIDS; cognitive; HIV; men’s health; neuropsychological
Waterpipe tobacco smoking (WTS) is increasing in the U.S among college students. Through a web-based survey, we explored associations among factual and perceived knowledge, perceived risks and worry about harm and addiction, and desire to quit among 316 college WTS users. Overall, factual knowledge of the harm of WTS was poor; factual and perceived knowledge were weakly correlated; both forms of knowledge were related inconsistently to perceived risks and worry, and neither form of knowledge was associated with the desire to quit. Findings provide preliminary insights as to why knowledge gaps may not predict cessation among waterpipe users.
health behavior; health psychology; public health psychology; smoking; students
Intimate relationships have received increasing attention as a context for HIV transmission. We examined the relationships among perceptions that condoms interfere with intimacy, gay-related stigma, and unprotected/ protected anal intercourse. Participants included 245 single-identified men who have sex with men. Intimacy Interference was positively associated with number of unprotected anal intercourse acts, and this effect was stronger among participants who reported high levels of gay-related stigma. In contrast, Intimacy Interference was negatively associated with number of protected anal intercourse acts, and gay-related stigma was positively associated with this outcome with no evidence of interaction effects. The findings are explained in the context of rejection sensitivity theory, and implications for public health and clinical intervention are discussed.
HIV prevention; sexual orientation; sexual risk taking; stigma
Several models for health beliefs grounded in social theories have been extensively used in health-related research. However, the measurement of beliefs, especially the stability of beliefs, is still an understudied area. For example, reliability of an item designed to measure health belief is often confounded with response consistency at the person level, and the problem is often ignored in social research in medicine. To delineate discordant responses to the same item of belief in diabetes, which could be due to item unreliability or to respondent inconsistency, we applied contemporary measurement methods to an inventory of common sense beliefs about diabetes and tested the hypothesis that individuals whose health beliefs are congruent with a biomedical model are more consistent in their item responses. Approximately equal numbers of Whites, African Americans, and American Indians (total N=563) with diabetes were recruited into the study from rural areas in North Carolina. The Common Sense Model of Diabetes Inventory, which contained 31 items across six clinical domains, was administered to the participants at baseline and then one month later. Concordance between responses was analyzed using item response theory. Item-level analysis revealed that items in the domains of Causes of Diabetes and Medical Management of Diabetes were less reliable compared to items from other domains. Person-level analysis showed that respondents who held views congruent with the biomedical model were more consistent than people who did not. Item response theory facilitates a process to evaluate item unreliability and differences in distinguishing response consistency. People with diabetes who had beliefs regarding diabetes not congruent with the biomedical model tended to be less stable in their beliefs and should be more amenable to diabetes education and other interventions.
diabetes; common sense model; reliability; concordance; response consistency; item response theory
This study examines the relationship among posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) severity, depression severity, and subjective and objective physical health in a sample of 200 adults with PTSD. PTSD severity was correlated with subjective, but not objective, health. Similarly, depression symptoms had an indirect effect on the relationship between PTSD symptom severity and three measures of subjective physical health. Finally, depression symptoms had an indirect effect on the relationship between both reexperiencing and hyperarousal symptoms and subjective physical health. This research underscores the important role that PTSD, particularly reexperiencing and hyperarousal symptoms, and depression may have on perceptions of physical health.
Adults; depression; correlation; physical symptoms; health psychology
To test the hypothesis that self-compassion buffers people against the emotional impact of illness and is associated with medical adherence, 187 HIV-infected individuals completed a measure of self-compassion and answered questions about their emotional and behavioral reactions to living with HIV. Self-compassion was related to better adjustment, including lower stress, anxiety, and shame. Participants higher in self-compassion were more likely to disclose their HIV status to others and indicated that shame had less of an effect on their willingness to practice safe sex and seek medical care. In general, self-compassion was associated with notably more adaptive reactions to having HIV.
coping; HIV/AIDS; illness; self-compassion; shame
While educational interventions to increase patient motivation to pursue living donor kidney transplant have shown success in increasing living donor kidney transplant rates, there are no validated, theoretically consistent measures of Stage of Change, a measure of readiness to pursue living donor kidney transplant; Decisional Balance, a weighted assessment of living donor kidney transplant’s advantages/disadvantages; and Self-Efficacy, a measure of belief that patients can pursue living donor kidney transplant in difficult circumstances. This study developed and validated measures of these three constructs. In two independent samples of kidney patients (N1= 279 N2= 204), results showed good psychometric properties and support for their use in the assessment of living donor kidney transplant interventions.
health education; health behavior; Self-Efficacy; stages of change; validation
This study examined the factor structure of the Menstrual Symptom Questionnaire (MSQ) in a sample of 210 adolescent girls (11–17 years). Such an examination has not been carried out with an adolescent sample. In addition, the definitions of menstrual disorders have evolved since the creation of the MSQ. Exploratory factor analysis supported a three factor structure indicating abdominal pain, negative affect/somatic complaints, and back pain. Partial correlations indicated all three MSQ factors were correlated with depressive symptoms, but only the negative affect factor was correlated with trait anxiety. Future research should explore potential associations in multiple areas of functioning as menstrual symptoms may alter healthy developmental processes during adolescence.
adolescent girls; depressive symptoms; dysmenorrhea; factor analysis; menstrual symptoms
Given the relationship between depression and smoking, we compared the two-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2) and 10-item Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CESD-10) in assessing depressive symptoms among African American light smokers in a clinical trial of bupropion. Of 539 participants, 21.3 percent reported significant depressive symptoms on the PHQ-2, 31.0 percent screened positive per CESD-10, 36.8 percent reported symptoms on either, and 15.6 percent screened positive on both (r = 0.47, p < .001). Having depressive symptoms was associated with less education, decreased positive affect and social support, and greater levels of negative affect and perceived stress. Cessation treatment should assess depression and address these symptoms.
depression; nicotine dependence; psychological distress; race; smoking; smoking cessation
No research is available regarding the association between coping styles and bodily pain by age-specific sub-groups in non-clinical older populations. To address this research gap, we recruited 317 older women (age 55–105, mainly from minority ethnic backgrounds) and divided our sample into sub-groups by decade. Regression analyses on the total sample and the age group of 65–74 demonstrated that denial and venting were inversely related to pain. Findings for the age groups 55–64 and 75–84 were non-significant. Among women age 85 or older, seeking emotional support was inversely associated with pain, while active coping was related to higher pain reports.
coping styles; developmental processes; elderly population; ethnic minorities; pain
Research suggests that perceiving cancer as a death sentence is a critical determinant of health care–seeking behaviors. However, there is limited information regarding the prevalence of this perception in the US population. Cross-sectional analysis of data (n = 7674 adults) from the 2007–2008 administration of the nationally representative Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS 3) was performed. A majority (61.6%) of respondents perceived cancer as death sentence, and more than one-third (36%) of respondents reported that they avoid seeing their physicians. In the adult US population, perceiving cancer as a death sentence is common and is associated with education level and avoidance of physicians.
cancer; health behavior; health psychology; perception; public health psychology
Social capital refers to various levels of social relationships formed through social networks. Measurement differences have lead to imprecise measurement.
A meta-analysis of eligible studies assessing the bivariate association between social capital and self-reported health and all-cause mortality.
Thirty-nine studies met inclusion criteria, showing social capital increased odds of good health by 27% (95% confidence intervals [CI] =21%, 34%). Social capital variables, reciprocity increased odds of good health by 39% (95% CI = 21%, 60%), trust by 32% (95% CI =19%, 46%). Future research suggests operationalizing measures by assessing differences by race/ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status.
Few instruments have been translated and validated for people who use American Sign Language (ASL) as their preferred language. This study examined the reliability and validity of a new ASL version of the widely-used Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC) scales. Deaf individuals (N = 311) were shown the ASL version via videotape, and their responses were recorded. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the four-factor structure of the MHLC. Scale reliabilities (Cronbach’s alphas) ranged from .60 to .93. There were no apparent gender or ethnic differences. These results provide support for the new ASL version of the MHLC scales.
Health locus of control; assessment; American Sign Language; Deaf; psychometrics
As the mechanisms of the associations between substance use and risky sex remain unclear, this study investigates the interactive roles of conflicts about casual sex and condom use and expectancies of the sexual effects of substances in those associations among gay men. Conflict interacted with expectancies to predict sexual behavior under the influence; low casual sex conflict coupled with high expectancies predicted the highest number of casual partners, and high condom use conflict and high expectancies predicted the highest number of unprotected sex acts. Results have implications for intervention efforts that aim to improve sexual decision-making and reduce sexual expectancies.
expectancies; men who have sex with men; sexual behavior; sexual conflict; substance use
This study examines the psychological factors linking childhood abuse and HIV/STI outcomes among 190 single homeless women in New York City. Participants were assessed for mental health symptoms, sexually transmitted infections, and exposure to childhood sexual and physical abuse. Findings indicate that the relationship between childhood abuse and HIV/STI diagnoses during adulthood is mediated by a combination of PTSD and BPD symptoms. Screening single homeless women who report childhood abuse histories for symptoms of both disorders may aid in the identification of individuals particularly vulnerable for HIV infection. Implications for clinical interventions are discussed.
HIV; homelessness; mental illness; sexual behavior; women’s health
The results of research linking age and sexual risk among men who have sex with men (MSM) have been inconsistent. This study assessed the relationship between age and sexual risk among 193 black MSM in Pretoria. Older MSM reported engaging in more frequent unprotected insertive anal intercourse (UIAI). We examined whether components of Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills model mediated this relationship. Results showed that (1) older age predicts less positive attitudes towards condoms, (2) less positive attitudes predict more frequent UIAI, and (3) attitudes mediate the relationship between age and frequency of UIAI. We consider two possible explanations for these findings: a developmental trajectory and a cohort effect.
Age; sexual risk behavior; Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills model; MSM; South Africa
Little is known about the psychosocial circumstances under which children develop excessive body mass. A community sample was followed from age 2 – 10 to determine which early problems were predictive of increased BMI. Hypothesized mediators (i.e. eating habits, physical activity, and “screen time”) were also examined. After controlling for parental psychopathology, family income, child’s gender, and child’s BMI, externalizing behaviors, aggressive behaviors, and anger predicted a relatively high BMI. Exploratory analyses did not support hypothesized mediators, although low power was an issue.
Obesity; overweight; children; predictors; externalizing
We conducted a pre–post feasibility trial of Healthy Eating for Life, a theory-based, multimedia English as a second language curriculum that integrates content about healthy nutrition into an English language learning program to decrease cancer health disparities. Teachers in 20 English as a second language classrooms delivered Healthy Eating for Life to 286 adult English as a second language students over one semester. Postintervention data are available for 227 students. The results indicated that Healthy Eating for Life is effective for increasing fruit and vegetable intake as well as knowledge, action planning, and coping planning related to healthy eating. Participants also achieved higher reading scores compared to the state average.
communication; eating behavior; health behavior; health education
The current study examined the influence of health insurance, psychological processes (i.e. psychological competency and vulnerability), and the interaction of these two constructs on older African Americans’ utilization of five preventive care services (e.g. cholesterol screening and mammogram/prostate examination) using data from 211 older African Americans (median age = 60). In addition to direct effects, the influence of health insurance sometimes varied depending on respondents’ psychological competency and/or vulnerability. Policies and interventions to increase older African Americans’ use of preventive health services should consider structural (e.g. health insurance) and psychological (e.g. psychological competency and vulnerability) factors along with the interaction between these factors.
African Americans; control; health insurance; preventive care; vulnerability
We investigate sex and race/ethnic differences in adolescents’ perceptions of the same objectively-measured weight in a nationally-representative U.S. sample. At the same BMI z-score, girls perceive themselves as heavier than boys. Regardless of sex and relative to Whites, African-Americans perceive the same BMI z-score as leaner and Native Americans are more likely to perceive objectively heavier weights as “about the right weight.” Asian boys consider a narrower weight range to be “about the right weight” relative to White boys, and Asian girls are less likely than White girls to perceive objectively lower weights as “about the right weight.”
Adolescents; Body-Mass Index; Gender; Race; Body Image