Imagine: you have just received a request to assess the mental health needs of the survivors of a large-scale disaster. What are your major challenges: Logistics? Resources? Communication? Getting an overview of who is in the area, who has been assessed, and who still needs to be? And if needs are identified, getting the appropriate services in place?
Probably all of the above. In addition, it may be dangerous to enter the disaster area altogether, for example due to radiation risk.
Therefore, wouldn’t it help if you could conduct needs assessments via social networks like Facebook? If these give the same information as face-to-face interviews that you would conduct otherwise, it would be worthwhile as a low-cost-low-risk approach.
A research team from Israel set out to test whether a Facebook sample and a traditional face-to-face sample would show differences in mental health and disaster-related data after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Continue reading
When you were young(er), did you also engage in personality predictions with your peers based on order in the family? For example, that the oldest of three siblings would be the bossiest and the youngest the most spoiled? Almost everyone (90% of us) have one or more siblings. And we know they play an important role in our lives.
Scientists in the Netherlands have now combined international research examining siblings’ role in children’s mental health. This is an innovative step, since there is quite a lot of research on parenting but not so much on siblings. Moreover, the authors state that the sibling relationship is “one of the most neglected relationships in psychological research and practice.” Also in the child traumatic stress area, I think siblings are still overlooked. Continue reading
What is going to change in the criteria for a PTSD diagnosis in the 5th edition of the psychiatry ‘bible’, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders?
The DSM-5 is to be published in May this year but some information on the changes starts to trickle through…
Below are the most important changes, drawn from a handout of the American Psychiatric Association:
1. PTSD will no longer be classified as an anxiety disorder. It will fall under the new ‘Trauma- and Stress-or-Related Disorders’. Continue reading
Something new on the blog: Have your online survey posted!
The new Surveys page will show current online questionnaires on trauma recovery and related topics.
Many thanks to guestblogger Betty Lai for asking me whether I could promote her current online research (see below). It seemed so obvious that we should have a page for that. Continue reading
I love it when research gets translated into practice. This guest post by Aimee Hildenbrand, BS & Meghan Marsac, PhD shows a great example. Aimee is a doctoral student at Drexel University and a clinical research assistant at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Meghan is a pediatric psychologist and the center’s Director of Training.
While children with cancer and their families are often resilient, the invasive and painful medical procedures, emotions, and changes to daily life that come with illness can be overwhelming. In fact, children with cancer frequently consider treatment to be more traumatic than cancer itself, underlining the need for comprehensive medical care that incorporates psychosocial services. However, supportive care tools tailored to the experience of childhood cancer and its treatment are limited.
To help address children and caregivers’ need for emotional support during pediatric cancer treatment, our team at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia developed the Cellie Cancer Coping Kit (Cellie Kit). Continue reading