Behav. Sci.2014, 4(4), 410-422; doi:10.3390/bs4040410 - published 21 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Evidence-based psychotherapies (EBP) for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder are not utilized to their full extent within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA provides care to many persons with PTSD and has been in the forefront of clinical practice guidelines and EBP training and dissemination. Yet VA continues to find EBP implementation difficult. Veterans with PTSD often initially present to prescribing clinicians, who then help make care decisions. It is therefore critical that these clinicians correctly screen and triage appropriate mental health care. The purpose of this study was to assess VA prescribing clinicians’ knowledge, perceptions, and referral behaviors related to EBPs for PTSD and to identify facilitators and barriers to implementing EBPs within VA. We conducted qualitative interviews with 26 VA prescribing clinicians. Limited access to EBPs was the most commonly noted barrier. The clinicians we interviewed also held specific beliefs and behaviors that may delay or deter EBPs. Strategies to improve utilization also emerged. Findings suggest the need for increased access to EBPs, training to optimize the role of prescribing clinicians in helping Veterans with PTSD make appropriate care decisions, and specific organizational changes to facilitate access and effective referral systems for EBPs.
Behav. Sci.2014, 4(4), 394-409; doi:10.3390/bs4040394 - published 21 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Physical settings can play a role in coping with stress; in particular experimental research has found strong evidence between exposure to natural environments and recovery from physiological stress and mental fatigue, giving support to both Stress Recovery Theory and Attention Restoration Theory. In fact, exposure to natural environments protects people against the impact of environmental stressors and offer physiological, emotional and attention restoration more so than urban environments. Natural places that allow the renewal of personal adaptive resources to meet the demands of everyday life are called restorative environments. Natural environments elicit greater calming responses than urban environments, and in relation to their vision there is a general reduction of physiological symptoms of stress. Exposure to natural scenes mediates the negative effects of stress reducing the negative mood state and above all enhancing positive emotions. Moreover, one can recover the decrease of cognitive performance associated with stress, especially reflected in attention tasks, through the salutary effect of viewing nature. Giving the many benefits of contact with nature, plans for urban environments should attend to restorativeness.
Behav. Sci.2014, 4(4), 371-393; doi:10.3390/bs4040371 - published 13 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: “Behavior settings” are generated by joint actions of individuals in conjunction with the milieu features (or affordances) that are available. The reported research explores the hypothesis that the identity or meaning of a behavior setting can be perceived by means of the patterns of action collectively generated by the setting’s participants. A set of computer animations was created based on detailed observation of activities in everyday settings. Three experiments were conducted to assess whether perceivers could extract “structure from motion” (in this case, collective actions) that was specific to the particular behavior setting displayed by way of the animations. Two experiments assessed whether individuals could accurately perceive the identity of the behavior settings with such displays, and a third experiment indirectly examined this possibility by evaluating whether setting possibilities and constraints were recognized. The results offered some support for the hypothesis, and suggested several refinements in how to conceptualize a typology of behavior settings. An ecological approach to place perception is also discussed.
Behav. Sci.2014, 4(4), 352-370; doi:10.3390/bs4040352 - published 9 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Impulsivity is a common and debilitating sequela following traumatic brain injury (TBI), but there is no consensual definition or measure to assess this construct. The following review aims to elucidate the differences and resemblances between impulsivity, disinhibition and other related terms following brain injury and the instruments that are commonly used to measure these constructs. To do so, a search through different databases was conducted in order to find articles that mention and define impulsivity, disinhibition, impulse control, regulation deficits, dyscontrol and risky behavior. The concepts that stand out from the literature, the measures used, the similarities, the differences between these concepts are observed. The fit with the UPPS model of impulsivity, according to which impulsivity is a multidimensional concept composed of four distinct dimensions (urgency, perseverance, premeditation and sensation-seeking) is discussed.
Behav. Sci.2014, 4(4), 341-351; doi:10.3390/bs4040341 - published 29 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This literature review examines the changing roles of ethnic enclaves, the question of their authenticity, and their value as commodified spaces, giving special attention to Little Italy neighborhoods in the United States. Understanding the roles of ethnic enclaves requires some understanding about immigrants’ identities. For some theorists, immigrants become blended into society over the course of generations; for other theorists, descendants of immigrants sometimes retain their cultural heritage and traits, helping form a multicultural or pluralist society. In the traditional sense, ethnic enclaves consist of both ethnic residents and ethnic businesses (such as restaurants, shops, and grocers). One way that ethnic enclaves change is when the area experiences a demographic shift, and people from outside the ethnic group move their residences and businesses to the neighborhood, resulting in the area becoming diversified in people and businesses. A second way that an ethnic enclave changes is when the ethnic group shrinks, but the shops and other businesses remain, resulting in the area becoming diversified in residents but not businesses. This latter situation may encourage commodification of the neighborhood’s ethnic identity, where a municipality or business association seeks to preserve an enclave’s ethnic reputation for tourism purposes. This commodification has implications for many individuals and groups within the enclave as well as outside of it.
Behav. Sci.2014, 4(3), 320-340; doi:10.3390/bs4030320 - published 3 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Latinos have a long history of military service with recent service including combat conditions and multiple deployments, which are highly associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Clinical acumen underscores the importance of culture in assessment and treatment, but there has been little scientific literature that investigates the unique needs of veteran Latinos with PTSD. The primary goal of this systematic review was to analyze the existing literature on Latino veterans with PTSD and to critically evaluate attention to cultural issues. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses were used to guide this review. Peer-reviewed, research reports written in English on Latino Veterans with PTSD since 1980 were included; 20 were assessment related, and nine were treatment related. All studies were quantitative. Only 13 studies mentioned culture as part of the context for Latino veterans, and only seven included cultural factors as part of the study design. Present findings highlight a lack of research focused on understanding cultural factors related to the assessment and treatment of Latino veterans with PTSD. Culturally-informed research on Latino veterans from current wars, Latina veterans and Latino veteran treatment outcomes are necessary to provide culturally-appropriate care to this growing veteran subgroup.