Behav. Sci.2014, 4(4), 448-470; doi:10.3390/bs4040448 - published 7 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper explains how scientific data can be incorporated into urban design decisions, such as evaluating contextual design principles. The recommended protocols are based on the Cochrane Reviews that have been widely used in medical research. The major concepts of a Cochrane Review are explained, as well as the underlying mathematics. The underlying math is meta-analysis. Data are reported for three applications and seven contextual design policies. It is suggested that use of the Cochrane protocols will be of great assistance to planners by providing scientific data that can be used to evaluate the efficacies of contextual design policies prior to implementing those policies.
Behav. Sci.2014, 4(4), 437-447; doi:10.3390/bs4040437 - published 6 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Psychosocial interventions are an essential part of the treatment for people with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia. The criteria regarding what makes an intervention “evidence-based” along with a current list of evidence-based interventions are presented. Although many evidence-based interventions exist, implementation studies reveal that few, if any, are ever implemented in a given setting. Various theories and approaches have been developed to better understand and overcome implementation obstacles. Among these, merging two evidence-based interventions, or offering an evidence-based intervention within an evidence-based service, are increasingly being reported and studied in the literature. Five such merges are presented, along with their empirical support: cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) with skills training; CBT and family psychoeducation; supported employment (SE) and skills training; SE and cognitive remediation; and SE and CBT.
Behav. Sci.2014, 4(4), 423-436; doi:10.3390/bs4040423 - published 31 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The ability to successfully navigate in healthcare facilities is an important goal for patients, visitors, and staff. Despite the fundamental nature of such behavior, it is not infrequent for planners to consider wayfinding only after the fact, once the building or building complex is complete. This review argues that more recognition is needed for the pivotal role of wayfinding in healthcare facilities. First, to provide context, the review presents a brief overview of the relationship between environmental psychology and healthcare facility design. Then, the core of the article covers advances in wayfinding research with an emphasis on healthcare environments, including the roles of plan configuration and manifest cues, technology, and user characteristics. Plan configuration and manifest cues, which appeared early on in wayfinding research, continue to play a role in wayfinding success and should inform design decisions. Such considerations are joined by emerging technologies (e.g., mobile applications, virtual reality, and computational models of wayfinding) as a way to both enhance our theoretical knowledge of wayfinding and advance its applications for users. Among the users discussed here are those with cognitive and/or visual challenges (e.g., Down syndrome, age-related decrements such as dementia, and limitations of vision). In addition, research on the role of cross-cultural comprehension and the effort to develop a system of universal healthcare symbols is included. The article concludes with a summary of the status of these advances and directions for future research.
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.