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Professional Psychology: Research and Practice - Vol 45, Iss 3

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Professional Psychology: Research and Practice Professional Psychology: Research and Practice publishes articles on the application of psychology, including the scientific underpinnings of the profession of psychology.
Copyright 2014 American Psychological Association
  • Race, gender, and conceptualizations of fear.
    This study used qualitative methods and quantitative statistical analyses to examine whether race and gender are associated with reasons for which adults perceive a situation or object as fearful. The sample consists of 197 African American and White adults (ages 18–85) recruited through a convenience sample and community sources in the Midwest. A cognitive interviewing instrument was utilized to examine respondents’ understanding of words and phrases from a mental health instrument. Using qualitative methods, free-response answers were content coded using 5 “fear-codes” (i.e., harm/danger, external locus of control, self-perception, and past experience), developed by the researchers. Results from logistic regression analyses indicate that race significantly predicts usage of specific fear codes (p <.05). In addition, a race by gender interaction was found. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Psychosocial correlates of college students’ help-seeking intention: A meta-analysis.
    Associations between psychosocial variables and help-seeking intention among college students have often been examined, with inconclusive and sometimes conflicting findings. To consolidate the available research, data from 18 eligible studies comprising a total of 6,839 participants were pooled and meta-analyzed. Attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help and anticipated utility demonstrated the strongest correlations with help-seeking intention. Practice implications are discussed, including the importance of psychoeducation on the effectiveness of evidence-based intervention to motivate professional help-seeking. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Where have they gone? Tracking movement patterns to document the process of situational exposure in agoraphobia.
    Therapists typically have limited information about how unaccompanied situational exposure is undertaken. To address this issue, we present a method of assessing movement patterns and concurrent arousal collected during situational exposure. We illustrate how this provides both objective and useful accounts of this important treatment component. In this case study, recordings of global positioning system-derived position and heart rate were obtained from a 47-year-old female patient suffering from panic disorder with agoraphobia who received treatment through an outpatient clinic. Ambulatory assessment of movement and accompanying physiology (heart rate) during situational exposure is described. Visualizations of positional and physiological data recorded during exposure sessions revealed (a) that the patient actually confronted feared environmental cues, (b) that she experienced elevated physiological arousal, and (c) good therapeutic compliance. These depictions were used to plan subsequent exposure sessions and we discuss how this information provided unique insights into the process of exposure. Assessment of movement patterns using commercially available technology can yield clinically relevant information about treatment progress. We conclude that this method could extend traditional self-report measures of agoraphobic avoidance. Future directions, such as the possibility of using movement information to refine follow-up assessment, and the limitations of this approach are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Prolonged grief disorder: Diagnostic, assessment, and treatment considerations.
    Normative bereavement reactions are contrasted with prolonged grief disorder (PGD). Diagnostic criteria for PGD are reviewed. PGD is distinguished from other problems occurring after loss, namely depression and PTSD. Assessment approaches are described. Recent clinical trials are reviewed, and recommendations for the psychotherapeutic treatment of PGD are developed. Consideration of medication referral is also recommended, especially in the case of co-occurring depression. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Community-based clinicians’ preferences for training in evidence-based practices: A mixed-method study.
    This study solicited the perspectives of community-based behavioral health practitioners and supervisors about their perceived clinical training needs and preferences using a mixed-methods approach. Forty one participants completed quantitative questionnaires before engaging in qualitative focus groups or interviews. Of those, 34 practitioners participated in a focus group discussion and 7 supervisors participated in semistructured interviews. Quantitative analyses (one-way analysis of variance [ANOVA]; t test) indicated differences in attitude toward the adoption of evidence-based practices across service line, but not role (staff vs. supervisor), with wraparound staff being more open and willing to implement evidence-based practices. Qualitative data were coded by 2 independent coders. Four themes emerged: include training support from trainers, agencies, supervisors, and peers within and across departments; use interactive training methods rather than lecture-based formats; schedule and structure training sessions with an appreciation of the time constraints upon practitioners; and offer training in content areas that are both efficacious and of interest. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Preparing the professional psychology workforce for primary care.
    Changes to the health care delivery system, as detailed in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, focus on interprofessional organizations such as accountable care organizations and patient-centered health care homes, the home of primary care. Changes to the system must focus on the delivery of efficient, cost-effective, and quality health care services. Health service psychologists who wish to practice in the primary care settings of the future must be prepared to enhance quality of patient care using defined, interprofessional competencies as they practice within an increasingly evidence-based, team-based, integrated care system with patients and families across the life span. This article describes challenges and opportunities facing professional psychology in its role in primary care health care services. Specific recommendations that will lead to success in the primary care environment are presented for the education and training of the next generation of health service psychologists as well as for those psychologists currently in practice who will seek to expand their scope of practice in that venue. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Rediscovering the role of avoidance in psychotherapy progress and outcome.
    Avoidance has been proposed as an important variable in the development of psychological problems. Relatively little empirical work has been conducted, however, that examines the relationship of avoidance to progress in therapy. This report first describes the theoretical contribution of avoidance-related constructs in the development of psychological problems and in obstructing therapeutic progress. Next, the report reviews research indicating that (a) avoidance may interfere with emotional and cognitive processes necessary for therapeutic progress and (b) substantial differences in therapeutic progress exist between clients who do and do not evidence avoidance of negative affect (NA). Finally, new exploratory analyses are reported that indicate (a) considerable variability in the frequency with which therapists identified client avoidance and (b) how avoidance and progress monitoring data can be combined to estimate the likelihood of short-term client progress. Overall, findings suggest that clinicians should pay particular attention to avoidance in clients who are failing to improve. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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