Abstract: Recent psychoneuroimmunlogical studies inspire the discussion about the influence of mental strain on the course of cancer. Adverse effects are documented for solid and hematological tumors. The underlying mechanisms are only partially understood. Most studies investigated natural killer cells as most relevant immunological factors. But inconsistent results have led the focus towards direct neurohumoral mechanisms. Similar to basic oncological research, interactions with the tumor microenvironment are being examined. Current results permit…only speculations about the interacting mechanisms. Further research would be of extraordinary significance for oncology because of shared pathophysiology.
Keywords: Psychoneuroimmunology, mental strain and course of cancer, cellular immunity, neurohumoral interactions, microenvironment
Abstract: Objective: The aim of this study was to analyse gender specific differences in regard to intensity and factors influencing health-related quality of life in patients with cardiac arrhythmia. Furthermore, the correlations between self- and external-rating of quality of life are investigated. Method: A total of 687 patients with cardiac arrhythmia (quota of women: 29%) was examined with regard to gender-specific differences in their quality of life (SF12). 497 partners were asked to give an…external-rating of quality of life (SF12-external). Additionally – besides socio-demographic factors – general anxiety and depression (HADS), heart-related fears (CAQ) as well as symptoms of a post-traumatic stress disorder (IES-R) were assessed as predictors. Results: Female as well as male patients showed an impaired quality of life in comparison with the normal population. Here, women were significantly more impaired than men, in self-evaluation as well as in evaluation by others, even if the age effect was controlled for. Men were less able to evaluate the quality of life of their partner suffering from cardiac arrhythmia than women respectively. With regard to the factors influencing quality of life, there were gender specific differences which suggest that men and women differ in their coping with the cardiac disease. Conclusion: Female patients with cardiac arrhythmia have a more impaired quality of life than men. The factors influencing their quality of life differ from those in men. The differences in self- and external-rating of quality of life may be explained by dyadic coping. These gender-specific differences have to be paid more attention to in treatment of patients, e.g. in genderspecific rehabilitation measures.
Keywords: Cardiac arrhythmia, quality of life, psychological distress, gender differences
Abstract: Fear Avoidance Beliefs (FAB) and pain anxiety constitute risk factors in the process of chronicity in low back pain. Presently, reliable and valid measures to assess pain anxiety in elderly individuals with low back pain do not exist. The Pain Anxiety Symptom Scale (PASS), both in its extended and abbreviated version, demonstrates good psychometric properties. Factor analyses reveal four dimensions that represent cognitive, emotional, physiological, and behavioural levels, respectively. So far, the scale has…not been examined, however, in an elderly population. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of a German translation of the 20-items short form of this scale (PASS-D 20). A total of 79 patients older than 65 years with low back pain participated in a telephone survey. In contrast to the original English version, a 4-factor structure could not be identified. Moreover, some items did not prove to be relevant for the target group and were not used as pain descriptors. Consequently, the use of the present 20 item version cannot be recommended for the assessment of FABs and pain anxiety in an elderly population. Some items, however, seem to hold the potential to demonstrate better properties when incorporated into a new scale with additional items that better represent the special needs of the elderly. This scale needs to be developed yet.
Keywords: Fear avoidance beliefs, assessment, elderly, PASS
Abstract: Reduction diets may be associated with health-related risk factors and illhealth. In this context, there is an increasing call to more thoroughly specify psychological preconditions for negative dieting effects. This study scrutinizes the association of dieting behaviour with frequent overeating, and the role of dissatisfaction with one's body weight, for women and men. Data of the Survey 1999/2001 of the Cooperative Health Research in the Augsburg Region (KORA; random sample from public registry offices…listings; N=4261; age range: 25–74, response: 67%) were analysed via multiple regressions. Dieting behaviour (at least one episode in the last 12 months), body weight dissatisfaction, and overeating were assessed via KORA-items in computer-aided personal interviews. Age, place of residence, marital status, socio-economic status, body mass index (measured by anthropometry), nutritional pattern, alcohol consumption, smoking and physical activity were adjusted for. Dieting is predictive for frequent overeating among men only (OR=1.69, p < 0.05). In contrast, the odds for frequent overeating among both sexes were twofold given body weight dissatisfaction (OR=2.1, p < 0.001). Also, the association of dieting behaviour and overeating among men is attributable to those who are dissatisfied with their weight (33% rate of frequent overeating after dieting vs. 21% without; p < 0.05). Body weight dissatisfaction is more strongly associated with frequent overeating than dieting behaviour, and, among men, a precondition for the association of dieting behaviour and frequent overeating. The study suggests taking into account dieting behaviour when attending to the issue of body experience in interventions targeting eating behaviour, especially among men.
Keywords: Overeating, reduction dieting, body weight dissatisfaction, gender differences, population-based health behaviour research