Abstract: Medical students should be trained in effective communication skills for interacting with patients. For this objective, we aimed at developing a role play based examination with an associated paper and pencil test. Seven role play situations and similar paper and pencil tests (the latter comprising the "Application Knowledge Questionnaire", FAW) were constructed using both everyday and specific doctor-patient situations. Best practice in those situations was discussed in Medical Psychology courses. The FAW…was completed by N = 259 students (age 19 – 49; 56% female) during two terms at the beginning and the end of Medical Psychology courses. Role play examinations (RP) took place at the end of the course. Most student "physician" actors displayed more than 50%of "best practice actions" in RP. All of the role play situations brought to light better communication skills than questionnaire findings would suggest. FAW-achievement and role play achievement were not correlated. Female students showed better communication skills than male students. Traditional written and oral examinations are likely to underestimate students' practical knowledge. Therefore, role play examinations should be conducted in conjunction with other forms of examinations.
Keywords: Physician-patient communication, Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology course, examination, role play, skills knowledge
Abstract: Although there are studies on near-death experiences since the end of the 19th century, this topic found a lively interest after the publication of the book "Life After Life" (1975) by the American physician Raymond A. Moody, who developed – based on reports of reanimated patients – several characteristic sequences of the dying process. Subsequently a rising number of mainly interview-based near-death studies were initiated. Due to the lack of scientific evidence those studies were accused…of being suggestive and ignoring narratives which did not fit into Moody's well-established phases. In the last 30 years several scientists disputed, if and how these neardeath experiences can be explained on a neurobiological basis. It seems that during the process of dying a cascade proceeds in which the brain releases huge amounts of neuro-transmitters leading to drug-like experiences. At this point a disinhibition of memory contents arises which leads to a kind of kaleidoscope-like retrospections. The frequently reported out-of-body experiences are not only associated with the process of dying; likewise this phenomenon occurred in neurological diseases and schizophrenia. Stimulation of a specific area of the brain (temporo-parietal junction) leads to these out-of-body experiences. Experiments investigating whether people with out-of-body experiences – i. e. reports of patients who had the feeling of hovering above their own body in the operating room – can really detect objects which they were unable to see from a lying position, showed no evidence. Near-death experiences can be simulated by Ketamine, which is primarily used for the induction and maintenance of general anesthesia. Responsible for the profound religious feeling, which many dying people mentioned, is the so-called "God module", an anatomical structure in the temporal lobe. Near-death experiences emerge not only in dying people, but can be triggered by several other events. Nowadays, the stages of Moody are seen as an artifact, supposedly based on extremely intensive hallucinations.
Keywords: Near-death, near-death-experiences, out-of-body-experiences, Ketamine, stages of dying
Abstract: Over the last decades, empirical work in time perception research has mainly focused on internal clock models but the field is now undergoing transformations. More recently, a growing body of evidence has shown that the experience of time is not encapsulated, rather, time perception influences, and is influenced by, emotional and cognitive states. Here, I will show that temporal processes are indeed tightly coupled to cognitive and emotional processes. For this, I will discuss the relations…between human perception of time and both psychological well-being and cognitive abilities within current psychological and neurobiological theories of temporal processing. Specifically, the focus will be on a wide range of time experiences together with the psychological and neural mechanisms underlying these experiences. A more precise description of these mechanisms would find clinical applications in neurology and psychiatry. The perception of duration and that of temporal order evolve on different time scales and human time experiences range from milliseconds to decades. What are the relations between such time scales of time experience and human experiences whether in an everyday setting or a clinical one? Here, I will propose that the experience of time is in fact an indicator of cognitive and emotional states.
Keywords: Time perception, passage of time, temporal order, duration, cognitive functioning, psychological well-being
Abstract: A short version of the Social Support Questionnaire "F-SozU" with 14 items is presented. This unidimensional version shows good psychometric item properties, as well as a very acceptable reliability (internal consistency Cronbach's a = 0.94). First results of the scale's validity reveal strong evidence for its usefulness. Based on a representative German sample (N = 2507), norms are presented as percentile scores, due to deviation from normal distribution.
Keywords: Social support, F-SozU, short form, assessment, social integration, reliability, validity