Abstract: Objectives: Additionally to the central aspects of medical care, the psychosocial dimension of coping becomes more important and comes into the focus of attention. The objective of this study was to examine the objective need as well as the subjective request for psychosocial support and to investigate the relationship between the need for psychosocial counselling and psychological distress, quality of life and optimism. Methods: Finally, 274 prostate cancer patients answered the Hornheide Screening Instrument…(HSI), HADS, EORTC QLQ-C 30, and LOT during their stay in the hospital (T1), two weeks (T2) and three months after discharge (T3). Results: The need for psychosocial support ranged between 45% during the time in the hospital and 30% three months later. Distress, quality of life and optimism were substantially correlated with the extent of this need. Furthermore, the self-assessed depression at T1 was the strongest predictor for the objective need of psychosocial support three months later. At T1 the subjective request for supportive counselling was mainly addressed to physicians (77%), followed by the own social network (66%). The request for professional psychosocial support was addressed in 13% of the patients to a social worker and in 9% to a psychologist. Moreover, the accordance between the objective need and the subjective request for psychosocial support was low. Conclusion: The obvious discrepancy between the objective need and the subjective request for psychosocial support shows that patients in need for counselling often do not articulate the wish for professional psychosocial support. Otherwise, there are patients that are distressed but already experience adequate support from their social network. Therefore, the two approaches – the screening for objective need as well as questioning for subjective request for psychosocial support – should both be realised to examine the need for psychosocial support.
Keywords: Psychosocial support, counselling, prostate cancer, distress, quality of life
Abstract: While it has long been known that emotional factors can influence the experience of pain, imaging studies analyzing the neuronal basis of this effect particularly for visceral stimuli remain scarce. A clarification of this association is of scientific and clinical interest, particularly in the context of common functional gastrointestinal disorders which are characterized by a worsening of symptoms during states of emotional stress. Previous studies addressing the modulation of the neural response to pain by negative…emotions and stress are critically reviewed herein. Overall, this evidence supports that the emotional modulation of the neural response to pain involves several brain regions, including the cingulate cortex – a structure which is activated by emotions as well as by painful stimuli. Additionally, the insula and prefrontal cortex play a role. All three brain areas have in common that they mediate especially the affective components of pain processing. These findings are apparently not specific for visceral pain since studies applying somatic pain stimuli show similar results. Together, these results are relevant for the pathophysiology of various functional pain syndromes given that they could reveal a neural correlate for the influence stress and negative emotions on symptom exacerbation. Furthermore, there are a number of important methodological implications which should be taken into account when designing and conducting future imaging studies on the neural response to pain.
Abstract: The life goals questionnaire GOALS (Pöhlmann & Brunstein, 1997) assesses the six life goal categories of intimacy, affiliation, altruism, achievement, power, and diversion. Each of the six categories contains four items which are rated according to the goal attributes of importance, attainability and current progress. This article presents three studies examining the internal and external validity of GOALS and the stability of life goals over a period of two years. Based on data of a representative…population sample (N = 2396) the factor structure was confirmed separately for the importance as well as for the progress dimension in study 1. The psychometric quality of the items and scales was found to be good to very good. In study 2 the factor structure was replicated in a sample of mentally healthy individuals (N = 620) and in a clinical sample of patients suffering from depression (N = 464). In both samples the six life goal categories were identified as independent factors within each of the three life goal attributes of importance, attainability, and progress. Differences between healthy individuals and patients suffering from depression in the extent of commitment to life goals, their attainability and current progress in life goal attainment provided evidence for the external validity of the questionnaire. In study 3 (N = 86) the stability of life goals was examined over a time period of two years. Commitment to life goals proved to be very stable while attainability and current progress in attainment were found to be less stable. The results of the three studies confirm that the life goal questionnaire GOALS possesses high internal und external validity.
Keywords: Life goals, life goal taxonomy, life themes, motivation
Abstract: Objective: The Essen Trauma-Inventory (ETI) is a novel instrument for diagnosing posttraumatic and acute stress disorder. It consists of 58 items including 23 symptom based items arranged in four subscales: intrusion, avoidance, hyperarousal and peritraumatic dissociation. It is presently validated in several different samples in different languages. Within this study the ETI will be validated in a German military sample. Methods: A total of 292 German soldiers were questioned. Age ranged from 18 – 47 years (M…= 23.68; SD = 5.68), 6.2% were female. The Impact of Event Scale – Revised and the Posttraumatische Stress Skala-10 were used to evaluate convergent validity, the Symptom Check List 27 (SCL-27) for discriminant validity. Results: In this sample, objectivity, reliability and validity of the ETI are good to very good. The factorial structure could not be confirmed by factor analysis. Conclusion: The ETI is an economic test instrument. It is suitable for screening as well as professional diagnostics. It is the only specific German trauma-questionnaire having been validated with good results for its applicability in a sample of military personnel.