Stop being an ostrich! The benefits of helping people to monitor their progress

Posted Posted in Self-monitoring

By Thomas L. Webb, Department of Psychology, The University of Sheffield, the UK

How are you getting on with your goal to reduce the amount of sugar that you eat and lose 10kg? Chances are that you don’t really know – or even want to know. In situations like these, people tend to behave like ostriches and bury their heads in the sand, intentionally avoiding or rejecting information that would help them to monitor their goal progress. Research on this “ostrich problem” suggests that people often do not keep track of their progress (e.g., step on weighing scales, read the packets of food that they buy), in part, because doing so can make them feel bad about themselves – e.g., they realise that they weigh more than hoped and that they still consume too much sugar. However, theory and evidence suggest that keeping track of progress helps people to identify discrepancies between their current and desired states that warrant action. The implication is that avoiding monitoring makes it difficult to identify the need to act and the most appropriate way to do so. The ostrich problem therefore represents an opportunity for healthcare professionals (and others) to help people to monitor their progress and capitalise on the benefits of so doing. Perhaps not surprisingly then, we found good evidence that prompting people to monitor their progress helps people to achieve goals across a range of domains.

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行为科学对新型冠状病毒肺炎(COVID-19)大流行的洞察

Posted Posted in Communication

由爱尔兰经济社会研究所的肖恩·蒂蒙斯(Shane Timmons)撰稿

世界各国政府已动员起来设法控制新型冠状病毒的传播,但是个体的行为对控制的成功与否起到了至关重要的作用。我们——位于都柏林的爱尔兰社会经济研究所行为研究组——正致力于与爱尔兰卫生部合作,为他们提供应对新型冠状病毒肺炎大流行的信息。作为该工作的一部分,我们审阅了超过100篇科技论文, 并且已经开始测试向大众传播的最佳方式和提供与健康心理学从业者相关的课程。在我们的综述中,我们着眼于与三个方面相关的文献,这三个方面已成为多个国家公共卫生信息传递的基础:手部卫生,脸部触摸和隔离。我们也进一步拓展到了如何激励有益行为和在危机中有效沟通的相关文献。

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评估客户应对策略的重要性

Posted Posted in Assessment, Coping

由荷兰莱顿大学临床心理学系的纳迪亚·加涅夫斯基(Nadia Garnefski)和维维安·克拉伊(Vivian Kraaij)共同撰稿

罗伯(Rob)刚听说他自己患有HIV(负性事件)。 他认为自己应该为此负责(自责),并且他避免与朋友见面(退缩)。 这种情况使他很难过。当他坐在家里的时候,他不能停止思考自己的感受(沉思),并相信自己的遭遇是一场彻底的灾难(灾难化)。 因为他感到难过,所以几乎没有精力。 结果,他退缩了更多。 这使他更加难过。 这样,罗伯陷入了一个恶性循环。

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你的客户处于防御状态吗?如果是这样,自我肯定可能会有帮助

Posted Posted in Communication, Motivation, Self-affirmation, Self-efficacy

由英国萨塞克斯大学心理学院自我肯定研究小组的彼得·哈里斯(Peter Harris)和伊恩·哈登(Ian Hadden)共同撰稿

你曾经不愿意面对那些你宁愿忽略的事情吗?也许你喜欢经常性地吃一些对你有害的东西或者你倾向于避免健康体检?好吧,你并不是个例。我们大多数人都认为自己通常是非常聪明能干的人。因此,当我们被告知自己所做的事情并不真正明智或合格,可能会非常具有挑战性。 因此,我们可以非常熟练地抵制那些我们不愿听到的信息。

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成为一个更好的自己作为改变行为的理由

Posted Posted in Mental Imagery, Possible selves

温妮弗里德·格巴德(Winifred Gebhardt),莱顿大学,荷兰

大约在九年前,我一夜之间成了素食主义者。在我当时正在读的一本小说中,主人公解释了他为什么不能吃“在某个时候心脏一直在跳动”的东西。这几句话就像一道惊雷。我意识到这正是我的感受。于是我立刻停止吃肉和鱼,从那以后我就一直坚持这种新的饮食习惯。新的行为完全符合“我是谁”。

相反,过去我经常慢跑,能轻松跑7公里。然而,我从不认为自己是一个“爱运动的人”,每当遇到诸如生病之类的障碍时,我就变成了一个懒汉。我现在不再试图“运动”,而是尽可能在白天散步。我认为自己是个“活跃的人”。

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单病例随机对照试验:通过研究单个案例,我们能学到什么?

Posted Posted in Assessment, Interventions

由来自苏格兰阿伯丁大学玛丽·约翰斯顿(Marie Johnston)和德里克·约翰斯顿(Derek Johnston)撰稿

从业者经常想要得到针对一个人、一个医疗团队、一家医院或一个地区等问题的答案。例如,了解一个肥胖的男人多久吃一次零食,何时何地吃零食,以及压力是否会使情况变得更糟可能是很重要的。或者你可能想知道医疗团队成员忽略手卫生,频率如果他们人手不足时是否情况会更糟,还有,病房的宣传是否对这种情况有所改善。或者您可能正在调查临床错误的来源,以检查这些错误在某些病房或某些级别的工作人员中是否更常见。或者,在政策层面上,调查一项新的规定,比如公共场所的禁烟令是否影响了吸烟率,可能是很有价值的。

你可以试着通过询问人们的想法或记忆来回答这些问题,但最好在关键时刻和地点提出或观察,以避免偏见和遗忘的问题。最近的技术进步,如使用智能手机进行数字监控,使得实时跟踪正在发生的事情变得更加容易,一项单病例随机对照试验的研究为你回答问题提供了可能性。

当问题可以反复评估以观察随时间的变化时,可以进行单病例随机对照试验的研究。然后我们可以描述这个问题,并检验在某些条件下它是好是坏。或者可以引入新的干预或治疗,并评估其是否具有所预期的效果。

对所收集数据的最简单评估是观察图表上的趋势,如下图所示。这是任何单病例随机对照试验分析中的一个重要步骤,并且是非常充分的。此外,还有更多用于单病例随机对照试验研究的统计分析方法。更复杂的方法还在继续发展(例如,评估动态变化的方法)。

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老年体育:多少运动量足够?

Posted Posted in Goal setting, Motivational interviewing, Self-monitoring

由澳大利亚悉尼大学安妮·蒂德曼(Anne Tiedemann)撰稿

“缺乏活动破坏了每个人的良好状态,而运动和有系统的体育锻炼可以挽救和保存它” …——柏拉图,公元前400年

众所周知,养成定期体育运动的习惯对健康和幸福十分重要。但是健康促进的信息常常针对儿童和青年人,较少关注体育运动对65周岁及以上人群的影响。然而,老年时期是形成每天运动习惯的关键时期。

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Raising weight in a consultation

Posted Posted in Communication

By Jane Ogden, University of Surrey, UK

Weight is a tricky problem to talk about in a consultation. Some patients may be sick of hearing the words ‘You could lose some weight’ every time they visit the clinic: regardless of whether they have come in because of a sore throat, a cervical smear or a potential heart problem. They may have experienced a lifetime of feeling stigmatised by the medical profession and think that all anyone ever sees is their body size. While this is so for some individuals, others may have never considered their weight as an issue, and could be insulted or surprised if it is raised. Some people may simply not want to hear the message and block out whatever is said, thinking for example ‘what do you know – you’re thin / fat / too young / too old’ or ‘science is always wrong.’ Raising the issue of weight therefore requires careful management of ‘when,’ ‘how’ and ‘what’ is said to an overweight person.

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Self-efficacy: The “can-do” belief that lets people change their lifestyles

Posted Posted in Motivation, Self-efficacy

By Ralf Schwarzer, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany and SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poland

Changing behavior may often be desirable but difficult to do. For example, quitting smoking, eating healthily and sticking to a physical exercise regimen all require motivation, effort, and persistence. While many psychological factors play a role in behavior change, self-efficacy is one of the most important.

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Telling stories about caring for others

Posted Posted in Social Support

By Irina Todorova, Health Psychology Research Center in Sofia, Bulgaria

Taking care of aging loved ones, who are perhaps in frail health, can be a complicated and confusing experience that is both gratifying and frustrating. Medical science is helping people live longer, healthier lives, and in some cases can slow down the cognitive decline that frequently come with age. The way that families care for older members, as well as the meaning of aging, dementia and caregiving varies across cultural contexts. Most people are aging at home as members of their communities, which has psychosocial benefits for the older person as well as for the different generations of family members. At the same time, caring for people with declining health is accompanied with physical effort, psychological strain, grief related to ongoing loss and possibly financial difficulties for the caregiver. (more…)