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   Table of Contents - Current issue
July-September 2022
Volume 36 | Issue 3
Page Nos. 103-143

Online since Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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The introduction of neuroscience in Spain through the work of luis simarro p. 103
Francisco Lopez-Munoz, Francisco Pérez-Fernández
Background: The figure of Luis Simarro Lacabra is not well-known outside Spain, but within the country became a character of special scientific and public importance. Luis Simarro, a person of a marked progressist spirit, not only was involved from his youth for in political matters, showing great interest in the modernization of a nation anchored in traditionalism, but also transferred this way of thinking to his professional work as a doctor, neurologist, histologist, psychiatrist, psychologist, and teacher. Methods: The authors gathered biographic story of Simarro and summarized his work in microscopic work in neuroscience and the development of experimental psychology. Results: Simarro would become, for his own merit, one of the great founders of Spanish neuroscience, to which he made great contributions together with Santiago Ramón y Cajal. He was also the first professor of experimental psychology at Spanish University and developed an interesting political and institutional work. In fact, his lack of international recognition is mainly due to the fact that Luis Simarro, despite his great talent, was not especially prone to publishing the scientific works. Therefore, his neurological findings, sometimes, were to be unjustly attributed to other colleagues. Conclusion: In this article, we have provided a brief profile of the figure of Simarro with the intention of projecting the importance of his figure of it beyond Spanish borders.
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Comparison of sleep problems and posttraumatic stress disorder associated psychiatric states in military active-duty Army and Navy Personnel in Taiwan p. 111
Hui- Ying Chou, Hsuan- Te Chu, Yueh- Ming Tai, Szu- Nian Yang
Background: For decades, sleep problems have been proven to link to mental disorders and are independent risk factors for suicidality. But further details in the connections between them in the military are still understudied. In this study, we intended to fill this gap of linkage through by collecting self-reported responses from active-duty soldiers in Taiwan. Methods: In this study, we compared total sleep hours per day, sleep problems, prevalence of relevant psychological factors, and subclinical symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among Taiwanese soldiers using responses to Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) item 5 from 808 Taiwanese soldiers. To examine their associations with each sleep problem, we used logistic regression models through redefining all sleep problems as dichotomous as outcome variables. Results: Compared with the navy, subjects in the army slept significantly fewer hours per day (p < 0.001), experienced significantly more difficulties with daily activities (p < 0.001), and displayed significantly less enthusiasm (p = 0.001). The female soldiers showed significantly more sleep problems than male soldiers, namely, waking up significantly more in the middle of night (p < 0.01), feeling significantly colder (p < 0.05) or significantly hotter (p = 0.001), having significantly more pain (p < 0.05), and having significantly more other reasons (p < 0.01). Samples from the male soldiers reported significantly more problems with enthusiasm in the past month (p < 0.01). After adjusting for interaction between other variables, the greater magnitude of “thwarted belongingness” is significantly more associated with sleep problems caused by pain or other reasons (all p < 0.05). “Perceived burdensomeness” was significantly more negatively related to sleep problems caused by waking up in the middle of the night and coughing or snoring loudly (all p < 0.05). All four subclinical symptoms of PTSD, namely, numbness, re-experience, avoidance, and arousal, affect soldiers' sleep differently. Conclusion: According to this study, Taiwanese Army and Navy soldiers suffer from different psychiatric conditions and sleep disorders depending on their gender. Aside from anxiety and depression, subclinical symptoms of PTSD were also associated with sleep problems, thwarted belongingness, and perceived burdensomeness in the military. The effects of treating sleep problems on suicide prevention in the military, especially among those with subclinical symptoms of PTSD, still require more focused research.
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Childhood trauma, loneliness, and quality of life in adults with euthymic bipolar disorder p. 118
Karen Chein, Yi- Ting Hsieh, Huai- Hsuan Tseng, I Hui Lee, Yen Kuang Yang, Po See Chen
Background: Individuals with childhood trauma may experience loneliness throughout their lives, which can potentially aggravate mental and physical health conditions. Moreover, accumulating evidence suggests that associations exist between childhood trauma and certain features of bipolar disorder (BD), including cognitive dysfunction, severity, and clinical course. But, it remains unclear whether loneliness is associated with childhood trauma or quality of life in adult patients with BD. Methods: We recruited 83 patients with euthymic BD and 40 control participants from the psychiatric outpatient clinic at National Cheng Kung University Hospital. Their severity of mood symptoms was measured according to the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS). All study participants completed the childhood trauma questionnaire (CTQ), World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL) Scale and University of California, Los Angeles Loneliness Scale. Results: Compared with controls, patients with euthymic BD had significantly higher scores of HDRS (p < 0.01), YMRS (p < 0.001), CTQ (p < 0.001), loneliness scores (p < 0.001), but significantly lower WHOQOL scores (p < 0.001). In patients with euthymic BD, a significantly positive correlation was found between loneliness and CTQ scores (p < 0.001) and a significantly negative correlation was present between loneliness and WHOQOL scores (p < 0.001). These correlations were also present in the control group (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001). Conclusion: Euthymic BD patients had stronger feelings of loneliness than controls overall. In both euthymic BD and control patients, loneliness was positively correlated with childhood trauma and negatively correlated with quality of life. These findings warrant further investigations to strengthen the findings of the causal relationship between childhood trauma and loneliness.
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Factors associated with the quality of life in family caregivers of people with dementia in Taiwan p. 124
Teng- Yin Yeh, Jian- An Su, Chih- Cheng Chang
Objectives: Previous studies showed that caregivers of patients with dementia (PWD) have lower quality of life (QoL) due to several clinical factors related to caregivers and their ill relatives. In this study, we intended to assess the associated factors of QoL in caregivers of PWD in Taiwan. Methods: A cross-sectional survey with 270 dyads of PWD and their caregivers was conducted. We assessed family members' depressive symptoms, anxiety, affiliate stigma, care burden, and QoL, and patients' cognition, severity of dementia, self-care, and mobility skills, as well as neuropsychiatry symptoms of PWD. Results: Caregivers' longer years of education were significantly associated with better QoL in environment domains (β = 0.21, p < 0.01), while the children of caregivers had significantly better QoL in physical domains compared to spouses of caregivers (β = 0.28, p < 0.05). Patients with a past history of psychiatric hospitalization (β = 0.11, p < 0.05) and longer caregiving time (β = 0.13, p < 0.05) were significantly related to better QoL in environment domain. High levels of depression were associated with significantly lower QoL in physical health (β = −0.24, p < 0.05) and psychological domains (β = −0.32, p < 0.01), while more anxiety symptoms were related to significantly lower QoL in physical health (β = −0.26, p < 0.01) and environment domains (β = −0.27, p < 0.01). Higher levels of affiliate stigma were significantly related to lower QoL of caregivers in psychological (β = −0.23, p < 0.01), social relationships (β = −0.27, p < 0.01), and environment (β = −0.19, p < 0.05) domains. Higher levels of care burden were significantly related to lower QoL of caregivers in physical health (β = −0.24, p < 0.01) and environment (β = −0.23, p < 0.05) domains. Conclusion: Caregiver's depression, anxiety, affiliate stigma, and care burden were found to play a critical role in maintaining QoL of family caregivers. We suggest developing effective programs as a direction of future intervention for PWD to improve their QoL.
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The relationship between executive functions and interoceptive awareness in the elderly with perceived feelings of loneliness p. 131
Arpita Roy Choudhury, Susmita Halder
Objectives: Older adults are more vulnerable to perceived feelings of loneliness which may lead to depression, cognitive decline, and an overall decrease in their quality of life. In the present study, the main objective was to compare executive functions and interoceptive awareness between the elderly with and without perceived feelings of loneliness. Methods: In the study, we recruited a sample of 100 study subjects (50 individuals with perceived feelings of loneliness and 50 healthy controls). UCLA 3-Item Loneliness Scale was used as a screening tool for loneliness. Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness, Stroop Test, N Back Test (verbal and visual), and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test were used as measures of interoceptive awareness and executive functioning, respectively. Results: Significant difference was found between both the groups in working memory (p < 0.05) and set shifting ability (p < 0.01). In interoceptive awareness, significant difference was found between both the groups in the domains of significantly high on not distracting (t = 5.723, p < 0.01), significantly less on not worrying (t = 2.028, p < 0.05), significantly less on body listening (t = 2.302, p < 0.05), and significantly less on trusting (t = 4.630, p < 0.01). Conclusion: To understand the possible neuropsychological mechanism of loneliness may help conceptualize a better intervention plan for those with perceived feelings of loneliness to prevent progression to severe psychological problems and cognitive decline.
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Rating inter-rater reliability of Shih–Hsu Test of attention between an experienced psychiatric occupational therapist and an occupational therapy student: A pilot study p. 138
Yi- Nuo Shih, Chia- Chun Wu, Pei- Yun Shih, Jia- Lien Hsu, Yin- Huang Liao
Objective: The “Shih-Hsu Test of Attention” (SHTA) is an iPad-based attention assessment tool developed by occupational therapists in recent years, and has acceptable criterion-related validity and high test–retest reliability in preliminary application. In this study, we intended to explore the inter-rater reliability of SHTA between experienced and inexperienced occupational therapists. Methods: We recruited 24 voluntary study participants aged 20–24 years in this study. The participants completed twice the SHTA by an experienced occupational therapist and an occupational therapy student. Results: Analytical results showed that the inter-rater reliability between experienced and inexperienced occupational therapists using SHTA had satisfactory reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.65). Conclusion: Our preliminary findings showed that the new attention assessment tool, SHTA, had satisfactory inter-rater reliability between experienced and occupational therapy students. We need to wait for a future study with more numbers of study participants in both groups to strengthen the study finding of this pilot study. At this moment, we suggest improving the guidance and training for inexperienced occupational therapists to improve accuracy, and reducing the gap when testing with experienced occupational therapists in future.
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Mental health consequences of Ukraine war p. 142
Amnuay Keebayoon, Rujittika Mungmunpuntitipantip, Viroj Wiwanitkit
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