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Journal article

Psychiatric group work in social skill training

Authors:
SVAVARSDÓTTIR Sveinbjörg Júlía, et al
Journal article citation:
Social Work with Groups, 35(2), April 2012, pp.103-123.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Mutual support groups have become a cornerstone in the treatment of mental disorders, aimed at increasing skills in interaction with others. This study explored the results of group work with individuals, from the National University Hospital of Iceland, with disparate mental diagnoses. The main objective of the group work was to increase the social competence level of the group participants. The study investigated whether participants believed that the goals set were achieved, using qualitative interviews with a purposive sample of 8 individuals in group work. Findings revealed that the goals established for social skills training were achieved, with respect to both social skills and self-confidence. Four focal themes emerged from the interviews: communications and social interaction; support and empowerment; empathy and trust; and practical advice and guidance. Participants rated communications and social interaction as very important, whereas practical advice and guidance were rated as being low on the scale of value. Implications for practice are discussed.

Journal article

Gender and the associated impairments of childhood sexual abuse: a national study of Icelandic youth

Author:
GAULT-SHERMAN Martha
Journal article citation:
Social Science and Medicine, 69(10), December 2009, pp.1515-1522.
Publisher:
Elsevier

A national probability sample of 8618 Icelandic youth between the ages of 16 and 20 was used to examine the impairments associated with childhood sexual abuse for male and female victims. The dimensions of impairment were: general anxiety, eating anxiety, depressed mood, theft, and violent behaviour. The results suggest that gender differences in impairment may depend on the particular outcome measured: (1) females were approximately three times more likely than males to experience childhood sexual abuse; (2) the association between childhood sexual abuse and subsequent depressed mood and general anxiety varied significantly by gender, with females more likely to experience these impairments; and (3) the associations between childhood sexual abuse and subsequent eating anxiety, theft, and violent behaviour did not vary by gender.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Psychosis and academic performance

Author:
KARLSSON Jon L.
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Psychiatry, 184(4), April 2004, pp.327-329.
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists

It has been suggested that psychosis genes might be associated with beneficial effects, explaining their high frequency in all human populations. The unusually complete demographic and scholastic records available in Iceland were used to locate academically accomplished individuals and assess the probability of previously identified patients with mental disorders and their relatives being among such groups. Close relatives of successful students showed increased risks of psychosis. Individuals who subsequently developed psychosis and relatives of people with psychosis excelled in school performance, particularly in mathematics. The study supports the hypothesis that stimulation associated with psychotic tendencies enhances performance in academic settings.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Antidepressants and public health in Iceland: time series analysis of national data

Authors:
HELGASON Tomas, TOMASSON Helgi, ZOEGA Tomas
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Psychiatry, 184(2), February 2004, pp.157-162.
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists

Major depressive disorder is the second leading cause of disability-adjusted life-years in developed regions of the world and antidepressants are the third-ranking therapy class worldwide. Nationwide data from Iceland are used as an example to study the effect of sales of antidepressants on suicide, disability, hospital admissions and out-patient visits. Sales of antidepressants increased from 8.4 daily defined doses per 1000 inhabitants per day in 1975 to 72.7 in 2000, which is a user prevalence of 8.7% for the adult population. Suicide rates fluctuated during 1950–2000 but did not show any definite trend. Rates for out-patient visits increased slightly over the period 1989–2000 and admission rates increased even more. The prevalence of disability due to depressive and anxiety disorders has not decreased over the past 25 years. The dramatic increase in the sales of antidepressants has not had any marked impact on the selected public health measures. Obviously, better treatment for depressive disorders is still needed in order to reduce the burden caused by them

Journal article

The impact of dispositional emotional expressivity and social constraints on distress among prostrate cancer patients in Iceland

Authors:
AGUSTDOTTIR Sjofn, et al
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Health Psychology, 15(1), February 2010, pp.51-61.
Publisher:
British Psychological Society

This report, part of a larger study, identifies individual factors that predict which Icelandic prostrate cancer patients are more likely to experience emotional distress (anxiety, depression or intrusive thoughts). Social constraints, such as unsupportive social networks, can prevent patients talking, or writing, about distress related to their illness which is generally considered to be beneficial to those who can. When individuals are displaced, in situations or locations which hamper their preferred coping styles they have poorer cardiovascular adjustment, contributing to distress. Using the Icelandic Cancer registry, 184 prostrate cancers survivors, mostly over 70 years, completed questionnaires, including measures for demographics, medical details, hospital anxiety, depression, impact of specific events, emotional expressivity and social constraints, and the data was analysed according to scales defined in the report. A significant positive relationship was observed between perceived social constraints and distress, but only among prostrate cancer survivors with higher levels of dispositional emotional expressivity. This suggests the relationship between social constraints and distress was moderated by dispositional emotional expressivity, with prostrate cancer survivors with high levels of social constraints and high dispositional emotional expressivity having the highest level of distress about their prostrate cancer. It may be important, say the authors, to assess individual differences as well as social environmental factors in the treatment of emotional distress among prostrate cancer survivors.

Book Full text available online for free

Access to specialised victim support services for women with disabilities who have experienced violence. Comparative Research Report: Austria, Germany, Iceland and United Kingdom

Authors:
WOODIN Sarah, SHAH Sonali
Publisher:
University of Leeds. Centre for Disability Studies
Publication year:
2014
Pagination:
59
Place of publication:
Leeds

This comparative report presents the results of research into violence against women with disabilities for the project 'Access to specialised victim support services for women with disabilities who have experienced violence', which was funded by the EU Daphne III programme. It is based on research which took place in Austria, Germany, Iceland and United Kingdom between 2013 and 2014 and involved 187 women with disabilities (106 women in focus groups and 81 women in individual interviews). The research included women with mobility and sensory impairments, women with intellectual impairments, women with mental health conditions and women with multiple impairments. Specialised service providers assisting women who have experienced violence also took part in this study (602 responses to an online survey and 54 individual interviews with representatives from services). Research findings are discussed in the following areas: perceptions and understanding of violence; experiences of violence and support over the life course; women's knowledge about their rights; knowledge about use of services; experience of barriers; helpful aspects of support. Suggestions for improvement and good practice are also included. The report highlights the need for support services that recognise the type and extent of violence against disabled women need to be developed, and for both mainstream and specialised strategies to be pursued. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Self-esteem in persons with schizophrenia. A Nordic multicentre study

Authors:
SORGAARD Knut W., et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Mental Health, 11(4), August 2002, pp.405-415.
Publisher:
Informa Healthcare
Place of publication:
London

The article presents the results of analysis of self-esteem in a group of non-institutionalised people with schizophrenia. Interviews were conducted with random samples of people with schizophrenia receiving out-patient services in ten psychiatric centres in the five Nordic countries. The following instruments were used: The Interview Schedule for Social Interaction (ISSI), Camberwell Assessment of Needs, Lancashire Quality of Life Profile and the Rosenberg self-esteem scale, GAF and BPRS. The Rosenberg scale provided the main data for this paper and three different measures of self-esteem were used . A total of 418 people took part in the study. Analysis showed the three self-esteem measurements to be mainly related to mental health and other subjective variables, and to lesser extent to social network. Demography played a negligible role, only (female) sex being associated with positive and gross self-esteem. Anxiety/depression and affect balance were the strongest predictors of positive, negative and gross self-esteem, and having at least one close friend was associated with positive and gross self-esteem.

Book Full text available online for free

A review of the research literature on serious violent and sexual offenders

Authors:
CONNELLY Clare, WILLIAMSON Shanti
Publisher:
Scotland. Scottish Executive. Central Research Unit
Publication year:
2000
Pagination:
125p.,bibliog.
Place of publication:
Edinburgh

Aims to provide a summary of current and recent UK and international literature on the sentencing of dangerous offenders and the subsequent management of these offenders, whether in hospital or prison settings, and upon release into the community. The research is divided by country, split up into those who use a community protection approach, those who use a clinical approach, and other jurisdictions. It concludes with an examination of the issue of compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights.

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