Effects of COVID-19 in South African health system and society: An explanatory study.
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Effects of COVID-19 in South African health system and society: An explanatory study.

Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2020 Sep 11;14(6):1809-1814

Authors: Mbunge E

Abstract
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The underestimation of the severity of COVID-19 by the South African government resulted in delayed action against the pandemic. Ever since WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic preventive action was comprehensively upgraded worldwide. This prompted South African authorities to implement physical distancing, self-isolation, closure of non-essential services, schools, travelling restrictions and recursive national lockdowns to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. This explanatory study sought to review the effects of COVID-19 in the South African health system and society.
METHODS: The study applied literature research of COVID-19 reports, policies from the National Department of Health, WHO, Africa CDC, and articles from Google Scholar, Science Direct, Web of Science, Scopus and PubMed.
RESULTS: The South African health system is affected by the lack of PPEs, increased mortality rates, mental health problems, substance abuse, resurgent of NCDs. The closure of international borders, global demand meltdown, supply disruptions, dramatic scaling down of human and industrial activities during lockdown cause socio-economic problems. The prolonged effects of lockdown on psychosocial support services resulted in the outbursts of uncertainties, acute panic, fear, depression, obsessive behaviours, social unrests, stigmatization, anxiety, increased gender-based violence cases and discrimination in the distribution of relief food aid.
CONCLUSION: To slow down the spread of COVID-19, massive testing must be adopted, contact tracing, isolation, and home quarantine guidelines for asymptomatic cases which promote behavioural change and reviewing of policy on food relief.

PMID: 32956925 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



Salient Safety Conditioning Improves Novel Discrimination Learning.
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Salient Safety Conditioning Improves Novel Discrimination Learning.

Behav Brain Res. 2020 Sep 18;:112907

Authors: Nahmoud I, Ganay Vasquez J, Cho H, Dennis-Tiwary T, Likhtik E

Abstract
Generalized fear is one purported mechanism of anxiety that is a target of clinical and basic research. Impaired fear discrimination has been primarily examined from the perspective of increased fear learning, rather than how learning about non-threatening stimuli affects fear discrimination. To address this question, we tested how three Safety Conditioning protocols with varied levels of salience allocated to the safety cue compared to classic Fear Conditioning in their impact on subsequent innate anxiety, and differential fear learning of new aversive and neutral cues. Using a high anxiety strain of mice (129SvEv, Taconic), we show that Fear Conditioned animals show little exploration of the anxiogenic center of an open field 24 hours later, and poor discrimination during new differential conditioning 7 days later. Three groups of mice underwent Safety Conditioning, (i) the safety tone was unpaired with a shock, (ii) the safety tone was unpaired with the shock and co-terminated with a house light signaling the end of the safety period, and (iii) the safety tone was unpaired with the shock and its beginning co-occurred with a house light, signaling the start of a safety period. Mice from all Safety Conditioning groups showed higher levels of open field exploration than the Fear Conditioned mice 24 hours after training. Furthermore, Safety Conditioned animals showed improved discrimination learning of a novel non-threat, with the Salient Beginning safety conditioned group performing best. These findings indicate that high anxiety animals benefit from salient safety training to improve exploration and discrimination of new non-threating stimuli.

PMID: 32956774 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



Connecting with Families through Virtual Perinatal Education during the COVID-19 Pand.
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Connecting with Families through Virtual Perinatal Education during the COVID-19 Pand.

MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. 2020 Sep 11;:

Authors: Pasadino F, DeMarco K, Lampert E

Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many changes in health care. The status quo has been upended. We have been challenged in many ways to maintain our ability to meet the needs of our clients while keeping them safe. The Center for Perinatal Education and Lactation at NYU Langone Hospitals, in one of the initial epicenters of the pandemic in New York City, had to abruptly transition the childbirth education program to a virtual format in March of 2020. The goal for this change was to continue to provide evidence-based support and guidance our to our expectant and new families through this crisis. This report focuses on the process and challenges of transitioning to and implementation of the virtual format in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. We discuss the rapidly evolving programmatic changes to our approach and reflect on the themes and changing landscape of our newly structured model. Questions and answers live discussion webinars "Ask the Educator" on various topics were a valuable tool in connecting with families and allaying anxiety and fear.

PMID: 32956169 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



Experiences of a Group of Senior Nursing Students with End of Life Care and Death in Turkey.
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Experiences of a Group of Senior Nursing Students with End of Life Care and Death in Turkey.

Omega (Westport). 2020 Sep 21;:30222820961232

Authors: Sanli D, Iltus F

Abstract
Nursing students may feel unprepared to manage the care of dying individuals and may experience anxiety and fear related to death and dying. Preparing nursing students for this situation can help them provide quality care to dying patients. This study aimed to examine the end-of-life care values and behaviors and death attitudes of senior nursing students. In examining these variables, the Values and Behaviors of Intensive Care Nurses for End-of-Life Instrument and the Death Attitude Profile-Revised Scale were used. It was found that the students developed positive attitudes and behavior towards end-of-life care, and that they believed death to be a natural part of life and there is life after death. Students who felt that the information they received during their education was partially sufficient were more likely to have negative death attitudes. It can be recommended that teaching strategies in the education of the nursing students be developed.

PMID: 32955992 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



Gender differences in avoidance and repetitive negative thinking following symptom provocation in men and women with spider phobia.
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Gender differences in avoidance and repetitive negative thinking following symptom provocation in men and women with spider phobia.

Br J Clin Psychol. 2020 Sep 21;:

Authors: Graham BM, Weiner S, Li SH

Abstract
OBJECTIVES: Women's greater prevalence of anxiety disorders compared to men is widely assumed to be partly due to gender differences in cognitive and behavioural factors that perpetuate anxiety, such as repetitive negative thinking (RNT) and avoidance. However, past studies assessing this assumption have not controlled for gender differences in baseline symptom severity, the type of stressful life experiences against which RNT and avoidance are measured, or emotional reactivity to these experiences.
DESIGN: Using a two-group design, the present study controlled for these confounds by comparing avoidance and RNT in relation to a controlled symptom provocation task in spider phobic men and women with equivalent spider fear severity on the Fear of Spiders Questionnaire.
METHODS: Participants engaged in a behavioural approach test (BAT) involving a live spider, during which they were assessed for avoidance (physical proximity to the spider) and subjective distress. Two weeks later, participants reported on their levels of negative affect and RNT experienced during the preceding weeks in relation to the BAT.
RESULTS: Women exhibited greater avoidance and reported greater RNT than men, despite reporting comparable distress and negative affect. Gender remained a significant predictor of avoidance when accounting for distress and also remained a significant predictor of RNT when accounting for depressive symptoms and negative affect.
CONCLUSIONS: These results provide in vivo evidence that heightened avoidance and RNT may perpetuate anxiety symptoms in women independently of gender differences in symptom severity, daily experiences, or emotional reactivity.
PRACTITIONER POINTS: Following symptom provocation, men and women with spider phobia differ in cognitive and behavioural coping responses. Women exhibit greater avoidance and repetitive negative thinking than men, and these differences are not attributable to gender differences in symptom severity or emotional reactivity. These findings provide novel evidence for gender differences in maintaining factors that perpetuate anxiety disorders whilst accounting for confounding factors present in prior research.

PMID: 32955767 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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