Psychological distress is especially common with any cancer diagnosis. This study examined the psychological distress in a cohort of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. A longitudinal study of a cohort of women (n=147) diagnosed with breast cancer (within the past 1 year), were conducted at University Malaya Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur. Data were collected at baseline and at post 4-week intervention. Analysis of variance was conducted to examine for any significant differences in the change-scores between the experimental group (n=69) and the control group (n=78). Using the change scores, analysis of variances shows significant differences between groups for stress, F(1,140) =13.68, p<0.0001, anxiety, F(1,140) = 8.44, p<0.004, and depression, F(1,140) =11.57, p<0.0001. Levels of stress, anxiety and depression generally decreased significantly in the experimental groups (p<0.05), but either maintained or increased in the control group. This study indicates that the level of psychological distress of women with breast cancer can be ameliorated with a 4 week self management intervention. Lower stress was also found in women who reported engagement in higher physical activity than women with low physical activity. Future studies may examine role of physical activity in ameliorating distress.
The purpose of this study was (1) assess the effectiveness of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) for evaluating visual function of people with severe motor and intellectual disabilities (SMID), and (2) investigate the inference of characteristics of visual stimuli to response from them and to dynamics of cerebral blood flow. Twenty-one SMID were presented Visual Task 1 which uses a photograph, and classified into four groups based on subjects’ eye movement. Additionally, oxy-Hb which was most increased was measured. Results, the averages of oxy-Hb for “gaze” and “habituation” group were 0.45 and 0.83 mM*mm, “non-gaze” was almost 0 mM*mm, and “non-judgment” were resembled “gaze”. In Visual Task 2 which uses a moving image, most subjects were classified in “gaze”, and an oxy-Hb had increased. This study indicated that NIRS is an effective instrument for visual function evaluation, and that difference in the characteristics of stimuli could affect the responses and oxy-Hb of SMID.
To investigate the clinical applicability of head-mount display (HMD) in evaluating attentional behavioral disorders, we developed a new desk-task environment with HMD. 18 patients with right hemisphere damage were recruited. We compared the results of traditional neuropsychological tests and tasks carried out under the HMD setting using attention behavioral disturbances observed in daily life. The findings show that performance under HMD settings predicts the presence or absence of attention behavioral disturbance with higher accuracy than traditional tasks. Our newly developed HMD system shows promise as an appropriate method for assessing attentional behavioral disturbances. Although necessarily speculative at this stage, we believe that the more dynamic cognitive demands required to successfully accomplish the HMD task might be linked to attentional behavior in ADL.
The objective of the study was to identify the reasons behind difficulties in learning computer operation skills among persons with schizophrenia. Twelve persons with schizophrenia and 14 control subjects without neuropsychiatric diseases took a course in personal computer usage consisting of ten 60-minute weekly lessons. All subjects took a computer operation skills test before and after the course. For the persons with schizophrenia, relationships between the test results and scores on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) were analyzed quantitatively. Difficulties with computer operation were identified using a questionnaire and analyzed qualitatively. The mean test scores after the course increased for the control group, but were unchanged for the persons with schizophrenia. There was no correlation between the total BPRS score and the test results, but ‘positive symptoms’ scores were negatively correlated with test scores and the number of input letters. In the qualitative analysis, 24 items in 6 categories were identified as reasons for difficulty with computer operation, with 11 of these items being unique to the persons with schizophrenia. These findings indicate the need to develop a computer learning course that is compatible with the characteristics of persons with schizophrenia.