Support provided in the field of education that contributes to the empowerment of health psychology was investigated by examining concrete examples illustrating the practice cognitive behavioral therapy in educational settings. Among these, practices conducted with children include class-wide interventions, efforts in special needs education, and individual case studies. Moreover, practices for parents consist of parent training. Furthermore, practices for teachers consist of behavioral consultations. Results of analyzing these practices suggest the need for developing concrete support strategies for children, parents, and teachers. In particular, it was indicated that functional assessment is important for all cognitive behavioral therapy approaches. Moreover, there are certain commonalities, or agendas in these strategies.
This study investigated the role of health psychology in preventing re-offending in the Japanese judicial correction system. The study also examined initiatives taken after legal amendments regarding cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The judicial correction system has emphasized efforts to improve the health of offenders. However, results of studies on the efficacy of CBT in preventing recidivism have been inconsistent. Moreover, research has shown that the role of health psychology in reducing re-offending has been unreliable. Therefore, functional analysis of CBT was used to consider roles of health psychology that are applicable to preventing re-offending.
Patients with physical illnesses might have psychosocial problems, including limitations caused by their illness and its treatment, as well as distress associated with their possible death. As a result, many patients with physical illnesses might suffer from mental health problems triggered by psychosocial difficulties. Therefore, psychological care for people with physical illnesses is an important issue in medical settings. Cognitive behavioral treatment is known to be effective for these patients. Direct behavioral care has been provided for such patients, although the provision of indirect behavioral care by health providers has lacked systematic strategies. The case study of a cancer patient provided intervention by behavioral consultation is described and psychological care of patients with physical illnesses is discussed. The results indicated that the behavioral consultation decreased the patients' distress through the enhancement of nurse's self-efficacy and skills for providing psychological care. This facilitated the empowerment of both health providers and the patients. It is suggested that future studies should be designed to obtain convincing evidence of the efficacy of behavioral consultations in medical setting.
There are several practical difficulties in implementing health psychological research and psychological interventions to promote health behaviors. One important difficulty is the lack of effective communication for enrolling participants in such studies because the efficacy of interventions on behavioral changes in the community cannot be established by using small samples. Therefore, defining the objectives of communication, defining and learning about intended audiences, exploring settings, channels, and activities that are best suited for investigating target audiences are important in developing health psychological intervention research. Also, using the behavioral economic approach to identify biases in interventions, providers, and researchers is also essential for enhancing the impact of an intervention.
A number of health promotion practices have been developed to increase health awareness and to improve unhealthy lifestyles. It is important to examine how health professionals, including physicians, nurses, public health nurses, physical therapists, school teachers, and psychotherapists convey effective health promotion messages in research and practice. Knowledge about health psychology is expected to contribute not only to understanding the communication process of professionals providing health promotion messages to their target audiences, but also to contribute to conveying effective health promotion messages regarding psychological readiness and the interests of target audiences. The purpose of this literature review was to introduce (a) two theoretical models to understand the give and take of health promotion messages between health promotion professionals and target audiences, and to present a perception-cognition model of health promotion messages, (b) to introduce the process of designing effective health communication materials, and (c) to discuss implications for dissemination and implementation strategies. It is hoped that this study would make a significant contribution to knowledge about the application of health psychology to health promotion practices.
Occupational mental health activities can be categorized into three strategies: primary, secondary, and tertiary preventions. Self-care training is one of the primary prevention activities, which aims to increase individual psychological resources such as coping. This article first refers to strategies for effective self-care training in occupational settings. Then, I introduced development process and contents of the evidence-based guideline for self-care education, which identifies factors facilitating self-care education in the workplace. I also introduced the self-care manual with tips for conducting self-care education and materials such as handouts and worksheet. This paper are expected to help the evidence-based self-care training prevail in more workplaces in Japan.
The efficacy of social skills training (SST) for high school students was evaluated. In Study 1, we developed a scale for assessing social skills of high school students and examined the reliability and validity of this scale. First, we identified 18 items with reference to previous studies and conducted a questionnaire survey with high school students. Then, we developed a scale consisting of two factors and 14 items using factor analysis. The reliability of the scale was examined by examining its internal consistency and retest. The validity of the scale was tested in relation to RASHD. In Study 2, we developed a SST program consisting of six sessions and evaluated its efficacy. SST was conducted by teachers for first-grade students and the scale developed in Study 1 was used for both pre- and post-test assessments. Results indicated that SST was effective to a certain degree. We have discussed SST process evaluation methods.
The global epidemic of sedentary lifestyles and concomitant decline in fitness during childhood has become a major public health concern. Under these circumstances, a growing body of evidence has shown that greater participation in physical activity and greater aerobic fitness are associated with superior academic achievement. These findings emphasize the importance of physical activity for cognitive development and brain health. Cognitive neuroscience studies on prefrontal executive function and hippocampus-dependent memory function, which have been implicated in academic achievement, support the positive association between childhood fitness and academic achievement. Although the majority of these studies have employed cross-sectional designs comparing cognitive performance across lower-fit and higher-fit children, recent longitudinal, randomized, controlled intervention studies have provided evidence of a causal link between physical activity and changes in cognitive function. Specifically, randomized controlled trials have indicated that a 9-month physical activity intervention led to increases in aerobic fitness and improved prefrontal and hippocampal functioning in preadolescent children. Here, we review our current understanding of the association of childhood fitness with academic achievement and cognitive function.
The first half of this article describes research trends and our project for investigating the effects of physical activity interventions on cognitive functions of older adults having cognitive impairments. Prospective cohort studies have indicated that physical activity reduces the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. However, it remains unclear whether physical activity could prevent the further decline of cognitive functions in older adults already having cognitive impairments. Therefore, we implemented a randomized controlled trial to examine the effects of physical activity among older adults with global cognitive impairments. In the last part of this article, the background and the methodology of examining correlates of physical activity behavior change among older adults with cognitive impairments is described. Findings from general populations suggest that self-regulation is the most important factor in promoting behavioral changes related to physical activity. However, successful self-regulation requires sufficient executive function, and therefore, findings from populations with adequate executive function cannot be generalized to older adults with cognitive impairments. As a result, we are examining psychological and environmental correlates of behavioral changes related to physical activity in older adults with cognitive impairments.
It has been demonstrated that habitual aerobic exercise has a positive effect on cognitive functions of elderly individuals. However, the optimal intensity and optimal type of aerobic exercise for attenuating the ageing related decline of cognitive abilities remain unclear. Therefore, the current study focused on these issues. Results of previous studies that have explored the relationships between aerobic exercise and cognitive functions and reported positive effects of exercise might have been based on the intensity of exercise and the mediation of peripheral mechanisms including increased cardiovascular functions and growth hormonal secretions. In addition, it has been hypothesized that task complexity of aerobic exercises, such as dance and ball sports, could have a positive impact on cognitive functions. These findings suggest the possibility that a central mechanism might facilitate the reconstruction of neuro-cognitive networks as a result of aerobic exercise.