Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences - Research Publications
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Body checking and body avoidance in eating disorders: Systematic review and meta-analysis
This review sought to systematically review and quantify the evidence related to body checking and body avoidance in eating disorders (EDs) to gauge the size of effects, as well as examine potential differences between clinical and nonclinical populations, and between different ED subtypes. PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, PsycEXTRA, Cochrane Library, and MEDLINE databases were searched for academic literature published until October 2017. A grey literature search was also conducted. Fifty-two studies were identified for the systematic review, of which 34 were eligible for meta-analysis. Only female samples were included in the meta-analysis. ED cases experienced significantly higher body checking (d = 1.26, p < .001) and body avoidance (d = 1.88, p < .001) overall relative to healthy controls, but neither behaviour varied by ED subtype. In nonclinical samples, body checking (r = .60) and body avoidance (r = .56) were significantly correlated with ED pathology (p < .001). These findings support transdiagnostic theoretical models and approaches to ED treatment and early intervention programmes.
Immediate effects on adult drinkers of exposure to alcohol harm reduction advertisements with and without drinking guideline messages: experimental study
AIMS: To compare the immediate effects on drinkers of television advertisements focusing upon short- versus long-term harms with and without low-risk drinking guidelines. DESIGN: Between-participants on-line experiment, with random assignment to view: (a) alcohol product advertisements (ALC control); (b) advertisements unrelated to alcohol (NON-ALC control); (c) advertisements featuring short-term harms (STH) of alcohol; (d) advertisements featuring STH plus a STH guideline (STH+G); (e) advertisements featuring long-term harms (LTH); or (f) advertisements featuring LTH plus a LTH guideline (LTH+G). SETTING: Australia, 2016. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 3718 drinkers aged 18-64 years (48.5% male). MEASUREMENTS: Post-exposure likelihood that participants provided a correct estimate of drinking levels associated with short- and long-term harms; post-exposure intentions to avoid alcohol or reduce consumption. FINDINGS: After exposure to STH+G or LTH+G advertisements, participants were more likely to estimate correctly rather than overestimate drinking levels associated with harm, compared with those exposed to STH (P < 0.001) and LTH advertisements without guidelines, respectively (P = 0.019) and ALC control (STH+G, P < 0.001; LTH+G, P < 0.001) and NON-ALC control conditions (STH+G, P < 0.001; LTH+G, P = 0.011). Drinkers exposed to STH conditions were more likely to intend to reduce next-week alcohol consumption than those exposed to ALC control (both P < 0.001) and NON-ALC control conditions (STH, P = 0.001; STH+G, P < 0.001); a similar pattern was observed for intentions to avoid alcohol. Drinkers exposed to LTH conditions were also more likely than drinkers exposed to ALC or NON-ALC controls to intend to avoid and reduce alcohol in the next week. Additionally, drinkers exposed to LTH+G were more likely to intend to reduce drinking than those exposed to LTH advertisements without guidelines (P = 0.022). Response patterns for low- and high-risk drinkers by condition were similar. CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol harm television advertisements increase intentions to reduce alcohol consumption among both low- and high-risk drinkers. The addition of low-risk drinking guidelines can enhance these effects for advertisements featuring long-term harms and improve estimates of both short- and long-term harmful drinking levels.
Physical appearance concerns are uniquely associated with the severity of steroid dependence and depression in anabolic-androgenic steroid users
INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: Emerging research suggests that the sub-population of anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) users who experience physical appearance concerns may suffer greater psychological dysfunction than other sub-populations, including users with athletic or occupational concerns. Thus, among current AAS users, we sought to determine whether, and to what extent, social physique anxiety-an established measure of appearance concern-was associated with psychological dysfunction. DESIGN AND METHODS: Interviews were conducted with a sample of 74 male AAS users living in Australia. Users completed self-report instruments of the severity of AAS dependence, depression, hazardous and risky drinking, use of non-AAS illicit drugs, psychological side-effects due to AAS use and abnormal test results due to AAS use. RESULTS: Multivariate analyses revealed that greater social physique anxiety was uniquely associated with more severe symptoms of both AAS dependence and depression. Moreover, the effect size of these relationships was large. Social physique anxiety was not associated with hazardous or risky drinking, non-AAS illicit drug use, psychological side-effects or abnormal test results. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Limitations notwithstanding, the study is consistent with the notion that AAS users who experience appearance concerns are at heightened risk of co-morbid psychological dysfunction. Given trends indicating an increase in the prevalence of AAS use in Australia and elsewhere, the findings suggest that health-care systems may need to consider prioritising the sub-population of AAS users who experience appearance concerns. Further investigation of the clinical syndrome of AAS dependence is required, including its relation to body image and eating disorders.
Experiences and unmet needs of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people with cancer care: A systematic review and meta-synthesis
OBJECTIVES: To explore the cancer care experiences and unmet needs of people who identify as a sexual or gender minority. METHODS: A qualitative systematic review and meta-synthesis was undertaken based on a registered protocol. Following literature searching and study selection, study quality was examined by using the Critical Appraisal Skill Programme Checklist. Qualitative data were extracted verbatim from included studies and synthesized by using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Fifteen studies that included lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people living with or beyond cancer were included in the review. Studies including gender minorities were not identified. Most of the study participants were sexual minority women with breast cancer or sexual minority men with prostate cancer. Meta-synthesis of 106 individual findings generated 6 overarching themes pertaining to sexual orientation disclosure, experiences and fear of homophobia, positive and negative health-care professional behaviors, heterocentric systems and care, inadequacy of available support groups, and unmet needs for patient-centered care and LGB-specific information. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people often reported feelings of anxiety, invisibility, isolation, and frustration throughout the cancer care continuum. CONCLUSIONS: Analysis of the experiences of LGB people with cancer care shows that LGB people face numerous challenges due to their sexual orientation and receive care that does not adequately address their needs. Training and education of health-care professionals are strongly recommended to address some of these challenges and practice gaps. Culturally appropriate care includes avoiding heterosexual assumptions, use of inclusive language, the provision of tailored information, and involving partners in care.
Feasibility of a parent education and skills workshop for improving response to family-based treatment of adolescent anorexia nervosa
OBJECTIVE: Early response to family-based treatment (FBT) is a robust predictor of positive outcomes for adolescents with anorexia nervosa (AN). We introduced a parent education and skills workshop in the first 4 weeks of treatment with the aim of improving changes in parent self-efficacy in FBT and, in turn, patient weight gain. METHOD: Forty-five families who had at least one parent attend the workshop were compared to a matched control of families who did FBT before the workshop was introduced. RESULTS: Among adolescents who were underweight at baseline, weight gain by Week 4 of treatment was higher for adolescents whose parents attended the workshop (M = 90.84% median BMI) than those who did not (M = 88.54% mBMI, p < .05). There was no significant difference in weight at Week 12 or at end of treatment, nor was there a difference in self-efficacy as measured by the Parent Versus Anorexia Scale. Participants reported a high level of satisfaction with the workshop and significant improvements in knowledge and confidence. DISCUSSION: Overall, the workshop was a feasible adjunct for improving early response to FBT.
Body image diversity in the media: A content analysis of women's fashion magazines
ISSUE ADDRESSED: The narrow representation of body image in the media has been linked to body dissatisfaction, particularly among readers of women's fashion magazines. Some countries have made efforts to improve body image diversity in the media and the fashion industry. This has included attempts to regulate minimum body size of models (eg, Israel, France), and the development of codes of practices such as the Australian Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image. However, there is little evidence of whether these efforts have impacted media content. METHOD: This study aimed to gauge the state of body image diversity in the print media 5 years after the introduction of the Australian Code of Conduct via a content analysis of 13 Australian women's fashion magazines published in 2015. RESULTS: Results revealed low levels of diversity in body size, ethnicity and age among models depicted in fashion magazine images. Models were predominantly young, white and underweight. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that efforts to improve body image diversity have had little impact on print media. Further research is needed to understand the barriers to increased diversity in the representation of body image in the media so that the industry and regulatory bodies can further address this important issue. This is increasingly pressing given the proliferation of content now enabled through online media platforms.
Differences in regional grey matter volumes in currently ill patients with anorexia nervosa
Neurobiological findings in anorexia nervosa (AN) are inconsistent, including differences in regional grey matter volumes. Methodological limitations often contribute to the inconsistencies reported. The aim of this study was to improve on these methodologies by utilising voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis with the use of diffeomorphic anatomic registration through an exponentiated lie algebra algorithm (DARTEL), in a relatively large group of individuals with AN. Twenty-six individuals with AN and 27 healthy controls underwent a T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. AN participants were found to have reduced grey matter volumes in a number of areas including regions of the basal ganglia (including the ventral striatum), and parietal and temporal cortices. Body mass index (BMI) and global scores on the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) were also found to correlate with grey matter volumes in a region of the brainstem (including the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area) in AN, and predicted 56% of the variance in grey matter volumes in this area. The brain regions associated with grey matter reductions in AN are consistent with regions responsible for cognitive deficits associated with the illness including anhedonia, deficits in affect perception and saccadic eye movement abnormalities. Overall, the findings suggest reduced grey matter volumes in AN that are associated with eating disorder symptomatology.
Paediatric intentional head injuries in the emergency department: A multicentre prospective cohort study
OBJECTIVE: Although there is a large body of research on head injury (HI) inflicted by caregivers in young children, little is known about intentional HI in older children and inflicted HI by perpetrators other than carers. Therefore, we set out to describe epidemiology, demographics and severity of intentional HIs in childhood. METHODS: A planned secondary analysis of a prospective multicentre cohort study was conducted in 10 EDs in Australia and New Zealand, including children aged <18 years with HIs. Epidemiology codes were used to prospectively code the injuries. Demographic and clinical information including the rate of clinically important traumatic brain injury (ciTBI: HI leading to death, neurosurgery, intubation >1 day or admission ≥2 days with abnormal computed tomography [CT]) was descriptively analysed. RESULTS: Intentional injuries were identified in 372 of 20 137 (1.8%) head-injured children. Injuries were caused by caregivers (103, 27.7%), by peers (97, 26.1%), by siblings (47, 12.6%), by strangers (35, 9.4%), by persons with unknown relation to the patient (21, 5.6%), other intentional injuries (8, 2.2%) or undetermined intent (61, 16.4%). About 75.7% of victims of assault by caregivers were <2 years, whereas in other categories, only 4.9% were <2 years. Overall, 66.9% of victims were male. Rates of CT performance and abnormal CT varied: assault by caregivers 68.9%/47.6%, by peers 18.6%/27.8%, by strangers 37.1%/5.7%. ciTBI rate was 22.3% in assault by caregivers, 3.1% when caused by peers and 0.0% with other perpetrators. CONCLUSIONS: Intentional HI is infrequent in children. The most frequently identified perpetrators are caregivers and peers. Caregiver injuries are particularly severe.
Genioglossus reflex responses to negative upper airway pressure are altered in people with tetraplegia and obstructive sleep apnoea
KEY POINTS: Protective reflexes in the throat area (upper airway) are crucial for breathing. Impairment of these reflexes can cause breathing problems during sleep such as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). OSA is very common in people with spinal cord injury for unknown reasons. This study shows major changes in protective reflexes that serve to keep the upper airway open in response to suction pressures in people with tetraplegia and OSA. These results help us understand why OSA is so common in people with tetraplegia and provide new insight into how protective upper airway reflexes work more broadly. ABSTRACT: More than 60% of people with tetraplegia have obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). However, the specific causes are unknown. Genioglossus, the largest upper-airway dilator muscle, is important in maintaining upper-airway patency. Impaired genioglossus muscle function following spinal cord injury may contribute to OSA. This study aimed to determine if genioglossus reflex responses to negative upper-airway pressure are altered in people with OSA and tetraplegia compared to non-neurologically impaired able-bodied individuals with OSA. Genioglossus reflex responses measured via intramuscular electrodes to ∼60 brief (250 ms) pulses of negative upper-airway pressure (∼-15 cmH2 O at the mask) were compared between 13 participants (2 females) with tetraplegia plus OSA and 9 able-bodied controls (2 females) matched for age and OSA severity. The initial short-latency excitatory reflex response was absent in 6/13 people with tetraplegia and 1/9 controls. Genioglossus reflex inhibition in the absence of excitation was observed in three people with tetraplegia and none of the controls. When the excitatory response was present, it was significantly delayed in the tetraplegia group compared to able-bodied controls: excitation onset latency (mean ± SD) was 32 ± 16 vs. 18 ± 9 ms, P = 0.045; peak excitation latency was 48 ± 17 vs. 33 ± 8 ms, P = 0.038. However, when present, amplitude of the excitation response was not different between groups, 195 ± 26 vs. 219 ± 98% at baseline, P = 0.55. There are major differences in genioglossus reflex morphology and timing in response to rapid changes in airway pressure in people with tetraplegia and OSA. Altered genioglossus function may contribute to the increased risk of OSA in people with tetraplegia. The precise mechanisms mediating these differences are unknown.
Bullying, mental health and friendship in Australian primary school children
BACKGROUND: Frequent bullying predicts adolescent mental health problems, particularly depression. This population-based study with young Australian primary school children aimed to determine the frequency and mental health correlates of bullying, and whether friendship could be protective. METHOD: Participants were a population-based sample of 1221 children aged 8-9 years attending 43 primary schools in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia. Children were taking part in the Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study. Children completed online questionnaires at school to measure peer relations and emotional well-being. Parents reported on their child's mental health in questionnaires sent to the home. RESULTS: One in three children (29.2%) reported experiencing frequent bullying, defined as at least once a week. This included physical bullying alone (13.8%), verbal bullying alone (22.7%) and the combination (7.4%). Children who reported being frequently bullied self-reported higher internalising symptoms compared with children who did not report frequent bullying (M (SD) 1.6 (0.9) vs. 1.1 (0.8), p < .001). This difference was confirmed by parents' reports of their child's internalising symptoms (M (SD) 2.4 (2.3) vs. 2.1 (2.0), p = .026, respectively). Amongst children who reported frequent bullying, those with a group of friends had better emotional well-being. CONCLUSIONS: A substantial proportion of children report experiencing bullying on a weekly basis early in primary school. Given the prevalence of bullying in primary school and its relationship to children's mental health, we recommend effective school-wide antibullying programmes. Further research can explore whether intervention to foster a group of friends around bullied children can improve their emotional well-being.
Adolescents' alcohol use and strength of policy relating to youth access, trading hours and driving under the influence: findings from Australia
AIMS: To determine (i) whether the strength of Australian alcohol control policy in three domains (youth access, trading hours and drink driving) changed during the 2000s; and (ii) estimate associations between these policies and adolescent drinking after adjusting for television alcohol advertising exposures, alcohol outlet density, alcohol price changes, exposure to negative articles about alcohol in daily newspapers and adult drinking prevalence. DESIGN: Repeated cross-sectional surveys conducted triennially from 2002 to 2011. Multi-level modelling examined the association between alcohol control policies and drinking prevalence after adjusting for covariates. SETTING: Four Australian capital cities between 2002 and 2011. PARTICIPANTS: Students aged 12-17 years participating in a triennial national representative school-based survey (sample size range/survey: 9805-13 119). MEASUREMENTS: Outcome measures were: past month drinking and risky drinking (5+ drinks on a day) in the past 7 days. Policy strength in each of three domains (youth access, trading hours, drink-driving) were the key predictor variables. Covariates included: past 3-month television alcohol and alcohol-control advertising, alcohol outlet density, alcohol price change, negatively framed newspaper alcohol articles, adult drinking prevalence and student demographic characteristics. FINDINGS: During the study period, the strength of youth access policies increased by 10%, trading hours policies by 14% and drink-driving policies by 58%. Past-month and risky drinking prevalence decreased (e.g. past-month: 2002: 47.4% to 2011: 26.3%). Multivariable analyses that included all policy variables and adjusted for year, student and other covariates showed past-month drinking to be associated inversely with stronger trading hours policies [odds ratio (OR) = 0.80, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.69, 0.94], but not youth access (OR = 0.92 95% CI = 0.81, 1.04) or drink-driving (OR = 1.00, 95% CI = 0.93, 1.09). Risky drinking was associated inversely with stronger youth access policies (OR = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.69, 0.98), but not trading hours (OR = 0.85, 95% CI = 0.66, 1.09) or drink-driving (OR = 1.02, 95% CI = 0.90, 1.14) policies. CONCLUSIONS: Population-directed policies designed to reduce alcohol availability and promotion may reduce adolescents' alcohol use.