The latest medical research on Psychology

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about psychology gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Making sense of phantom limb pain.

Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry

Phantom limb pain (PLP) impacts the majority of individuals who undergo limb amputation. The PLP experience is highly heterogenous in its quality, ...

The effect of stimulant medication on the learning of academic curricula in children with ADHD: A randomized crossover study.

Journal of Consulting and Clinical

Evaluate whether stimulant medication improves acquisition of academic material in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) receiving small-group, content-area instruction in a classroom setting.

Participants were 173 children between the ages of 7 and 12 years old (77% male, 86% Hispanic) who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) criteria for ADHD and were participating in a therapeutic summer camp. The design was a triple-masked, within-subject, AB/BA crossover trial. Children completed two consecutive phases of daily, 25-min instruction in both (a) subject-area content (science, social studies) and (b) vocabulary. Each phase was a standard instructional unit lasting for 3 weeks. Teachers and aides taught the material to small groups in a summer classroom setting. Each child was randomized to be medicated with daily osmotic-release oral system methylphenidate (OROS-MPH) during either the first or second of the instructional phases, receiving placebo during the other.

Medication had large, salutary, statistically significant effects on children's academic seatwork productivity and classroom behavior on every single day of the instructional period. However, there was no detectable effect of medication on learning the material taught during instruction: Children learned the same amount of subject-area and vocabulary content whether they were taking OROS-MPH or placebo during the instructional period.

Acute effects of OROS-MPH on daily academic seatwork productivity and classroom behavior did not translate into improved learning of new academic material taught via small-group, evidence-based instruction. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

Marriage checkup in integrated primary care: A randomized controlled trial with active-duty military couples.

Journal of Consulting and Clinical

This study assessed the efficacy of the marriage checkup, as adapted to integrated primary care settings and active-duty military couples, for improving relationship health and depressive symptoms.

Married couples (N = 244, Mage = 32.4, 67.6% Caucasian) in which at least one member was active-duty Air Force were recruited from bases across the U.S. via online advertisement, emails sent from medical clinics to enrolled beneficiaries, social media posts, and flyers, and randomly assigned to active treatment or waitlist control. Treatment and control couples were linked in pairs sequentially and pairs completed nine sets of questionnaires at baseline, 1-, and 6-month posttreatment. Outcome measures included the Couples Satisfaction Index, Intimate Safety Questionnaire, Responsive Attention Scale, Partner Compassion Scale, Communication Skills Test, and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale.

A three-level multilevel model indicated, after adjustment for multiple comparisons, treatment couples experienced statistically significant small-to-moderate improvements compared to the control group (Cohen's d from 0.21 to 0.55) at 1 month that were sustained at 6 months for relationship satisfaction, responsive attention, compassion toward their partners, communication skills, intimate safety, and depressive symptoms.

A longitudinal randomized control trial of the MC supports the hypothesis that the MC significantly improves relationship satisfaction, intimacy, communication, partner compassion, responsive attention, and depressive symptoms. Implications for theory, treatment, and dissemination are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

A randomized trial of brief couple therapy for PTSD and relationship satisfaction.

Journal of Consulting and Clinical

This three-arm randomized trial tested a brief version of cognitive-behavioral conjoint therapy (bCBCT) delivered in two modalities compared to couples' psychoeducation in a sample of U.S. veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and their intimate partners.

Couples were randomized to receive (a) in-person, office-based bCBCT (OB-bCBCT), (b) bCBCT delivered via home-based telehealth (HB-bCBCT), or (c) an in-person psychoeducation comparison condition (PTSD family education [OB-PFE]). Primary outcomes were clinician-assessed PTSD severity (Clinician Administered PTSD Scale), self-reported psychosocial functioning (Brief Inventory of Psychosocial Functioning), and relationship satisfaction (Couples Satisfaction Index) at posttreatment and through 6-month follow-up.

PTSD symptoms significantly decreased by posttreatment with all three treatments, but compared to PFE, PTSD symptoms declined significantly more for veterans in OB-bCBCT (between-group d = 0.59 [0.17, 1.01]) and HB-bCBCT (between-group d = 0.76 [0.33, 1.19]) treatments. There were no significant differences between OB-bCBCT and HB-bCBCT. Psychosocial functioning and relationship satisfaction showed significant small to moderate improvements, with no differences between treatments. All changes were maintained through 6-month follow-up.

A briefer, more scalable version of CBCT showed sustained effectiveness relative to an active control for improving PTSD symptoms when delivered in-person or via telehealth. Both bCBCT and couples' psychoeducation improved psychosocial and relational outcomes. These results could have a major impact on PTSD treatment delivery within large systems of care where access to brief, evidence-based PTSD treatments incorporating family members are needed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

Associations between treatment adherence-competence-integrity (ACI) and adult psychotherapy outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Journal of Consulting and Clinical

To provide a comprehensive assessment of the association between psychological treatment adherence/competence/integrity (ACI) and clinical outcomes.

The review protocol was preregistered (CRD42020193889). Studies that assessed ACI-outcome relationships for adult psychotherapy were searched across three databases (Scopus, PsycINFO, MEDLINE). Random effects meta-analyses were conducted on adherence-outcome, competence-outcome, and integrity-outcome relationships. Separate analyses were performed for studies with hierarchical (i.e., patients nested within therapist) versus nonhierarchical study designs. Moderator analyses were performed according to predefined clinical and methodological features. GRADE assessments rated the quality of each meta-analytic comparison.

The review identified 62 studies suitable for inclusion (45 adherence-outcome, 39 competence-outcome, and seven integrity-outcome effect sizes; N = 8,210 across all analyses). No significant adherence-outcome association was found. A small significant positive association was found only in nonhierarchical studies between competence and outcome, r = 0.17, 95% CI [0.07-0.26], p < .001, ∼d = .34, GRADE = moderate. Small-to-moderate significant positive associations between integrity and outcome were found for both nonhierarchical, r = 0.15, 95% CI [0.06-0.23], p < .001, ∼d = .30, GRADE = high, and hierarchical study designs, r = 0.23, 95% CI [0.01, 0.43], p < .044, ∼d = .47, GRADE = low. Diagnosis, treatment modality and year of publication significantly moderated the strength of ACI-outcome correlations.

Competence and integrity are significantly associated with clinical outcome, with a magnitude comparable to wider common factors. Further research is required to study these process-outcome associations with greater precision in routine-care settings and to understand the role of moderating variables. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

How to model and interpret cross-lagged effects in psychotherapy mechanisms of change research: A comparison of multilevel and structural equation models.

Journal of Consulting and Clinical

Modeling cross-lagged effects in psychotherapy mechanisms of change studies is complex and requires careful attention to model selection and interpretation. However, there is a lack of field-specific guidelines. We aimed to (a) describe the estimation and interpretation of cross lagged effects using multilevel models (MLM) and random-intercept cross lagged panel model (RI-CLPM); (b) compare these models' performance and risk of bias using simulations and an applied research example to formulate recommendations for practice.

Part 1 is a tutorial focused on introducing/describing dynamic effects in the form of autoregression and bidirectionality. In Part 2, we compare the estimation of cross-lagged effects in RI-CLPM, which takes dynamic effects into account, with three commonly used MLMs that cannot accommodate dynamics. In Part 3, we describe a Monte Carlo simulation study testing model performance of RI-CLPM and MLM under realistic conditions for psychotherapy mechanisms of change studies.

Our findings suggested that all three MLMs resulted in severely biased estimates of cross-lagged effects when dynamic effects were present in the data, with some experimental conditions generating statistically significant estimates in the wrong direction. MLMs performed comparably well only in conditions which are conceptually unrealistic for psychotherapy mechanisms of change research (i.e., no inertia in variables and no bidirectional effects).

Based on conceptual fit and our simulation results, we strongly recommend using fully dynamic structural equation modeling models, such as the RI-CLPM, rather than static, unidirectional regression models (e.g., MLM) to study cross-lagged effects in mechanisms of change research. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

Within and between associations of clinical microskills and correct application of techniques/strategies: A longitudinal multilevel approach.

Journal of Consulting and Clinical

The therapist effect has been demonstrated in various studies. However, studies on putative therapist characteristics show heterogeneous results. Although the majority of studies have solely examined effects between therapists, a growing interest in effects within therapists has emerged. However, it remains unclear whether therapist characteristics are rather a state-like than a trait-like phenomenon. The main aim of the present study is to test whether clinical microskills as well as correct application of techniques and strategies (both between and within therapists) predict across-session change of symptom severity in a large naturalistic data set.

The results are based on 398 patients and 48 therapists who treated 5-17 patients each. Clinical microskills and correct application of techniques/strategies were rated using the Inventory of Therapeutic Interventions and Skills, and symptom severity was assessed with the Hopkins Symptom Checklist-11.

Results demonstrated significant within- and between-therapist variability in clinical microskills and correct application of techniques/strategies, and no change over the course of treatment in both variables. Moreover, correct application of techniques/strategies was significantly associated with symptom improvement within, but not between therapists. In addition, higher treatment difficulty as well as an interaction between treatment difficulty and correct application of techniques/strategies were significantly associated with symptom improvement. Clinical microskills were neither predictive of symptom improvement within nor between therapists.

These results provide initial evidence that not the therapist's average correct application of techniques/strategies is important, but rather how correctly they use a technique with a specific patient. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

Age Progression in the Treatment of Suicidal Patients.

Clin Hypnosis

Suicide is a very distressing but preventable phenomenon; it is also the most profound and serious outcome for patients and healthcare professional...

Toward reducing the duration of untreated psychosis in a Latinx community.

Journal of Consulting and Clinical

To carry out and evaluate a communications campaign (La CLAve) to reduce the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) in a U.S. Latinx community.

We employed evidence-based messaging in multiple media outlets. We recruited 132 Latinxs with first-episode psychosis (FEP) and caregivers seeking mental health care within a high-density Latinx community. We evaluated the campaign's dissemination, the extent to which the community received the campaign message, and the campaign outcome. We tested whether DUP (number of weeks) changed across three time periods (16-month baseline, 2-year campaign, and 16-month postcampaign) and whether participants' language background (primarily Spanish speaking or English speaking) moderated change in DUP.

The campaign was disseminated widely. During the height of the campaign over a 1-year period, our team distributed 22,039 brochures and performed 740 workshops. The campaign message was received by the community as noted for example by increases in the number of unduplicated weekly calls to the campaign's 1-800 number. Applying square root transformations to DUP, we found a significant main effect for language background but not for campaign period nor their interaction. The unadjusted mean DUP for Spanish-speaking persons with FEP was more than twice as high as the mean DUP for English-speaking persons with FEP.

Spanish-speaking Latinxs with FEP are especially in need of early psychosis treatment. The campaign reached the community but additional steps are needed to reduce treatment delay. Greater attention is needed to increase access to early intervention services for communities of color. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

The alliance-outcome association in group interventions: A multilevel meta-analysis.

Journal of Consulting and Clinical

The therapeutic alliance has been studied in group interventions, but its relationship to patient outcome is still controversial. This study systematically reviewed the association of both the member-leader and member-group alliance with patient outcomes, and assessed the effects of several theoretically informed moderators.

A three-level meta-analysis was conducted on 57 studies to disentangle within- and between-study variability in the alliance-outcome association.

The overall effect size of the unconditional model was r = -.259 (95% CI: -.302, -.214; p < .001), whereas the correlation between alliance and outcome based on the three-level meta-analytic model was r = -.215 (95% CI: -.252, -.178; p < .001) indicating a medium effect. Meta-regressions of moderators showed that the alliance-outcome correlation was higher when patients reported on their alliance with the group/other members compared with when they rated the alliance with the leader. Outcome type, rating perspective, theoretical orientation, treatment length, and year of publication were significant moderators of the relationship between alliance and outcome.

The current meta-analysis highlighted that the therapeutic alliance, especially with other group members, is a significant predictor of outcomes in group therapies even after controlling for several moderators and adopting more conservative statistical modeling. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

The Development of Psychosocial Therapeutic and Preventive Interventions for Mental Disorders (R61/R33): A User's Guide.

Journal of Clinical Oncology

One of the four major goals outlined in the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) strategic plan (2021) is to develop and test new treatments ...

Discrepancies between Foster Care Entry and Mental Health Service Use for Black and Latinx Youth.

Journal of Clinical Oncology

Black and Latinx youth are more likely to be placed into foster care compared to non-Latinx white youth. Foster care placement can facilitate menta...