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    Enhancing Resilience, Coping and Self-Talk of Employees in Large Organisations; the development and mixed methods piloting of an online mental health and well-being toolkit

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    Purpose: The mental health and well-being of employees is negatively impacted by stress, anxiety and depression. There is a need to address these issues at an organisational level to enhance workforce welfare and to decrease the number of days lost due to mental health/well-being concerns. This study aimed to evaluate a mental health and well-being toolkit designed to enhance the resilience, coping and self-talk of employees. Design/methodology/approach: The intervention was derived from counselling psychology and composed of an 8-hour programme, which was delivered over four consecutive weeks. A mixed methods approach was adopted, with the quantitative element assessing an intervention group (n = 10) and control group (n = 14) at baseline and at the end of the programme on measures of mental health and well-being. The qualitative aspect of the study involved interviews with the intervention group, which were thematically analysed. Findings: Quantitatively, the experimental group showed statistically significant improvements in elements of resilience and well-being and a reduction in stress and anxiety. Qualitatively, participants experienced a positive effect on their well-being, benefited from the learning process, applied the taught strategies widely and found the session experience positive.Research limitations/implications: This was a small pilot study, nevertheless, the mixed methods nature of this investigation indicates that a counselling derived online training programme can enhance the well-being of employees within large organisations. Originality/value: A remotely delivered mental health and well-being toolkit could be a useful resource to enhance the well-being of employees in all organisations.Originality/value: A remotely delivered mental health and well-being toolkit could be a useful resource to enhance the well-being of employees in all organisations.</p

    ‘Meta’ analysis: considerations when using Facebook within research and evaluation studies: a research note

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    The use of social media platforms as a means of data collection for researchers is increasing. With the number of active users of Facebook across the globe exceeding two billion, the platform offers a means to reach and hear from diverse populations and gather information-rich data. Despite an increase of researchers utilising Facebook and publishing their findings, there has been less focus on describing the issues researchers need to think about to undertake their work in line with ethical principles, which is particularly important when engaging people in research. This research note provides a worked example of the practical steps adopted when establishing a Facebook Page and Group to recruit and gather data from individuals receiving care and support. The paper offers guidance for researchers on the issues to consider and provides insights into how using Facebook can be aligned with good research governance practice and ethics approval processes

    Grant, Brendan

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    Our Social Networks: Exploring the benefits of storytelling in building agency, identity and wellbeing with people with learning disabilities

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    To meet the aims of this research, nine personal stories which were audio recorded with people with learning disabilities as part of the Our Social Networks oral history project were explored (Mencap Cymru, 2018). Story analysis has been underpinned by Narrative Inquiry, which has been used to foreground the perspectives and experiences of the storytellers (Clandinin &amp; Connelly, 2000). A key theme which arose from the literature and information search and from the oral histories of people with learning disabilities explored during this research was that having positive experiences and having the opportunity to share these experiences with others through storytelling built the identity and agency of storytellers, enabling them to be seen and to see themselves as people with knowledge, or as “knowers” (Gubrium, Hill, &amp; Flicker, 2014, p.1611). Within this research, the agency of all storytellers was built through the process of engaging co-operatively and creatively in co-constructing their stories with the interviewers through the “narrative work” of storytelling (Gubrium &amp; Holstein, 2009, p.17). According to Scior (2016) people with learning disabilities may be ascribed an identity by society as persons of few capabilities. However, resisting and rejecting an ascribed identity can be achieved by building a preferred definition of self (Weir, 2009). Storytellers within this research achieved a self-defined identity through personal storytelling. Moreover, personal storytelling with trusted and empathic professional interviewers (story co-constructors) not only built the preferred identities of the storytellers, it further offered some storytellers the opportunity to interpret their lives in a different way, and to imagine other possibilities for their future (Clandinin &amp; Connelly, 2000; Meininger, 2006). Storytelling which included friends and partners offered storytellers the opportunity of co-building their preferred identities with friends and peers (Meininger, 2010). In contrast, the lack of a dialogical, storytelling relationship appeared to be at the heart of some of the emotional challenges faced by storytellers, and these included experiencing feelings of isolation, separateness, and loneliness. The researched stories also suggested that there are times when families and professionals may have little empathy with or understanding of the experience of being a person with a learning disability. This was manifested as an apparent lack of appreciating the emotions, life journeys, relationships, and preferred identities of people with learning disabilities, and this can be termed a lack of “thinking with stories” (Clandinin et al., 2015, p,29). The research found significant barriers to storytelling with this group which included limited opportunities to socialize and share personal stories, which is essential in building identity, agency, and relationships with people with learning disabilities (Grove, 2015; Meininger, 2010). Barriers also included a lack of nourishing narrative environments within social care settings (Blix, Berendonk, &amp; Caine, 2019; Grove, 2015). To build agency and identity through storytelling with people with learning disabilities, services should offer experiences which are meaningful, and the opportunity for people to share their stories, not only with friends and peers, but also with empathic professionals, as this could enable “thinking with stories”, positive identities and the provision of appropriate, co-produced narrative care and support with those who use services (Clandinin et al., 2015, p.29)

    Counter-Intuitive: Strategic Communications' Role in P/CVE 'Counternarratives'

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    The objective of this study was to analyse the effectiveness of online strategic communication initiatives in the field of Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE). Challenging extremist ideas online and offline is important for national security. Governments, civil society groups and tech companies are all involved in this effort. The continuous growth of online extremist content has prompted the P/CVE sector to implement numerous initiatives. These primarily focus on countering the appeal of extremist ideology by utilising communication, persuasion, and redirection strategies. Such efforts are clearly complex in nature and not simply a case of creating messages to persuade people. Known as ‘counternarrative’ or ‘counterspeech’ communications, these online campaigns are not always well-researched or effectively evaluated. Lack of source information and primary data due to security concerns are common themes in this regard. They also appear to somewhat overlook the central role of human agency in the context of how choices and actions are manifested. This study examined online messages that seek to counter violent extremism. The goal was to improve how these messages are created and used.In order to pursue this objective, an in-depth examination of the concepts of radicalisation and deradicalisation was conducted. This was supported by a comparative analysis of socialisation theory within a political socialisation context. To place these ideas within a relevant operational framework, the Reasoned Action Model (RAM) of behaviour change management was employed and adapted to address the unique requirements of the online P/CVE sector. The researcher integrated these features to create a hybrid framework specifically designed for the purposes of this study, referred to as the Socialisation and Reasoned Action Strategic Communication (SoRaSCo) model. Subsequently, this was employed in three distinct and innovative prevention and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) initiatives, including case-study comparative analysis. These included the 'Abdullah-X' campaign, Meta's ‘counter conversations’, and Google's ‘search redirect’. The study's results indicate that the concepts of radicalisation and deradicalisation possess use; nevertheless, their effectiveness is contingent upon the incorporation of socialisation processes. In the absence of such processes, these notions tend to become excessively abstract, exhibiting a tendency towards either excessive generality or excessive specificity. The utilisation of these principles in the formulation of strategic communication endeavours has rendered the prevention and countering of violent extremism (P/CVE) sector excessively foreseeable in its approach to combating extremist narratives on digital platforms. This relates to the design and measurement requirements of such efforts, frequently leading to the dissemination of counter narrative campaigns and initiatives that have limited impact and lack longevity. Socialization theory as applied to human agency and behaviour can inform the development of user-engaged, feedback-driven, and iterative counternarratives for P/CVE. This approach, informed by signs, symbols, and interpretive sociology, can enhance the credibility, effectiveness, and durability of counternarratives.<br/

    Health economic evaluations of preventative care for perinatal anxiety and associated disorders: A rapid review

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    Objectives - Perinatal mental health problems affect one in five women and cost the UK £8.1 billion for every year of births, with 72% of this cost due to the long-term impact on the child. We conducted a rapid review of health economic evaluations of preventative care for perinatal anxiety and associated disorders. Design - This study adopted a rapid review approach, using principles of the standard systematic review process to generate quality evidence. This methodology features a systematic database search, Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses diagram, screening of evidence, data extraction, critical appraisal and narrative synthesis. Data sources - PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Cochrane Library, Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts, PsycINFO and MEDLINE. Eligibility criteria for selecting studies - Studies that evaluated the costs and cost-effectiveness of preventative care for perinatal anxiety and associated disorders carried out within the National Health Service and similar healthcare systems. Data extraction and synthesis - A minimum of two independent reviewers used standardised methods to search, screen, critically appraise and synthesise included studies. Results - The results indicate a lack of economic evaluation specifically for perinatal anxiety, with most studies focusing on postnatal depression (PND). Interventions to prevent postnatal mental health problems are cost-effective. Modelling studies have also been conducted, which suggest that treating PND with counselling would be cost-effective. Conclusion - The costs of not intervening in maternal mental health outweigh the costs of preventative interventions. Preventative measures such as screening and counselling for maternal mental health are shown to be cost-effective interventions to improve outcomes for women and children. PROSPERO registration number CRD42022347859

    Inhibition of 7α,26-dihydroxycholesterol biosynthesis promotes midbrain dopaminergic neuron development.

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    Dysregulated cholesterol metabolism has been linked to neurodegeneration. We previously found that free, non-esterified, 7α,(25R)26-dihydroxycholesterol (7α,26-diHC), was significantly elevated in the cerebrospinal fluid of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. In this study we investigated the role of 7α,26-diHC in midbrain dopamine (mDA) neuron development and survival. We report that 7α,26-diHC induces apoptosis and reduces the number of mDA neurons in hESC-derived cultures and in mouse progenitor cultures. Voriconazole, an oxysterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7B1) inhibitor, increases the number of mDA neurons and prevents the loss of mDA neurons induced by 7α,26-diHC. These effects are specific since neither 7α,26-diHC nor voriconazole alter the number of Islet1+ oculomotor neurons. Furthermore, our results suggest that elevated 24(S),25-epoxycholesterol, which has been shown to promote mDA neurogenesis, may be partially responsible for the effect of voriconazole on mDA neurons. These findings suggest that voriconazole, and/or other azole CYP7B1 inhibitors may have implications in PD therapy development

    Integrating Genomics into Canadian Oncology Nursing Policy: Insights from a Comparative Policy Analysis

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    Aim: To learn from two jurisdictions with mature genomics‐informed nursing policy infrastructure—the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK)—to inform policy development for genomics‐informed oncology nursing practice and education in Canada. Design: Comparative document and policy analysis drawing on the 3i + E framework. Methods: We drew on the principles of a rapid review and identified academic literature, grey literature and nursing policy documents through a systematic search of two databases, a website search of national genomics nursing and oncology nursing organizations in the US and UK, and recommendations from subject matter experts on an international advisory committee. A total of 94 documents informed our analysis. Results: We found several types of policy documents guiding genomics‐informed nursing practice and education in the US and UK. These included position statements, policy advocacy briefs, competencies, scope and standards of practice and education and curriculum frameworks. Examples of drivers that influenced policy development included nurses' values in aligning with evidence and meeting public expectations, strong nurse leaders, policy networks and shifting healthcare and policy landscapes. Conclusion: Our analysis of nursing policy infrastructure in the US and UK provides a framework to guide policy recommendations to accelerate the integration of genomics into Canadian oncology nursing practice and education. Implications for the profession: Findings can assist Canadian oncology nurses in developing nursing policy infrastructure that supports full participation in safe and equitable genomics‐informed oncology nursing practice and education within an interprofessional context. Impact: This study informs Canadian policy development for genomics‐informed oncology nursing education and practice. The experiences of other countries demonstrate that change is incremental, and investment from strong advocates and collaborators can accelerate the integration of genomics into nursing. Though this research focuses on oncology nursing, it may also inform other nursing practice contexts influenced by genomics

    KOS-based enrichment of archaeological fieldwork reports

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    Semantic enrichment techniques and tools based on knowledge organization systems (KOS) have an important role to play in supporting information discovery. This paper reports on work investigating and developing automatic indexing techniques (for final intellectual judgment) based on KOS. Within the UK, the OASIS online index of fieldwork events and their unpublished reports represent a major initiative to make archaeological fieldwork available to a wider public. OASIS is hosted by the Archaeology Data Service and is funded by Historic England and Historic Environment Scotland. A wide variety of organisations provide OASIS reports. Subject indexing is inconsistent and sometimes sparse, although use of standard KOS from the Forum on Information Standards in Heritage is encouraged. Results from a case study for an automatic (KOS-based) subject indexing recommendation system are reported. Findings include the need to extend the KOS entry vocabularies and the need for post-processing filters to prioritise subject indexing significant for the document in question. The paper goes on to reflect on the experience with future work in mind, including discussion of evaluation issues and positioning the approach within the context of previous work on subject indexing, automatic indexing for Name Authorities and Named Entity Recognition

    A Grounded Theory of Wellbeing and Resilience: Counselling Psychologists’ perceptions of these constructs in the self, the client and the workplace

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    BackgroundFollowing years of increasing pressures upon health and social care services, factors such as prolonged underfunding and the Covid-19 Pandemic, have only exacerbated difficulties for the exiting workforce in terms their wellbeing and resilience, reflected in high sickness-levels, poor morale and widespread burnout. Surveys by the British Psychological Society (BPS) (2019, 2020) suggest how Practitioner Psychologists have similarly been impacted, with most reporting how such unsustainable demands were leading them and others to feel physically and emotionally exhausted, and, burnt out (BPS, 2020). As research involving Counselling Psychologists in this area is extremely limited, the decision was made to focus solely upon the perspectives of this professional group and the insights they could offer in this area. Aims The aim of this study was to explore Counselling Psychologists’ experiences and perceptions of ‘wellbeing’ and ‘resilience’ in relation to the self, client work and the workplace.Methodology Following a Constructivist Grounded Theory methodology, eleven HCPC registered Counselling Psychologists were recruited and interviewed using a semi-structured interview protocol. A grounded theory was constructed from the data that reflected major themes that emerged from the analysis. Findings and ConclusionsSeveral key factors were identified as impacting how ‘wellbeing’ and ‘resilience’ are constructed, including: systemic factors, sense of safety vs unsafety, workplace culture, vulnerability, boundaries, self-awareness and the role of privilege. The emergent theory suggested that while wellbeing and resilience are separate constructs, that they are intrinsically linked: (i) by attending to wellbeing needs, the capacity for resilience is also fortified, with rest and recuperation enabling space for reflection, learning and growth, but also, (ii) resilience supports the ability to endure periods of hardship or adversity, through which, experiential learning can take place, expanding self-awareness and insights into individual limits and personal needs.Implications of this research and its relevance to the field of Counselling Psychology are also discussed, with additional recommendations for practice


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