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  1. 1. Meichenbaum Cognitive: Stress inoculation therapy Managing stress
  2. 2. Background: • Meichenbaum’s assumption is that stress us caused by the faulty processing of information. • Therefore, stress inoculation therapy assumes that some people find situations stressful because they think about them in catastrophising ways and so the aim of the therapy is to train people to cope more effectively with stressful situations.
  3. 3. Background: • Stress Inoculation Therapy, SIT, has 3 stages: • Cognitive preparation; Therapist and patient explore the ways in which stressful situations are thought about. • Skill acquisition and rehearsal; Attempts to replace negative self-statements, I cant do it, with incompatible coping statements. These are then learned and practised. • Application and follow through; Therapist guides the patient through progressively more stressful situations that have been rehearsed in actual stressful situations. Patient encouraged to use a variety of coping and relaxation techniques.
  4. 4. Aim: • To compare standard behaviour methods with cognitive ones which aimed to enable people to identify their stressors and change their mental processes when under stress.
  5. 5. Methodology: • Field experiment • Participants put into three groups; SIT, standard desensitisation, control. • Tested using anxiety questionnaires and grade averages before and after treatment. • Blind study- people assessing did not know which condition they had been in. • Matched pairs design with gender controls and a random allocation to a group.
  6. 6. Procedure: • 21 students aged 17-25 responded to an advert about treatment of test anxiety. • The SIT group received 8 therapy sessions giving them insight into their thoughts before tests. • They were then given some positive statements to say and relaxation techniques to use in test situations. • The systematic desensitisation group was also given 8 therapy sessions with only progressive relaxation training whilst imagining stressful situations. • The control group were told that they were on a waiting list for treatment.
  7. 7. Results: • Performance in tests from the SIT group improved the most in comparison to the other two groups. • Both therapy groups improved more in comparison to the control group. • Participants in the SIT groups showed more reported improvement in their anxiety levels, although both therapy groups showed an improvement over the control group.
  8. 8. Conclusions: • SIT is an effective way of reducing anxiety in students who are prone to anxiety in test situations and more effective than simply behavioural techniques when a cognitive component is added.
  9. 9. Issues: • Generalisability – Only used students- can only generalise to this age bracket – Volunteers- all one type of personality • Ecological validity – Was a field experiment- high ecological validity • Usefulness – Can help with managing stress • Ethics – Gained consent – Deception of control group- not really on the waiting list • Replicability – Standardised procedure – Higher reliability • Validity – A blind study- less bias – High internal validity
  10. 10. Debates: • Psychology as science – Not standardised – Subjective • Determinism vs Free will – Free will to change your behaviours • Reductionism vs Holism – Thought processes cause stress • Cognitive approach bias
  11. 11. Budzynski Behavioural: Biofeedback
  12. 12. Background: • Biofeedback is a means for gaining control of our body processes to increase relaxation, relieve pain and develop healthier and more comfy life patterns. • Biofeedback gives us information about ourselves by the means of external instruments, for example thermometers. • Biofeedback familiarises ourselves with the body processes and so can help us to learn to control them to relieve stress.
  13. 13. Aim: • To see if biofeedback was effective in reducing tension headaches or whether it is due to the placebo effect.
  14. 14. Methodology: • Experimental method with participants trained in a lab. • Data was collected using muscle tension measurements with an electromyography. • Psychometric tests for depression. • Questionnaires on headaches. • Independent measures with participants randomly assigned to 3 groups.
  15. 15. Procedure: • 18 participants replied to a newspaper advert, 2 males and 16 females. • Screened by telephone and then had psychological and medical examinations to ensure there were no other reasons for their headaches. • Group A: Real biofeedback training with relaxation • Group B: Biofeedback training but false feedback • Group C: Used as a control group • All groups kept a diary of their headaches for 2 weeks.
  16. 16. Results: • After 3 months, group A’s muscle tension was significantly lower than the other two groups. • Reported headaches in group A fell significantly compared to their baseline measurements, this did not happen in the other two groups.
  17. 17. Conclusions: • Biofeedback is an effective way to reduce stress levels by reducing tension. • It is therefore an effective way of reducing stress. • Relaxation techniques are more effective than just being monitored but better with biofeedback as well.
  18. 18. Issues: • Low ecological validity – In a lab – Biofeedback requires wiring up to machines • Ethics – Had given informed consent • Objectivity – Quantitative data through EMG and MMPI – Biological methods • Usefulness – Shows an effective way of reducing stress • Validity – High internal validity- used machines to measure muscle tension • Generalisability – Biological measures tested- should be universal – Gender bias • Reliability – Standardised – Machine based- can be repeated
  19. 19. Debates: • Psychology as science – Used scientific equipment – Objective • Reductionism vs holism – Reduced the causes of stress to muscle tension
  20. 20. Waxler-Morrison Social: Relationships and cancer survival
  21. 21. Background: • A strong, social support network can be critical in helping individuals through stressful situations. • It has been shown that cancer growth is amplified by stress and therefore by reducing this stress, there are positive outcomes on the cancer.
  22. 22. Aim: • To look at how women’s social relationships influence her response to breast cancer and survival.
  23. 23. Methodology: • A quasi experiment where women were already diagnosed with breast cancer. • Used questionnaires and 18 interviews plus an examination of medical records. • The women naturally fell into categories based on social support networks.
  24. 24. Procedure: • 133 women all under 55 years old who were referred to a clinic in Vancouver after being diagnosed with breast cancer. • Mailed questionnaires to gather information about their demography and existing social networks. • Questions included education level, who they were responsible for- children- contact with friends and family and perceived support from others. • Details of their diagnosis were taken from their medical records as were their survival and recurrence rates.
  25. 25. Results: • 6 aspects of social networks were significantly linked with survival; – Marital status – Support from friends – Contact with friends – Total support – Social networks – Employment • Qualitative data showed that practical support, such as childcare, were the concrete sources of support.
  26. 26. Conclusions: • Several characteristics of women's social networks are significantly linked with survival rates. • So, the more social support networks, the higher the rate of survival in breast cancer patients.
  27. 27. Issues: • Ecological validity – Quasi experiment so was naturally occurring- no manipulation • Demand characteristics – Questionnaires can lead to social desirability- not wanting to seem unsupported • Subjective – Questionnaires and not physical measurements
  28. 28. Debates: • Individual vs Situational – Your social support networks influence survival • Reductionism vs Holism • Usefulness – How to reduce stress and therefore increase survival rates in women diagnosed with breast cancer.