Toward sensitive practice: issues for physical therapists working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The high rates of prevalence of childhood sexual abuse in the United States and Canada suggest that physical therapists work, often unknowingly, with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The purposes of this qualitative study were to explore the reactions of adult female survivors of childhood sexual abuse to physical therapy and to listen to their ideas about how practitioners could be more sensitive to their needs. The dynamics and long-term sequelae of childhood sexual abuse, as currently understood by mental health researchers and as described by the participants, are summarized to provide a context for the findings of this study. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Twenty-seven female survivors (aged 19-62 years) participated in semistructured interviews in which they described their reactions to physical therapy. RESULTS: Survivors' reactions to physical therapy, termed "long-term sequelae of abuse that detract from feeling safe in physical therapy," are reported. Participant-identified suggestions that could contribute to the sense of safety are shared. CONCLUSIONS AND DISCUSSION: Although the physical therapist cannot change the survivor's history, an appreciation of issues associated with child sexual abuse theoretically can increase clinicians' understanding of survivors' reactions during treatment. We believe that attention by the physical therapist to the client's sense of safety throughout treatment can maximize the benefits of the physical therapy experience for the client who is a survivor. (+info)
Visual cues to female physical attractiveness.
Evolutionary psychology suggests that a woman's sexual attractiveness is based on cues of health and reproductive potential. In recent years, research has focused on the ratio of the width of the waist to the width of the hips (the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). A low WHR (i.e. a curvaceous body) is believed to correspond to the optimal fat distribution for high fertility, and so this shape should be highly attractive. In this paper we present evidence that weight scaled for height (the body mass index (BMI)) is the primary determinant of sexual attractiveness rather than WHR. BMI is also strongly linked to health and reproductive potential. Furthermore, we show how covariation of apparent BMI and WHR in previous studies led to the overestimation of the importance of WHR in the perception of female attractiveness. Finally, we show how visual cues, such as the perimeter-area ratio (PAR), can provide an accurate and reliable index of an individual's BMI and could be used by an observer to differentiate between potential partners. (+info)
Neglect after right insular cortex infarction.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Case reports have shown an association between right insular damage and neglect. The aim of this study was to examine the incidence of neglect among patient groups with right or left insular infarction. METHODS: We examined neglect in 9 right-handed subjects with insular stroke as evidenced by CT and/or MRI scans (4 with right insular and 5 with left insular cerebrovascular accident) between 4 and 8 weeks after acute stroke with tests of visual, tactile, and auditory perception. RESULTS: Compared with patients with left insular lesions, patients with right insular lesions showed significant neglect in the tactile, auditory, and visual modalities. CONCLUSIONS: The right insular cortex seems to have a role in awareness of external stimuli, and infarction in this area may lead to neglect in multisensory modalities. (+info)
Body piercing medical concerns with cutting-edge fashion.
OBJECTIVE: To review the current information on medical complications, psychological implications, and legislative issues related to body piercing, a largely unregulated industry in the United States. METHODS: We conducted a MEDLINE search of English language articles from 1966 until May 1998 using the search terms "body piercing" and "ear piercing." Bibliographies of these references were reviewed for additional citations. We also conducted an Internet search for "body piercing" on the World Wide Web. MAIN RESULTS: In this manuscript, we review the available body piercing literature. We conclude that body piercing is an increasingly common practice in the United States, that this practice carries substantial risk of morbidity, and that most body piercing in the United States is being performed by unlicensed, unregulated individuals. Primary care physicians are seeing growing numbers of patients with body pierces. Practitioners must be able to recognize, treat, and counsel patients on body piercing complications and be alert to associated psychological conditions in patients who undergo body piercing. (+info)
Relative importance of heritable characteristics and lifestyle in the development of maternal obesity.
STUDY OBJECTIVE: To assess the relative importance of heritable characteristics and lifestyle in the development of "maternal obesity" after pregnancy. SETTING: South east London, in the homes of mothers who had delivered their babies at either Guy's, Lewisham or St Thomas's hospitals. PARTICIPANTS: Seventy four mothers of low antenatal risk who had been enrolled in the Antenatal Care (ANC) Project (a previous trial of antenatal care) during the first trimester of pregnancy, and who had subsequently been followed up 2.5 years after delivery. DESIGN: Information on parental obesity, psychosocial and sociodemographic factors as well as lifestyle, was gathered during a semi-structured interview at each mother's home. Additional anthropometric and psychosocial data were taken from the existing ANC Project database. These data were used to assess the relative importance of heritable characteristics and lifestyle on changes in maternal body weight from the beginning of pregnancy to the follow up interview. MAIN RESULTS: After adjusting for the effects of potential confounders and known risk factors for maternal obesity, women who selected larger silhouettes to represent their biological mothers were significantly more likely to have higher long term weight gains than those who selected thinner maternal silhouettes (r = 0.083, p = 0.004). Women who were less satisfied with their bodies postpartum had significantly greater long term weight gains than those women who displayed no increase in dissatisfaction with their bodies after pregnancy (r = 0.067, p = 0.010). CONCLUSIONS: A heritable predisposition to gain weight together with changing attitudes to body size, both had an independent role in the development of maternal body weight after pregnancy. Differences in each woman's heritable predisposition to gain weight and any changes in body image that occur after pregnancy might explain why some women gain weight in association with pregnancy. (+info)
Does bracing affect self-image? A prospective study on 54 patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.
To evaluate the effect of brace treatment on self-image in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, 54 consecutive patients admitted for brace treatment were interviewed before bracing. A prevalidated questionnaire including the following five aspects of self-image was used: (1) body-image, (2) self-perception of skills and talents, (3) emotional well-being, (4) relations with family, and (5) relations with others. As a control group, the answers of 3465 normal school children were used. Forty-six patients participated in a follow-up interview 1.7 (range 0.8-3.0) years later. In addition, during the first interview, the scoliosis patients answered selected questions about their social circumstances and attitudes towards their forthcoming brace treatment. Grossly, the patient group lived in stable family conditions with a high percentage (40%) of fathers and/or mothers with an academic education or with a high employee status. The patients' relations with families were generally good. Nearly all believed that the brace would affect their posture, but only a few thought that wearing the brace would influence their growth. Two-thirds believed that it would be difficult to wear the brace, and often reflected on the use of it. There were no statistically significant differences between the scoliosis patients and the age-matched controls at the pre-bracing nor at the follow-up interviews. Neither were there any statistically significant differences between the answers of the scoliosis patients in the pre-bracing and follow-up interviews. This was valid for the total score as well as for each subscale item score. It is concluded that wearing the brace does not affect the self-image of adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis negatively. (+info)
Student bodies: psycho-education communities on the web.
We have developed a Web-delivered, multimedia health educational program, Student Bodies, designed to improve body satisfaction, a probable risk factor for the development of eating disorders in young women. The program includes psycho-educational content and a newsgroup for communication, and is delivered in a structured framework of weekly readings, assignments and postings to the newsgroup. Intervention group participants improved their body image, and reduced other attitudes that predispose to eating disorders. (+info)
Psychotherapeutic practice in paediatric oncology: four examples.
Psychotherapy, often used with children treated for a solid tumour, is seldom described. We present four examples of such therapies: a mother who refused enucleation for her 7-month-old boy; a boy's jealousy towards his sister who was being treated for a brain tumour; a teenager troubled by his scar; a 7-year-old boy embarrassed by the unconscious memory of his treatment when he was 5 months old. All names have been changed, for reasons of privacy. Psychotherapies aim to help children and parents to cope with the violent experience of having cancer, to recover their freedom of thought and decision-making concerning their life, their place in the family, their body image, their self-esteem, their identity. These descriptions of brief psychotherapy could help paediatricians to gain a more thorough understanding of the child's experience, to improve collaboration with psychotherapists and to confront clinical skills of psychotherapists. (+info)