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Book part
Publication date: 23 October 2003

Erica S Breslau

The sequence of stress, distress and somatization has occupied much of the late twentieth-century psychological research. The anatomy of stress can be viewed from…

Abstract

The sequence of stress, distress and somatization has occupied much of the late twentieth-century psychological research. The anatomy of stress can be viewed from interactional and hybrid theories that suggest that the individual relates with the surroundings by buffering the harmful effects of stressors. These acts or reactions are called coping strategies and are designed as protection from the stressors and adaptation to them. Failure to successfully adapt to stressors results in psychological distress. In some individuals, elevated levels of distress and failed coping are expressed in physical symptoms, rather than through feelings, words, or actions. Such “somatization” defends against the awareness of the psychological distress, as demonstrated in the psychosocial literature. The progression of behavior resulting from somatic distress moves from a private domain into the public arena, involving an elaborate medicalization process, is however less clear in sociological discourse. The invocation of a medical diagnosis to communicate physical discomfort by way of repeated use of health care services poses a major medical, social and economic problem. The goal of this paper is to clarify this connection by investigating the relevant literature in the area of women with breast cancer. This manuscript focuses on the relationship of psychological stress, the stress response of distress, and the preoccupation with one’s body, and proposes a new theoretical construct.

Details

Gender Perspectives on Health and Medicine
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-239-9

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Article
Publication date: 5 November 2019

Guangzhen Wu and Ming Wen

The purpose of this paper is to examine the disparities in stress between rural and urban police officers in China.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the disparities in stress between rural and urban police officers in China.

Design/methodology/approach

Data for this study were collected from a national police university in China in 2017. In total, 608 Chinese police officers were surveyed representing those attending in-service training program in the university.

Findings

Results showed that rural police officers exhibited a higher level of somatization compared to their urban counterparts, whereas no rural–urban differences were detected for other stress dimensions – anxiety and depression. Additionally, this study suggests that perceived constraints in resources and training partially mediate the observed rural–urban disparities in somatization.

Research limitations/implications

This study is based on a convenient sample of Chinese police officers, which restricts the generalizability of the results.

Practical implications

To reduce stress among police officers, China needs to make more investments in resources and training programs in its rural policing.

Originality/value

A review of literature reveals that studies comparing police stress between rural and urban areas are rare. Additionally, China, as the largest developing nation in the world, remains under-studied with respect to stress among its police officers.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 43 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2013

Ilhong Yun, Seung-Gon Kim, Sejong Jung and Shahin Borhanian

Using a sample of male police officers in South Korea, the purpose of this paper is to examine whether police stressors revealed in the western literature are also…

Abstract

Purpose

Using a sample of male police officers in South Korea, the purpose of this paper is to examine whether police stressors revealed in the western literature are also applicable in the South Korean context.

Design/methodology/approach

Officers stationed at 16 frontline substations in a large metropolitan city reported the frequency with which they had been exposed to seven classes of police stressors and perceived somatization symptoms.

Findings

Work-family conflict and victimization at the hands of citizens were revealed as the significant predictors of officers’ stress-related somatization symptoms. Unlike western studies, the present study did not reveal moderating effects of coping strategies and social support. Stressors’ effects on somatization symptoms, however, were mediated by destructive coping strategies.

Originality value

This study contributes to the comparative literature on police stress.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2017

Sabina Mazoruk, Adam Huxley, Camille Alexis-Garsee and Fabrizio Schifano

The purpose of this paper is to explore the prevalence of somatisation as a determinant of burnout amongst drug and alcohol staff in the UK.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the prevalence of somatisation as a determinant of burnout amongst drug and alcohol staff in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employed a cross-sectional design utilising a self-completion online questionnaire. Data were collected from substance misuse workers across England and Wales. In total, 165 responses were eligible for analysis, yielding a response rate of 5 per cent. Burnout and somatization were measured with Maslach’s Burnout Inventory and the Physical Symptoms Inventory.

Findings

The prevalence of somatic symptoms was relatively low in the sample studied. The reported levels of burnout were moderate. Personal accomplishment remained high in the sample. There was a strong association between burnout and incidence of stress-related somatic symptoms, with higher levels of burnout correlating with multiple symptoms.

Research limitations/implications

It was not possible to determine the extent of non-response bias, as at the time of the study there was no information available relating to the characteristics of drug and alcohol staff in the selected services. Therefore, as the response rate was very low (5 per cent) it was recognised that non-response bias might have affected the findings, in such way that non-respondents may have differed in their experiences of work stress, satisfaction, burnout and health outcomes.

Practical implications

Despite the limitations, the study provided practical information relating to burnout vulnerability and associated physical symptoms in this specific occupational group. These findings can support employers to address staff wellbeing with a view to prevent burnout and reduce existing levels of burnout and related somatic symptoms, and improve job performance, job satisfaction and staff retention through making appropriate adjustments, such as developing staff-wellbeing programmes. These adjustments could potentially contribute to improvement in substance misuse practice, through maintenance of healthy and satisfied workforce.

Originality/value

There are very few studies looking at burnout in drug and alcohol staff. This study is also novel in a way that it reveals correlations between a variety of specific stress-related physical symptoms and the three components of burnout.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2001

Eric Blaauw

This article describes three studies on several aspects of police custody in The Netherlands. The first study shows that the quality of accommodation, facilities…

Abstract

This article describes three studies on several aspects of police custody in The Netherlands. The first study shows that the quality of accommodation, facilities, interaction and differential treatment are substandard in Dutch police stations, but dependent of the organisational size, degree of specialisation of the custodial task and extensiveness of duty‐prescriptions and registration. Detention circumstances in police stations are worse than in remand centres. The second study reveals high prevalence rates of symptoms of depression and somatisation (SCL‐90) among police custody detainees. Police custody detainees' symptom levels are higher than those in a jail population and a male general population. The third study addresses the prevalence rates of suicides and other deaths in Dutch police custody in the period 1983‐1993 and shows that the mortality rate, suicide rate and deadly poisoning rate are higher than those in remand centres and the general population. The findings of the three studies demonstrate that police custody is an area of concern.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2020

Supa Pengpid and Karl Peltzer

Common mental disorders are not only highly prevalent in primary health-care settings but also negatively affect patients’ quality of life (QoL). This study aims to assess…

Abstract

Purpose

Common mental disorders are not only highly prevalent in primary health-care settings but also negatively affect patients’ quality of life (QoL). This study aims to assess the levels of QoL among patients with common mental disorders seeking care from a monk healer or primary care setting and to determine the comparative QoL of users in two different types of care settings in Thailand.

Design/methodology/approach

Consecutively attending clients or patients (N = 1251) of three faith healing or three health centres were assessed with measures of depression, anxiety and somatization disorder and QoL.

Findings

The overall QoL was 67.8 and among the four QoL domains, social QoL was the highest (72.3), followed by physical QoL (69.4), environmental QoL (64.8) and psychological QoL (64.6). In adjusted linear regression analyses, sociodemographic factors, such as higher educational level, being employed, having high debt and consulting a health centre, were associated with higher overall QoL. Compared to being a client with a monk healer, patients at a health centre had a higher overall QoL, environmental and psychological QoL. Having a general anxiety or major depressive disorder was negatively associated with overall QoL and all four QoL sub-domains, whereas somatization disorder was not associated with any QoL sub-domains.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to investigate QoL in common mental disorder attenders with a monk healer in comparison with primary care patients. Primary care patients with a common mental disorder had significantly higher overall QoL (p<0.01), higher psychological QoL (p<0.001) and higher environmental QoL (p<0.001) than clients with a common mental disorder attending monk healers. This study extends previous research showing a negative association between anxiety and depressive disorders and QoL calling for integration of QoL in the management of common mental disorders in both complementary and public primary care in Thailand.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2019

Chuka Mike Ifeagwazi, Emeka E. Nwokpoku, JohnBosco Chika Chukwuorji, John E. Eze and Emmanuel Ekpedoho Abiama

The modern prison system is not only a necessity to keep the public safe but also a mode of punishment for crimes. The correctional role of prisons is hampered in…

Abstract

Purpose

The modern prison system is not only a necessity to keep the public safe but also a mode of punishment for crimes. The correctional role of prisons is hampered in situations of mental illness, given that mental illness in the prison or correctional setting is a serious security risk. Few studies have given attention to the modifiable factors that may influence the mental health status of prison inmates, especially in developing countries. The purpose of this paper is to investigate emotion regulation (ER), dispositional mindfulness and duration of stay as factors in somatic symptoms among prison inmates.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants were 209 prison inmates drawn from a prison in Eastern Nigeria, who completed measures of ER (cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression), mindfulness and somatization.

Findings

Results of a hierarchical multiple regression indicated that cognitive reappraisal predicted somatic complaints but it was only among older prison inmates, while expressive suppression was not a significant predictor of somatic complaints. Dispositional mindfulness was a negative predictor of somatic complaints among younger and older prison inmates. Duration of stay in prison positively predicted somatic complaints among prison inmates in emerging adulthood only (younger inmates), but not among older inmates.

Research limitations/implications

Frequent use of cognitive reappraisal strategy of ER by prisoners may not always be productive in reducing somatic complaints, and the length of time in prison may influence somatic symptoms especially for younger prisoners. The possible benefits of incorporating mindfulness-based therapies in psychosocial interventions to reduce somatic complaints in correctional settings deserves further investigation.

Originality/value

To date, there is limited research on somatic complaints of prisoners in the developing societies, particularly the psychosocial factors that may contribute to mental health problems.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Alan Cohen

Abstract

Details

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-9322

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Book part
Publication date: 23 October 2003

Marcia Texler Segal, Vasilikie Demos and Jennie Jacobs Kronenfeld

This is a volume about gender, health and medicine broadly defined. It is based on the now widely-held assumption in the sociology of medicine that medicine and health are…

Abstract

This is a volume about gender, health and medicine broadly defined. It is based on the now widely-held assumption in the sociology of medicine that medicine and health are social constructions and that gender is an embedded part of them (see Lorber, 1997). The essays reveal that embedded with gender in the institution of medicine are race, class, and sexuality. Taken as a whole, the volume offers a critique of exclusively biomedical approaches to personal and public health and calls for more sociological input and qualitative research to help us understand aspects of health and illness. Among the recurrent themes in the seven essays are the medicalization of personal and social problems, the commodification of healthcare, and questions of agency, responsibility and control.

Details

Gender Perspectives on Health and Medicine
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-239-9

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2021

Anita Mehay, Rosie Meek and Jane Ogden

Prisons offer a public health opportunity to access a group with multiple and complex needs and return them to the community with improved health. However, prisons are not…

Abstract

Purpose

Prisons offer a public health opportunity to access a group with multiple and complex needs and return them to the community with improved health. However, prisons are not conducive to optimal health and there are few frameworks to guide efforts. This study aims to generate insights into health literacy across a young adult prison population, specifically examining the level of limitations, barriers and characteristics associated with these limitations.

Design/methodology/approach

The study took place in a single prison in England for young adult men aged 18–21 years old. A mixed-methods design was adopted with 104 young men completing a quantitative survey and qualitative semi-structured interviews with 37 young men.

Findings

72% (n = 75) of young men scored as limited in their health literacy. Barriers included structural restrictions, limited access to formal support and social and natural disruptions. No demographic characteristics or smoking intentions/behaviours predicted limited health literacy, but characteristics of the prison were predictive. Physical problems (sleep, nausea, tiredness and headaches), mental health and well-being (anxiety, depression and affect) and somatisation problems were also predictive of limitations.

Practical implications

Prison healthcare services and commissioners should undertake regular health literacy needs assessments to support developments in reducing barriers to healthcare and increasing health improvement efforts. Action also requires greater political will and investment to consider broader action on the wider determinants of (prison) health.

Originality/value

The study provides a framework to understand and guide prison health efforts and highlights attention needed at the level of governments, prison leaders and their health systems.

1 – 10 of 189