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See detailWhen, why, and how do People Deviate from Physical Distancing Measures During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed-Methods Study
Van Alboom, Maité; Baert, Fleur; Wauters, Aline et al

in Psychologica Belgica (2021)

To limit the spread of COVID-19, many countries, including Belgium, have installed physical distancing measures. Yet, adherence to these newly installed behavioral measures has been described as ... [more ▼]

To limit the spread of COVID-19, many countries, including Belgium, have installed physical distancing measures. Yet, adherence to these newly installed behavioral measures has been described as challenging and effortful. Based on the Health Action Process Approach (HAPA) model, this study performed an in-depth evaluation of when, why, and how people deviated from the physical distancing measures. An online mixed-method study was conducted among Belgian adults (N = 2055) in the beginning of May 2020. Participants were recruited via an open call through email and social media platforms, using snowball sampling. Conditions wherein people deviated from the physical distancing measures were assessed by means of an open-ended question. HAPA determinants were assessed in a quantitative way. Half of the sample reported to deviate from the measures. Further, deviation from the measures was associated with each determinant outlined by the HAPA. Findings highlight that many people deviated from the measures because of their need for social contact. The majority of the people who deviated from the measures stated that they carefully weighed the risks of their behavior. Need for social contact pushed people to deviate from physical distancing measures in a deliberate manner. Potential areas for future interventions aimed at promoting adherence to physical distancing measures and enhancing psychosocial well-being are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailRacial disparities in observers' attention to and estimations of others' pain
Kissi, Ama; van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL; Mende-Siedlecki et al

in Pain (2021)

Research has demonstrated racial disparities in pain care such that Black patients often receive poorer pain care than White patients. Little is known about mechanisms accounting for the emergence of such ... [more ▼]

Research has demonstrated racial disparities in pain care such that Black patients often receive poorer pain care than White patients. Little is known about mechanisms accounting for the emergence of such disparities. The present study had 2 aims. First, we examined whether White observers' attentional processing of pain (using a visual search task [VST] indexing attentional engagement to and attentional disengagement from pain) and estimation of pain experience differed between White vs Black faces. Second, we examined whether these differences were moderated by (1) racially biased beliefs about pain experience and (2) the level of pain expressed by Black vs White faces. Participants consisted of 102 observers (87 females) who performed a VST assessing pain-related attention to White vs Black avatar pain faces. Participants also reported on racially biased beliefs about White vs Black individuals' pain experience and rated the pain intensities expressed by White and Black avatar faces. Results indicated facilitated attentional engagement towards Black (vs White) pain faces. Furthermore, observers who more strongly endorsed the belief that White individuals experience pain more easily than Black individuals had less difficulty disengaging from Black (vs White) pain faces. Regarding pain estimations, observers gave higher pain ratings to Black (vs White) faces expressing high pain and White (vs Black) faces expressing no pain. The current findings attest to the importance of future research into the role of observer attentional processing of sufferers' pain in understanding racial disparities in pain care. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed, and future research directions are outlined. [less ▲]

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See detailAdherence to the physical distancing measures during the COVID‐19 pandemic : a HAPA‐based perspective
Beeckman, Melanie; De Paepe, Annick; Van Alboom, Maité et al

in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being (2020), 12(4), 1224--1243

Background: The COVID‐19 pandemic requires massive and rapid behavior change. The Health Action Process Approach (HAPA) describes personal determinants that play a key role in behavior change. This study ... [more ▼]

Background: The COVID‐19 pandemic requires massive and rapid behavior change. The Health Action Process Approach (HAPA) describes personal determinants that play a key role in behavior change. This study investigated whether these determinants are associated with adherence to physical distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID‐19 (i.e. keeping 1.5 m physical distance and staying at home). Decreased psychosocial well‐being and lack of social support were explored as barriers to adherence. 2,379; March 2020) focused on adherence to physical distancing measures. The second survey (N = 805; April 2020) focused on difficulty with, and perseverance in, adhering to these measures. Linear regression models were fitted to examine associations with HAPA determinants, psychosocial well‐being, and social support. Results: Self‐efficacy, outcome expectancies, intention, action planning, and coping planning were related to adhering to, difficulty with, and perseverance in, adhering to physical distancing measures. Decreased psychosocial well‐being and lack of social support were related to more difficulties with adhering to physical distancing and lower perseverance. Conclusions: Health action process approach determinants are associated with adherence to physical distancing measures. Future work could design HAPA‐based interventions to support people in adhering to these measures. [less ▲]

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See detailTask interference and distraction efficacy in patients with fibromyalgia: an experimental investigation
Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL; Rost, Silke; Kissi, Ama et al

in Pain (2018), 159(6), 1119-1126

Pain has the capacity to interfere with daily tasks. Although task interference by pain is largely unintentional, it can be controlled to a certain extent. Such top-down control over pain has been thought ... [more ▼]

Pain has the capacity to interfere with daily tasks. Although task interference by pain is largely unintentional, it can be controlled to a certain extent. Such top-down control over pain has been thought to be reduced in fibromyalgia patients. In this study, we investigated task interference and distraction efficacy in fibromyalgia patients (FM) and a matched healthy control group. Forty-nine fibromyalgia patients and 49 heathy volunteers performed as quickly as possible (a) a visual localization task in the presence of non-painful vibrating or painful electric somatic stimuli, and (b) a somatosensory localization task (using non-painful or painful stimuli). Participants reported on their experience of the somatic stimuli on some of the trials during both localisation tasks. Results indicated that pain interferes with performance of the visual task, in both FM patients and healthy individuals. Furthermore, participants experienced the pain stimulus as less intense when directing attention away from the pain than when focusing on the pain. Overall, task performance of FM patients was slower compared to the task performance in the healthy control group. In contrast to our hypotheses, FM patients and healthy volunteers did not differ in the magnitude of the interference effect and distraction-efficacy. In conclusion, current study provides support for contemporary theories claiming that attention modulates the experience of pain and vice versa. However, no evidence was however found for an altered attentional processing of pain in fibromyalgia patients. Furthermore, results indicate that task interference and distraction-efficacy are not just two sides of the same coin. [less ▲]

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