Behavioral observation has become a fundamental component of medical practice and a primary source of clinical research data. The use of video technology in nurse-patient interaction research offers important advantages to scientists in unraveling complex behavior patterns and finding relationships between behaviors, nutrition, effectiveness of interventions, and more.
Topics: The Observer XT, doctor patient interaction, medical encounter, coding schemes, media recorder, healthcare, Viso, coding behavior, healthcare education, medical simulation, health effects, nursing science
There are parts of the world where people eat primarily for pleasure, and less so to fulfil nutritional needs. In my eyes, that is a sign of prosperity and wealth. In these areas, there is more than enough to eat, and a wealth of different foods to choose from. But in these same parts of the world people are overweight, more and more diabetic, and suffering from cardiovascular diseases. So what is wealth, in terms of food? To address this, let’s zoom in on a consumer study that focuses on recognizing signs of fullness.
Did you know that…
1. Did you know that…Many students experience stress when they have to participate in video feedback sessions, and some are even reluctant to participate?
- Two Norwegian researchers, Nilsen and Baerheim, found that some students experienced emotional distress before the start of the course. Their study shows the importance of reassurance and support in the process, and demonstrates the importance of carefully considering the design and execution of such educational programs.
To voluntarily benefit another
Prosocial behavior, a voluntary behavior to benefit another, is an interesting concept from an evolutionary point of view. At first sight it may seem logical to be social, because everyone in the group benefits from it. But evolutionarily that does not hold up, because to propagate one’s own genes, cheating and being selfish pays. Therefore, many believe that prosocial behavior only exists because it is rewarded with social status, reputation, company, and receiving social behavior from others in return. 
I can hear you thinking already: ‘Another blog about food… it seems all they think and talk about at Noldus IT is having dinner!”.
And yes, indeed, research about the interactions that take place during mealtime has attracted my attention again. Not only because dinner is a daily reoccurring event, but also because food is important to our health; you are what you eat. This time, the research I am highlighting currently was carried out in adults with dementia, focusing on caregiver person-centeredness, and behavioral symptoms during mealtime interactions.
Embracing the technological advances of the last decade, many health care professionals have incorporated information technology into their daily routines. Doctors can carry patient files around on their tablets or laptops and can quickly update a status when needed. Convenience has without a doubt increased, but does such easy access to technology impact the quality of doctor-patient interactions?
Aphids and their natural enemies
Leaf sucking creatures like plant aphids are common and can cause considerable damage to plants. Therefore, quite a lot of effort is made to control these tiny creatures. And because of environmental awareness, sustainable methods to control aphids are well developed. Aphids can be controlled successfully with ladybugs (Coccinella septempunctata) and also with lacewings (Chrysoperla carnea). Both species are natural enemies of aphids.
Image ladybug - By Gilles San Martin from Namur, Belgium (Coccinella magnifica) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Any cat owner will acknowledge the fact that cats can be extremely stubborn. They let you hear loud and clear that they want to come in, but when you open the door, they just sit at the doorstep and stare at you. And they can be extremely picky when it comes to food. If the cat doesn’t like it, it will refuse to eat. Reason enough for the pet food industry to try to find out what cats really like.
If you’ve ever been to a shelter to adopt a dog, you know that when you walk into the holding area, the dogs can get very noisy. At the introduction of a stranger to the room their kennels are in, the dogs will start barking, which encourages the other dogs around them to bark as well. Barking has been documented as a stressor for dog, as have repetitive behavior and lots of movement. All of these behaviors seem to increase by the access of visitors to the kennel area. Lynn Hewison and colleagues decided to investigate if preventing visitor access to the dogs could lower stress levels and therefore increase general welfare of the animals.
The importance of dealing with emotions in medical encounters
Unfortunately, sometimes doctors have to give bad news to their patients. Communication studies have shown that breaking bad news is best be done immediately and with clear wording. What is the best step forward? From previous research, we know that hearing bad news evokes physiological arousal. In an aroused condition, it can be hard to stay focused. The information density of a medical encounter can be quite overwhelming. Since doctors explain treatment options and implications in a medical encounter, it is important that the patient recalls the information given to be able to take a well-founded decision. In a recent study, researchers gave the following advice: Clinicians should deal with patients’ emotions before providing additional medical information (Sep et al., 2014).
Milou Sep and colleagues explain how behavioral research techniques can help us understand and improve doctor-patient interaction. According to Sep and colleagues, a doctor can influence the information recall by using affective communication. When reassuring the patient and focusing on continued support, the doctor can help decrease evoked physiological arousal. Decreased physiological arousal then improves the level of information recall.