• A Qualitative Study Comparing Mindfulness and Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing): Practitioners’ Perspectives

      Clarke, Fiona J.; Kotera, Yasuhiro; McEwan, Kirsten; University of Birmingham; University of Derby (MDPI AG, 2021-06-15)
      The boundary between mindfulness and forest bathing, two conceptually related therapies, is unclear. Accordingly, this study reports the strengths and challenges, similarities and differences, and barriers and facilitators for both. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven trained and experienced practitioners of both mindfulness and forest bathing. Reflexive thematic analysis revealed four main themes: (i) differences between the approaches; (ii) the benefits of forest bathing; (iii) biophilia through forest bathing; and (iv) inward versus outward attentional focus as a distinction between the approaches. Both practices were found to benefit well-being, but practitioners revealed key barriers to mindfulness. For vulnerable groups experiencing mental health challenges or difficulties achieving a meditative state, mindfulness may introduce well-being risks. By offering a gentler, more intuitive approach that encourages outward attentional focus, forest bathing was found to overcome this barrier. Forest bathing is suitable for all groups, but adaptations are recommended for those expressing fear or discomfort in forested environments. The findings inform how to position both approaches in practice, as a first step towards social prescribing recommendations. Wider implications concern forest bathing’s potential to impact environmental well-being. Future research must garner comparative data, involve young people, and explore the feasibility of a forest bathing social prescription.
    • Resilience Intervention for Families of Autistic Children: Reviewing the Literature

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Pope, Melanie; Chircop, James; Kirkman, Ann; Bennett-Viliardos, Laura; Sharaan, Shereen; University of Derby; University of Edinburgh (Concurrent Disorders Society Publishing, 2021-05-24)
      Given the rising diagnostic rates of autism, it is imperative to investigate the well-being of families with autistic children. Families of autistic children report more mental health difficulties than families of typically developing children. Resilience is identified as a key protective factor for mental health difficulties in many populations, and research suggests that this construct is effective for coping with mental health difficulties in families of autistic children. However, reviews on resilience interventions for families of autistic children are lacking. Accordingly, this paper aims to report (a) common mental health difficulties that families of autistic children experience, (b) how resilience may reduce mental health difficulties, (c) interventions to enhance resilience in families of autistic children, and (d) discuss implications for practice and future research. Our review identified that mental distress resulting from feelings of uncertainty and helplessness following a diagnosis, in addition to caregiving stressors, is especially common among families of autistic children. Enhancing resilience is suggested to reduce those difficulties by tapping into strengths related to various positive psychological resources such as internal locus of control, positive cognitive appraisal, acceptance and self-efficacy. Interventions such as Dance Movement Psychotherapy and spirituality-based approaches, are deemed especially helpful to families of autistic children. However, research in this area is still under-developed, and there is a pressing need to build a more rigorous evidence base. Findings reviewed in the current work can aid families of autistic children, healthcare practitioners, and researchers to support the mental wellbeing of families of autistic children, which in turn would support the wellbeing of autistic children.
    • Influence of Dance on Embodied Self-Awareness and Well-Being: An Interpretative Phenomenological Exploration

      Braun, Nataliya; Kotera, Yasuhiro; University of Derby (Taylor & Francis, 2021-05-13)
      This qualitative research aimed at exploring personal dance experience and influence of dancing on the evolution of embodied self-awareness and well-being. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with three participants (one female, two males), and the data were evaluated using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Six themes were identified: (a) freedom of expression through dance, (b) perceptions of fun and partner dance vs. dancing alone, (c) flow in dance, (d) sensations and sexuality in dance, (e) music and rhythm in dance, and (f) impact of dance on life and the self. Participants reported that dance led to higher embodied self-awareness and creative self-expression and was deemed to improve health and well-being. Our findings help increase the utility of dance as a well-being approach, stress coping intervention and countermeasure to depression and loneliness. They make aware of the use of dance as a creative tool in inducing positive transformations on individual and societal levels.
    • Teaching Healthcare Professional Students in Online Learning during COVID-19: Reflection of University Lecturers

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Spink, Rachel; Brooks-Ucheaga, Michelle; Green, Pauline; Rawson, Rebecca; Rhodes, Christine; Chircop, James; Williams, Alan; Okere, Uche; Lyte, Geraldine; et al. (Concurrent Disorders Society Inc., 2021-05-13)
      Online education has been regarded as a lifeline for many education institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering students a means to advance their education and career. While face-to-face teaching universities convert their education curricula to the online settings, many institutions lack effective online teaching strategies, leading to reduced student enrolment and satisfaction. Contrarily, we have been receiving an ever-increasing number of healthcare professional students in our learning department since the outbreak, while maintaining high satisfaction. These students work as registered professional key workers and study online. Among numerous measures taken to support this student group, this short paper reports four effective teaching practices we have implemented: (a) active use of adaptive learning, (b) Padlet discussions, (c) wellbeing webinars, and (d) resilience building. These teaching strategies are deemed to address weaknesses of online learning and offer emotional support to students. Our teaching practices will be useful to many universities supporting this crucial group of students in the online environment.
    • Postcolonial Theory and Canada’s Health Care Professions: Bridging the Gap

      wilmot, stephen; University of Derby (springer, 2021-05-12)
      In recent years there have been several calls in professional and academic journals for healthcare personnel in Canada to raise the profile of postcolonial theory as a theoretical and explanatory framework for their practice with Indigenous people. In this paper I explore some of the challenges that are likely to confront those healthcare personnel in engaging with postcolonial theory in a training context. I consider these challenges in relation to three areas of conflict. First I consider conflicts around paradigms of knowledge, wherein postcolonial theory operates from a different base from most professional knowledge in health care. Second I consider conflicts of ideology, wherein postcolonial theory is largely at odds with Canada’s political and popular cultures. And finally I consider issues around the question of Canada’s legitimacy, which postcolonial theory puts in doubt. I suggest ways in which these conflicts might be addressed and managed in the training context, and also identify potential positive outcomes that would be enabling for healthcare personnel, and might also contribute to an improvement in Canada’s relationship with its indigenous peoples.
    • Effects of Shinrin-yoku Retreat on Mental Health: A Pilot Study in Fukushima, Japan

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Fido, Dean; University of Derby (Springer, 2021-05-06)
      Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) is a cost-effective healing practice that has recently attracted the interest of social scientists who have attributed it, in part, to mental health benefits. Japanese university students suffer from high rates of mental health problems, and the number of suicides remain high despite the total number of suicides in Japan decreasing. Effective mental health approaches which increase mental wellbeing and self-compassion, and reduce associated deficits, such as loneliness, are sought after for Japanese students, however healthful treatment has not been identified to date. Accordingly, this pre-post pilot study evaluated the levels of mental wellbeing, self-compassion, and loneliness among 25 Japanese undergraduate students who participated in a three-day shinrin-yoku retreat in Fukushima. Measurements were taken prior, straight after, and two weeks-post intervention. One-way ANOVA with Tukey post hoc analysis revealed that the mean scores of self-compassion, common humanity, and mindfulness increased statistically significantly from pre-retreat to follow-up. The mean scores of mental wellbeing and loneliness did not statistically significantly change. The positive effects on self-compassion indicate that shinrin-yoku retreat should be evaluated within a larger sample and in a shorter time frame to establish optimal shinrin-yoku parameters in this arena.
    • Community behavioral and perceived responses in the covid-19 outbreak in Afghanistan: a cross-sectional study

      Mousavi, Sayed Hamid; Delshad, Mohammad Hossein; Acuti Martellucci, Cecilia; Bhandari, Divya; Ozaki, Akihiko; Pourhaji, Fatemeh; Pourhaji, Fahimeh; Reza Hosseini, Sayed Mohammad; Roien, Rohullah; Ramozi, Abass Ali; et al. (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2021-05-05)
      Community responses are important for the management of early-phase outbreaks of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Perceived susceptibility and severity are considered key elements that motivate people to adopt non-pharmaceutical interventions. This study aimed to i) explore perceived susceptibility and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, ii) examine the practice of non-pharmaceutical interventions, and iii) assess the potential association of perceived COVID-19 susceptibility and severity with the practice of non-pharmaceutical interventions among people living in Afghanistan. Methods: A cross-sectional design was employed, using online surveys disseminated from April to May 2020. Convenience sampling was used to recruit the participants of this study. The previously developed scales were used to assess the participants' demographic information, perceived risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and perceived severity of COVID-19. Multivariate analyses were conducted to assess the potential association of perceived COVID-19 susceptibility and severity with the practice of non-pharmaceutical interventions. Results: The internet was the main source for obtaining COVID-19 information among participants in this study. While 45.8% of the participants believed it was "very unlikely" for them to get infected with COVID-19, 76.7% perceived COVID-19 as a severe disease. Similarly, 37.5% believed the chance of being cured if infected with COVID-19 is "unlikely/very unlikely". The majority of participants (95.6%) perceived their health to be in "good" and "very good" status. Overall, 74.2% mentioned that they stopped visiting public places, 49.7% started using gloves, and 70.4% started wearing a mask. Participants who believed they have a low probability of survival if infected with COVID-19 were more likely to wear masks and practice hand washing. Conclusions: It appears that communities' psychological and behavioral responses were affected by the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in Afghanistan, especially among young internet users. The findings gained from a timely behavioral assessment of the community might be useful to develop interventions and risk communication strategies in epidemics within and beyond COVID-19.
    • Effects of Self-Compassion Training on Work-Related Well-Being: A Systematic Review

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Van Gordon, William; University of Derby (Frontiers Media SA, 2021-04-23)
      Self-compassion, sharing some commonalities with positive psychology 2.0 approaches, is associated with better mental health outcomes in diverse populations, including workers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is heightened awareness of the importance of self-care for fostering mental health at work. However, evidence regarding the applications of self-compassion interventions in work-related contexts has not been systematically reviewed to date. Therefore, this systematic review aimed to synthesize and evaluate the utility of self-compassion interventions targeting work-related well-being, as well as assess the methodological quality of relevant studies. Eligible articles were identified from research databases including ProQuest, PsycINFO, Science Direct, and Google Scholar. The quality of non-randomized trials and randomized controlled trials was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and the Quality Assessment Table, respectively. The literature search yielded 3,387 titles from which ten studies met the inclusion criteria. All ten studies reported promising effects of self-compassion training for work-related well-being. The methodological quality of these studies was medium. All ten studies recruited workers in a caring field and were mostly conducted in Western countries. The Self-Compassion Scale or its short-form was used in almost all instances. Findings indicate that self-compassion training can improve self-compassion and other work-related well-being outcomes in working populations. However, in general, there is need for greater methodological quality in work-related self-compassion intervention studies to advance understanding regarding the applications and limitations of this technique in work contexts. Furthermore, future studies should focus on a broader range of employee groups, including non-caring professions as well as individuals working in non-Western countries.
    • COVID-19: challenges faced by Nepalese migrants living in Japan

      Bhandari, Divya; Kotera, Yasuhiro; Ozaki, Akihiko; Abeysinghe, Sudeepa; Kosaka, Makoto; Tanimoto, Tetsuya; Medical Governance Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan; University of Derby; Jyoban Hospital of Tokiwa Foundation, Iwaki, Japan; University of Edinburgh (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-04-19)
      Worldwide, COVID-19 has exacerbated the vulnerability of migrants, impacting many facets of their lives. Nepalese make up one of the largest groups of migrants residing in Japan. Crises, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could disproportionately affect migrants from low- and middle-income countries like Nepal, widening health and economic inequalities. An in-depth, comprehensive assessment is needed to appraise the diverse problems they encounter. Drawing upon qualitative interviews, this study aimed to identify challenges faced by Nepalese migrants in Japan as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic and to discuss their needs to counter these challenges. This qualitative study employed an interpretivist approach to appraise the first-hand experience of Nepalese migrants living in Japan. Fourteen participants (8 males and 6 females, aged 21 to 47 years old) were recruited to participate in semi-structured in-depth telephone interviews (45–60 min) regarding: (a) their perceived current physical and mental health, (b) problems faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and (c) perception of available and necessary support structures. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques were used to recruit the participants. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and thematically analyzed. Six themes were identified: 1) experiencing psychosomatic symptoms, 2) adoption of new healthy behaviors, 3) financial hardship, 4) family concerns, 5) reflections on discrimination and 6) reflections of existing support and expectations of support systems. The findings of our study illustrate the specific impact of COVID-19 among Nepalese migrants regarding their unstable employment conditions, perceived lack of social support, possible obligation to send money home, difficulty in accessing services due to the language barrier, and a lack of effective governmental support from Nepal. Pandemic-related adversity has negatively impacted migrants’ mental well-being, exacerbating their vulnerability. Comprehensive and timely support should be provided to the vulnerable migrant population. Effective coordination among relevant parties in both countries, including the governments concerned, should be facilitated.
    • Construction And factorial validation of a short version of the Academic Motivation Scale

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Conway, Elaine; Green, Pauline; University of Derby (Taylor & Francis, 2021-04-19)
      Academic motivation is important to students’ mental health and performance. One established measure is the Academic Motivation Scale (AMS), comprising 28 items. AMS assesses intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and amotivation, which are further categorised into seven subscales. One weakness of AMS is its length. This study constructed and validated a short version of the 14-item Academic Motivation Scale (SAMS). Data from two UK university student samples were analysed to construct and validate the factorial structure. SAMS yielded adequate internal consistency, and very strong correlations with the original version of AMS in both samples. Confirmatory factor analysis on SAMS replicated the seven-factor model identified in the original AMS. SAMS can be a reliable and valid alternative to the original AMS.
    • Effects of a regional school-based mindfulness programme on students’ levels of Wellbeing and resiliency

      Nelson, Lisa; Roots, Katie; Dunn, Thomas J.; Rees, Alice; Hull, Dawn Davies; Van Gordon, William; Derbyshire Educational Psychology Service, Matlock; Bishop Grosseteste University; University of Derby (Informa UK Limited, 2021-04-12)
      Mindfulness has recently shown promise in mental illness treatment and preventative contexts with school-aged young people. However, there is a shortage of studies investigating the effects of school-based mindfulness interventions on young people of a pre-adolescent and early-adolescent age. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a regional multi-site school-based mindfulness programme on wellbeing and resiliency in UK school children aged 9–12 years old. A total of 1,138 children who received mindfulness training completed the Resiliency Scale for Children and Adolescents and the Stirling Children’s Wellbeing Scale pre- and post-intervention. Results showed significant improvements following intervention delivery in positive emotional state, positive outlook, and resiliency, with resiliency effects maintained at a six-month follow-up assessment. Findings indicate that mindfulness delivered by school teachers can improve wellbeing and resiliency in children and young people.
    • Revisiting the compilation of Matthew Paris’s Chronica majora: new textual and manuscript evidence

      Greasley, Nathan; University of Derby (Taylor & Francis, 2021-03-15)
      The Chronica majora of Matthew Paris (c.1200–59) is a vital source for the study of thirteenth-century Europe. This article explores its compilation and dating. Much previous scholarship has rested on the assumption that the first part of the text, a revision of the Flores historiarum of Roger of Wendover covering the years from the Creation to 1235, was written at the same time as Matthew’s continuation of it (stretching to the year 1250). Textual, codicological and palaeographic evidence suggests that this was not the case. Matthew at first wrote only to revise the Flores, and only later was it extended to become the Chronica majora. This article also puts forward evidence that Matthew’s continuation was begun in the year 1247. The complex compositional process of the Chronica majora offers rare insight into the methods available to medieval authors charged with writing large-scale projects.
    • An Identity Process Theory Account of the Impact of Boarding School on Sense of Self and Mental Health: an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

      Simpson, Frances; Haughton, Melanie; Van Gordon, William; University of Derby (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-03-08)
      Boarding schools exist to provide education for children, but this involves the child leaving the family home and residing in an educational institution. Identity Process Theory suggests that such a change in circumstances can threaten the child’s identity, which triggers coping strategies and impacts on the individual’s self-concept during both childhood and adulthood. This study undertook an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of semi-structured interviews conducted with five adults who boarded as children. The focus was on exploring participants’ beliefs in terms of how the boarding experience affected their sense of self. Emerging themes relate to the (i) coping strategies used by participants during childhood, such as amnesia, compartmentalising, compliance and acceptance, and (ii) long-term effects of boarding on identity, self-concept and intimate relationships. Findings also highlight the interplay of factors such as privilege and social class, which were reported as motives for participants’ parents choosing boarding for their children. The study raises important questions about the long-term health impacts of sending children away to board.
    • Ikigai and existential positive psychology: Recurrence of meaning for wellbeing

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; University of Derby (International Network of Personal Meaning, 2021-03-04)
    • De-stigmatising self-care: Impact of self-care webinar during COVID-19

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; University of Derby (Taylor & Francis, 2021-03-02)
      To protect wellbeing of healthcare and caregiving workers during COVID-19, the University of Derby has initiated to offer a webinar focusing on self-care. This one-hour webinar has been well-taken by many healthcare and caregiving workers, and has been requested to be offered at various organisations such as the National Health Service trusts, the British Association of Social Workers, and the Derbyshire Voluntary Action. This commentary reports the outline of the webinar including how the participated healthcare and caregiving workers perceived self-care, and suggests that the current situation may help de-stigmatise self-care among these crucial workforces.
    • Music and spirituality: Reflections on the role of music and the natural environment in healing

      Bist, Dinesh; Smith, Peter; Chiswick College, London; University of Sunderland (Taylor & Francis, 2021-02-22)
      This article focuses on our personal experiences of the role of music and nature in healing. We explore ancient texts and more recent research in the area of music, neuromusicology and spirituality and correlate these with our experiences. One of us has suffered severe trauma in the form of a spinal cord injury; the other has experienced deep-vein thrombosis. We both present reflexive accounts which demonstrate how music played a part in the healing process; one of us also links this to the impact of the natural environment. We hope that others can benefit from the lessons we have learned from our experiences.
    • Mental health of medical workers in Japan during COVID-19: relationships with loneliness, hope and self-compassion

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Ozaki, Akihiko; Miyatake, Hirotomo; Tsunetoshi, Chie; Nishikawa, Yoshitaka; Tanimoto, Tetsuya; University of Derby; Jyoban Hospital of Tokiwa Foundation, Iwaki, Fukushima, Japan; Medical Governance Research Institute, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Orange Home Care Clinic, Tawara, Fukui, Japan; et al. (Springer, 2021-02-20)
      The current pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has negatively impacted medical workers’ mental health in many countries including Japan. Although research identified poor mental health of medical workers in COVID-19, protective factors for their mental health remain to be appraised. Accordingly, this study aimed to investigate relationships between mental health problems, loneliness, hope and self-compassion among Japanese medical workers, and compare with the general population. Online self-report measures regarding those four constructs were completed by 142 medical workers and 138 individuals in the general population. T-tests and multiple regression analysis were performed. Medical workers had higher levels of mental health problems and loneliness, and lower levels of hope and self-compassion than the general population. Loneliness was the strongest predictor of mental health problems in the medical workers. Findings suggest that Japanese medical workplaces may benefit from targeting workplace loneliness to prevent mental health problems among the medical staff.
    • Predicting self-compassion in UK nursing students: Relationships with resilience, engagement, motivation, and mental wellbeing

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Cockerill, Vicky; Chircop, James; Kaluzeviciute, Greta; Dyson, Sue E.; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2021-02-11)
      Self-compassion, being kind towards oneself, has been identified as a key protective factor of mental health. This is consistent with students’ experiences in the study of nursing, which attracts a large number of students in the United Kingdom. Despite the importance of self-compassion, knowledge in how to enhance self-compassion is under-researched. Self-compassion interventions are commonly related to meditative exercises. In order to suggest alternative approaches, relationships between self-compassion and more established constructs need to be appraised. Accordingly, this study evaluated predictors of self-compassion, examining its relationships with more established constructs examined in other healthcare student populations: resilience, engagement, motivation and mental wellbeing. An opportunity sample of 182 UK nursing students at a university in East Midlands completed self-report measures about these constructs. Correlation and regression analyses were conducted. Self-compassion was positively related to resilience, engagement, intrinsic motivation and mental wellbeing, while negatively related to amotivation. Resilience and mental wellbeing were identified as significant predictors of self-compassion. As resilience and mental wellbeing are relatively familiar to many nursing lecturers and students, educators can incorporate a self-compassion component into the existing resilience training and/or mental wellbeing practices.
    • Understanding and practicing emptiness

      Van Gordon, William; Sapthiang, Supakyada; Barrows, Paul; Shonin, Edo; University of Derby; Awake to Wisdom Centre for Meditation and Mindfulness Research, Derby (Springer, 2021-01-08)
    • Delineating non-consensual sexual image offending: Towards an empirical approach

      Harper, Craig, A; Fido, Dean; Petronzi, Dominic; Nottingham Trent University; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2021-01-07)
      The topic of non-consensual sexual images has become an increasingly important issue within the social policy landscape. Social and legal scholars have advocated for these behaviours to be designated sexual offences due to the mode of perpetration of these behaviours, but are explicit in their rejection of a sexual element being important in the motivations underpinning such behaviours. However, this rejection is inconsistent with the core theoretical models related to sexual offending. In this article, we outline some of the potential psychological concepts that may help us to understand how and why people engage in a range of non-consensual sexual image offences, such as revenge pornography, upskirting, deepfake media production, and cyber-flashing. In doing so, we aim to begin to bridge the gap between legal scholars and psychological scientists, and develop a more comprehensive and theoretically coherent approach to studying this important social topic.