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English Summaries (05/2017)

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Piia Pietilä, Erja Poutiainen, Johanna Nukari, Helena Launiainen, Ulla Arifullen-Hämäläinen, Jaana Sarajuuri & Sanna Koskinen

Multi-methodological rehabilitation with emphasis on cognitive training alleviates Alzheimer patients’ mood symptoms and supports coping among family members

The increasing number of people with dementia creates a need for effective rehabilitation programs. The aim of this RCT study was to evaluate the effects of rehabilitation on mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients and their family members. Technology assisted intervention consisted of face-to-face group sessions, cognitive training at home with a tablet computer and individual counseling in order to support the AD patients’ cognitive performance and well-being and help their family members cope. A total of 53 AD patients and 42 family members participated in the trial. Baseline data was collected before the 13-week intervention started, with follow-ups at 14 weeks and six months after the baseline study. A positive change was observed in the intervention group in AD patients’ mood according to the patients as well as reports from their family members. The effect remained positive over the follow-up period. No changes were found in the patients’ quality of life, acti-vities in daily life or cognitive performance. Further, positive attitudes towards caregiving increased (COPE-Index) in family members attending the intervention. Results indicate that multi-methodological rehabilitation with emphasis on cognitive training alleviates AD patients’ mood symptoms and helps family members cope. However, further research with larger sample sizes is needed.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, rehabilitation, tablet computer, cognitive training, quality of life, mood, caregiving


Aleksi H. Syrjämäki, Pessi Lyyra & Jari K. Hietanen

It hurts to be left alone – A review of experimental ostracism research

Ostracism, being ignored and excluded by others, is an important social phenomenon that affects everyone. Ostracism is often less visible than physical or verbal violence, but its impact on individuals is significant. Being ostracized is distressing and even painful. The behavior of ostracized individuals is driven by attempts at fulfilling basic social needs: depending on the situation, ostracized individuals may, for example, try to reaffiliate and increase their relational value, or behave aggressively. Even a brief episode of ostracism hurts and long-term ostracism can lead to marginalization and alienation, can cause mental disorders, and sometimes even violent behavior. Thus, it is clear that ostracism greatly affects both individuals and societies at large. Ostracism research allows us to understand the effects of many phenomena, such as bullying, racist discrimination or divorce. To date, hundreds of experimental ostracism studies have been published, but the research is not widely known in Finland. The purpose of this review is to introduce experimental ostracism research to the Finnish audience. We introduce ostracism as a phenomenon and present some important methods, results and theories in ostracism research. At the end of the article, we focus on an issue we find especially interesting: how ostracism influences social perception and the processing and evaluation of socially relevant information.

Keywords: ostracism, social exclusion, rejection, loneliness


Siru Lehto

The fracturing of the cultural model story of becoming a mother in the narratives of previously infertile women

Infertility is a growing problem in developed countries: approximately every fifth couple has to face it at some point in their lives. The use of infertility treat-ments is also increasing, but less is known about the psychosocial aspects of infertility and treatments. The purpose of this study was to describe how the cultural model of becoming a mother is told in the light of the narratives of formerly infertile women. The aim was to provide new and valuable knowledge for professionals working with families. A narrative approach was utilized in data collection and analysis. The participants were recruited through a request to write, placed in the social media, different organizations and health clinics. Thirty-three formerly infertile women participated. The data was analyzed using Labov’s and Waletsky’s (1967) narrative model and positioning. Results introduced five different expectations mothers associate with their motherhood paths. These expectations were viewed in the light of the cultural model of becoming a mother. These expectations in the mother’s narratives, which were not fully realized because of infertility, were biological motherhood as a self-evident way of life, easiness of pregnancy, happiness of pregnancy, love for the child starts immediately after birth and being a good, even perfect mother. The results showed that becoming a mother after infertility can have its challenges. It is crucial to be aware of the psychosocial impact of infertility and provide support, knowledge and therapeutic counseling to ease the motherhood paths of formerly infertile women and increase the well-being of their families.

Keywords: infertility, motherhood, infertility treatments, cultural model, narrative analysis