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Background: It is estimated that 50% of all mental illness arises prior to age 14, an incident attributed in part to disruptions and imbalances within the family system. Equine assisted learning is a complementary and alternative approach to family therapy which is being used increasingly to promote mental health in both adults and children. This study sought to build and deliver an evidence-based, family-centered equine assisted learning program aimed at promoting family function, family satisfaction and child social-emotional competence, and to measure its acceptability and preliminary effect.
Method: Twenty families with children 10 years and older were recruited to participate in a 3-week equine assisted learning program at a therapeutic riding center in Phoenix, Arizona. Sessions included groundwork activities with horses used to promote life skills using experiential learning theory. The study design included a mixed-method quasi-experimental one-group pretest posttest design using the following mental health instruments: Devereaux Student Strengths Assessment, Brief Family Assessment Measure (3 dimensions), and Family Satisfaction Scale to measure child social-emotional competence, family function, and family satisfaction, respectively. Acceptability was determined using a Likert-type questionnaire with open-ended questions to gain a qualitative thematic perspective of the experience.
Results: Preliminary pretest and posttest comparisons were statistically significant for improvements in family satisfaction (p = 0.001, M = -5.84, SD = 5.63), all three domains of family function (General Scale: p = 0.005, M = 6.84, SD = 9.20; Self-Rating Scale: p = 0.050, M = 6.53, SD = 12.89; and Dyadic Relationship Scale: p = 0.028, M = 3.47, SD = 7.18), and child social-emotional competence (p = 0.015, M = -4.05, SD 5.95). Effect sizes were moderate to large (d > 0.5) for all but one instrument (Self-Rating Scale), suggesting a considerable magnitude of change over the three-week period. The intervention was highly accepted among both children and adults. Themes of proximity, self-discovery, and regard for others emerged during evaluation of qualitative findings. Longitudinal comparisons of baseline and 3-month follow-up remain in-progress, a topic available for future discussion.
Discussion: Results help to validate equine assisted learning as a valuable tool in the promotion of child social-emotional intelligence strengthened in part by the promotion of family function and family satisfaction. For mental health professionals, these results serve as a reminder of the alternatives that are available, as well as the importance of partnerships within the community. For therapeutic riding centers, these results help equine professionals validate their programs and gain a foothold within the scientific community. Additionally, they invite future riding centers to follow course in incorporating evidence into their programs and examining new directions for growth within the mental health community.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of educational videos on Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination intent among young adults aged 18-26. A two-group randomized control trial (RCT) is conducted among 156 individuals (control group n = 79, intervention group n= 77). Inclusion criteria were English-speaking young adults aged 18-26 who have not been vaccinated against HPV. Participants who met the inclusion criteria based on an online screening form were recruited via Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) and invited to join the study. They first completed a pretest (T0) online via REDCap, randomly assigned to the intervention or control group, and completed a posttest (T1) after viewing their assigned intervention. Participants assigned to the intervention group watched two brief animated videos while participants assigned to the control group examined an HPV educational brochure created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Guided by the Theory of Planned Behavior, survey questions measured HPV-related knowledge, attitudes, perceived severity, perceived susceptibility, vaccination intent (T0 and T1), sociodemographic characteristics, and health history (T0 only) of participants. The results showed the intervention group had an increase in vaccination intent while the control group had a decrease in vaccination intent. This shows that video education methods are more effective than traditional written education methods at increasing vaccination intention among young adults.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the comprehensive HPV educational video, “What is HPV?” on the vaccination intent of young adults. The study also aimed to collect information regarding knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs that influence vaccination and related health behaviors. The sample included 215 participants between the ages of 18-26 who had not received any HPV vaccine, were able to read and comprehend English, and had consented for participation through Amazon Mechanical Turk. After they completed the baseline survey (T0), participants were randomly assigned to two study conditions. The intervention group (n = 104) watched the “What is HPV?” video, and the control group (n = 111) read the CDC HPV Fact Sheet. Both groups then completed a post-intervention survey (T1). The analysis results show that the vaccination intent among participants in the intervention group significantly increased following the intervention (59.6% to 71.2%), while vaccination intent significantly decreased for the control group (65.8% to 55%) following the intervention. The results also show a significant difference in the changes in vaccination intent for the two intervention groups. The most change in vaccination intent following the intervention came from the group who was undecided in the initial survey. The findings of the study suggested that a brief HPV educational video that provides the most updated evidence while using non-stigmatizing language and tone has the potential to increase young adults’ vaccination intent to prevent HPV-related cancers and diseases. The findings also suggested that effective HPV education is key to combating negative attitudes and misinformation about HPV vaccines.
“College Students' Perceived Risk of COVID-19 Infection, Protective Behaviors, and Vaccination Intent” is a thesis project based on research conducted from the end of 2020 to the beginning of 2021. This project investigated various protective behavior factors against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) based on gender, race/ethnicity, and financial difficulty of college students in the United States. The plan for this thesis project was to send out two surveys through Amazon Mturk to a group of 500 college students. The first survey further narrowed down the sample size to include only the participants who met the eligibility factors. A second larger survey was sent to this sample which included the data for this research project. This paper will explore the topics of perceived risk of becoming infected with COVID-19, preventive behaviors, vaccination intent based on gender, race/ethnicity, and financial difficulty.