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Concept: Nonviolent Communication


The effects of selectively different experience of eye contact and gaze behaviour on the early development of five sighted infants of blind parents were investigated. Infants were assessed longitudinally at 6-10, 12-15 and 24-47 months. Face scanning and gaze following were assessed using eye tracking. In addition, established measures of autistic-like behaviours and standardized tests of cognitive, motor and linguistic development, as well as observations of naturalistic parent-child interaction were collected. These data were compared with those obtained from a larger group of sighted infants of sighted parents. Infants with blind parents did not show an overall decrease in eye contact or gaze following when they observed sighted adults on video or in live interactions, nor did they show any autistic-like behaviours. However, they directed their own eye gaze somewhat less frequently towards their blind mothers and also showed improved performance in visual memory and attention at younger ages. Being reared with significantly reduced experience of eye contact and gaze behaviour does not preclude sighted infants from developing typical gaze processing and other social-communication skills. Indeed, the need to switch between different types of communication strategy may actually enhance other skills during development.

Concepts: Psychology, Memory, Eye, Visual perception, Grammar, Communication, Nonverbal communication, Nonviolent Communication


The digital revolution affects the environment on several levels. Most directly, information and communications technology (ICT) has environmental impacts through the manufacturing, operation and disposal of devices and network equipment, but it also provides ways to mitigate energy use, for example through smart buildings and teleworking. At a broader system level, ICTs influence economic growth and bring about technological and societal change. Managing the direct impacts of ICTs is more complex than just producing efficient devices, owing to the energetically expensive manufacturing process, and the increasing proliferation of devices needs to be taken into account.

Concepts: Environment, Natural environment, Communication, Technology, Society, Nonviolent Communication


The rapid change in healthcare has focused attention on the necessary development of a next-generation electronic health record (EHR) to support system transformation and more effective patient-centered care. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is developing plans for the next-generation EHR to support improved care delivery for veterans. To understand the needs for a next-generation EHR, we interviewed 14 VA operational, clinical and informatics leaders for their vision about system needs. Leaders consistently identified priorities for development in the areas of cognitive support, information synthesis, teamwork and communication, interoperability, data availability, usability, customization, and information management. The need to reconcile different EHR initiatives currently underway in the VA, as well as opportunities for data sharing, will be critical for continued progress. These findings may support the VA’s effort for evolutionary change to its information system and draw attention to necessary research and development for a next-generation information system and EHR nationally.

Concepts: Health care, Psychology, Clinical trial, Cognitive psychology, Information, Electronic health record, Medical informatics, Nonviolent Communication


OZCAN C.T., OFLAZ F. & BAKIR B. (2012) The effect of a structured empathy course on the students of a medical and a nursing school. International Nursing Review Aim:  The study aims to determine the effect of an empathy course for medical and nursing school students in one university in Turkey. Being able to relate to others empathetically is important for health professionals who need to develop therapeutic relationships with people who are sick, weak, sensitive and vulnerable. Professionals need empathic communication skills and professionalism not only for patients and their families but also for colleagues and other members of the health team. Method:  All first year students (257) from a medical and a nursing school in one Turkish university in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 were enrolled to the study. The course included 10 h of lectures on empathy and communication skills given through five consecutive weeks with 2 h in a week in the first year of both schools. Data were collected by using the Empathic Communication Skills Scale (ECSS), and the Empathic Tendency Scale (ETS) before and after the course. There were 143 medical students and 83 nursing students (total: 226, 88%) who completed the ECSS and ETS in a pre-/post-test study. Findings:  Results demonstrated that all students received significantly higher scores for the final application than for initial scores on both scales. This implied that the targeted educational programme could have a positive effect on learning empathy and gaining empathy skills and tendency. Conclusion:  Effective educational programmes might facilitate and improve empathic skills and empathic tendency of medical and nursing students, and both male and female students benefitted from the empathy course.

Concepts: Health, Education, Learning, Nursing, Empathy, Communication, School, Nonviolent Communication


Objective: The aim of this study was to understand the communication needs and experiences of parents and children with cerebral palsy (CP) and complex communication needs (CCN) in hospital. Methods: Focus groups with 10 parents and interviews with seven children with CP and CCN were analysed for content themes. Results: Results demonstrated that children often want to communicate directly with hospital staff to: gain attention, answer yes/no, convey basic physical needs, give and receive information, control their environment and participate in preferred activities. Barriers to communication included lack of access to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), staff preferring to communicate with parents and lack of time to communicate. Conclusions: Results highlight strategies for successful communication, the role of the parents in supporting communication and provision of AAC systems for children in hospital. Policy and practice implications in the preparation of children with CP and CCN for communication in hospital are discussed.

Concepts: Focus group, Cerebral palsy, Communication, Need, Want, Nonviolent Communication, Augmentative and alternative communication


Young adults in developed countries are distanced from agriculture and the meat industry needs to do a better job of communicating with them. A major welfare concern is slaughter without stunning. Other concerns, such as poor stunning or high levels of bruising, can be easily corrected by management who is committed to maintaining high standards. Another concern is biological system overload, occurring when animals are bred for more productivity. Researchers and industry need to determine optimum production levels instead of maximums. Retailers are major drivers of animal welfare standards enforcement and they respond to pressure from both activists and consumers.

Concepts: Agriculture, Poverty, Meat, Livestock, Nonviolent Communication, The Missing, Captive bolt pistol, Revolution Studios


It is a fundamental human need to secure and sustain a sense of social belonging. Previous research has shown that individuals who are lonely are more likely than people who are not lonely to attribute humanlike traits (e.g., free will) to nonhuman agents (e.g., an alarm clock that makes people get up by moving away from the sleeper), presumably in an attempt to fulfill unmet needs for belongingness. We directly replicated the association between loneliness and anthropomorphism in a larger sample (N = 178); furthermore, we showed that reminding people of a close, supportive relationship reduces their tendency to anthropomorphize. This finding provides support for the idea that the need for belonging has causal effects on anthropomorphism. Last, we showed that attachment anxiety-characterized by intense desire for and preoccupation with closeness, fear of abandonment, and hypervigilance to social cues-was a stronger predictor of anthropomorphism than loneliness was. This finding helps clarify the mechanisms underlying anthropomorphism and supports the idea that anthropomorphism is a motivated process reflecting the active search for potential sources of connection.

Concepts: Free will, Need, Support, Technical support, Want, Nonviolent Communication, Fundamental human needs, Anthropomorphism


With rising healthcare costs and a focus on quality, there is a growing need to promote resource stewardship in medical education. Physicians need to be able to communicate effectively with patients/caregivers seeking tests and treatments that are unnecessary. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of an interactive workshop on residents' knowledge of resource stewardship and communication skills when counseling patients/caregivers about requests for unnecessary testing.

Concepts: Communication, Nonviolent Communication, Graphic communication


We examined predictors of mental health difficulties and wellbeing in caregivers of children with autism in the Pre-school Autism Communication Trial cohort in middle childhood (N = 104). Child’s intellectual disability, daily living skills impairment, elevated emotional and behavioural difficulties, high educational level of caregiver and household income below the median significantly predicted caregivers' mental health difficulties, but autism severity, child communication skills and family circumstances did not. Lower caregiver mental wellbeing was predicted by elevated child emotional and behavioural difficulties. The need to support the mental health and wellbeing of caregivers of children with autism is discussed in light of the results.

Concepts: Family, Psychology, Child, Childhood, Mental disorder, Household, Household income in the United States, Nonviolent Communication


A Needs Assessment Tool (NAT) was developed previously to help clinicians identify the supportive/palliative needs of people with interstitial lung disease (ILD) (NAT:ILD). This letter presents barriers and facilitators to clinical implementation. Data from (1) a focus group of respiratory clinicians and (2) an expert consensus group (respiratory and palliative clinicians, academics, patients, carers) were analysed using Framework Analysis. Barriers related to resources and service reconfiguration, and facilitators to clinical need, structure, objectiveness, flexibility and benefits of an ‘aide-memoire’. Identified training needs included communication skills and local service knowledge. The NAT:ILD was seen as useful, necessary and practical in everyday practice.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Cancer, Respiratory disease, Pulmonology, Focus group, Communication, Need, Nonviolent Communication