Development of wellness programs during the COVID-19 pandemic response
Spray, Amanda M.; Patel, Nikhil A.; Sood, Ashvin; Wu, Stephanie X.; Simon, Naomi M.; Podbury, Rachel; Vasserman, Ariela; Caravella, Rachel A.; Silverman, Yona; Pochtar, Randi; Liaw, K. Ron Li; Ackerman, Marra G.
Health care workers are on the front lines of the recent pandemic, facing significant challenges to their physical and mental health. This article details the efforts undertaken by a health care system and two academically affiliated hospital systems to provide emotional support to their frontline staff. The multipronged approach describes coordinating efforts to decrease duplication of services and to increase centralization of information. This included enhancing pathways for faculty, staff, and trainees to obtain individual and group treatment and to have access to highquality self-help resources. Continuous feedback has been elicited to ensure that efforts are consistent with expressed needs and in turn services undergo modifications as needed. This article seeks to provide an overview of how one health system has thus far approached the important issue of staff support as well as the challenges experienced and lessons learned along the way.
Challenging the patient and therapist during evolving phases of a veteran's treatment within a strong public-private partnership [Case Report]
Spray, Amanda M; Wen, Irina; Price, Laura E; Marmar, Charles R
Veterans Health Administration (VA) Medical Centers provide excellent care for many veterans. However, there are a number of veterans who are ineligible or choose not to access mental health treatment at the VA. To meet the needs of those veterans and of military family members, private centers have emerged to fill in gaps where care is unavailable or scarce. This paper describes how one such center, the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Center at NYU Langone Health, partnered with the local VA hospital to give one veteran ineligible for free mental health services the care he desperately needed. The case demonstrates the transformative work that can take place when public-private partnerships are forged and evidence-based treatments can be provided in a flexible way. It also illustrates the complexity of many veterans' presentations, which in this case required the therapist to continually challenge her conceptualization as she and the patient navigated different phases of his treatment.
Mending broken bonds in military couples using emotionally focused therapy for couples: Tips and discoveries [Case Report]
Wen, Irina; Price, Laura E; Spray, Amanda M; Marmar, Charles R
Military families face specific challenges related to military service, deployments, separations, and coming together. The process of reintegration back to civilian life can be challenged by posttraumatic stress and other readjustment difficulties that can affect not only the veteran but the family as a whole. Strengthening bonds and relationships is an important step in recovery. In this paper, the authors review the application of emotionally focused therapy to couples therapy with military couples and identify factors that can facilitate the therapeutic process with this unique population.
A portal to healing: Treating military families and veterans through telehealth
Price, Laura E; Noulas, Paraskevi; Wen, Irina; Spray, Amanda
This paper explores the triumphs and challenges of providing free, integrative treatment to veterans and military families through secure video connections into their homes. Two case studies of telemental health treatment conducted through the Greater NYC Military Family Consortium in conjunction with the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Center at NYU Langone Health in New York City illustrate the complexities and opportunities that emerge in the course of treatment, most of which was conducted remotely. The access to people's lives through a portal adds new wrinkles to evidence-based practice in military settings while underscoring the overall need to broaden a network of care in partnership with Veterans Affairs hospital (VAs), Vet Centers, and community providers to reach those who might otherwise not seek help.
Military and Gender
Chapter by: Fisher, Lauren D; Spray, Amanda
in: The SAGE encyclopedia of psychology and gender by Nadal, Kevin L [Eds]
Los Angeles : SAGE Reference, 
A multi-factorial model for examining racial and ethnic disparities in acute asthma visits by children
Sidora-Arcoleo, Kimberly; Feldman, Jonathan M; Serebrisky, Denise; Spray, Amanda
BACKGROUND: Causes of children's asthma health disparities are complex. Parents' asthma illness representations may play a role. PURPOSE: The study aims to test a theoretically based, multi-factorial model for ethnic disparities in children's acute asthma visits through parental illness representations. METHODS: Structural equation modeling investigated the association of parental asthma illness representations, sociodemographic characteristics, health care provider factors, and social-environmental context with children's acute asthma visits among 309 White, Puerto Rican, and African American families was conducted. RESULTS: Forty-five percent of the variance in illness representations and 30% of the variance in acute visits were accounted for. Statistically significant differences in illness representations were observed by ethnic group. Approximately 30% of the variance in illness representations was explained for whites, 23% for African Americans, and 26% for Puerto Ricans. The model accounted for >30% of the variance in acute visits for African Americans and Puerto Ricans but only 19% for the whites. CONCLUSION: The model provides preliminary support that ethnic heterogeneity in asthma illness representations affects children's health outcomes.
Validation of the Asthma Illness Representation Scale-Spanish (AIRS-S)
Sidora-Arcoleo, Kimberly Joan; Feldman, Jonathan; Serebrisky, Denise; Spray, Amanda
BACKGROUND: To expand knowledge surrounding parental illness representations (IRs) of their children's asthma, it is imperative that culturally appropriate survey instruments are developed and validated for use in clinical and research settings. The Asthma Illness Representation Scale (AIRS) provides a structured assessment of the key components of asthma IRs, allowing the health care provider (HCP) to quickly identify areas of discordance with the professional model of asthma management. The English AIRS was developed and validated among a geographically and ethnically diverse sample. The authors present the validation results of the AIRS-S (Spanish) from a sample of Mexican and Puerto Rican parents. METHODS: The AIRS was translated and back translated per approved methodologies. Factor analysis, internal reliability, external validity, and 2-week test-retest reliability (on a subsample) were carried out and results compared with the validated English version. Data were obtained from 80 Spanish-speaking Mexican and Puerto Rican parents of children with asthma. The sample was recruited from two school-based health centers and a free medical clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, and a hospital-based asthma clinic in Bronx, New York. RESULTS: The original Nature of Asthma Symptoms, Facts About Asthma, and Attitudes Towards Medication Use subscales emerged. Remaining factors were a mixture of items with no coherent or theoretical distinction between them. Interpretation of results is limited due to not meeting the minimum requirement of 5 observations/item. Cronbach's alpha coefficients for the total score (alpha = .77) and majority of subscales (alpha range = .53-.77) were acceptable and consistent with the English version. Parental reports of a positive relationship with the HCP significantly predicted AIRS scores congruent with the professional model; longer asthma duration was associated with beliefs aligned with the lay model; and AIRS scores congruent with the professional model were related to lower asthma severity. Stability in AIRS-S scores over 2 weeks was demonstrated. CONCLUSIONS: The AIRS-S is a culturally appropriate instrument that can be used by HCPs to ascertain Spanish-speaking parents' asthma illness beliefs and assess discordance with the professional model of asthma management. This information can be used by the HCP when discussing parent's asthma management strategies for their children during clinical encounters.
Validation of the Asthma Illness Representation Scale (AIRS)
Sidora-Arcoleo, Kimberly; Feldman, Jonathan; Serebrisky, Denise; Spray, Amanda
BACKGROUND: Research has suggested a link between parents' illness representations (IRs), use of complementary and alternative medicine, inhaled/oral corticosteroids and leukotriene antagonists, and children's health outcomes. The Asthma Illness Representation Scale (AIRS) provides a structured assessment of the key components of asthma IRs allowing the healthcare provider (HCP) to quickly identify areas of discordance with the professional model of asthma management. METHODS: These analyses extend the initial validation of the AIRS and compares data from the original study conducted among a primarily white and African American sample in Rochester, NY (N = 228) with data obtained from a predominantly inner-city, ethnic minority sample (Puerto Rican, African American, and Afro-Caribbean) from the Bronx, New York (N = 109). RESULTS: A larger proportion of the Rochester sample was white and non-poor and had graduated high school. Bronx parents were more likely to perceive their child's asthma to be moderate or severe than the Rochester parents. Bronx children were older and had longer duration of asthma and reported more acute health care visits (past year). Bronx parents reported total AIRS scores more closely aligned with the lay model than Rochester parents. The AIRS instrument demonstrated acceptable internal reliability among the Bronx sample (total score alpha = 0.82) and the AIRS subscale Cronbach's alpha coefficients were remarkably similar to those obtained from the original validation study (range = 0.54-0.83). Poor parents and those with less than a high school education had lower total AIRS scores than their counterparts. White parents had AIRS scores more closely aligned with the professional model compared to each of the ethnic subgroups. A perception of less severe asthma, fewer reports of asthma and somatization symptoms, and a positive HCP relationship were associated with IRs congruent with the professional model. IRs aligned with the professional model were associated with fewer acute asthma-related healthcare visits. CONCLUSIONS: The AIRS instrument exhibited good internal reliability, external validity, and differentiated parents based on ethnicity, poverty, and education. Assessment of asthma IRs during the healthcare visit will allow the HCP and parent to discuss and negotiate a shared asthma management plan for the child, which will hopefully lead to improved medication adherence and asthma health outcomes.