Publications by authors named "Laura Lo"

4 Publications

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A systematic review and meta-analysis of psychological interventions to improve mental wellbeing.

Nat Hum Behav 2021 05 19;5(5):631-652. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Wellbeing and Resilience Centre, Lifelong Health Theme, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

Our current understanding of the efficacy of psychological interventions in improving mental states of wellbeing is incomplete. This study aimed to overcome limitations of previous reviews by examining the efficacy of distinct types of psychological interventions, irrespective of their theoretical underpinning, and the impact of various moderators, in a unified systematic review and meta-analysis. Four-hundred-and-nineteen randomized controlled trials from clinical and non-clinical populations (n = 53,288) were identified for inclusion. Mindfulness-based and multi-component positive psychological interventions demonstrated the greatest efficacy in both clinical and non-clinical populations. Meta-analyses also found that singular positive psychological interventions, cognitive and behavioural therapy-based, acceptance and commitment therapy-based, and reminiscence interventions were impactful. Effect sizes were moderate at best, but differed according to target population and moderator, most notably intervention intensity. The evidence quality was generally low to moderate. While the evidence requires further advancement, the review provides insight into how psychological interventions can be designed to improve mental wellbeing.
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May 2021

Improving the Wellbeing of Female Prisoners via Psychological Skills Training: A Feasibility Study.

Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol 2020 11 11;64(15):1571-1586. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

Wellbeing and Resilience Centre, Lifelong Health Theme, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, Australia.

Prisoners display significantly higher rates of mental disorders and lower mental wellbeing than the general population. The integration of positive psychological interventions in offender supervision has received recent advocacy. The aim of the current pre-post pilot study was to determine the short-term effects of group-based resilience training on mental health outcomes for female offenders and explore intervention acceptability. Offenders ( = 24) self-selected to partake in a multi-component psychological skill program based on positive psychology, cognitive-behavioural therapy, and mindfulness-based activities. The training was taught in nine sessions of 1.5 hr each. Baseline and follow-up measurements of mental wellbeing and psychological distress were collected and focus groups conducted to investigate participants' experiences, acceptability, and appropriateness of the training. Moderate to large effect sizes indicating significant improvements were observed for wellbeing,  = 0.75 and distress,  = 0.56. Training was well received by participants and staff and was delivered feasibly within the prison context. The results are encouraging, and a future well-powered study using a rigorous controlled design is warranted.
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November 2020

Using Internet-Based Psychological Measurement to Capture the Deteriorating Community Mental Health Profile During COVID-19: Observational Study.

JMIR Ment Health 2020 Jun 11;7(6):e20696. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

College of Education, Psychology and Social Work, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.

Background: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is expected to have widespread and pervasive implications for mental health in terms of deteriorating outcomes and increased health service use, leading to calls for empirical research on mental health during the pandemic. Internet-based psychological measurement can play an important role in collecting imperative data, assisting to guide evidence-based decision making in practice and policy, and subsequently facilitating immediate reporting of measurement results to participants.

Objective: The aim of this study is to use an internet-based mental health measurement platform to compare the mental health profile of community members during COVID-19 with community members assessed before the pandemic.

Methods: This study uses an internet-based self-assessment tool to collect data on psychological distress, mental well-being, and resilience in community cohorts during (n=673) and prior to the pandemic (two cohorts, n=1264 and n=340).

Results: Our findings demonstrate significantly worse outcomes on all mental health measures for participants measured during COVID-19 compared to those measured before (P<.001 for all outcomes, effect sizes ranging between Cohen d=0.32 to Cohen d=0.81. Participants who demonstrated problematic scores for at least one of the mental health outcomes increased from 58% (n=197/340) before COVID-19 to 79% (n=532/673) during COVID-19, leading to only 21% (n=141) of measured participants displaying good mental health during the pandemic.

Conclusions: The results clearly demonstrate deterioration in mental health outcomes during COVID-19. Although further research is needed, our findings support the serious mental health implications of the pandemic and highlight the utility of internet-based data collection tools in providing evidence to innovate and strengthen practice and policy during and after the pandemic.
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June 2020

Improving the wellbeing and resilience of health services staff via psychological skills training.

BMC Res Notes 2018 Dec 22;11(1):924. Epub 2018 Dec 22.

Wellbeing and Resilience Centre, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, 5000 North Terrace, Adelaide, Australia.

Objective: Health services staff work in a stressful environment, which can negatively impact their mental health and wellbeing, and as a result can affect psychosocial and professional functioning. The implementation of resilience training aims to provide staff with basic psychological skills to improve mental health outcomes. The aim of the current pre-post study was to determine the short-term effects of group-based resilience training on clinical and non-clinical medical staff's (n = 40) mental health outcomes.

Results: The study showed statistically significant improvements in resilience (r = 0.51, p = 0.02) and wellbeing (d = 0.29, p = 0.001) from before to 1 month after the training. Participants with the lowest wellbeing and resilience scores at start of the training showed higher effect sizes compared to those with highest wellbeing and resilience scores, (r = 0.67 compared to r = - 0.36 for wellbeing scores and d = 0.92 compared to d = 0.24 for resilience scores); differences that point to particular impact of the training for people with the lowest baseline values. No significant changes in psychological distress as a result of depression, anxiety and stress were found. Brief implications of the findings for mental health and wellbeing interventions in the health services are discussed.
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December 2018