Publications by authors named "Susan Magsamen"

7 Publications

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Generating youth dialogue through the literary arts: A citywide youth health collaboration in the U.S.

J Community Psychol 2022 Jan 15. Epub 2022 Jan 15.

Department of Neurology, International Arts + Mind Lab, Brain Science Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

A process and outcomes evaluation was conducted of a citywide literary-arts initiative designed to reduce stigma, amplify underrepresented narratives, and generate dialogue about violence. Over 4 months, students in 85 middle schools read a novel addressing mental health and violence-related themes. As a collaboration between a public school district and public library system, the program's classroom activities emphasized dialogue, while coordinated library events supported community engagement. Students completed pre/postsurveys (total n = 1487); school program leaders (n = 39) and public librarians (n = 14) completed postsurveys. Half of student respondents reported personal encounters with violence. Most said the novel influenced their thinking; students with personal experiences of violence reported greater influence than those without. Highest rates of dialogue were seen among students who read the novel in full, and over half of postsurvey respondents wanted more dialogue opportunities. Leaders and librarians indicated that the program was smoothly integrated with existing curricula, but also offered recommendations for improved processes. Findings suggest that this intervention was effective at stimulating dialogue while providing assets-based opportunities for youth to share experiences and concerns. Current program processes indicate promise for further engagement and impact, with some modifications. To this end, authors draw upon evaluation findings and youth development literature to offer recommendations for program development and replication in other regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcop.22793DOI Listing
January 2022

The State of Music-Based Interventions for Mental Illness: Thought Leaders on Barriers, Opportunities, and the Value of Interdisciplinarity.

Community Ment Health J 2021 Jun 8. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA.

Hundreds of studies regarding music's effects on mental health have accumulated across multiple disciplines; however, access to and application of music as a support for mental health remains limited, due in part to the multidisciplinary nature of related research and difficulties synthesizing findings. This qualitative study is the first to address these barriers by gathering current thought leaders and stakeholders at intersections of music and mental health, representing multiple disciplines and backgrounds, to (1) document understandings of and recommendations for the field, and (2) examine how views converge or conflict. Participants (n = 36) viewed preliminary results of a global scoping review, then engaged in focus groups which were transcribed and de-identified for analysis. An interdisciplinary research team coded and iteratively analyzed transcripts. Six themes emerged: Barriers to Quality/Improved Research, Disciplinary Differences, Research Recommendations, Implementation and Access, Public Perception and Education, and Need for Training. Discussions offered wide-ranging observations and recommendations while revealing challenges and opportunities related to interdisciplinary work. Findings indicate broad agreement regarding current barriers and opportunities at intersections of music and mental health. While highlighting challenges, participants also indicated multiple avenues for advancing research quality, intervention effectiveness, and equitable access to music as a support for mental health. Responding to the study's illumination of the benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary work, four brief recommendations are offered to support future efforts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10597-021-00843-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8186512PMC
June 2021

The Use of Music in the Treatment and Management of Serious Mental Illness: A Global Scoping Review of the Literature.

Front Psychol 2021 31;12:649840. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States.

Mental and substance use disorders have been identified as the leading cause of global disability, and the global burden of mental illness is concentrated among those experiencing disability due to serious mental illness (SMI). Music has been studied as a support for SMIs for decades, with promising results; however, a lack of synthesized evidence has precluded increased uptake of and access to music-based approaches. The purpose of this scoping review was to identify the types and quantity of research at intersections of music and SMIs, document evidentiary gaps and opportunities, and generate recommendations for improving research and practice. Studies were included if they reported on music's utilization in treating or mitigating symptoms related to five SMIs: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Eight databases were searched; screening resulted in 349 included studies for data extraction. Schizophrenia was the most studied SMI, with bipolar disorder studied the least. Demographics, settings, and activity details were found to be inconsistently and insufficiently reported; however, listening to recorded music emerged as the most common musical activity, and activity details appeared to have been affected by the conditions under study. RCTs were the predominant study design, and 271 unique measures were utilized across 289 primary studies. Over two-thirds of primary studies (68.5%) reported positive results, with 2.8% reporting worse results than the comparator, and 12% producing indeterminate results. A key finding is that evidence synthesis is precluded by insufficient reporting, widely varied outcomes and measures, and intervention complexity; as a result, widespread changes are necessary to reduce heterogeneity (as feasible), increase replicability and transferability, and improve understandings of mechanisms and causal pathways. To that end, five detailed recommendations are offered to support the sharing and development of information across disciplines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.649840DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8044514PMC
March 2021

Outcomes of Visual Self-Expression in Virtual Reality on Psychosocial Well-Being With the Inclusion of a Fragrance Stimulus: A Pilot Mixed-Methods Study.

Front Psychol 2020 8;11:589461. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

Department of Psychology, The College of New Jersey, Ewing Township, NJ, United States.

Aims: In this pilot mixed-methods study, we examined the participants experiences of engaging in virtual drawing tasks and the impact of an olfactory stimulus (calming fragrance blend) on outcomes of affect, stress, self-efficacy, anxiety, creative agency, and well-being (satisfaction with life).

Methods: This study used a parallel mixed-methods, simple block randomization design. The study participants included 24 healthy adults aged 18 to 54 years, including 18 women and six men. The participants completed two 1-h immersive virtual art making sessions and were randomly assigned to receive either a fragrance or a non-fragrance condition for the first session. Quantitative (standardized self-report measures) and qualitative (open-ended survey responses and virtual artwork) datasets were collected concurrently and integrated during data analysis.

Results: The quantitative results indicated that the fragrance condition demonstrated a significant reduction in negative affect (e.g., feeling hostile, jittery, upset, distressed, etc.), namely, reduced feelings of negativity when compared to the non-fragrance condition. A trend toward improvement in self-efficacy was also seen in the fragrance condition. No significant changes were found for fragrance or non-fragrance conditions for positive affect, anxiety, and creative agency. The qualitative findings included five themes related to art making experiences in virtual reality in both conditions: fun and joy; novelty of virtual media, experimentation, and play; relaxation and calm; learning curve; and physical discomfort and disorientation. Four themes were identified for virtual art content and visual qualities: nature imagery, references to memories and personal symbols, fantasy and play within imagery, and depiction of everyday objects.

Conclusions: Overall, the participants reported positive responses to the novel virtual art making experiences which were further heightened by the inclusion of the fragrance stimulus for negative affect. These preliminary findings need to be replicated with larger sample sizes to confirm the outcomes and the trends that were seen in this pilot study. Further research is recommended to examine the differences between experiences of virtual and traditional art media and to examine different olfactory stimuli promoting focus and concentration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.589461DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7793948PMC
December 2020

Your Brain on Art: The Case for Neuroaesthetics.

Authors:
Susan Magsamen

Cerebrum 2019 Jul-Aug;2019. Epub 2019 Jul 1.

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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7075503PMC
July 2019

Integrating neuroscience and learning: now's the time...

NPJ Sci Learn 2016 11;1:16007. Epub 2016 May 11.

Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLN, Australia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/npjscilearn.2016.7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380374PMC
May 2016

Neuroscience and education: an ideal partnership for producing evidence-based solutions to Guide 21(st) Century Learning.

Neuron 2010 Sep;67(5):685-8

Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Department of Education, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.

Neuro-Education is a nascent discipline that seeks to blend the collective fields of neuroscience, psychology, cognitive science, and education to create a better understanding of how we learn and how this information can be used to create more effective teaching methods, curricula, and educational policy. Though still in its infancy as a research discipline, this initiative is already opening critical new dialog between teachers, administrators, parents, and brain scientists.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2010.08.028DOI Listing
September 2010
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