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4.2 Using antidepressants for grief

In addition to tranquilisers, antidepressant medication may be considered when a person approaches a doctor for help following bereavement. Prescribing doctors may feel under pressure to ‘do something’ to help the person who presents to them. Neither party may be aware of other options that may be effective in helping in these potentially difficult situations. Indeed, local support groups, psychotherapy, counselling and other possible alternatives may not be readily available.


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4.1 Introduction

Although there has been a considerable reaction to the routine use of anti-anxiety medication for people presenting symptoms of complicated grief, the practice remains common in western societies. Joan Cook and her psychiatry colleagues (2007a, 2007b) interviewed doctors and older people in the USA to find out how people in both groups dealt with bereavement. She found that many of the doctors usually prescribed mood-altering drugs such as tranquilisers because of a compassionate sense of wan
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2.2 Neuronal changes during grief

Recently medical researchers have been joined by neuroscientists determined to pin down precisely those parts of the brain that are activated by the experience of grief. Although this approach might be considered to be reductionist, it demonstrates the way in which some scientists are attempting to explain complex behaviour in neuroscientific terms.

Eight volunteers who had experienced the death of someone close in the previous year agreed to be studied as part of a research project con
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2.1 Introduction

A rapidly growing branch of medical science has begun to try to measure the physiological impact of grief. Incorporated into this study are the ways in which bodily functions change in response to emotional stimuli. This new area of scientific research has been called ‘psychoneuroimmunology’ and is the study of how different feelings and stresses lead to changes in hormone levels and other metabolic functions within the body. These can often be quantified through blood tests and othe
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Introduction

This unit helps you to explore the extent to which death and dying in western societies are medical events and what aspects of death and dying might be neglected as a consequence. The unit covers the way that such things as medicine provide the context of the experiences associated with the end of life.

This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course Death and dying
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4 Using data to set targets
Target setting for pupil attainment is seen as being a means of raising standards in schools through placing pupil achievement at the core of school planning. This unit will help governors of secondary schools ensure that appropriate targets are set and provide guidance on assessing the data that needs to be evaluated to come to such decisions.
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Introduction

The unit explores what it means to become a critical social work practitioner by using a series of activities and readings to guide you through some new and important concepts. An understanding of ‘critical perspectives’ will help you take a positive and constructive approach to the challenging problems that arise in social work practice.

You will be introduced to a critical understanding of the nature and boundaries of personal and professional discretion and judgement in the
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LightBridge
LightBridge by Susanne Seitinger, researcher in the Program in Media Arts and Sciences, and Pol Pla, graduate student in the Program in Media Arts and Sciences, and the software team: Russell Cohen, Eugene Sun, Andrew Chen, Dave Lawrence, Daniel Taub, and David Xiao. Part of MIT's FAST Festival, LightBridge was a dynamic interactive LED array that responded to pedestrians on the bridge, illustrating MIT's ties to both sides of the Charles River. Thanks go to Philips ColorKinetics, CISCO, and Sp
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3.7 Ethical considerations

Since psychological research is mostly done on people and animals, it is often the case that the observations or experimental interventions that a psychologist might want to make have the potential to harm participants and hence raise ethical issues. Furthermore, consequences that might not be directly undesirable for the participants might raise more general ethical principles to do with moral standards and values. Psychologists have increasingly become aware of ethical issues and recognised
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Introduction

This unit explores a number of issues relating to mental health practice. It starts by helping you define and understand the difference between mental health and mental illness. It also explores the discrimination that can arise when people experience some form of mental distress. You will look at how professionals working within the community can counter some of the effects of discrimination and stigma and contribute to the well-being of the wider community, as well as those who use their se
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3.1 The beginning of the research process

What distinguishes psychological research from common sense is that psychologists approach information and knowledge in a systematic and consciously articulated way. They use rules and procedures about how to build and apply theories, how to design studies to test hypotheses, how to collect data and use them as evidence, and how to evaluate all forms of knowledge. (See Figure 1, ‘The cycle of enquiry’ in Box 1
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El estilo del escritor
This unit is designed to develop your knowledge and understanding of Spanish-speaking societies and cultures and extend the practical skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. You will examine the world of Spanish and Latin-American art and explore the difference between art and craft.
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Introduction

Ever wondered what social workers do? This brief introduction gives you some insight into social work practice and the theory which informs the practice. This unit is made up of a series of six extracts. You are introduced to the four components to good practice and will look at the importance of the following approaches to social work practice:

  • Biography

  • The social context of social work

  • Responding to children’s needs
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If the evolution of intelligence is inevitable, what are the theological implications?
Prof. Simon Conway Morris FRS: Seminar
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Introduction

Some elite athletes in the United Kingdom are provided with financial support to allow them to train and prepare for competition. Where does the money come from to finance this? This unit will examine this question by looking at the funding of elite sport in the UK.

This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course Introduction to sport, fitness and management (E112)
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6.3 What size of majority vote should decide the issue?

In many types of democratic vote, a bare majority (technically, 50 per cent +1) is enough to decide outcomes. But often constitutional changes – changes which would affect the basic structures or political rules of the game – are regarded as needing ‘supermajorities’ of, say, 60 or 70 per cent. A basic change in the sovereign political unit would certainly count as a constitutional change. If the Bs get to vote, we might be concerned if only a bare majority favoured secession, es
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Introduction

This unit takes you on a journey of discovery where you are invited to challenge ideas, both new and old, in relation to mental health. It is made up of a series of three extracts. The first extract, ‘Boundaries of explanation’, sets out the theme of boundaries: boundaries within and between groups; within and between explanatory frameworks; and within and between experiences of mental health and distress. The second extract, ‘Whose risk is it anyway?’, considers a critical
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1.4.10 A note on accuracy
This Unit will introduce you to a number of ways of representing data graphically and of summarising data numerically. You will learn the uses for pie charts, bar charts, histograms and scatterplots. You will also be introduced to various ways of summarising data and methods for assessing location and dispersion.
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • acquire and critically apply the research, analytical and evaluative skills needed for effective practice and the promotion of equality across universal and specialist services for children;

  • develop a skilled, dynamic and ethical approach to working with children;

  • understand and analyse the contributions of different approaches to the study of children, childhood and families, and recognise the potenti
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Introduction

This unit explores a wide range of children's experiences, a number of different services, and interviews with a number of key practitioners. It features voluntary as well as statutory work with children, and tries to capture some of the details of everyday life for children, parents and practitioners.

The associated video material features children, practitioners and practice in the Plus organisation based in Stirling, Scotland. Looking at the overview of the Plus organisation in
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