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Excess choice has previously been shown to have detrimental effects on decisions about consumer products. As the number of options increases, people are more likely to put off making an active choice (i.e., defer) and show less satisfaction with any purchase actually made. We extend this line of enquiry to choosing a charitable organisation to volunteer for. The issue is important because the number of voluntary organisations is enormous and the impact of such a decision may be greater than for consumer decisions in terms of time commitment and benefits to the volunteer and society. Study 1 asked students to examine a real volunteering website and record how many organisations they considered, decision difficulty and whether or not they would like to sign up for a chosen organisation or prefer to defer a decision. Study 2 presented either a relatively small (10) or large (30) choice set of hypothetical organisations and measured deferment likelihood and decision difficulty. In both studies the more options considered, the greater the likelihood to defer. This effect was mediated by decision difficulty. This research is the first to find that detrimental effects of excess choice extend to volunteering. Implications for volunteer recruitment are discussed.
Many male prisoners have significant mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. High proportions struggle with homelessness and substance misuse.
This study aims to evaluate whether the Engager intervention improves mental health outcomes following release.
The design is a parallel randomised superiority trial that was conducted in the North West and South West of England (ISRCTN11707331). Men serving a prison sentence of 2 years or less were individually allocated 1:1 to either the intervention (Engager plus usual care) or usual care alone. Engager included psychological and practical support in prison, on release and for 3–5 months in the community. The primary outcome was the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation Outcome Measure (CORE-OM), 6 months after release. Primary analysis compared groups based on intention-to-treat (ITT).
In total, 280 men were randomised out of the 396 who were potentially eligible and agreed to participate; 105 did not meet the mental health inclusion criteria. There was no mean difference in the ITT complete case analysis between groups (92 in each arm) for change in the CORE-OM score (1.1, 95% CI –1.1 to 3.2, P = 0.325) or secondary analyses. There were no consistent clinically significant between-group differences for secondary outcomes. Full delivery was not achieved, with 77% (108/140) receiving community-based contact.
Engager is the first trial of a collaborative care intervention adapted for prison leavers. The intervention was not shown to be effective using standard outcome measures. Further testing of different support strategies for prison with mental health problems is needed.
The emergency telephone number 9-1-1 serves as a lifeline to the public during emergencies, and first responders rely on information gathered by 9-1-1 telecommunicators who speak with callers. Timely, accurate information from the telecommunicators is essential for providing appropriate care on scene. Language barriers can hamper these efforts and result in less efficient information exchange. Although 9-1-1 telecommunicators may access over-the-phone interpreter (OPI) services to facilitate communication, managing three-way communication during an emergency is challenging.
There is little published on the relationship between limited English proficient (LEP) callers and 9-1-1 police telecommunicators, and the role of OPI services during these calls. Further, little is known about effective strategies to manage such calls.
In King County, Washington, 9-1-1 police telecommunicators were surveyed about their experiences handling LEP calls and managing three-way communication with OPI services. The survey contained 13 multiple-choice and three open-response questions addressing communication strategies, challenges with LEP callers, and three-way communication with OPI services. Goodman-Kruskal Gamma and chi-square tests were conducted with OPI use as the dependent variable. Additional analyses were conducted using stress levels as the dependent variable.
Of 123 respondents, 69 (56.5%) 9-1-1 telecommunicators reported utilizing OPI services at least 75% of the time when receiving a call from an LEP caller. Further, 35 (28.7%) of these telecommunicators reported calls with LEP individuals as more stressful than calls with fluent English speakers. Dispatcher stress level during LEP calls compared with stress during calls with fluent English speakers was positively associated with use of OPI services (P < .01). Further, stress level was also positively associated with telecommunicator difficulties in assessing the situation with respect to officer safety (P < .01). Sixty-three (58.3%) of the telecommunicators described difficulties assessing the situation to determine the appropriate response as the biggest challenge with LEP callers. Additionally, 62 (53%) identified knowing their location in English as information LEP callers need to know prior to calling 9-1-1.
These results highlight intervention opportunities for both 9-1-1 telecommunicators and LEP communities. Together, interventions such as working with LEP communities to educate them on best communication practices during 9-1-1 calls, and with 9-1-1 telecommunicators to help them manage three-way communication and reduce stress associated with concern for officer safety may improve emergency communication during 9-1-1 calls.
CarrollLN, CalhounRE, SubidoCC, PainterIS, MeischkeHW. Serving Limited English Proficient Callers: A Survey of 9-1-1 Police Telecommunicators. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(3):1-6.
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