Sofia von Humboldt*a

Psychology, Community & Health, 2013, Vol. 2(3), doi:10.5964/pch.v2i3.82

Published (VoR): 25 November 2013.

*Corresponding author at: Research Unit in Psychology and Health, R&D, ISPA – Instituto Universitário. Rua Jardim do Tabaco, 34, 1149-041 Lisbon, Portugal. E-mail: sofia.humboldt@gmail.com

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

It is a major privilege to be chosen as Invited Editor of Psychology, Community & Health journal. As a scientist and psychologist, I am honored, as I value the responsibility of moving forward and concluding this edition, while maintaining the journal’s standards of excellence and novelty.

During my tenure as Invited Editor, I set the following priorities for our journal: (1) To develop the journal, encompassing rich multidisciplinary academic and professional backgrounds; (2) To critically review manuscripts by the editor and the reviewers; (3) To decrease the time of acceptance of a manuscript; and (4) To bring original science to our readers, by identifying manuscripts comprising innovative areas of research.

Psychology, Community & Health delivers a multidisciplinary outlook on both health psychology and community psychology and focuses on the scientific understanding of the relations among psychological factors, behaviour, health, disease and community.

Moreover, it informs a wide audience of professionals, dedicated to understanding the relevance of the health and the well-being of the individual, family, group or community. Its emphasis on research that is theoretically and methodologically thorough has made practice and research implications a key concern of all published articles. The diverse formats of the journal include methodological articles, original empirical articles presenting emergent and provocative research, literature reviews, book reviews, and conference abstracts.

Psychology, Community & Health has a number of relevant assets. Its articles cover a wide diversity of themes related to psychology, health and community research, the multidisciplinary background of its authors thoroughly reflects the scope of this journal, articles use qualitative and quantitative designs, the varied publication formats ease communication among professionals, and objective and timely peer review warrants that published manuscripts comprise quality and innovative information.

This being said, it is a pleasure to introduce the five articles of this issue, from which, three are original empirical articles and two are literature reviews.

Leal and her colleagues aimed at exploring if the presence of episiotomy interfered with the experience of female sexuality after childbirth and found that the overall sexual function after childbirth did not present significant differences when compared to the pregnancy period. Yet, an exception regarding the pain was found, which was significantly higher in the postpartum period (Leal, Lourenço, Oliveira, Carvalheira, & Maroco, 2013, this issue).

Furthermore, Alves and Pereira’s article directly addressed the adaptation to breast cancer and gynecological cancer in pre- and postoperative periods. These authors concluded that anxiety levels in women tend to decrease from pre- to postoperative period and they also noted that the general adaptation increased slightly while satisfaction with social support decreased (Alves & Pereira, 2013, this issue).

In the following empirical article of this issue, Patrão and Rita (2013, this issue) intended to present a program of family and multifamily intervention, with families and adolescents (who present behavior problems which do not fulfill diagnostic criteria for behavior disorder or oppositional defiant disorder), based on the results of a pilot intervention carried out in primary mental care. These authors clearly suggested that the interventions with adolescents and families, in combination, have shown therapeutic gains in their whole sample, particularly in terms of decreasing behavior problems at home and at school, cessation of pharmacological therapy and academic achievement. Thus, the program of family and multifamily intervention appeared as an effective helping approach, matching therapeutic results and profitability of resources.

The review of literature by Usher, Fox, Lafarge, and Mitchell (2013, this issue), which assessed the prevalence of psychological factors associated with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use by people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) suggested that the prevalence of CAM use ranged from 9% to 38%. CAM use was associated with psychosocial factors, including concerns about conventional medical care (i.e. the perceived harmful effects of medication, perception that conventional medicine had failed, and lack of satisfaction with conventional care) and anxiety. These authors also suggested that these psychological factors associated with CAM use could be targeted through psychologically oriented management strategies for those affected with IBS.

Finally, the second literature review included in this issue was conducted by Sanavio and colleagues, which described almost 30 years of work on psychological assessment, using Cognitive Behavioural Assessment. These authors briefly presented the most important tests which produced over 100 research works (Sanavio et al., 2013, this issue).

In brief, this issue is a valuable contribution to the research community. Considering that society is more diverse than ever and that numerous psychological dimensions arise in the context of health and community, this issue can serve multiple audiences beyond researchers, such as students, health caregivers, funders, and policy makers, that need further knowledge about how we can better prepare ourselves for addressing the needs of different individuals, groups and communities.

Publishing Psychology, Community & Health will continue to be a team work. Our editorial team convenes regularly, allowing us to support one another and to preserve consistent objectives and procedures throughout the manuscripts of this journal.

I invite you to help enrich the quality of Psychology, Community & Health, by submitting to it your best manuscripts and motivating your colleagues to do the same, by serving as a reviewer who delivers high-quality reviews expeditiously, and by offering groundbreaking ideas for the on-going improvement of our journal. Well-performed and described research that meets high standards of quality will continue to find a home in Psychology, Community & Health into the likely future.

I look forward to continue working with the members of the editorial team, to bring these thoughts to completion. I also look forward to hearing from Psychology, Community & Health readers and encourage those with original ideas for our journal to collaborate with us.

Acknowledgments [TOP]

I would like to thank Filipa Pimenta and Isabel Bittermann, for their generous reassuring support as we have worked together to warrant a smooth transition of the editorial duties during the present issue. Furthermore, I trusted the editorial team for guidance, concerning the aspects of the journal’s operations.