Health is of utmost importance for every human being throughout lifespan. Even though we tend to mostly notice our health status only after problems arise, the foundations of a healthy life are already set at a very young age when we are still vivid and healthy. Considering biological, psychological and social factors, we can understand the process of health and illness across development.
To maintain or promote mental and physical health, different approaches to prevention and treatment are necessary not only for the individual, but also needed at the community level. Projects in primary prevention try to promote mental and physical health and recognize health problems at an early stage in life. As an example, our DONUT-Project investigated early knowledge of risk factors facilitating overweight and thus yielding recommendations for nutrition, physical activity, media consumption and body satisfaction for communities.
In secondary prevention, people with a higher health risk are supported. This approach is more selective and targets specific groups, as can be seen in our project Voices of (grown-up) children of mentally ill parents. Children of mentally ill parents do not only have a higher genetic health risk but are often also affected by neglect, maltreatment, social disadvantage or behavioral and emotional problems. This project tries to develop ideas to support the persons concerned while finding out about resilience factors that can be effective in reducing developmental health risks.
Tertiary prevention concentrates on already existing health problems. The increasing number of older population groups, the higher life expectancy and the growing morbidity requires possibilities to offer older people, regardless of their impairments and losses, a self-determined and self-sufficient lifestyle. Those questions have been taken into consideration in our project geri-AKTIV in which we develop prevention and intervention approaches from different perspectives (home residents, nursing staff, relatives). We try to define symptoms and problem areas and motivate clients towards self-contained coping.
DONUT – Overweight prevention with children at preschool age
Overweight and obesity has been increasing in adults, as well as in children and adolescents worldwide. Factors for the infantile BMI ranging from weight status of the parents, familiar nutrition and physical activity habits to socio-economic background. Current studies also discuss attachment safety and body satisfaction. The goal of the project is to analyze biological, psychological and social risk factors for emergence of overweight and obesity. Apart from the interest in basic science, the results should help towards developing and piloting prevention measures on a behavioral level as an embedded intervention in kindergarten, thus contributing to improve and maintain health of the youngest. Results equally could be used to inform and educate, therefore providing an essential step to improve the obesity problems in society as a whole.
geri-AKTIV focuses on nursing homes as a living and working place. It links psychological and therapeutical practice with application-oriented research activity. We aim at developing concepts and interventions enabling activity and self-determination in older people whilst incorporating the duties and responsibilities and problem areas of relatives and nursing staff.
GER-N: Geriatric aftercare
Within this project we develop and pilot outpatient aftercare for older, multimorbid individuals and their relatives. This aftercare provides an interdisciplinary team for patients and relatives after hospitalization and providing help and advice in the areas of medicine and care, as well as psychological and psychotherapeutic interventions tailored individually to the needs of patients and their relatives.
50+: Attractive, active, ageless?!
The female beauty ideal has – for many centuries – been linked to youth and reproductive abilities. The increasing life expectancy did not change this attitude. On the contrary, modern media and society exhibit ideal images and body norms of attractive, dynamic and independent people, who dive into their post-50 life full of vigor. Those ideals are impossible to reach for many, still they are being used as an anchor to compare oneself with others.
The fact that women tend to be perceived as older and vanish from public life earlier than men increases the pressure to compensate for decline and modify one’s body. The health industry, which targets women and – less intensely – men with nutrition trends, plastic surgery and anti-aging products, has been booming since the 1990s suggesting that physical aging can be mastered. Our project investigates which mental and physical challenges are linked to aging and how far a good mental adaptability as well as concepts of value orientation and acceptance are important.
Voices of (grown-up) children mental ill parents
What does it mean to grow up with mentally ill parents? How does it feel to take responsibility at an (too) early age? How do you cope with holding back needs, going through difficult situations by yourself and living a responsible life from early years on? Adult children of mentally ill parents report on their problems during childhood and adolescence, determining what helped them to ensure a certain stability and therefore saving their life. They were also asked to reflect on how to use their former resolution strategies for their current lives and crises. Participants were instructed to look out for the resilience factors that were helpful in the past, to describe them and use them in a constructive way, while we emphasized the subjective view of the people affected rather than the clinical diagnosis or expert perspectives.
Frate, N., Jenull, B., Birnbacher, R. (2019). Like father, like son. Physical Activity, Dietary Intake, and Media Consumption in Pre-School-Aged Children. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(3), 306. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030306
Jenull, B. & Bostjancic, G. (2019). Resilienz und Demenz. In: E. Mir, D. Gebhard (Hrsg.). Gesundheitsförderung und Prävention für Menschen mit Demenz (S. 155-168). Berlin: Springer.
Jenull, B. & Frate, N. (2018). Wie schaffen wir den Spagat zwischen Pflege und Erwerbsarbeit? Eine Studie zur Vereinbarkeit von Pflege und Erwerbsarbeit an der Alpen-Adria-Universität. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 52, 761-766. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00391-018-01485-0
Frate, N., Jenull, B. & Foran, H. (2018). Overweight and Obesity in Early Childhood A Systematic Review of Individual, Family, and Peer Risk Factors. Advances in Pediatric Research, 5:5. doi:10.12715/apr.2018.5.5
Jenull, B. & Frate, N. (2017). Die vielfältigen Gesichter der Gewalt an alten Menschen. In: G. Pinter, R. Likar, O. Kada, H. Janig, W. Schippinger, K. Cernic (Hrsg.). Der ältere Patient im klinischen Alltag (S. 195-208). Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.
Richtig, E., Trapp, E. M., Kapfhammer, H. P., Jenull, B., Linder, M. D., Richtig, G. & Trapp M. (2016). The Importance of Biopsychosocial Approach in Melanoma Research. Acta Dermato Venereologica, 96(217), 51-54. doi: 10.2340/00015555-2426.
Jenull, B., Frate, N. & Birnbacher, R. (2016). Kindliches Ernährungs- und Freizeitverhalten. Pädiatrische Praxis, 85, 1-11.
Jenull, B., Frate, N., Trannacher, M. & Aydin, N. (2015). “He Wanted to Talk and I Gave Him a Shower:” A Qualitative Interview Study in Three Nursing Homes in Carinthia (Austria) about Violent Behaviour in Elderly Care and Its Causes. The International Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, 3(6), 175-182.
Frate, N. & Jenull, B. (2015). Can We Manage a Balance between Care and Employment? —The Compatibility of Informal Care and Employment at the Alpen-Adria University. Advances in Applied Sociology, 5, 207-217. doi: 10.4236/aasoci.2015.57020
Jenull, B. & Salem, I. (2015). Body Satisfaction among Preschool-age Children in Carinthia (Austria). European Scientific Journal, 2, 152-162.
Jenull, B. & Trapp, E. M. (2015). Adipositas im Kindesalter – Ein biopsychosozialer Ansatz. Psychotherapeut, 60(4), 337-350.
Grillitsch, A. & Jenull, B. (2015). 50+ und der Traum vom jugendlichen Aussehen. Journal für Psychologie, 23(1), 44-79.
Jenull, B. (2014). Biopsychosoziale Gerontologie – Theoretischer Hintergrund zum Forschungsprojekt „geri-AKTIV“. Psychologische Medizin, 2, 35-39.
Renner, W., Jenull, B. & Strasser, I. (2014). What will I be like at eighty? How human values contribute to expected real and ideal self-images in old age in a Germanic/Austrian cultural context. Advances in Aging Research, 3(1), 35-42. doi: 10.4236/aar.2014.31007
Gaugeler, R., Jenull, B., Renner, W. & Salem, I. (2013). Wird Depression im Alter ausreichend erkannt und behandelt? Psychologische Medizin, 3, 4-9.
Wiedermann, W., Jenull, B. & Pinter, G. (2013). Identifikation und subjektive Wahrnehmung von Beeinträchtigungsmustern bei ehemaligen geriatrischen Patienten. In G. Pinter et al. (Hrsg.), Geriatrische Notfallversorgung (S. 119-127). Wien: Springer.
Jenull, B., Salem, I. & Mir, E. (2013). The Care Situation, Stigmatization and Requirements of People with Mental Health Problems in Rural Areas. Journal of Advances in Applied Sociology, 4(2), 268-273. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/aasoci.2012.24035
Jenull, B. & Wiedermann, W. (2013). The Different Facets of Work Stress: A Latent Profile Analysis of Nurses’ Work Demands. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 34(7), 823-843. doi: 10.1177/0733464813495472