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 Centre on Behavioral Health, HKU
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Tel:  2831-5158

Fax: 2816-6710

Email: bhealth@hku.hk

Address: 

2/F., The Hong Kong Jockey Club Building for Interdisciplinary Research,

5 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.

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Area of research

Overview

Empirical research in advancing health promotion, psychosocial intervention and other holistic health practices is one of the core objectives of CBH. We have benefited immensely from its unique position within the highly research-oriented Faculty of Social Sciences. Continuous intellectual exchanges and multidisciplinary collaborations between departments have made possible our undertaking of various projects that focus on a wide array of contemporary health issues for addressing the challenges faced by the general population. As a result, CBH has made immense progress in becoming a Centre of excellence in empirical clinical research, intervention model development and scale development that can inform professional education programmes and behavioral interventions.

 

Research Initiatives & Strategy

CBH is well known for its innovative and multi-disciplinary approach to research. Over the past years, the Centre had successfully secured numerous grants and external peer-reviewed funding to conduct a wide range of empirical clinical research in the areas of holistic health practices, psychosocial clinical interventions, public health and mental health, post-traumatic growth, cancer survivorship, grief and bereavement, and Thanatology just to name a few. More recently, CBH have expanded in other health-related research areas and disciplines including, but not limited to, studies on life and death education, disaster management and social capacity building, syndrome of stagnation, expressive therapies for health promotion, qigong and chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic illness and quality of life, psychosocial morbidity of miscarriage and in vitro fertilization(IVF), antenatal and postpartum depression, transgenerational impact on child abuse, dignity at the end-of-life, etc. Such vast arrays of innovative and international collaborative research programmes which are funded either through External Peer-Reviewed Funding or University Seed Funding and are very much in line with the strategic research theme on Human Health and Development, particularly Healthy Aging and Public Health, indentified by the University as focused topics for development.

Development of Cultural Specific Therapeutic Models

By bridging Eastern and Western health philosophies and practices, the Centre has developed the Body-Mind-Spirit (BMS) psychosocial intervention model for health enhancement, illness prevention and treatment. The BMS model has also been modified to meet the specific needs of different clientele, such as individuals suffering from cancer, stroke, and systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE); persons facing interpersonal loss and bereavement; victims of natural disasters; couples with infertility problem; women facing sexual abuse and domestic violence; adults suffering from depression/stagnation; and human service professionals facing high work stress and burnt-out. Both outcome and process studies have been conducted on this model, generating strong and consistent evidence in supporting its efficacy. Furthermore, a large number of new research initiatives on psychosocial intervention research programmes using the BMS model, Chinese yangsheng philosophies and practices such as Acupuncture, Taichi and Qigong, as well as expressive therapies including in dance movement, art and play therapies have also been launched. In the forthcoming years, CBH will continue its efforts in developing other culturally relevant and integrative models of health practices and therapies that are more fitting to the Asian population.

Standardization of Therapeutic Techniques

With reference to traditional holistic health practices, especially those in line with traditional Chinese medicine and philosophy, a number of simple, effective mind/body therapeutic techniques have been developed and standardized. These techniques include acupressure, massage, meditation/mindfulness training, body work, self-affirmation, and use of traditional virtues, etc. These useful techniques make holistic, multi-modal intervention possible.

 

Establishment of Salivary Cortisol Laboratory

The Centre has established the first salivary cortisol laboratory in Asia which plays a pivotal role in a number of research projects that examine psycho-neuro-immunological outcome. In particular, the laboratory is now establishing the local data on Diurnal pattern of cortisol among Chinese adults in Hong Kong. The laboratory has also attracted local and international collaboration on psycho-physiological research in mind-body health and well-being, with world renowned partners such as Dr. David Spiegel at Stanford University, USA, and Prof. Phil Evan at the University of Westminster, UK.

 

 

Development and Psychometric Validation of Clinical Assessment Tools

Apart from intervention research on evaluation of various psychosocial intervention and process, the Centre places significant emphasis on psychometric research related to development and evaluation of various measurement tools in behavioral science. It is essential to have vigorous assessment tools with sound psychometric properties to make possible empirical and intervention research of a high standard. The Centre has developed a list of assessment scales for measurement of various constructs such as holistic health and stagnation in behavioral health domains. Apart from development of measurement scales on behavioral health constructs, our team has conducted extensive psychometric research on validation and evaluation of the psychometric properties of various existing measurement tools in the past decade, particularly in the past few years. The list of measurement scales in which the Centre has performed can be found here. These measurement scales are increasingly adopted by researchers in the Chinese context and cover a broad variety of constructs in the mental health and behavioral health fields from post-traumatic growth, emotional suppression, spiritual experience, work engagement, burnout, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance, fatigue, cancer coping, mental health stigma, and psychiatric symptoms.

List of measurement scales developed by the Centre

  1. . Body-Mind-Spirit Well-Being Inventory
      http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J010v41n01_03

  2.   Holistic Well-Being Scale   
      http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15313204.2014.932550

  3.   Stagnation Scale
      http://bjsw.oxfordjournals.org/content/36/3/467.full

  4.   Cancer Coherence Scale
      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.1134/abstract

  5.   Outpatient Department User Satisfaction Scale
      http://intqhc.oxfordjournals.org/content/18/4/275.full

     

List of measurement scales included in scale validation studies of the Centre:

  1. Post Traumatic Growth Inventory
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.758/abstract

  2. Courtauld Emotional Control Scale 
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.799/abstract

  3. National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire
    http://journals.lww.com/optvissci/Abstract/2008/11000/Psychometric_Properties_of_the_Chinese_Version_of.12.aspx

  4. Daily Spiritual Experience Scale
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12529-009-9045-5

  5. Stagnation Scale
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12529-011-9146-9

  6. Utrecht Work Engagement Scale
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12529-011-9173-6

  7. Copenhagen Burnout Inventory
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00223980.2013.781498

  8. Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11136-013-0429-2
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11136-013-0594-3

  9. Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index
    http://www.sleep-journal.com/article/S1389-9457%2814%2900069-0/abstract

  10. Brief Fatigue Inventory
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11136-014-0731-7Mini-Mental Adjustment to Cancer Scale
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00520-014-2367-0

  11. Stigma Scale
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010440X14002727

  12. Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11136-015-1105-5

  13. Chalder Fatigue Scale
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11136-015-0944-4

  14. Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010440X15001285

  15. Attribution Questionnaire
    https://academic.oup.com/swr/article-abstract/42/4/302/5113228

  16. Fuld Object Memory Evaluation
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13607863.2018.1442414

  17. Five Facet Mindfulness Quesionnaire (Forthcoming)

  18. Self-Compassion Scale (Forthcoming)

 

Nurturing of Research Staffs and Post-Graduate Students

CBH has established its reputation as a world-class clinical research Centre in psychosocial and holistic interventions. Many of its RPG graduates have become Full or Associate Professors and Heads of Departments in various universities all over the world. CBH will continue this tradition in providing the highest standards of faculty and facility to train and house a sizeable number of post graduate students at both the Masters and Doctorate levels.