IFMA Preventive Health Management Inc.

Institute for Medical Advancement

New York, USA


Stress-Related Health Problems

"Prevention" means to "keep something from happening" and, in the health context, to keep medical symptoms from developing. No more than 10-15% of the general population show insufficient coping skills under chronic stress and may be at risk for stress-related health problems. Therefore, prevention has to target only a subgroup of the general public whose risk is significantly higher than the average. Our prevention strategy aims (1) to raise awareness of the risks associated with chronic stress; (2) to promote constructive lifestyles so that vulnerability to stress-related health problems is reduced while mechanisms that support health are strengthened; (3) to promote regular exercises which significantly reduce the risk for stress-related health problems.

Selective Preventive Intervention

Monitoring affective state is of major interest for everyone. Assessments provide fascinating insights into the dynamics of general health: (1) the complex interplay between vulnerability and resilience factors; (2) the extent to which the affective state influences physical health and well-being; (3) the extent to which physical activity contributes to general health by improving physical fitness and by strengthening the immune system.

Socio-Culturally Independent Factors

Monitoring affective state among subjects under chronic stress yields directly interpretable results in the sense of "biofeedback", thus enabling the early detection of stress-related health problems. A normative study of 2,517 freshman students from 6 different countries revealed socio-culturally independent risk factors.

«Depressive-Voice» App

Specifically, 2-minute speech recordings at daily intervals are used to assess the test persons' affective state over time. The «Depressive-Voice» App computes the variations around individual baselines in positive and negative direction. It is worth noting that short-term deviations from "normal" values in the range of 1-2 days are constituents of human life and do not require specific action [see our scientific article].

VoiceAppBanner download the «Depressive-Voice» App from Google Play Store VoiceAppBanner
Importance of health prevention: Antidepressant treatments have only modest response rates
Importance of health prevention: Antidepressant had only modest response rates among 2,673 patients under investigation: (1) a considerable number of patients (20.8%) did not show any sign of improvement throughout the entire treatment period but exhibited a refractory clinical picture which was resistant to all treatments; (2) patients displaying an early onset of improvement (71.8%) were at least 3 times more likely to become sustained responders than late improvers (28.2%); (3) patients displaying a late onset of improvement were at least 3 times more likely to become partial responders than early improvers.

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