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.

Affective State

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.

«Depressive-Voice» App

Daily 2-minute speech recordings are used to assess the test persons' affective state over time. Specifically, the «Depressive-Voice» App computes the variations around individual baselines in positive as well as negative direction. It is worth noting, however, that short-term deviations from "normal" values over 1-2 days are constituents of human life and do not require major attention.

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Socio-Culturally Independent Factors

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

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Relevance of depression prevention: Antidepressant treatments have only modest response rates
Relevance of depression prevention: Detailed analysis of 2,673 patients under antidepressants revealed modest response rates to treatment: (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) another significant proportion (25.3%) showed incomplete improvement; (3) no more than 53.9% of patients responded satisfactorily to treatment.

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