Department of Psychology
Dr. Noa Vilchinsky is the Director of the Psycho-Cardiology Research Lab, Department of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University. Dr. Vilchinsky is a certified rehabilitation psychologist, who has worked for many years with individuals and families coping with cardiac illnesses. She has completed her B.A. IN Tel Aviv University and her Master degree and PhD at Bar-Ilan University. Her main fields of research are psycho-cardiology, dyadic coping with chronic illness, illness-related PTSD, caregiving in challenging health situations, and the importance of being treated with dignity in the medical setting.
Our overall mission in the Psycho-Cardiology lab is to trace the individual and social differences that make the greatest contribution to patients' and caregivers' adjustment.
In the studies we conduct in our lab, we focus on the contribution of dyadic support transactions among cardiac patients and their partners to patients' psychological, behavioral, and physiological outcomes, in longitudinal and prospective studies. A few examples:
We have shown that support provided by the partners has a positive effect on cardiac patients’ psychological (depression); behavioral (smoking cessation, medication taking) and physiological (LDL blood levels) outcomes only insofar as the patients’ own perceptions of the support allow (Vilchinsky et al., 2010; Vilchinsky et al., 2011; George-Levi, Vilchinsky et al., 2016). Thus, we have been able to establish the necessity and importance of applying a dyadic perspective to the investigation of cardiac patients' psychological and physical health. Recently we initiated a prospective, longitudinal dyadic study in which we apply a novel methodology of daily diary assessments. In this way, we hope to be able to trace, on a daily basis, those caregiver support acts that predict changes in patients' health-promoting behaviors.
We are currently focusing on the subject of PTSD among cardiac patients and caregivers. We are currently collecting data with the aim of tracing how partners' support may moderate patients' CDI-PTSD, as well as the association between CDI-PTSD and health-promoting behaviors.