Research projects

Ongoing projects

At Miguel Torga Institute of Higher Education, research projects are transversal across different disciplinary areas and involve researchers from various backgrounds.

The following are the recent projects in order of their implementation.

Aging trajectories: Cognitive performance, emotional status, behavior patterns, and their longitudinal changes in Coimbra institutionalized older adults

The potential presence of cognitive changes in older people is important to detect before dementia sets to delay or even reverse these changes. It is also important to check if older people are suffering from neuropsychiatric symptoms that predict dementia, also for early intervention. Institutionalized older adults is a vulnerable population to cognitive decline and psychopathological symptoms, and therefore, we intend to identify those at risk, elucidating the correlates and risk factors of dementia progression. To this end, we are longitudinally evaluating institutionalized elderly in the municipality of Coimbra through a neuropsychological battery.]

Research team: Helena Espírito Santo (coordinator); Ana Galhardo; Carlos Amaral Dias; Fernanda Bento Daniel; Laura Susana Tavares Lemos; Mariana Vaz Pires Marques; Marina Cunha; Sónia Guadalupe Abreu; Sónia Simões.

Scientific production

Personal social networks of older people

Our main objective is to construct typologies of personal social networks of the elderly in Portugal. To accomplish this, we defined the following specific goals: 1) To map and access structural and functional social personal networks and social support; 2) To describe and compare social personal networks concerning relevant predisposing background and current characteristics of the elderly (e.g. female vs. male, young-old vs. old-old, rural vs. urban, with vs. without offspring, institutionalized vs. noninstitutionalized); 3) To analyze and correlate network dimensions with sociodemographic variables, professional and retirement trajectories, migration, support from secondary networks, perceived mental health and emotional dimensions (depression, loneliness, interpersonal relations satisfaction, resilient coping), perceived quality of life and autonomy, community participation, infoinclusion, trust, and values in social bonds; 4) To analyze and define typologies regarding to different methodological approaches and procedures; 5) ; To compare data cross-nationally.

Research team (CIIPSO-ISMT; CEPESE)

Sónia Guadalupe; Henrique Vicente; Fernanda Daniel; Inês Amaral.

Scientific production

The role of a group neuropsychological rehabilitation program in the cognitive and non-cognitive functioning of older adults in long-term care homes

Objectives: 1) Create a structured group cognitive rehabilitation program for older adults (GroCogRePro) with exercises that stimulate various cognitive functions; 2) Evaluate older adults with cognitive and emotional measures previously to the implementation of GroCogRePro; 3) Evaluate outcomes of GroCogRePro implementation, comparing randomized groups of older adults from different institutions.

Research team (CIIPSO-ISMT): Helena Amaral Espirito-Santo (coordinator); Carlos Amaral Dias; Fernanda Bento Daniel; Laura Susana Tavares Lemos; Mariana Vaz Pires Marques.

Scientific production

The role of emotional processes in the intra- and interpersonal functioning

We intend to study the role of some protective factors of intra- and interpersonal functioning, such as self-compassion, hope, spirituality, optimism, resilience, and mindfulness to mental health. We also want to understand the potential mediating role of these protective factors against the risk variables to psychopathology, such as dissociation, traumatic experiences, early maladaptive experiences, and interpersonal difficulties.

Research team: Helena Amaral Espírito Santo (coordenadora); Sónia Catarina Carvalho Simões; Mariana Vaz Pires Marques.

Scientific production

Construction of knowledge and professional practices

O objetivo do projeto visa discutir o significado dos estudos e investigações que muitos profissionais, assistentes sociais, psicólogos e gestores de recursos humanos, têm vindo a desenvolver no sentido de compreender a complexidade inerente a problemas com que se defrontam no quotidiano das suas práticas profissionais.

Research team: Esmeralda Macedo, Margarida Pocinho e Joana Sequeira.

Positive organizations

It is intended to study the contribution of some protective variables of intra and interpersonal functioning (such as self-compassion, psychological well-being, spiritual well-being, hope, optimism, resilience, and coping) for the creation of healthy work contexts, perceiving the existing associations with some organizational variables (e.g., organizational commitment, organizational virtuosity, occupational stress). In a more advanced phase of the project are also objectives: 1) implement an intervention program in the organizational context, aimed at employees who have higher levels of stress (application of mindfulness and coaching techniques), and 2) perceive the impact that the program has on the indicators of individual and organizational functioning.

Research team: Sónia Catarina Carvalho Simões, Mariana Vaz Pires Marques.

Produção Científica [Scientific production]