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Prospective psychologists, art therapists, supervisors, public health specialists and others are participating in the Vertically Integrated Project (VIP) Psychological Help and Self-Help that is being implemented by the Department of Health Psychology and Paedagogy of Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU). The participants are developing course papers, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral theses, writing project applications, scientific and popular science articles, conference abstracts, as well as collaborating with colleagues from the Art Academy of Latvia. Students are working on creating a digital tool, a mobile app, and are continuing to work on a music-based assessment tool for cognitive abilities, gross motor skills, coordination etc.

101 students from RSU, Daugavpils University and the Art Academy of Latvia participated in the VIP in the spring and autumn semesters of 2021. The students’ reports on their achievements gave a picture of the very diverse results they had achieved as well as how inspired and satisfied they were with the project.

The students are working in teams on the following seven topics:

  • measurements of professional practice and activity, and self-help in professional activity,
  • resilience and health behaviour,
  • healthy mental ageing,
  • development and approbation of a music-based assessment tool,
  • professional identity and competence,
  • emotion regulation,
  • development of a social capital research tool,
  • psychological aspects of Latvian population during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each group is led by a doctoral student or a lecturer.


An opportunity to learn from one another

‘In the project, bachelor’s, master's and doctoral students improve their knowledge and gain experience in collecting, processing and interpreting data, as well as in preparing and presenting results. They also learn how to submit abstracts to conferences, and participate in writing for scientific publications,’

explains Professor Kristīne Mārtinsone who is the head of the project. She emphasises that teamwork is what they benefit from the most, as students from different levels, study programmes and universities work together in an interdisciplinary framework to address specific research topics.

Students develop articles and final papers on current topics

More than ten articles have been published or are being prepared for publication so far, including on: mystical experiences; self-help in different groups of professionals; digital competence and its development; remote psychological assistance and counselling, etc. 

23 master's theses are being developed on the following topics in cooperation with doctoral students: professional identity of an art therapist during the COVID-19 pandemic; effectiveness of psycho-educational programme in relation to the attitude to ageing and wellbeing of older adults; psychological persistence and denial of illness as determinants of health behaviour in chronically ill patients in primary care; approbation of a 3D emotion composition method; relationship between sleep hygiene, cognitive reserves, and false memories in different age groups; a music-based assessment tool, etc.

Four bachelor's theses are being developed on the following topics: relationship between psychological resilience and health behaviour in patients with chronic pain; relationship between psychological resilience and perceived social support in patients with diabetes; adaptation of cognitive flexibility scale in Latvia and the multidimensional social capital assessment scale.


Digital tool, mobile app and glossary of research terms

The RSU Pētniecības terminu skiadrojošās vārdnīca (Glossary of Research Terms) project has been completed. The glossary summarises explanations of main research terms and covers the fields of social sciences, healthcare, and educational sciences. The terms correspond to the content of the book Zinātniskās darbības metodoloģija: Starpdisciplināra perspektīva (Scientific Methodology: Interdisciplinary Approach, 2021) published by RSU.

Work continues on developing the digital tool 3D Emotion Composition in Supervision. A prototype is currently being developed and programming is underway. It has been awarded the RSU Student Research and Innovation Grant.

A prototype of the mobile app EMORI has been developed in cooperation with the Latvian Academy of Arts. It will start being programmed in February 2022. The app will serve as a tool to regulate emotions and develop emotion regulation literacy. The EMORI grant application has been prepared and submitted to the “Kurzeme Innovation Grants for students”.

RSU Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) are an opportunity for students to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for research, in an in-depth and practical way, as well as to disseminate research results. Since the autumn semester of 2019, there are six VIP teams working at RSU that carry out various research and activities. Read more

Vertically integrated projects are implemented within the framework of the project co-financed by the ESF “Improvement of the management process and study content modernisation at Rīga Stradiņš University” (No.