The goal of the present study was to further knowledge on gender and role (i.e. patient versus partner) differences in psychological distress and quality of life as a consequence of dealing with cancer. There is some evidence that being the patient or the caregiver makes more difference for men than for women. In total, 173 couples facing various forms of cancer (two samples) and a control group of 80 couples completed the CES‐D and Cantril's Ladder. Analyses of variance revealed that both female patients and female partners of patients perceived more psychological distress and a lower quality of life than women in healthy couples. In contrast, role did have an effect on men. Specifically, male patients scored as high on psychological distress and as low on quality of life as female patients and female partners, but psychological distress and quality of life did not differ between male partners of patients and their healthy controls. However, this effect was found in only one patient sample. The finding that female partners perceived more psychological distress and a lower quality of life than male partners could not be accounted for by differences in the physical condition of the patient or the partner.
This cross-sectional study assessed 3 ways of providing spousal support. Active engagement means involving the patient in discussions and using constructive problem-solving methods; protective buffering means hiding one's concerns; and overprotection refers to underestimation of the patient's capabilities, resulting in unnecessary help and excessive praise for accomplishments. Ratings of received spousal support by 68 patients with cancer revealed findings similar to those of partners' ratings of provided support. The positive association between active engagement and the patient's marital satisfaction was stronger for patients with a rather poor psychological and physical condition than for those with a rather good condition. Furthermore, protective buffering and overprotection were negatively associated with marital satisfaction only when patients experienced relatively high levels of psychological distress or physical limitations.
Objectives:This trial investigated whether probiotics improved mood, stress and anxiety in a sample selected for low mood. We also tested whether the presence or severity of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, and levels of proinflammatory cytokines, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and other blood markers, would predict or impact treatment response.Method:Seventy-nine participants (10 dropouts) not currently taking psychotropic medications with at least moderate scores on self-report mood measures were randomly allocated to receive either a probiotic preparation (containing Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum) or a matched placebo, in a double-blind trial for 8 weeks. Data were analysed as intent-to-treat.Results:No significant difference was found between the probiotic and placebo groups on any psychological outcome measure (Cohen’s d range = 0.07–0.16) or any blood-based biomarker. At end-point, 9 (23%) of those in the probiotic group showed a ⩾60% change on the Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (responders), compared to 10 (26%) of those in the placebo group (χ12=0.107, p = ns). Baseline vitamin D level was found to moderate treatment effect on several outcome measures. Dry mouth and sleep disruption were reported more frequently in the placebo group.Conclusions:This study found no evidence that the probiotic formulation is effective in treating low mood, or in moderating the levels of inflammatory and other biomarkers. The lack of observed effect on mood symptoms may be due to the severity, chronicity or treatment resistance of the sample; recruiting an antidepressant-naive sample experiencing mild, acute symptoms of low mood, may well yield a different result. Future studies taking a preventative approach or using probiotics as an adjuvant treatment may also be more effective. Vitamin D levels should be monitored in future studies in the area. The results of this trial are preliminary; future studies in the area should not be discouraged.
Remodeling of the extracellular matrix at the vitreoretinal interface by aging and fibrotic changes, plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of iERM. A better understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying this process may eventually lead to the development of effective and nonsurgical approaches to treat and prevent vitreoretinal fibrotic diseases.
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