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The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of meaning-centered group psychotherapy for cancer survivors (MCGP-CS) to improve personal meaning, compared with supportive group psychotherapy (SGP) and care as usual (CAU).
A total of 170 cancer survivors were randomly assigned to one of the three study arms: MCGP-CS (n = 57); SGP (n = 56); CAU (n = 57). The primary outcome measure was the Personal Meaning Profile (PMP; total score). Secondary outcome measures were subscales of the PMP, psychological well-being (Scales of Psychological Well-being; SPWB), post-traumatic growth (Posttraumatic Growth Inventory), Mental Adjustment to Cancer (MAC), optimism (Life Orientation Test-Revised), hopelessness (Beck's Hopelessness Scale), psychological distress (anxiety and depression, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; HADS) and quality of life (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire; EORTC QLQ-C30). Outcome measures were assessed before randomization, post-intervention, and after 3 and 6 months of follow-up (FU).
Linear mixed model analyses (intention-to-treat) showed significant differences between MCGP-CS, SGP and CAU on the total PMP score, and on (sub)scales of the PMP, SPWB, MAC and HADS. Post-hoc analyses showed significantly stronger treatment effects of MCGP-CS compared with CAU on personal meaning (d = 0.81), goal-orientedness (d = 1.07), positive relations (d = 0.59), purpose in life (d = 0.69); fighting spirit (d = 0.61) (post-intervention) and helpless/hopeless (d = −0.87) (3 months FU); and distress (d = −0.6) and depression (d = −0.38) (6 months FU). Significantly stronger effects of MCGP-CS compared with SGP were found on personal growth (d = 0.57) (3 months FU) and environmental mastery (d = 0.66) (6 months FU).
MCGP-CS is an effective intervention for cancer survivors to improve personal meaning, psychological well-being and mental adjustment to cancer in the short term, and to reduce psychological distress in the long run.
Commission 21 was one of the oldest and smallest in the IAU yet one which underwent the most evolution since its inception. It began in 1955 as Light of the Night Sky (Lumière du Ciel Nocturne) under the Presidentship of Jean Dufay (University Observatory at Lyon). As the name suggested, in the years before space observations, its focus was on observations of atmospheric light which, at the time, was the domain of astronomers. Thus the early proceedings of the Commission were dominated by reports of the daytime and nighttime emission as observed from different locations and different conditions. Our knowledge of the Earth's atmosphere is still shaped by these early observations (Meier R.R., 1991, Space Sci. Rev. 58, 1). Members of Commission 21 were key to organizing interational collaborations to set up atmospheric stations at different latitudes, including in the Souther hemisphere and in ensuring a consistent calibration between the instruments. The Commission also bought in results from Soviet scientists in an era where communication was limited by both politics and language.
A conspicuous part of the parasite fauna of marine fish are ectoparasites, which attach mainly to the fins or gills. The abundant copepods have received much interest due to their negative effects on hosts. However, for many localities the copepod fauna of fish is still poorly known, and we know little about their temporal stability as long-term observations are largely absent. Our study provides the first inventory of ectoparasitic copepods on fish from the western Wadden Sea (North Sea) based on field data from 1968 and 2010 and additional unpublished notes. In total, 47 copepod parasite species have been recorded on 52 fish host species to date. For two copepod species parasitizing the European flounder (Platichthys flesus), a quantitative comparison of infection levels between 1968 and 2010 was possible. Whereas Acanthochondria cornuta did not show a change in the relationship between host size and infection levels, Lepeophtheirus pectoralis shifted towards the infection of smaller hosts, with higher infection levels in 2010 compared to 1968. These differences probably reflect the biology of the species and the observed decrease in abundance and size of flounders during the last decades. The skin-infecting L. pectoralis can probably compensate for dwindling host abundance by infecting smaller fish and increasing its abundance per given host size. In contrast, the gill cavity inhabiting A. cornuta probably faces a spatial constraint (fixed number of gill arches), thus limiting its abundance and setting a minimum for the host size necessary for infections.