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Monitoring the prevalence and abundance of parasites over time is important for addressing their potential impact on host life histories, immunological profiles and their influence as a selective force. Only long-term ecological studies have the potential to shed light on both the temporal trends in infection prevalence and abundance and the drivers of such trends, because of their ability to dissect drivers that may be confounded over shorter time scales. Despite this, only a relatively small number of such studies exist. Here, we analysed changes in the prevalence and abundance of gastrointestinal parasites in the wild Soay sheep population of St. Kilda across 31 years. The host population density (PD) has increased across the study, and PD is known to increase parasite transmission, but we found that PD and year explained temporal variation in parasite prevalence and abundance independently. Prevalence of both strongyle nematodes and coccidian microparasites increased during the study, and this effect varied between lambs, yearlings and adults. Meanwhile, abundance of strongyles was more strongly linked to host PD than to temporal (yearly) dynamics, while abundance of coccidia showed a strong temporal trend without any influence of PD. Strikingly, coccidian abundance increased 3-fold across the course of the study in lambs, while increases in yearlings and adults were negligible. Our decades-long, intensive, individual-based study will enable the role of environmental change and selection pressures in driving these dynamics to be determined, potentially providing unparalleled insight into the drivers of temporal variation in parasite dynamics in the wild.
Paediatric cardiac services are poorly developed or totally absent in underdeveloped countries. Institutions, foundations and interested individuals in those nations in which sophisticated paediatric cardiac surgery is practised have the ability to alleviate this problem by sponsoring paediatric cardio-surgical missions to provide care, and train local caregivers in developing, transitional, and third world countries. The ultimate benefit of such a programme is to improve the surgical abilities of the host institution. The purpose of this report is to present the impact of our programme over a period of 14 years.
We specifically reviewed our database of patients from our missions, our team lists, surgical results, and the number and type of personnel trained in the institutions that we have assisted. In order for the institution to be entered into the study, the foundation had to provide at least 2 months of training. In addition, the institution had to respond to a simple questionnaire concerning the number and types of surgery performed at their facility before and after intervention by the foundation.
We made 140 trips to 27 institutions in 19 countries, with 12 of the visited institutions qualifying for inclusion. Of these, 9 institutions reported an increase in the number and complexity of cases currently being performed in their facility since the team intervened. This goal had not been accomplished in 3 institutions. The reasons for failure included the economic situation of the country, hospital and national politics, personality conflicts, and continued lack of hardware and disposables.
Paediatric cardiac service assistance can improve local services. A significant commitment is required by all parties involved.
Note by Iranian Studies: Journalism has the potential to make a reporter feel at least as important as the subject of his or her reports. The temptation can be even stronger in global journalism, with reporters from the affluent nations covering the traumas of the people in more problem-ridden parts of the world. By contrast, in Tom Fenton's account of Ayatollah Khomeini's funeral in 1989, a seasoned reporter goes beyond the apparently chaotic and frenzied action by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Iranians to see the historic significance of the event and the man.
Thomas Trail Fenton, born 1930 in Baltimore, Maryland, retired from CBS in 2004 after a thirty-four year career. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1952 and was an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1961, serving in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Fenton began his career in journalism at The Baltimore Sun, where he worked until 1970, reporting from Europe and the Middle East, including the June 1967 Israeli-Arab war and the May 1968 student protests in France, which earned Fenton an award from the Overseas Press Club.
Fenton joined CBS News as a correspondent in the Rome Bureau in 1970, followed by assignments to the bureaus in Tel Aviv, Paris, London and Moscow. He became Senior European Correspondent in 1979. He reported on the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971, the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, and the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus. After the fall of Mohammad Reza Shah in 1979, Fenton was the first western journalist to interview Ayatollah Khomeini. He later returned to Iran to report on the hostage crisis that had followed the occupation of the American Embassy in Tehran. During the 1990s, Fenton covered the break up of the Soviet Union, the wars in the Balkans, and the violence in the Middle East and Africa. After retiring, Fenton wrote Bad News: The Decline of Reporting, the Business of News, and the Danger to Us All in 2005.
We test the hypotheses that (a) cognitive therapy is of comparable efficacy to psychodynamic psychotherapy, (b) 8–10 sessions of therapy is as effective as 16–20 sessions, and (c) brief therapist training is as effective as intensive training.
Of 178 out-patients referred to a clinical trial of psychological treatment for generalised anxiety, 110 patients met DSM–III–R criteria for generalised anxiety disorder and were randomly assigned to three different forms of psychotherapy. The main comparison was between cognitive therapy and analytic psychotherapy, delivered by experienced therapists at weekly or fortnightly intervals over six months. A third treatment, anxiety management training, was delivered at fortnightly intervals by registrars in psychiatry after a brief period of training. Eighty patients completed treatment and were assessed before treatment, after treatment, and at six-month follow-up.
Cognitive therapy was significantly more effective than analytic psychotherapy, with about 50% of patients considerably better at follow-up. Analytic psychotherapy gave significant improvement but to a lesser degree than cognitive therapy. There was no significant effect for level of contact. Patients receiving anxiety management training showed similar improvements to cognitive therapy after treatment, with rather lower proportions showing clinically significant change.
Cognitive therapy is likely to be more effective than psychodynamic psychotherapy with chronically anxious patients. Significant improvements in symptoms can be achieved by trainee psychiatrists after only brief instruction in behaviourally based anxiety management. However, the superiority of cognitive therapy at follow-up suggests that the greater investment of resources required for this approach is likely to pay off in terms of more sustained improvement. There is no evidence that 16–20 sessions of treatment is more effective, on average, than 8–10 sessions.
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