Measurement of Specific Medical School Stress: Translation of the “Perceived Medical School Stress Instrument” to the German Language.

Measurement of specific medical school stress: translation of the “Perceived Medical School Stress Instrument” to the German language.

GMS Z Med Ausbild. 2013; 30(2): Doc22
Kötter T, Voltmer E

Objective: Medical students encounter specific stressors during their studies. As a result, they develop anxiety, depression and burnout symptoms more frequently than their similarly aged, but employed counterparts. In 1984, Vitaliano et al. published a 13-item instrument for the measurement of stress specific to medical school: the “Perceived Medical School Stress Instrument” (PMSS). Since then, it has been widely applied and validated in English-speaking countries. No German version of the PMSS exists to date. Thus, our aim was to translate the instrument into the German language in order to be able to measure medical school stress in German-speaking countries. Method: The items of the PMSS were translated into German by three separate researchers. The resulting translations were compared and combined with each other to establish a first German version of each item in the PMSS. These items were then translated back into English by two native English speakers to validate the correct primary translation. Based on a revised German version, a cognitive debriefing with 19 German medical students and a theoretical testing on 169 German medical students, the final German translations for each of the 13 items were determined. Results: The PMSS was easily translated into German and there was a high congruency between the primary translations into German and the secondary translations back into English. Incongruities between the translations were solved quickly. The assessment of the German equivalent of the PMSS showed good results regarding its reliability (Cronbach’s Alpha 0.81). Conclusion: A German version of the PMSS is now available for measuring the medical school related stress in German-speaking countries. HubMed – depression


Enhanced antidepressant-like effects of electroacupuncture combined with citalopram in a rat model of depression.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 107380
Yang J, Pei Y, Pan YL, Jia J, Shi C, Yu Y, Deng JH, Li B, Gong XL, Wang X, Wang XM, Ma X

Currently, antidepressants are the dominative treatment for depression, but they have limitations in efficacy and may even produce troublesome side effects. Electroacupuncture (EA) has been reported to have therapeutic benefits in the treatment of depressive disorders. The present study was conducted to determine whether EA could enhance the antidepressant efficacy of a low dose of citalopram (an SSRI antidepressant) in the chronic unpredictable stress-induced depression model rats. Here, we show that a combined treatment with 2?Hz EA and 5?mg/kg citalopram for three weeks induces a significant improvement in depressive-like symptoms as detected by sucrose preference test, open field test, and forced swimming test, whereas these effects were not observed with either of the treatments alone. Further investigations revealed that 2?Hz EA plus 5?mg/kg citalopram produced a remarkably increased expression of BDNF and its receptor TrkB in the hippocampus compared with those measured in the vehicle group. Our findings suggest that EA combined with a low dose of citalopram could produce greater therapeutic effects, thereby, predictive of a reduction in drug side effects. HubMed – depression


Prevalence and Characteristics of Abuse Experiences and Depression Symptoms among Injection Drug-Using Female Sex Workers in Mexico.

J Environ Public Health. 2013; 2013: 631479
Ulibarri MD, Hiller SP, Lozada R, Rangel MG, Stockman JK, Silverman JG, Ojeda VD

This mixed methods study examined the prevalence and characteristics of physical and sexual abuse and depression symptoms among 624 injection drug-using female sex workers (FSW-IDUs) in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico; a subset of 47 from Tijuana also underwent qualitative interviews. Linear regressions identified correlates of current depression symptoms. In the interviews, FSW-IDUs identified drug use as a method of coping with the trauma they experienced from abuse that occurred before and after age 18 and during the course of sex work. In a multivariate linear regression model, two factors-ever experiencing forced sex and forced sex in the context of sex work-were significantly associated with higher levels of depression symptoms. Our findings suggest the need for integrated mental health and drug abuse services for FSW-IDUs addressing history of trauma as well as for further research on violence revictimization in the context of sex work in Mexico. HubMed – depression


The potential role for acupuncture in treating symptoms in patients with lung cancer: an observational longitudinal study.

Curr Oncol. 2013 Jun; 20(3): 152-7
Kasymjanova G, Grossman M, Tran T, Jagoe RT, Cohen V, Pepe C, Small D, Agulnik J

Most lung cancer patients experience multiple symptoms related either to the disease or its treatment. The commonly reported symptoms are pain, depression, anxiety, nausea, and poor well-being. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of acupuncture as a potential treatment modality in symptomatic lung cancer patients.This prospective observational study enrolled 33 lung cancer patients from the Peter Brojde Lung Cancer Centre between August 2010 and May 2012. All patients received 45-minute sessions of acupuncture, 1-2 times weekly for a minimum of 4 sessions. Symptom severity was assessed using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (esas) before and after completion of acupuncture.The study cohort included 30 patients with non-small- cell lung cancer and 3 with small-cell lung cancer. Mean age was 62 years (range: 36-88 years); 17 of the patients were women. Most of the patients had advanced-stage cancer (73%) and good performance status (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group 0-1: 88%). Of these patients, 67% received anticancer treatment (chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or both) with acupuncture. Of the remaining 10 patients, 8 received acupuncture after a complete surgical resection of their tumour, and because of their advanced age, 2 received acupuncture and best supportive care. The median number of acupuncture sessions was 7 (interquartile range: 4-13 sessions). Statistically significant improvements in pain, appetite, nausea, nervousness, and well-being were observed. A clinically important improvement (2 points on the esas) was reported by 61% of patients for pain and by 33% for well-being. A significant positive correlation between improved well-being and the number of acupuncture sessions was observed. This correlation remained significant even after controlling for treatment and narcotic use. Receiver operating characteristic analysis demonstrated that a minimum of 6 acupuncture sessions are required for a 70% chance of a clinically important improvement in well-being.The present study is the first to demonstrate that acupuncture may be an effective approach for improving symptoms-in particular, pain and well-being-in lung cancer patients. Acupuncture is a safe and minimally invasive procedure, and it is potentially useful even in patients undergoing anticancer treatment. HubMed – depression