Bente Berget and Bjarne Braastad of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Ås, working with Øivind Ekeberg of the University of Oslo, Norway, note that the benefits of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) for mental disorders using cats and dogs has been well studied. However, until now, there have been no controlled trials of farm animals in treating psychiatric disorders.
The use of farms in promoting human mental and physical health in cooperation with health authorities is increasing in Europe and the USA, particularly under the Green care banner. Historically, the approach was associated with hospitals, psychiatric departments and other health institutions but today, most Green care projects involve community gardens, city farms, allotment gardens and farms.
To assess the benefits of Green care, the researchers asked ninety patients (59 women and 31 men) with schizophrenia, affective disorders, anxiety, and personality disorders to complete self-assessment questionnaires on quality of life, coping ability and self-efficacy, before a 12-week period spending three hours twice a week working with the farm animals.
The before and after results showed that AAT with farm animals had some positive effect on self-efficacy, the ability to cope, of patients with long-lasting psychiatric symptoms, their quality of life. "During the six months follow-up period self-efficacy was significantly better in the treatment group, but not in the control group," the researchers say.
They add that, "Further controlled studies are needed for confirmation and to more accurately define the psychiatric population with the greatest potential to benefit."
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
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Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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