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Publications (3)4.29 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Considerable evidence suggests that veterinary surgeons' mental health is often poorer than comparable populations and that the incidence of suicide is higher among veterinary surgeons than the general public. Veterinary students also appear to suffer from high levels of anxiety and stress, and may possess inadequate coping strategies when faced with adversity. Veterinary students may find it difficult to access central university support systems due to their heavy workload and geographical isolation on some veterinary campuses. A previous study of University of Edinburgh fourth-year veterinary students found that support services located several miles from the main veterinary campus was a barrier to students accessing counselling services. Consequently, a pilot project was initiated, which provided a counselling service at the University of Edinburgh's rural Easter Bush veterinary campus one afternoon a week during 2010. As part of the evaluation of this service, web-based questionnaires were delivered via e-mail to all veterinary staff and students towards the end of the 12-month pilot period to evaluate perceptions of barriers to student counselling and to investigate student-valued support services. Questionnaire responses were received from 35 per cent of veterinary students and 52 per cent of staff. Stigmatisation of being unable to cope was a potent inhibitor of seeking support within the veterinary environment, but counselling was perceived as valuable by the majority of staff and students. Provision of an on-site counselling service was considered important for increasing ease of access; however, students viewed friends and family as their most important support mechanism. Workload was cited as the main cause of veterinary student stress. The majority of staff and student respondents perceived veterinary students as having an increased need for counselling support compared with other students.
    The Veterinary record. 12/2011; 170(5):124.
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    ABSTRACT: Vitamin E and its derivatives, namely, the tocopherols, are known antioxidants, and numerous clinical trials have investigated their role in preventing cardiovascular disease; however, evidence to date remains inconclusive. Much of the in vitro research has focused on tocopherol's effects during low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation, with little attention being paid to very LDL (VLDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Also, it is now becoming apparent that γ-tocopherol may potentially be more beneficial in relation to cardiovascular health. Do α- and γ-tocopherols become incorporated into VLDL, LDL and HDL and influence their oxidation potential in an in vitro and ex vivo situation? Following (i) an in vitro investigation, where plasma was preincubated with increasing concentrations of either α- or γ-tocopherol and (ii) an in vivo 4-week placebo-controlled intervention with α- or γ-tocopherol. Tocopherol incorporation into VLDL, LDL and HDL was measured via high-pressure liquid chromatography, followed by an assessment of their oxidation potential by monitoring conjugated diene formation. In vitro: Both tocopherols became incorporated into VLDL, LDL and HDL, which protected VLDL and LDL against oxidation. However and surprisingly, the incorporation into HDL demonstrated pro-oxidant properties. Ex vivo: Both tocopherols were incorporated into all three lipoproteins, protecting VLDL and LDL against oxidation; however, they enhanced the oxidation of HDL. These results suggest that α- and γ-tocopherols display conflicting oxidant activities dependent on the lipoprotein being oxidized. Their pro-oxidant activity toward HDL may go some way to explain why supplementation studies with vitamin E have not been able to display cardioprotective effects.
    The Journal of nutritional biochemistry 06/2011; 23(7):845-51. · 4.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In an effort to increase suicide awareness skills among veterinary undergraduates, a three-hour suicide awareness workshop (safeTALK) was delivered to third-year Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies undergraduates as part of their professional development curriculum. Students were able to opt out of the session by contacting the course organisers. A total of 26 of 151 (17 per cent) third-year students attended the workshop, and 17 completed a feedback questionnaire. The vast majority of the students reported that after completing the workshop they were more likely or much more likely to recognise the signs of a person at risk of suicide, approach a person at risk of suicide, ask a person about suicide, and connect a person at risk of suicide with help. Five veterinary academics attended a two-day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) course, and all reported that the course was effective in improving suicide awareness and intervention skills.
    The Veterinary record. 11/2010; 167(19):730-4.