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Minerva Minerva


BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 07 July 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:E369

Patients with chronic breathing disorders tend to be quite anxious and are often depressed. In a cross sectional survey of over 1300 people 80% of them screened positive for depression, anxiety, or both (Chest 2005;127: 1205-11). The predictive value of a telephone screen test being positive was estimated to be 80%. What was more worrying in a population with such a high prevalence of anxiety and depression was the extent of untreated morbidity: just 31% were receiving help for their mental state.

Minerva wonders whether it's the technical challenge to surgeons or the advantage to patients that's fueling the minimally invasive trend in surgery. A study of minimal incision techniques for total hip replacement surgery found that a blinded mini-incision approach performed by highly experienced surgeons did not improve early postoperative outcomes, including length of stay in hospital, compared with the standard approach (Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery [Am] 2005;87: 701-10).

Charles Darwin experienced 40 years of intermittent vomiting, pain, headaches, lethargy, skin problems, and depression after returning from his voyage on the Beagle. Some 20 …

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