Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 21

Search results for: Allison Glaser

21 Being a Lay Partner in Jesuit Higher Education in the Philippines: A Grounded Theory Application

Authors: Janet B. Badong-Badilla


In Jesuit universities, laypersons, who come from the same or different faith backgrounds or traditions, are considered as collaborators in mission. The Jesuits themselves support the contributions of the lay partners in realizing the mission of the Society of Jesus and recognize the important role that they play in education. This study aims to investigate and generate particular notions and understandings of lived experiences of being a lay partner in Jesuit universities in the Philippines, particularly those involved in higher education. Using the qualitative approach as introduced by grounded theorist Barney Glaser, the lay partners’ concept of being a partner, as lived in higher education, is generated systematically from the data collected in the field primarily through in-depth interviews, field notes and observations. Glaser’s constant comparative method of analysis of data is used going through the phases of open coding, theoretical coding, and selective coding from memoing to theoretical sampling to sorting and then writing. In this study, Glaser’s grounded theory as a methodology will provide a substantial insight into and articulation of the layperson’s actual experience of being a partner of the Jesuits in education. Such articulation provides a phenomenological approach or framework to an understanding of the meaning and core characteristics of Jesuit-Lay partnership in Jesuit educational institution of higher learning in the country. This study is expected to provide a framework or model for lay partnership in academic institutions that have the same practice of having lay partners in mission.

Keywords: grounded theory, Jesuit mission in higher education, lay partner, lived experience

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20 Clinical and Microbiologic Efficacy and Safety of Imipenem Cilastatin Relebactam in Complicated Infections: A Meta-analysis

Authors: Syeda Sahra, Abdullah Jahangir, Rachelle Hamadi, Ahmad Jahangir, Allison Glaser


Background: Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise. The use of redundant and inappropriate antibiotics is contributing to recurrent infections and resistance. Newer antibiotics with more robust coverage for gram-negative bacteria are in great demand for complicated urinary tract infections (cUTIs), complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAIs), hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia (H.A.B.P.), and ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia (V.A.B.P.). Objective: We performed this meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy and safety profile of a new antibiotic, Imipenem/cilastatin/relebactam, compared to other broad-spectrum antibiotics for complicated infections. Search Strategy: We conducted a systemic review search on PubMed, Embase, and Central Cochrane Registry. Selection Criteria: We included randomized clinical trials (R.C.T.s) with the standard of care as comparator arm with Imipenem/cilastatin/relebactam as intervention arm. Analysis: For continuous variables, the mean difference was used. For discrete variables, we used the odds ratio. For effect sizes, we used a confidence interval of 95%. A p-value of less than 0.05 was used for statistical significance. Analysis was done using a random-effects model irrespective of heterogeneity. Heterogeneity was evaluated using the I2 statistic. Results: The authors observed similar efficacy at clinical and microbiologic response levels on early follow-up and late follow-up compared to the established standard of care. The incidence of drug-related adverse events, serious adverse events, and drug discontinuation due to adverse events were comparable across both groups. Conclusion: Imipenem/cilastatin/relebactam has a non-inferior safety and efficacy profile compared to peer antibiotics to treat severe bacterial infections (cUTIs, cIAIs, H.A.B.P., V.A.B.P.).

Keywords: bacterial pneumonia, complicated intra-abdominal infections, complicated urinary tract infection, Imipenem, cilastatin, relebactam

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19 Boundary Motion by Curvature: Accessible Modeling of Oil Spill Evaporation/Dissipation

Authors: Gary Miller, Andriy Didenko, David Allison


The boundary of a region in the plane shrinks according to its curvature. A simple algorithm based upon this motion by curvature performed by a spreadsheet simulates the evaporation/dissipation behavior of oil spill boundaries.

Keywords: mathematical modeling, oil, evaporation, dissipation, boundary

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18 Designing and Enacting an Adjunct Faculty Self-Study of Teaching Community

Authors: Anastasia P. Samaras, Allison Ward-Parsons, Beth Dalbec, Paula Cristina Azevedo, Anya Evmenova, Arvinder Johri, Lynne Scott Constantine, Lesley Smith


Two cycles of qualitative data were collected. Cycle One sources included participant survey results, participant postings on Blackboard forums, facilitator memos, and meeting notes as well as reflections and notes from whole-group meetings.

Keywords: adjunct faculty, professional development, self-study methodology, teaching

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17 Living the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM) Educational Mission: A Grounded Theory Approach

Authors: Violeta Juanico


While there was a statement made by the RVM Education Ministry Commission that its strength is its Ignacian identity, shaped by the Ignacian spirituality that permeates the school community leading to a more defined RVM school culture, there has been no empirical study made in terms of a clear and convincing conceptual framework on how the RVM Educational mission is lived in the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM) learning institutions to the best of author’s knowledge. This dissertation is an attempt to come up with a substantive theory that supports and explains the stakeholders’ experiences with the RVM educational mission in the Philippines. Participants that represent the different stakeholders ranging from students to administrators were interviewed. The expressions and thoughts of the participants were initially coded and analyzed using the Barney Glaser’s original grounded theory methodology to find out how the RVM mission is lived in the field of education.

Keywords: catholic education, grounded theory, lived experience, RVM educational mission

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16 A Grounded Theory on Marist Spirituality/Charism from the Perspective of the Lay Marists in the Philippines

Authors: Nino M. Pizarro


To the author’s knowledge, despite the written documents about Marist spirituality/charism, nothing has been done concerning a clear theoretical framework that highlights Marist spirituality/charism from the perspective or lived experience of the lay Marists of St. Marcellin Champagnat. The participants of the study are the lay Marist - educators who are from Marist Schools in the Philippines. Since the study would like to find out the respondents’ own concepts and meanings about Marist spirituality/charism, qualitative methodology is considered the approach to be used in the study. In particular, the study will use the qualitative methods of Barney Glaser. The theory will be generated systematically from data collection, coding and analyzing through memoing, theoretical sampling, sorting and writing and using the constant comparative method. The data collection method that will be employed in this grounded theory research is the in-depth interview that is semi-structured and participant driven. Data collection will be done through snowball sampling that is purposive. The study is considering to come up with a theoretical framework that will help the lay Marists to deepen their understanding of the Marist spirituality/charism and their vocation as lay partners of the Marist Brothers of the Schools.

Keywords: grounded theory, Lay Marists, lived experience, Marist spirituality/charism

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15 A Qualitative Study on Metacognitive Patterns among High and Low Performance Problem Based on Learning Groups

Authors: Zuhairah Abdul Hadi, Mohd Nazir bin Md. Zabit, Zuriadah Ismail


Metacognitive has been empirically evidenced to be one important element influencing learning outcomes. Expert learners engage in metacognition by monitoring and controlling their thinking, and listing, considering and selecting the best strategies to achieve desired goals. Studies also found that good critical thinkers engage in more metacognition and people tend to activate more metacognition when solving complex problems. This study extends past studies by performing a qualitative analysis to understand metacognitive patterns among two high and two low performing groups by carefully examining video and audio records taken during Problem-based learning activities. High performing groups are groups with majority members scored well in Watson Glaser II Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA II) and academic achievement tests. Low performing groups are groups with majority members fail to perform in the two tests. Audio records are transcribed and analyzed using schemas adopted from past studies. Metacognitive statements are analyzed using three stages model and patterns of metacognitive are described by contexts, components, and levels for each high and low performing groups.

Keywords: academic achievement, critical thinking, metacognitive, problem-based learning

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14 The Study of the Mutual Effect of Genotype in Environment by Percent of Oil Criterion in Sunflower

Authors: Seyed Mohammad Nasir Mousavi, Pasha Hejazi, Maryam Ebrahimian Dehkordi


In order to study the Mutual effect of genotype × environment for the percent of oil index in sunflower items, an experiment was accomplished in form of complete random block designs in four iteration in four diverse researching station comprising Esfahan, Birjand, Sari, and Karaj. Complex variance analysis showed that there is an important diversity between the items under investigation. The results pertaining the coefficient variation of items Azargol and Vidoc has respectively allocated the minimum coefficient of variations. According to the results extrapolated from Shokla stability variance, the Items Brocar, Allison and Fabiola, are among the stable genotypes for oil percent respectively. in the biplot GGE, the location under investigations divided in two super-environment, first one comprised of locations naming Esfahan, Karaj, and Birjand, and second one were such a location as Sari. By this point of view, in the first super-environment, the Item Fabiola and in the second Almanzor item was among the best items and crops.

Keywords: sunflower, stability, GGE bipilot, super-environment

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13 Synthetic Access to Complex Metal Carbonates and Hydroxycarbonates via Sol-Gel Chemistry

Authors: Schirin Hanf, Carlos Lizandara-Pueyo, Timmo P. Emmert, Ivana Jevtovikj, Roger Gläser, Stephan A. Schunk


Metal alkoxides are very versatile precursors for a broad array of complex functional materials. However, metal alkoxides, especially transition metal alkoxides, tend to form oligomeric structures due to the very strong M–O–M binding motif. This fact hinders their facile application in sol-gel-processes and complicates access to complex carbonate or oxidic compounds after hydrolysis of the precursors. Therefore, the development of a synthetic alternative with the aim to grant access to carbonates and hydroxycarbonates from simple metal alkoxide precursors via hydrolysis is key to this project. Our approach involves the reaction of metal alkoxides with unsaturated isoelectronic molecules, such as carbon dioxide. Subsequently, a stoichiometric insertion of the CO₂ into the alkoxide M–O bond takes place and leads to the formation of soluble metal alkyl carbonates. This strategy is a very elegant approach to solubilize metal alkoxide precursors to make them accessible for sol-gel chemistry. After hydrolysis of the metal alkyl carbonates, crystalline metal carbonates, and hydroxycarbonates can be obtained, which were then utilized for the synthesis of Cu/Zn based bulk catalysts for methanol synthesis. Using these catalysts, a comparable catalytic activity to commercially available MeOH catalysts could be reached. Based on these results, a complement for traditional precipitation techniques, which are usually utilized for the synthesis of bulk methanol catalysts, have been found based on an alternative solubilization strategy.

Keywords: metal alkoxides, metal carbonates, metal hydroxycarbonates, CO₂ insertion, solubilization

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12 Effectiveness of Laughter Yoga in Reducing Anxiety among Pre-Operative Patients for Scheduled Major Surgery

Authors: Denise Allison D. Garcia, Camille C. Garcia, Keanu Raphael Garrido, Crestita B. Tan


Introduction: Anxiety is a common problem among pre-operative patients. Several methods or interventions are being applied in order to relieve anxiety. Laughter yoga, however, is a method that has been used to relieve anxiety but has not yet been tested to pre-operative patients. Therefore, this study determined the effectiveness of laughter yoga in reducing anxiety among pre-operative middle-aged patients scheduled for major surgery. Methods: After Ethics Review Board approval, a quasi-experimental study was conducted among 40 purposely-selected pre-operative patients in two tertiary hospitals. Anxiety level was measured prior to administration of laughter yoga using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory with a Cronbach alpha of 0.83. After Laughter yoga, anxiety level was then measured again. Gathered data were analyzed in SPSS version 20 using paired and independent t-test and ANCOVA. Results: After analysis of the data gathered, the results showed that there was a significant decrease in the anxiety level of patients in the experimental group. From an anxiety level of 44.00, the rating went down to 36.85. Meanwhile in the control group, the anxiety level at the pretest at 41.25 went up to 42.50. Laughter yoga was an effective non-pharmacologic intervention for reducing anxiety of pre-operative patients. Conclusion: It is therefore concluded that laughter yoga causes a significant decrease in the anxiety level of patients.

Keywords: anxiety, laughter yoga, non-pharmacologic, pre-operative

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11 Screening for Diabetes in Patients with Chronic Pancreatitis: The Belfast Trust Experience

Authors: Riyas Peringattuthodiyil, Mark Taylor, Ian Wallace, Ailish Nugent, Mike Mitchell, Judith Thompson, Allison McKee, Philip C. Johnston


Aim of Study: The purpose of the study was to screen for diabetes through HbA1c in patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP) within the Belfast Trust. Background: Patients with chronic pancreatitis are at risk of developing diabetes, earlier diagnosis with subsequent multi-disciplinary input has the potential to improve clinical outcomes. Methods: Clinical and laboratory data of patients with chronic pancreatitis were obtained through the Northern Ireland Electronic Healthcare Record (NIECR), specialist hepatobiliary, and gastrointestinal clinics. Patients were invited to have a blood test for HbA1c. Newly diagnosed patients with diabetes were then invited to attend a dedicated Belfast City Hospital (BCH) specialist chronic pancreatitis and diabetes clinic for follow up. Results: A total of 89 chronic pancreatitis patients were identified; Male54; Female:35, mean age 52 years, range 12-90 years. Aetiology of CP included alcohol 52/89 (58%), gallstones 18/89 (20%), idiopathic 10/89 11%, 2 were genetic, 1: post ECRP, 1: IgG autoimmune, 1: medication induced, 1: lipoprotein lipase deficiency 1: mumps, 1: IVDU and 1: pancreatic divisum. No patients had pancreatic carcinoma. Mean duration of CP was nine years, range 3-30 years. 15/89 (16%) of patients underwent previous pancreatic surgery/resections. Recent mean BMI was 25.1 range 14-40 kg/m². 62/89 (70%) patients had HbA1c performed. Mean HbA1c was 42 mmol/mol, range 27-97mmol/mol, 42/62 (68%) had normal HbA1c (< 42 mmol/mol) 13/62 (21%) had pre-diabetes (42-47mmol/mol) and 7/62 (11%) had diabetes (≥ 48 mmol/mol). Conclusions: Of those that participated in the screening program around one-third of patients with CP had glycaemic control in the pre and diabetic range. Potential opportunities for improving screening rates for diabetes in this cohort could include regular yearly testing at gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary clinics.

Keywords: pancreatogenic diabetes, screening, chronic pancreatitis, trust experience

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10 Cultural Orientation as a Moderator between Social Support Needs and Psychological Well-Being among Canadian University Students

Authors: Allison Streutker, Josephine Tan


Universities across Canada have experienced unprecedented growth in international student enrollment from across the world. As cultural diversity in Canada and other countries increases, understanding the social support needs of all students is important for providing them with the assistance they need to thrive psychologically and academically. Those from individualistic cultural orientations tend to seek explicit social support, which involves expressly asking for assistance in times of stress. However, those from collectivistic cultural orientations are more likely to seek implicit social support, where encouragement is obtained from spending time among valued social groups without explicitly talking about problems. This study explored whether the relationship between the type of social support needs (implicit or explicit) and psychological and academic functioning might be moderated by cultural orientations (individualistic, collectivistic) among university students. Participants were 110 university students (70 women, 40 men; mean age = 24.8 years, SD = 6.6). They completed the Individualism and Collectivism Scale (ICS), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), Interpersonal Support Evaluation List (ISEL) which assesses implicit and explicit social support, Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), Scale of Positive and Negative Experience (SPANE) which yields positive and negative experience scores, Flourishing Scale (FS), and reported their grade point average (GPA) as a measure of academic performance. Moderated regression analysis demonstrated that, for those scoring lower on individualism, reporting lower level of implicit support predicted higher levels of perceived stress. For those scoring higher on individualism, lower levels of explicit social support predicted higher levels of perceived stress and a greater number of negative experiences. Generally, higher levels of implicit support were associated with greater satisfaction with life for all students, with the association becoming stronger among students with higher collectivism scores. No other significant findings were found. The results point to the value of considering the cultural orientations of students when designing programs to maintain and improve their sense of well-being.

Keywords: cultural orientation, social support, university students, well-being

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9 The Enquiry of Food Culture Products, Practices and Perspectives: An Action Research on Teaching and Learning Food Culture from International Food Documentary Films

Authors: Tsuiping Chen


It has always been an international consensus that food forms a big part of any culture since the old times. However, this idea has not been globally concretized until the announcement of including food or cuisine as intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2010. This announcement strengthens the value of food culture, which is getting more and more notice by every country. Although Taiwan is not one of the members of the United Nations, we cannot detach ourselves from this important global trend, especially when we have a lot of culinary students expected to join the world culinary job market. These students should have been well educated with the knowledge of world food culture to make them have the sensibility and perspectives for the occurring global food issues before joining the culinary jobs. Under the premise of the above concern, the researcher and also the instructor took on action research with one class of students in the 'Food Culture' course watching, discussing, and analyzing 12 culinary documentary films selected from one decade’s (2007-2016) of Berlin Culinary Cinema in one semester of class hours. In addition, after class, the students separated themselves into six groups and joined 12 times of one-hour-long focus group discussion on the 12 films conducted by the researcher. Furthermore, during the semester, the students submitted their reflection reports on each film to the university e-portfolio system. All the focus discussions and reflection reports were recorded and collected for further analysis by the researcher and one invited film researcher. Glaser and Strauss’ Grounded Theory (1967) constant comparison method was employed to analyze the collected data. Finally, the findings' results were audited by all participants of the research. All the participants and the researchers created 200 items of food culture products, 74 items of food culture practices, and 50 items of food culture perspectives from the action research journey through watching culinary documentaries. The journey did broaden students’ points of view on world food culture and enhance their capability on perspective construction for food culture. Four aspects of significant findings were demonstrated. First, learning food culture through watching Berlin culinary films helps students link themselves to the happening global food issues such as food security, food poverty, and food sovereignty, which direct them to rethink how people should grow, share and consume food. Second, watching different categories of documentary food films enhances students’ strong sense of responsibility for ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all people in every corner of the world. Third, watching these documentary films encourages students to think if the culinary education they have accepted in this island is inclusive and the importance of quality education, which can promote lifelong learning. Last but not least, the journey of the culinary documentary film watching in the 'Food Culture' course inspires students to take pride in their profession. It is hoped the model of teaching food culture with culinary documentary films will inspire more food culture educators, researchers, and the culinary curriculum designers.

Keywords: food culture, action research, culinary documentary films, food culture products, practices, perspectives

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8 Innovative Fabric Integrated Thermal Storage Systems and Applications

Authors: Ahmed Elsayed, Andrew Shea, Nicolas Kelly, John Allison


In northern European climates, domestic space heating and hot water represents a significant proportion of total primary total primary energy use and meeting these demands from a national electricity grid network supplied by renewable energy sources provides an opportunity for a significant reduction in EU CO2 emissions. However, in order to adapt to the intermittent nature of renewable energy generation and to avoid co-incident peak electricity usage from consumers that may exceed current capacity, the demand for heat must be decoupled from its generation. Storage of heat within the fabric of dwellings for use some hours, or days, later provides a route to complete decoupling of demand from supply and facilitates the greatly increased use of renewable energy generation into a local or national electricity network. The integration of thermal energy storage into the building fabric for retrieval at a later time requires much evaluation of the many competing thermal, physical, and practical considerations such as the profile and magnitude of heat demand, the duration of storage, charging and discharging rate, storage media, space allocation, etc. In this paper, the authors report investigations of thermal storage in building fabric using concrete material and present an evaluation of several factors that impact upon performance including heating pipe layout, heating fluid flow velocity, storage geometry, thermo-physical material properties, and also present an investigation of alternative storage materials and alternative heat transfer fluids. Reducing the heating pipe spacing from 200 mm to 100 mm enhances the stored energy by 25% and high-performance Vacuum Insulation results in heat loss flux of less than 3 W/m2, compared to 22 W/m2 for the more conventional EPS insulation. Dense concrete achieved the greatest storage capacity, relative to medium and light-weight alternatives, although a material thickness of 100 mm required more than 5 hours to charge fully. Layers of 25 mm and 50 mm thickness can be charged in 2 hours, or less, facilitating a fast response that could, aggregated across multiple dwellings, provide significant and valuable reduction in demand from grid-generated electricity in expected periods of high demand and potentially eliminate the need for additional new generating capacity from conventional sources such as gas, coal, or nuclear.

Keywords: fabric integrated thermal storage, FITS, demand side management, energy storage, load shifting, renewable energy integration

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7 Preliminary Efficacy of a Pilot Paediatric Day Hospital Program Project to Address Severe Mental Illness, Obesity, and Binge Eating

Authors: Alene Toulany, Elizabeth Dettmer, Seena Grewal, Kaley Roosen, Andrea Regina, Cathleen Steinegger, Kate Stadelman, Melissa Chambers, Lindsay Lochhead, Kelsey Gallagher, Alissa Steinberg, Andrea Leyser, Allison Lougheed, Jill Hamilton


Obesity and psychiatric disorders occur together so frequently that the combination has been coined an epidemic within an epidemic. Youth living with obesity are at increased risk for trauma, depression, anxiety and disordered eating. Although symptoms of binge eating disorder are common in paediatric obesity management programs, they are often not identified or addressed within treatment. At The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), a tertiary care paediatric hospital in Toronto, Canada, adolescents with obesity are treated in an interdisciplinary outpatient clinic (1-2 hours/week). This intensity of care is simply not enough to help these extremely complex patients. Existing day treatment programs for eating, and psychiatric disorders are not well suited for patients with obesity. In order to address this identified care gap, a unique collaboration was formed between the obesity, psychiatry, and eating disorder programs at SickKids in 2015. The aim of this collaboration was to provide an enhanced treatment arm to our general psychiatry day hospital program that addresses both the mental health issues and the lifestyle challenges common to youth with obesity and binge eating. The program is currently in year-one of a two-year pilot project and is designed for a length of stay of approximately 6 months. All youth participate in daily group therapy, academics, and structured mealtimes. The groups are primarily skills-based and are informed by cognitive/dialectical behavioural therapies. Weekly family therapy and individual therapy, as well as weekly medical appointments with a psychiatrist and a nurse, are provided. Youth in the enhanced treatment arm also receive regular sessions with a dietitian to establish normalized eating behaviours and monthly multifamily meal sessions to address challenges related to behaviour change and mealtimes in the home. Outcomes that will be evaluated include measures of mental health, anthropometrics, metabolic status, and healthcare satisfaction. At the end of the two years, it is expected that we will have had about 16 youth participants. This model of care delivery will be the first of its kind in Canada and is expected to inform future paediatric treatment practices.

Keywords: adolescent, binge eating, mental illness, obesity

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6 ‘Nature Will Slow You Down for a Reason’: Virtual Elder-Led Support Services during COVID-19

Authors: Grandmother Roberta Oshkawbewisens, Elder Isabelle Meawasige, Lynne Groulx, Chloë Hamilton, Lee Allison Clark, Dana Hickey, Wansu Qiu, Jared Leedham, Nishanthini Mahendran, Cameron Maclaine


In March of 2020, the world suddenly shifted with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic; in-person programs and services were unavailable and a scramble to shift to virtual service delivery began. The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) established virtual programming through the Resiliency Lodge model and connected with Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse people across Turtle Island and Inuit Nunangat through programs that provide a safe space to slow down and reflect on their lives, environment, and well-being. To continue to grow the virtual Resiliency Lodge model, NWAC needed to develop an understanding of three questions: how COVID-19 affects Elder-led support services, how Elder-led support services have adapted during the pandemic, and what Wise Practices need to be implemented to continue to develop, refine, and evaluate virtual Elder-led support services specifically for Indigenous women, girls, two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse people. Through funding from the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), NWAC gained deeper insight into these questions and developed a series of key findings and recommendations that are outlined throughout this report. The goals of this project are to contribute to a more robust participatory analysis that reflects the complexities of Elder-led virtual cultural responses and the impacts of COVID-19 on Elder-led support services; develop culturally and contextually meaningful virtual protocols and wise practices for virtual Indigenous-led support; and develop an Evaluation Strategy to improve the capacity of the Resiliency Lodge model. Significant findings from the project include Resiliency Lodge programs, especially crafting and business sessions, have provided participants with a sense of community and contributed to healing and wellness; Elder-led support services need greater and more stable funding to offer more workshops to more Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse people; and Elder- and Indigenous-led programs play a significant role in healing and building a sense of purpose and belonging among Indigenous people. Ultimately, the findings and recommendations outlined in this research project help to guide future Elder-led virtual support services and emphasize the critical need to increase access to Elder-led programming for Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse people.

Keywords: indigenous women, traditional healing, virtual programs, covid-19

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5 Negotiating Communication Options for Deaf-Disabled Children

Authors: Steven J. Singer, Julianna F. Kamenakis, Allison R. Shapiro, Kimberly M. Cacciato


Communication and language are topics frequently studied among deaf children. However, there is limited research that focuses specifically on the communication and language experiences of Deaf-Disabled children. In this ethnography, researchers investigated the language experiences of six sets of parents with Deaf-Disabled children who chose American Sign Language (ASL) as the preferred mode of communication for their child. Specifically, the researchers were interested in the factors that influenced the parents’ decisions regarding their child’s communication options, educational placements, and social experiences. Data collection in this research included 18 hours of semi-structured interviews, 20 hours of participant observations, over 150 pages of reflexive journals and field notes, and a 2-hour focus group. The team conducted constant comparison qualitative analysis using NVivo software and an inductive coding procedure. The four researchers each read the data several times until they were able to chunk it into broad categories about communication and social influences. The team compared the various categories they developed, selecting ones that were consistent among researchers and redefining categories that differed. Continuing to use open inductive coding, the research team refined the categories until they were able to develop distinct themes. Two team members developed each theme through a process of independent coding, comparison, discussion, and resolution. The research team developed three themes: 1) early medical needs provided time for the parents to explore various communication options for their Deaf-Disabled child, 2) without intervention from medical professionals or educators, ASL emerged as a prioritized mode of communication for the family, 3) atypical gender roles affected familial communication dynamics. While managing the significant health issues of their Deaf-Disabled child at birth, families and medical professionals were so fixated on tending to the medical needs of the child that the typical pressures of determining a mode of communication were deprioritized. This allowed the families to meticulously research various methods of communication, resulting in an informed, rational, and well-considered decision to use ASL as the primary mode of communication with their Deaf-Disabled child. It was evident that having a Deaf-Disabled child meant an increased amount of labor and responsibilities for parents. This led to a shift in the roles of the family members. During the child’s development, the mother transformed from fulfilling the stereotypical roles of nurturer and administrator to that of administrator and champion. The mother facilitated medical proceedings and educational arrangements while the father became the caretaker and nurturer of their Deaf-Disabled child in addition to the traditional role of earning the family’s primary income. Ultimately, this research led to a deeper understanding of the critical role that time plays in parents’ decision-making process regarding communication methods with their Deaf-Disabled child.

Keywords: American Sign Language, deaf-disabled, ethnography, sociolinguistics

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4 Navigating Complex Communication Dynamics in Qualitative Research

Authors: Kimberly M. Cacciato, Steven J. Singer, Allison R. Shapiro, Julianna F. Kamenakis


This study examines the dynamics of communication among researchers and participants who have various levels of hearing, use multiple languages, have various disabilities, and who come from different social strata. This qualitative methodological study focuses on the strategies employed in an ethnographic research study examining the communication choices of six sets of parents who have Deaf-Disabled children. The participating families varied in their communication strategies and preferences including the use of American Sign Language (ASL), visual-gestural communication, multiple spoken languages, and pidgin forms of each of these. The research team consisted of two undergraduate students proficient in ASL and a Deaf principal investigator (PI) who uses ASL and speech as his main modes of communication. A third Hard-of-Hearing undergraduate student fluent in ASL served as an objective facilitator of the data analysis. The team created reflexive journals by audio recording, free writing, and responding to team-generated prompts. They discussed interactions between the members of the research team, their evolving relationships, and various social and linguistic power differentials. The researchers reflected on communication during data collection, their experiences with one another, and their experiences with the participating families. Reflexive journals totaled over 150 pages. The outside research assistant reviewed the journals and developed follow up open-ended questions and prods to further enrich the data. The PI and outside research assistant used NVivo qualitative research software to conduct open inductive coding of the data. They chunked the data individually into broad categories through multiple readings and recognized recurring concepts. They compared their categories, discussed them, and decided which they would develop. The researchers continued to read, reduce, and define the categories until they were able to develop themes from the data. The research team found that the various communication backgrounds and skills present greatly influenced the dynamics between the members of the research team and with the participants of the study. Specifically, the following themes emerged: (1) students as communication facilitators and interpreters as barriers to natural interaction, (2) varied language use simultaneously complicated and enriched data collection, and (3) ASL proficiency and professional position resulted in a social hierarchy among researchers and participants. In the discussion, the researchers reflected on their backgrounds and internal biases of analyzing the data found and how social norms or expectations affected the perceptions of the researchers in writing their journals. Through this study, the research team found that communication and language skills require significant consideration when working with multiple and complex communication modes. The researchers had to continually assess and adjust their data collection methods to meet the communication needs of the team members and participants. In doing so, the researchers aimed to create an accessible research setting that yielded rich data but learned that this often required compromises from one or more of the research constituents.

Keywords: American Sign Language, complex communication, deaf-disabled, methodology

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3 Cicadas: A Clinician-assisted, Closed-loop Technology, Mobile App for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Authors: Bruno Biagianti, Angela Tseng, Kathy Wannaviroj, Allison Corlett, Megan DuBois, Kyu Lee, Suma Jacob


Background: ASD is characterized by pervasive Sensory Processing Abnormalities (SPA) and social cognitive deficits that persist throughout the course of the illness and have been linked to functional abnormalities in specific neural systems that underlie the perception, processing, and representation of sensory information. SPA and social cognitive deficits are associated with difficulties in interpersonal relationships, poor development of social skills, reduced social interactions and lower academic performance. Importantly, they can hamper the effects of established evidence-based psychological treatments—including PEERS (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relationship Skills), a parent/caregiver-assisted, 16-weeks social skills intervention—which nonetheless requires a functional brain capable of assimilating and retaining information and skills. As a matter of fact, some adolescents benefit from PEERS more than others, calling for strategies to increase treatment response rates. Objective: We will present interim data on CICADAS (Care Improving Cognition for ADolescents on the Autism Spectrum)—a clinician-assisted, closed-loop technology mobile application for adolescents with ASD. Via ten mobile assessments, CICADAS captures data on sensory processing abnormalities and associated cognitive deficits. These data populate a machine learning algorithm that tailors the delivery of ten neuroplasticity-based social cognitive training (NB-SCT) exercises targeting sensory processing abnormalities. Methods: In collaboration with the Autism Spectrum and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Clinic at the University of Minnesota, we conducted a fully remote, three-arm, randomized crossover trial with adolescents with ASD to document the acceptability of CICADAS and evaluate its potential as a stand-alone treatment or as a treatment enhancer of PEERS. Twenty-four adolescents with ASD (ages 11-18) have been initially randomized to 16 weeks of PEERS + CICADAS (Arm A) vs. 16 weeks of PEERS + computer games vs. 16 weeks of CICADAS alone (Arm C). After 16 weeks, the full battery of assessments has been remotely administered. Results: We have evaluated the acceptability of CICADAS by examining adherence rates, engagement patterns, and exit survey data. We found that: 1) CICADAS is able to serve as a treatment enhancer for PEERS, inducing greater improvements in sensory processing, cognition, symptom reduction, social skills and behaviors, as well as the quality of life compared to computer games; 2) the concurrent delivery of PEERS and CICADAS induces greater improvements in study outcomes compared to CICADAS only. Conclusion: While preliminary, our results indicate that the individualized assessment and treatment approach designed in CICADAS seems effective in inducing adaptive long-term learning about social-emotional events. CICADAS-induced enhancement of processing and cognition facilitates the application of PEERS skills in the environment of adolescents with ASD, thus improving their real-world functioning.

Keywords: ASD, social skills, cognitive training, mobile app

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2 Screening for Women with Chorioamnionitis: An Integrative Literature Review

Authors: Allison Herlene Du Plessis, Dalena (R.M.) Van Rooyen, Wilma Ten Ham-Baloyi, Sihaam Jardien-Baboo


Introduction: Women die in pregnancy and childbirth for five main reasons—severe bleeding, infections, unsafe abortions, hypertensive disorders (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia), and medical complications including cardiac disease, diabetes, or HIV/AIDS complicated by pregnancy. In 2015, WHO classified sepsis as the third highest cause for maternal mortalities in the world. Chorioamnionitis is a clinical syndrome of intrauterine infection during any stage of the pregnancy and it refers to ascending bacteria from the vaginal canal up into the uterus, causing infection. While the incidence rates for chorioamnionitis are not well documented, complications related to chorioamnionitis are well documented and midwives still struggle to identify this condition in time due to its complex nature. Few diagnostic methods are available in public health services, due to escalated laboratory costs. Often the affordable biomarkers, such as C-reactive protein CRP, full blood count (FBC) and WBC, have low significance in diagnosing chorioamnionitis. A lack of screening impacts on effective and timeous management of chorioamnionitis, and early identification and management of risks could help to prevent neonatal complications and reduce the subsequent series of morbidities and healthcare costs of infants who are health foci of perinatal infections. Objective: This integrative literature review provides an overview of current best research evidence on the screening of women at risk for chorioamnionitis. Design: An integrative literature review was conducted using a systematic electronic literature search through EBSCOhost, Cochrane Online, Wiley Online, PubMed, Scopus and Google. Guidelines, research studies, and reports in English related to chorioamnionitis from 2008 up until 2020 were included in the study. Findings: After critical appraisal, 31 articles were included. More than one third (67%) of the literature included ranked on the three highest levels of evidence (Level I, II and III). Data extracted regarding screening for chorioamnionitis was synthesized into four themes, namely: screening by clinical signs and symptoms, screening by causative factors of chorioamnionitis, screening of obstetric history, and essential biomarkers to diagnose chorioamnionitis. Key conclusions: There are factors that can be used by midwives to identify women at risk for chorioamnionitis. However, there are a paucity of established sociological, epidemiological and behavioral factors to screen this population. Several biomarkers are available to diagnose chorioamnionitis. Increased Interleukin-6 in amniotic fluid is the better indicator and strongest predictor of histological chorioamnionitis, whereas the available rapid matrix-metalloproteinase-8 test requires further testing. Maternal white blood cells count (WBC) has shown poor selectivity and sensitivity, and C-reactive protein (CRP) thresholds varied among studies and are not ideal for conclusive diagnosis of subclinical chorioamnionitis. Implications for practice: Screening of women at risk for chorioamnionitis by health care providers providing care for pregnant women, including midwives, is important for diagnosis and management before complications arise, particularly in resource-constraint settings.

Keywords: chorioamnionitis, guidelines, best evidence, screening, diagnosis, pregnant women

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1 Economic Analysis of a Carbon Abatement Technology

Authors: Hameed Rukayat Opeyemi, Pericles Pilidis Pagone Emmanuele, Agbadede Roupa, Allison Isaiah


Climate change represents one of the single most challenging problems facing the world today. According to the National Oceanic and Administrative Association, Atmospheric temperature rose almost 25% since 1958, Artic sea ice has shrunk 40% since 1959 and global sea levels have risen more than 5.5cm since 1990. Power plants are the major culprits of GHG emission to the atmosphere. Several technologies have been proposed to reduce the amount of GHG emitted to the atmosphere from power plant, one of which is the less researched Advanced zero-emission power plant. The advanced zero emission power plants make use of mixed conductive membrane (MCM) reactor also known as oxygen transfer membrane (OTM) for oxygen transfer. The MCM employs membrane separation process. The membrane separation process was first introduced in 1899 when Walter Hermann Nernst investigated electric current between metals and solutions. He found that when a dense ceramic is heated, the current of oxygen molecules move through it. In the bid to curb the amount of GHG emitted to the atmosphere, the membrane separation process was applied to the field of power engineering in the low carbon cycle known as the Advanced zero emission power plant (AZEP cycle). The AZEP cycle was originally invented by Norsk Hydro, Norway and ABB Alstom power (now known as Demag Delaval Industrial turbomachinery AB), Sweden. The AZEP drew a lot of attention because its ability to capture ~100% CO2 and also boasts of about 30-50% cost reduction compared to other carbon abatement technologies, the penalty in efficiency is also not as much as its counterparts and crowns it with almost zero NOx emissions due to very low nitrogen concentrations in the working fluid. The advanced zero emission power plants differ from a conventional gas turbine in the sense that its combustor is substituted with the mixed conductive membrane (MCM-reactor). The MCM-reactor is made up of the combustor, low-temperature heat exchanger LTHX (referred to by some authors as air preheater the mixed conductive membrane responsible for oxygen transfer and the high-temperature heat exchanger and in some layouts, the bleed gas heat exchanger. Air is taken in by the compressor and compressed to a temperature of about 723 Kelvin and pressure of 2 Mega-Pascals. The membrane area needed for oxygen transfer is reduced by increasing the temperature of 90% of the air using the LTHX; the temperature is also increased to facilitate oxygen transfer through the membrane. The air stream enters the LTHX through the transition duct leading to inlet of the LTHX. The temperature of the air stream is then increased to about 1150 K depending on the design point specification of the plant and the efficiency of the heat exchanging system. The amount of oxygen transported through the membrane is directly proportional to the temperature of air going through the membrane. The AZEP cycle was developed using the Fortran software and economic analysis was conducted using excel and Matlab followed by optimization case study. The Simple bleed gas heat exchange layout (100 % CO2 capture), Bleed gas heat exchanger layout with flue gas turbine (100 % CO2 capture), Pre-expansion reheating layout (Sequential burning layout)–AZEP 85% (85% CO2 capture) and Pre-expansion reheating layout (Sequential burning layout) with flue gas turbine–AZEP 85% (85% CO2 capture). This paper discusses monte carlo risk analysis of four possible layouts of the AZEP cycle.

Keywords: gas turbine, global warming, green house gas, fossil fuel power plants

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