Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30

Search results for: Charlotte Enns

30 Signed Language Phonological Awareness: Building Deaf Children's Vocabulary in Signed and Written Language

Authors: Lynn Mcquarrie, Charlotte Enns

Abstract:

The goal of this project was to develop a visually-based, signed language phonological awareness training program and to pilot the intervention with signing deaf children (ages 6 -10 years/ grades 1 - 4) who were beginning readers to assess the effects of systematic explicit American Sign Language (ASL) phonological instruction on both ASL vocabulary and English print vocabulary learning. Growing evidence that signing learners utilize visually-based signed language phonological knowledge (homologous to the sound-based phonological level of spoken language processing) when reading underscore the critical need for further research on the innovation of reading instructional practices for visual language learners. Multiple single-case studies using a multiple probe design across content (i.e., sign and print targets incorporating specific ASL phonological parameters – handshapes) was implemented to examine if a functional relationship existed between instruction and acquisition of these skills. The results indicated that for all cases, representing a variety of language abilities, the visually-based phonological teaching approach was exceptionally powerful in helping children to build their sign and print vocabularies. Although intervention/teaching studies have been essential in testing hypotheses about spoken language phonological processes supporting non-deaf children’s reading development, there are no parallel intervention/teaching studies exploring hypotheses about signed language phonological processes in supporting deaf children’s reading development. This study begins to provide the needed evidence to pursue innovative teaching strategies that incorporate the strengths of visual learners.

Keywords: American sign language phonological awareness, dual language strategies, vocabulary learning, word reading

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29 From a Madwoman in the Attic to a Fairy Land: A Conversation with Antoinette in Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea

Authors: Prasenjit Panda

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Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, a prequel to Bronte’s Jane Eyre, explores the history of the other and gives voices to the people who were silenced and kept under the darkness of negation and denial for a long time. Jean Wide Sargasso Sea provides an alternative understanding of Charlotte Brontë’s mad Creole woman, i.e., Bertha Mason of Jane Eyre in the postcolonial context. Rhys transforms Charlotte Bronte’s Victorian romance into a realistic narrative. In doing so, she re-reads Bertha as Antoinette, the unspeakable figure of otherness, into an unnameable self, and creates a new stage for the inner self. She in the novel is no longer a lunatic heiress in Rochester’s attic rather in this novel she finds her fantasy, dream and most importantly, voice. Rhys peeps through the character of Antoinette through her fragmented memories, dreams, and identity. Antoinette’s identity is mutilated constantly in the conflicts between colonizers and colonized, male and female, black and white. We shall use postcolonial theories like Bhaba’s hybridity and third space as a methodology to reveal the dialectics of struggle of a doubly colonized woman.We shall see that Bertha Mason was neglected by Bronte because of her madness and was locked in the Rochester’s Attic, but here Rhys beautifully converts her madness as a language of Antoinette, a language for her protest, a language for her liberation, a language for her dreams. In this present paper, we shall try to show how Antoinette tries to free her soul and body from the clutches of her multiple existences, identity, and narratives.

Keywords: colonizer, dislocation, fragmented memories, identity, narratives

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28 A Clustering-Sequencing Approach to the Facility Layout Problem

Authors: Saeideh Salimpour, Sophie-Charlotte Viaux, Ahmed Azab, Mohammed Fazle Baki

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The Facility Layout Problem (FLP) is key to the efficient and cost-effective operation of a system. This paper presents a hybrid heuristic- and mathematical-programming-based approach that divides the problem conceptually into those of clustering and sequencing. First, clusters of vertically aligned facilities are formed, which are later on sequenced horizontally. The developed methodology provides promising results in comparison to its counterparts in the literature by minimizing the inter-distances for facilities which have more interactions amongst each other and aims at placing the facilities with more interactions at the centroid of the shop.

Keywords: clustering-sequencing approach, mathematical modeling, optimization, unequal facility layout problem

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27 Judicial Trendsetting: European Courts as Pacemakers for Defining, Redefining, and Potentially Expanding Protection for People Fleeing Armed Conflict and Natural Disasters

Authors: Charlotte Lülf

Abstract:

Migration flows cannot be tackled by single states but need to be addressed as a transnational and international responsibility. However, the current international framework staggers. Widely excluded from legal protection are people that flee from the indiscriminate effects of an armed conflict as well as people fleeing natural disasters. This paper as part of an on-going PhD Project deals with the current and partly contradicting approaches to the protection of so-called war- and climate refugees in the European Union. The analysis will emphasize and evaluate the role of the European judiciary to define, redefine and potentially expand legal protection. Changing jurisprudential practice of national and regional courts will be assessed, as will be their dialogue to interpret the international obligations of human rights law, migration laws and asylum laws in an interacting world.

Keywords: human rights law, asylum law, migration, refugee protection

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26 Using VR as a Training Tool in the Banking Industry

Authors: Bjørn Salskov, Nicolaj Bang, Charlotte Falko

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Future labour markets demand employees that can carry out a non-linear task which is still not possible for computers. This means that employees must have well-developed soft-skills to perform at high levels in such a work environment. One of these soft-skills is presenting a message effectively. To be able to present a message effectively, one needs to practice this. To practice effectively, the trainee needs feedback on the current performance. Here VR environments can be used as a practice tool because it gives the trainee a sense of presence and reality. VR environments are becoming a cost-effective training method since it does not demand the presence of an expert to provide this feedback. The research article analysed in this study suggests that VR environment can be used and are able to provide the necessary feedback to the trainee which in turn will help the trainee become better at the task. The research analysed in this review does, however, show that there is a need for a study with larger sample size and a study which runs over a longer period.

Keywords: training, presentation, presentation skills, VR training, VR as a training tool, VR and presentation

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25 Insight-Based Evaluation of a Map-Based Dashboard

Authors: Anna Fredriksson Häägg, Charlotte Weil, Niklas Rönnberg

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Map-based dashboards are used for data exploration every day. The present study used an insight-based methodology for evaluating a map-based dashboard that presents research findings of water management and ecosystem services in the Amazon. In addition to analyzing the insights gained from using the dashboard, the evaluation method was compared to standardized questionnaires and task-based evaluations. The result suggests that the dashboard enabled the participants to gain domain-relevant, complex insights regarding the topic presented. Furthermore, the insight-based analysis highlighted unexpected insights and hypotheses regarding causes and potential adaptation strategies for remediation. Although time- and resource-consuming, the insight-based methodology was shown to have the potential of thoroughly analyzing how end users can utilize map-based dashboards for data exploration and decision making. Finally, the insight-based methodology is argued to evaluate tools in scenarios more similar to real-life usage compared to task-based evaluation methods.

Keywords: visual analytics, dashboard, insight-based evaluation, geographic visualization

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24 Modernity and Domestic Space in the Feminist Utopias of Herland and Sultana’s Dream

Authors: Nudrat Kamal

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Scholarship exploring the development of the literary tradition of feminist utopias, especially in the sociopolitical context of Europe and North America, has been important and meaningful, but it is, in large part, still restricted to Euro-American texts. This paper will explore Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s feminist utopia Herland (1915) with another feminist utopia written just a decade before, but in a widely different sociopolitical context: Bengali feminist writer Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain’s English short story Sultana’s Dream (1905). The paper will argue that both texts, despite being written in such different cultural and historical contexts, utilize and subvert the public versus private/domestic sphere dichotomy and the restricted gender roles associated with each sphere in order to conceive of specific formulations of feminist modernities that reflect the sociopolitical contexts and feminist movements both writers were writing within. By bringing Gilman’s Herland into conversation with Hossain’s Sultana’s Dream, the paper hopes to illuminate the new meanings that might emerge if the scholarship on Western feminist utopias was to open itself up to the feminist utopias written elsewhere.

Keywords: comparative literature, feminist utopias, modernity, South Asian literature, utopias

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23 New to Vancouver: The Effects of Residential Relocation on Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Authors: Rachel Karasenty Saltoun, Charlotte Roddick, Chelsea D. Christie, Frances Chen

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Moving has become an integral part of many people’s lives. This research explores whether relocating to a new city is associated with an increase in loneliness and cardiovascular disease risk and if this increased risk diminishes with continued residency. To test this, various psychosocial variables and three cardiovascular disease risk markers (C-reactive protein, albumin, blood pressure) were assessed on two groups of individuals: those who have moved to Vancouver, Canada in the previous 6 weeks (‘Movers’) and those who have lived in Vancouver for at least five years (‘Non-Movers’). It was hypothesized that individuals who had recently relocated would have heightened levels of loneliness, blood pressure (BP), albumin, and C-reactive protein (CRP) compared to those who had not recently relocated. Length of residency was hypothesized to moderate these effects, such that after a few months, loneliness levels and cardiovascular disease risk would decrease among those who had recently relocated. Correlational analysis indicated a trend between the change in CRP and albumin levels and loneliness overtime on an individual level. However, these results must be interpreted with caution due to the small sample size. As Vancouver’s immigration rates continue to grow, this study has important implications regarding the social support resources offered to new immigrants, as well as bringing awareness at the healthcare level of the potential increase in cardiovascular disease risk among those who have recently relocated.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease risk, loneliness, moving, residential mobility

Procedia PDF Downloads 41
22 Exposure to Bullying and General Psychopathology: A Prospective, Longitudinal Study

Authors: Jolien Rijlaarsdam, Charlotte A. M. Cecil, J. Marieke Buil, Pol A. C. Van Lier, Edward D. Barker

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Although there is mounting evidence that the experience of being bullied associates with both internalizing and externalizing symptoms, it is not known yet whether the identified associations are specific to these symptoms or shared between them. The primary focus of this study is to assess the prospective associations of bullying exposure with both general and specific (i.e., internalizing, externalizing) factors of psychopathology. This study included data from 6,210 children participating in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Child bullying was measured by self-report at ages 8 and 10 years. Child psychopathology symptoms were assessed by parent-interview, using the Development and Well-being Assessment (DAWBA) at ages 7 and 13 years. Bullying exposure is significantly associated with the general psychopathology factor in early adolescence. In particular, chronically victimized youth exposed to multiple forms of bullying (i.e., both overt and relational) showed the highest levels of general psychopathology. Bullying exposure is also associated with both internalizing and externalizing factors from the correlated-factors model. However, the effect estimates for these factors decreased considerably in size and dropped to insignificant for the internalizing factor after extracting the shared variance that belongs to the general factor of psychopathology. In an integrative longitudinal model, higher levels of general psychopathology at age seven are associated with bullying exposure at age eight, which, in turn, is associated with general psychopathology at age 13 through its two-year continuity. Findings suggest that exposure to bullying is a risk factor for a more general vulnerability to psychopathology through mutually influencing relationships.

Keywords: bullying exposure, externalizing, general psychopathology, internalizing, longitudinal

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21 The Usefulness and Limitations of Manual Aspiration Immediately after Pneumothorax Complicating Percutaneous CT Guided Lung Biopsies: A Retrospective 9-Year Review from a Large Tertiary Centre

Authors: Niall Fennessy, Charlotte Yin, Vineet Gorolay, Michael Chan, Ilias Drivas

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Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of manual aspiration of air from the pleural cavity in mitigating the need for chest drain placement after a CT-guided lung biopsy. Method: This is a single institution retrospective review of CT-guided lung biopsies performed on 799 patients between September 2013 and May 2021 in a major tertiary hospital. Percutaneous manual aspiration of air was performed in 104/306 patients (34%) with pneumothoraxes as a preventative measure. Simple and multivariate analysis was performed to identify independent risk factors (modifiable and nonmodifiable) for the success of manual aspiration in mitigating the need for chest drain insertion. Results: The overall incidence of pneumothorax was 37% (295/799). Chest drains were inserted for 81/295 (27%) of the pneumothoraxes, representing 81/799 (10%) of all CT-guided lung biopsies. Of patients with pneumothoraces, 104 (36%) underwent percutaneous aspiration via either the coaxial guide needle or an 18 or 20G intravenous catheter attached to a three-way stopcock and syringe. Amongst this group, 13 patients (13%) subsequently required chest drain insertion. The success of percutaneous aspiration in avoiding subsequent pleural drain insertion decreased with aspiration volume >500mL, radial pneumothorax depth >3cm, increased subpleural depth of the lesion, and the presence of background emphysema.

Keywords: computed tomography, lung biopsy, pneumothorax, manual aspiration, chest drainage

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20 Protein Extraction by Enzyme-Assisted Extraction followed by Alkaline Extraction from Red Seaweed Eucheuma denticulatum (Spinosum) Used in Carrageenan Production

Authors: Alireza Naseri, Susan L. Holdt, Charlotte Jacobsen

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In 2014, the global amount of carrageenan production was 60,000 ton with a value of US$ 626 million. From this number, it can be estimated that the total dried seaweed consumption for this production was at least 300,000 ton/year. The protein content of these types of seaweed is 5 – 25%. If just half of this total amount of protein could be extracted, 18,000 ton/year of a high-value protein product would be obtained. The overall aim of this study was to develop a technology that will ensure further utilization of the seaweed that is used only as raw materials for carrageenan production as single extraction at present. More specifically, proteins should be extracted from the seaweed either before or after extraction of carrageenan with focus on maintaining the quality of carrageenan as a main product. Different mechanical, chemical and enzymatic technologies were evaluated. The optimized process was implemented in lab scale and based on its results; the new experiments were done a pilot and larger scale. In order to calculate the efficiency of the new upstream multi-extraction process, protein content was tested before and after extraction. After this step, the extraction of carrageenan was done and carrageenan content and the effect of extraction on yield were evaluated. The functionality and quality of carrageenan were measured based on rheological parameters. The results showed that by using the new multi-extraction process (submitted patent); it is possible to extract almost 50% of total protein without any negative impact on the carrageenan quality. Moreover, compared to the routine carrageenan extraction process, the new multi-extraction process could increase the yield of carrageenan and the rheological properties such as gel strength in the final carrageenan had a promising improvement. The extracted protein has initially been screened as a plant protein source in typical food applications. Further work will be carried out in order to improve properties such as color, solubility, and taste.

Keywords: carrageenan, extraction, protein, seaweed

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19 Complicating Representations of Domestic Violence Perpetration through a Qualitative Content Analysis and Socio-Ecological Approach

Authors: Charlotte Lucke

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This study contributes to the body of literature that analyzes and complicates oversimplified and sensationalized representations of trauma and violence through a close examination and complication of representations of perpetrators of domestic violence in the mass media. This study determines the ways the media frames perpetrators of domestic violence through a qualitative content analysis and socio-ecological approach to the perpetration of violence. While the qualitative analysis has not been carried out, through preliminary research, this study hypothesizes that the media represents perpetrators through tropes such as the 'predator' or 'offender,' or as a demonized 'other.' It is necessary to expose and work through such stereotypes because cultivation theory demonstrates that the mass media determines societal beliefs about and perceptions of the world. Thus, representations of domestic violence in the mass media can lead people to believe that perpetrators of violence are mere animals or criminals and overlook the trauma that many perpetrators experience. When the media represents perpetrators as pure evil, monsters, or absolute 'others,' it leaves out the complexities of what moves people to commit domestic violence. By analyzing and placing media representations of perpetrators into conversation with the socio-ecological approach to violence perpetration, this study complicates domestic violence stereotypes. The socio-ecological model allows researchers to consider the way the interplay between individuals and their families, friends, communities, and cultures can move people to act violently. Using this model, along with psychological and psychoanalytic approaches to the etiology of domestic violence, this paper argues that media stereotypes conceal the way people’s experiences of trauma, along with community and cultural norms, perpetuates the cycle of systemic trauma and violence in the home.

Keywords: domestic violence, media images, representing trauma, theorising trauma

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18 Evaluating the Impact of Future Scenarios on Water Availability and Demand Based on Stakeholders Prioritized Water Management Options in the Upper Awash Basin, Ethiopia

Authors: Adey Nigatu Mersha, Ilyas Masih, Charlotte de Fraiture, Tena Alamirew

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Conflicts over water are increasing mainly as a result of water scarcity in response to higher water demand and climatic variability. There is often not enough water to meet all demands for different uses. Thus, decisions have to be made as to how the available resources can be managed and utilized. Correspondingly water allocation goals, practically national water policy goals, need to be revised accordingly as the pressure on water increases from time to time. A case study is conducted in the Upper Awash Basin, Ethiopia, to assess and evaluate prioritized comprehensive water demand management options based on the framework of integrated water resources management in account of stakeholders’ knowledge and preferences as well as practical prominence within the Upper Awash Basin. Two categories of alternative management options based on policy analysis and stakeholders' consultation were evaluated against the business-as-usual scenario by using WEAP21 model as an analytical tool. Strong effects on future (unmet) demands are observed with major socio-economic assumptions and forthcoming water development plans. Water management within the basin will get more complex with further abstraction which may lead to an irreversible damage to the ecosystem. It is further confirmed through this particular study that efforts to maintain users’ preferences alone cannot insure economically viable and environmentally sound development and vice versa. There is always a tradeoff between these factors. Hence, all of these facets must be analyzed separately, related with each other in equal footing, and ultimately taken up in decision making in order for the whole system to function properly.

Keywords: water demand, water availability, WEAP21, scenarios

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17 Knowledge and Use of Computer Application Packages by Office Managers/Secretaries in Higher Institutions in Ogun State Nigeria: Implication on Performance Enhancement

Authors: Charlotte Bose Iro-Idoro, Adebisi Folake Osore, Tajudeen Adisa Jimoh

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All changes in the office environment were and are still driven by advances in technology. The impact of computers on office work has resulted in numerous changes in office activities, procedures and the expectations from office managers and secretaries. This study investigated the level of knowledge and use of computer office application packages by secretaries and office managers in higher educational institutions in Ogun State and the implications of these on their performance enhancement. The study is an ex post facto research and adopted the survey design for the collection of data. Two hypotheses were formulated, and a questionnaire was developed and tested at 0.05 level of significance. All office managers and secretaries in the service of higher educational institutions in Ogun State, Nigeria formed the population of the study. The study was limited to federal institutions and a total of 120 office managers/secretaries were selected to form the sample such that 40 office managers/secretaries were randomly selected from each of the three Federal higher institutions in the State, that is Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro and Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta, Ogun State. Analysis of data and hypotheses tests were carried out with frequency counts, percentage and T-Test. The result indicated varying levels of awareness on office application tools with limited knowledge and use of computer application packages by office managers/secretaries. The results also showed that good knowledge and high use of office application tools enhance performance of office managers/secretaries. The study recommended that there should be maximum institutional resources and support and personal development on the part of the office managers to ensure update knowledge and maximal use of office application tools by office managers/secretaries.

Keywords: application packages, computer, office managers, performance enhancement

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16 The Judiciary as Pacemaker? Considering the Role of Courts in an Expansion of Protection for War Refugees and People Fleeing Natural Disasters

Authors: Charlotte Lülf

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Migration flows, resulting from war, climate change or economic crisis cannot be tackled by single states but need to be addressed as a transnational and international responsibility. The traditional architecture surrounding the work of the UNHCR and the 1951 Convention, however, is not equipped to deal with these challenges. Widely excluded from legal protection are people not individually persecuted for the statutory criteria, people that flee from the indiscriminate effects of an armed conflict as well as people fleeing natural disasters. With the lack of explicit legal protection and the political reluctance of nation states worldwide to extend their commitment in new asylum laws, the judiciary must be put in focus: it plays a unique role in interpreting and potentially expanding the application of existing regulations. This paper as part of an ongoing Ph.D. Project deals with the current and partly contradicting approaches to the protection of war- and climate refugees. Changing jurisprudential practice of national and regional courts will be assessed, as will be their dialogue to interpret the international obligations of human rights law, migration laws, and asylum laws in an interacting world. In recent judgments refoulment to an armed conflict as well as countries without adequate disaster relief or health care was argued as violating fundamental human and asylum law rights and therefore prohibited – even for applicants without refugee status: The first step towards access to subsidiary protection could herewith be established. Can one observe similar developments in other parts of the world? This paper will evaluate the role of the judiciary to define, redefine and potentially expand protection for people seeking refuge from armed conflicts and natural disasters.

Keywords: human rights law, asylum-seekers, displacement, migration

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15 Disentangling an Ethnographic Study of the Imagined Inca: How the Yale-Peruvian Expedition of 1911 Created an Inca Heritage

Authors: Charlotte Williams

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Yale University Professor Hiram Bingham’s discovery of Machu Picchu in 1911 spurred an international interest in the Inca Empire, and with it, a dispute with the Peruvian government over who had rightful jurisdiction and curatorship over Inca history. By 2011, the Peruvian government initiated a legal battle for the return of artifacts that Bingham had removed from Machu Picchu, successfully returning them not to the site of Machu Picchu, but to Cusco, employing the rationale that the ancient Inca capital housed descendants of the Inca empire. This conflation of the past and present can be traced to a largely unanalyzed study that accompanied Bingham’s expedition: an ethnographic analysis of Inca descendants, which at the time portrayed indigenous Peruvian Andean peoples as remnants of a lost civilization, using Cusco as an assumed repository for people with 'Inca' characteristics. This study draws from the original Yale Peruvian Expedition archives, the Cusco Library archives, and in-depth interviews with curators of the Inca Museum and Machu Picchu Museum to analyze both the political conflict that emerged as a reaction to the ethnographic study, and how the study articulated with an inflating tourism market attempting to define what it meant to be Inca to an international public. The construction of the modern Inca as both directors of tourism management and purveyors of their archaeological material culture points to a unique case in which modern Peruvian citizens could claim heritage to an Inca past despite a lack of recognition as a legally defined group. The result has far-reaching implications, since Bingham’s artifacts returned not necessarily to a traditional nation-state, but to an imagined one, broadening the conditions under which informal repatriations can occur.

Keywords: archaeology of memory, imagined communities, Incanismo, repatriation

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14 Analyzing Doctors’ Knowledge of the United Kingdom Chief Medical Officer's Guidelines for Physical Activity: Survey of Secondary Care Doctors in a District General Hospital

Authors: Alexandra Von Guionneau, William Sloper, Charlotte Burford

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The benefits of exercise for the prevention and management of chronic disease are well established and the importance of primary care practitioners in promoting exercise is becoming increasingly recognized. However, those with severe manifestations of the chronic disease are managed in a secondary care setting. Secondary care practitioners, therefore, have a role to play in promoting physical activity. Methods: In order to assess secondary care doctors’ knowledge of the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines for physical activity, a 12-question survey was administered to staff working in a district general hospital in South England during team and unit meetings. Questions related to knowledge of the current guidelines for both 19 - 64 year olds and older adults (65 years and above), barriers to exercise discussion or prescription and doctors’ own exercise habits. Responses were collected anonymously and analyzed using SPSS Version 24.0. Results: 96 responses were collected. Doctors taking part in the survey ranged from foundation years (26%) to consultants (40%). 17.7% of participants knew the guidelines for moderate intensity activity for 19 - 64 year olds. Only one participant knew all of the guidance for both 19 - 64 year olds and older adults. While 71.6% of doctors felt they were adequately informed about how to exercise, only 45.6% met the minimum recommended guidance for moderate intensity activity. Conclusion: More work is needed to promote the physical activity guidelines and exercise prescription to doctors working within a secondary care setting. In addition, doctors require more support to personally meet the recommended minimum level of physical activity.

Keywords: exercise is medicine, exercise prescription, physical activity guidelines, exercise habits

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13 Yoga Offers Protection for Premenstrual Syndrome

Authors: Katalin Gocze, Vanda A Nemes, Charlotte Briest

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Introduction: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a psychoneuroendocrinological disorder adversely affecting life-quality for over 80% of hormonally active women. PMS has a negative impact on women’s daily life in terms of work, interpersonal relationships and leisure time activities. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of a yoga intervention focusing on the female pelvic area. Materials and methods: 34 women (ages 18-40) with PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome Screening Tool) and no previous experience in yoga were recruited and randomly assigned to either the yoga or the control group. The intervention consisted of 90’ yoga sessions twice a week and a daily 15’ self-practice module with carefully chosen yogic exercises addressing the reproductive organs by toning the pelvic floor and opening the hips as well as relieving stress and improving concentration. Severity of symptoms of PMS was assessed at the beginning and after the 8-week-long intervention. Pre- and post-program data collection included physical and psychological parameters and the evaluation of ACOQ PMS questionnaire and daily symptom diary. Results: Age and educational background were similar in the control and intervention group with an overall mean age of 29.11±4.78 years. PSST scores significantly improved in the yoga group (p=0.002), while difference in the control group’s pre and post-program values were non-significant (p=0.38). Perception and tolerance of anxiety and stress was significantly better after the intervention (p=0.008). As for changes in physical symptoms distinct improvement was registered for breast tenderness (p=0.028) and for meteorism (p=0.015). Discussion: Yoga’s success originates from the synergic positive effects of stress relief and regular physical activity. Benefits (both mental and physical) of strategically planned, focused yoga practice are apparent even after shorter time periods and can help women with PMS manage or eliminate symptoms in order to improve their life-quality.

Keywords: life-quality, physical symptoms, premenstrual syndrome, psychological impact, yoga

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12 The Representations of Protesters in the UK National Daily Press: Pro- And Anti- Brexit Demonstrations 2016-2019

Authors: Charlotte-Rose Kennedy

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In a political climate divided by Brexit, it is crucial to be critical of the press, as it is the apparatus which political authorities use to impose their laws and shape public opinion. Although large protests have the power to shake and disrupt policy-making by making it difficult for governments to ignore their goals, the British press historically constructs protesters as delegitimate, deviant, and criminal, which could limit protests’ credibility and democratic power. This paper explores how the remain supporting daily UK press (The Mirror, Financial Times, The Independent, The Guardian) and the leave supporting daily UK press (The Daily Mail, The Daily Star, The Sun, The Express, The Telegraph) discursively constructed every pro- and anti-Brexit demonstration from 2016 to 2019. 702 instances of the terms ‘protester’, ‘protesters’, ‘protestor’ and ‘protestors’ were analyzed through both transitivity analysis and critical discourse analysis. This mixed-methods approach allowed for the analysis of how the UK press perpetuated and upheld social ideologies about protests through their specific grammatical and language choices. The results of this analysis found that both remain and leave supporting press utilized the same discourses to report on protests they oppose and protests they support. For example, the remain backing The Mirror used water metaphors regularly associated with influxes of refugees and asylum seekers to support the protesters on the remain protest ‘Final Say’, and oppose the protesters on the leave protest ‘March to Leave’. Discourses of war, violence, and victimhood are also taken on by both sides of the press Brexit debate and are again used to support and oppose the same arguments. Finally, the paper concludes that these analogous discourses do nothing to help the already marginalized social positions of protesters in the UK and could potentially lead to reduced public support for demonstrations. This could, in turn, facilitate the government in introducing increasingly restrictive legislation in relation to freedom of assembly rights, which could be detrimental to British democracy.

Keywords: Brexit, critical discourse analysis, protests, transitivity analysis, UK press

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11 Postpartum Depression Screening and Referrals for Lower-Income Women in North Carolina, USA

Authors: Maren J. Coffman, Victoria C. Scott, J. Claire Schuch, Ashley N. Kelley, Jeri L. Ryan

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Postpartum Depression (PPD) is a leading cause of postpartum morbidity. PPD affects 7.1% of postpartum women and 19.2% of postpartum women when including minor depression. Lower-income women and ethnic minorities are more at risk for developing PPD and face multiple attitudinal and institutional barriers to receiving care. This study aims to identify PPD among low-income women and connect them to appropriate services in order to reduce the illness burden and enhance access to care. Screenings were conducted in two Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinics in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, from April 2017 to April 2018. WIC is a supplemental nutrition program that provides healthcare and nutrition to low-income pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and children under the age of 5. Additionally, a qualitative study was conducted to better understand the PPD continuum of care in order to identify opportunities for improvement. Mothers with infants were screened for depression risk using the PHQ-2. Mothers who scored ≥ 2 completed two additional standardized screening tools (PHQ-7, to complete the PHQ-9, and the Edinburgh) to assess depressive symptomatology. If indicated they may be suffering from depression, women were referred for case management services. Open-ended questions were used to understand treatment barriers. Four weeks after the initial survey, a follow-up telephone call was made to see if women had received care. Seven focus groups with WIC staff and managers, referral agency staff, local behavioral health professionals, and students examining the screenings, are being conducted March - April, 2018 to gather information related to current screening practices, referrals, follow up and treatment. Mothers (n = 231 as of February, 2018) were screened in English (65%) or Spanish (35%). According to preliminary results, 29% of mothers screened were at risk for postpartum depression (PHQ-2 ≥ 2). There were significant differences in preliminary screening results based on survey language (

Keywords: health disparities, maternal health, mental health, postpartum depression

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10 The Untreated Burden of Parkinson’s Disease: A Patient Perspective

Authors: John Acord, Ankita Batla, Kiran Khepar, Maude Schmidt, Charlotte Allen, Russ Bradford

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Objectives: Despite the availability oftreatment options, Parkinson’s disease (PD) continues to impact heavily on a patient’s quality of life (QoL), as many symptoms that bother the patient remain unexplored and untreated in clinical settings. The aims of this research were to understand the burden of PDsymptoms from a patient perspective, particularly those which are the most persistent and debilitating, and to determine if current treatments and treatment algorithms adequately focus on their resolution. Methods: A13-question, online, patient-reported survey was created based on the MDS-Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS)and symptoms listed on Parkinson’s Disease Patient Advocacy Groups websites, and then validated by 10 Parkinson’s patients. In the survey, patients were asked to choose both their most common and their most bothersome symptoms, whether they had received treatment for those and, if so, had it been effective in resolving those symptoms. Results: The most bothersome symptoms reported by the 111 participants who completed the survey were sleep problems (61%), feeling tired (56%), slowness of movements (54%), and pain in some parts of the body (49%). However, while 86% of patients reported receiving dopamine or dopamine like drugs to treat their PD, far fewer reported receiving targeted therapies for additional symptoms. For example, of the patients who reported having sleep problems, only 33% received some form of treatment for this symptom. This was also true for feeling tired (30% received treatment for this symptom), slowness of movements (62% received treatment for this symptom), and pain in some parts of the body (61% received treatment for this symptom). Additionally, 65% of patients reported that the symptoms they experienced were not adequately controlled by the treatments they received, and 9% reported that their current treatments had no effect on their symptoms whatsoever. Conclusion: The survey outcomes highlight that the majority of patients involved in the study received treatment focused on their disease, however, symptom-based treatments were less well represented. Consequently, patient-reported symptoms such as sleep problems and feeling tired tended to receive more fragmented intervention than ‘classical’ PD symptoms, such as slowness of movement, even though they were reported as being amongst the most bothersome symptoms for patients. This research highlights the need to explore symptom burden from the patient’s perspective and offer Customised treatment/support for both motor and non-motor symptoms maximize patients’ quality of life.

Keywords: survey, patient reported symptom burden, unmet needs, parkinson's disease

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9 Removal of Problematic Organic Compounds from Water and Wastewater Using the Arvia™ Process

Authors: Akmez Nabeerasool, Michaelis Massaros, Nigel Brown, David Sanderson, David Parocki, Charlotte Thompson, Mike Lodge, Mikael Khan

Abstract:

The provision of clean and safe drinking water is of paramount importance and is a basic human need. Water scarcity coupled with tightening of regulations and the inability of current treatment technologies to deal with emerging contaminants and Pharmaceuticals and personal care products means that alternative treatment technologies that are viable and cost effective are required in order to meet demand and regulations for clean water supplies. Logistically, the application of water treatment in rural areas presents unique challenges due to the decentralisation of abstraction points arising from low population density and the resultant lack of infrastructure as well as the need to treat water at the site of use. This makes it costly to centralise treatment facilities and hence provide potable water direct to the consumer. Furthermore, across the UK there are segments of the population that rely on a private water supply which means that the owner or user(s) of these supplies, which can serve one household to hundreds, are responsible for the maintenance. The treatment of these private water supply falls on the private owners, and it is imperative that a chemical free technological solution that can operate unattended and does not produce any waste is employed. Arvia’s patented advanced oxidation technology combines the advantages of adsorption and electrochemical regeneration within a single unit; the Organics Destruction Cell (ODC). The ODC uniquely uses a combination of adsorption and electrochemical regeneration to destroy organics. Key to this innovative process is an alternative approach to adsorption. The conventional approach is to use high capacity adsorbents (e.g. activated carbons with high porosities and surface areas) that are excellent adsorbents, but require complex and costly regeneration. Arvia’s technology uses a patent protected adsorbent, Nyex™, which is a non-porous, highly conductive, graphite based adsorbent material that enables it to act as both the adsorbent and as a 3D electrode. Adsorbed organics are oxidised and the surface of the Nyex™ is regenerated in-situ for further adsorption without interruption or replacement. Treated water flows from the bottom of the cell where it can either be re-used or safely discharged. Arvia™ Technology Ltd. has trialled the application of its tertiary water treatment technology in treating reservoir water abstracted near Glasgow, Scotland, with promising results. Several other pilot plants have also been successfully deployed at various locations in the UK showing the suitability and effectiveness of the technology in removing recalcitrant organics (including pharmaceuticals, steroids and hormones), COD and colour.

Keywords: Arvia™ process, adsorption, water treatment, electrochemical oxidation

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8 Nursery Treatments May Improve Restoration Outcomes by Reducing Seedling Transplant Shock

Authors: Douglas E. Mainhart, Alejandro Fierro-Cabo, Bradley Christoffersen, Charlotte Reemts

Abstract:

Semi-arid ecosystems across the globe have faced land conversion for agriculture and resource extraction activities, posing a threat to the important ecosystem services they provide. Revegetation-centered restoration efforts in these regions face low success rates due to limited soil water availability and high temperatures leading to elevated seedling mortality after planting. Typical methods to alleviate these stresses require costly post-planting interventions aimed at improving soil moisture status. We set out to evaluate the efficacy of applying in-nursery treatments to address transplant shock. Four native Tamaulipan thornscrub species were compared. Three treatments were applied: elevated CO2, drought hardening (four-week exposure each), and antitranspirant foliar spray (the day prior to planting). Our goal was to answer two primary questions: (1) Do treatments improve survival and growth of seedlings in the early period post-planting? (2) If so, what underlying physiological changes are associated with this improved performance? To this end, we measured leaf gas exchange (stomatal conductance, light saturated photosynthetic rate, water use efficiency), leaf morphology (specific leaf area), and osmolality before and upon the conclusion of treatments. A subset of seedlings from all treatments have been planted, which will be monitored in coming months for in-field survival and growth.First month field survival for all treatment groups were high due to ample rainfall following planting (>85%). Growth data was unreliable due to high herbivory (68% of all sampled plants). While elevated CO2 had infrequent or no detectable influence on all aspects of leaf gas exchange, drought hardening reduced stomatal conductance in three of the four species measured without negatively impacting photosynthesis. Both CO2 and drought hardening elevated leaf osmolality in two species. Antitranspirant application significantly reduced conductance in all species for up to four days and reduced photosynthesis in two species. Antitranspirants also increased the variability of water use efficiency compared to controls. Collectively, these results suggest that antitranspirants and drought hardening are viable treatments for reducing short-term water loss during the transplant shock period. Elevated CO2, while not effective at reducing water loss, may be useful for promoting more favorable water status via osmotic adjustment. These practices could improve restoration outcomes in Tamaulipan thornscrub and other semi-arid systems. Further research should focus on evaluating combinations of these treatments and their species-specific viability.

Keywords: conservation, drought conditioning, semi-arid restoration, plant physiology

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7 Linguistic Analysis of Borderline Personality Disorder: Using Language to Predict Maladaptive Thoughts and Behaviours

Authors: Charlotte Entwistle, Ryan Boyd

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Recent developments in information retrieval techniques and natural language processing have allowed for greater exploration of psychological and social processes. Linguistic analysis methods for understanding behaviour have provided useful insights within the field of mental health. One area within mental health that has received little attention though, is borderline personality disorder (BPD). BPD is a common mental health disorder characterised by instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image and affect. It also manifests through maladaptive behaviours, such as impulsivity and self-harm. Examination of language patterns associated with BPD could allow for a greater understanding of the disorder and its links to maladaptive thoughts and behaviours. Language analysis methods could also be used in a predictive way, such as by identifying indicators of BPD or predicting maladaptive thoughts, emotions and behaviours. Additionally, associations that are uncovered between language and maladaptive thoughts and behaviours could then be applied at a more general level. This study explores linguistic characteristics of BPD, and their links to maladaptive thoughts and behaviours, through the analysis of social media data. Data were collected from a large corpus of posts from the publicly available social media platform Reddit, namely, from the ‘r/BPD’ subreddit whereby people identify as having BPD. Data were collected using the Python Reddit API Wrapper and included all users which had posted within the BPD subreddit. All posts were manually inspected to ensure that they were not posted by someone who clearly did not have BPD, such as people posting about a loved one with BPD. These users were then tracked across all other subreddits of which they had posted in and data from these subreddits were also collected. Additionally, data were collected from a random control group of Reddit users. Disorder-relevant behaviours, such as self-harming or aggression-related behaviours, outlined within Reddit posts were coded to by expert raters. All posts and comments were aggregated by user and split by subreddit. Language data were then analysed using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) 2015 software. LIWC is a text analysis program that identifies and categorises words based on linguistic and paralinguistic dimensions, psychological constructs and personal concern categories. Statistical analyses of linguistic features could then be conducted. Findings revealed distinct linguistic features associated with BPD, based on Reddit posts, which differentiated these users from a control group. Language patterns were also found to be associated with the occurrence of maladaptive thoughts and behaviours. Thus, this study demonstrates that there are indeed linguistic markers of BPD present on social media. It also implies that language could be predictive of maladaptive thoughts and behaviours associated with BPD. These findings are of importance as they suggest potential for clinical interventions to be provided based on the language of people with BPD to try to reduce the likelihood of maladaptive thoughts and behaviours occurring. For example, by social media tracking or engaging people with BPD in expressive writing therapy. Overall, this study has provided a greater understanding of the disorder and how it manifests through language and behaviour.

Keywords: behaviour analysis, borderline personality disorder, natural language processing, social media data

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6 Predicting Food Waste and Losses Reduction for Fresh Products in Modified Atmosphere Packaging

Authors: Matar Celine, Gaucel Sebastien, Gontard Nathalie, Guilbert Stephane, Guillard Valerie

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To increase the very short shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetable, Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) allows an optimal atmosphere composition to be maintained around the product and thus prevent its decay. This technology relies on the modification of internal packaging atmosphere due to equilibrium between production/consumption of gases by the respiring product and gas permeation through the packaging material. While, to the best of our knowledge, benefit of MAP for fresh fruits and vegetable has been widely demonstrated in the literature, its effect on shelf life increase has never been quantified and formalized in a clear and simple manner leading difficult to anticipate its economic and environmental benefit, notably through the decrease of food losses. Mathematical modelling of mass transfers in the food/packaging system is the basis for a better design and dimensioning of the food packaging system. But up to now, existing models did not permit to estimate food quality nor shelf life gain reached by using MAP. However, shelf life prediction is an indispensable prerequisite for quantifying the effect of MAP on food losses reduction. The objective of this work is to propose an innovative approach to predict shelf life of MAP food product and then to link it to a reduction of food losses and wastes. In this purpose, a ‘Virtual MAP modeling tool’ was developed by coupling a new predictive deterioration model (based on visual surface prediction of deterioration encompassing colour, texture and spoilage development) with models of the literature for respiration and permeation. A major input of this modelling tool is the maximal percentage of deterioration (MAD) which was assessed from dedicated consumers’ studies. Strawberries of the variety Charlotte were selected as the model food for its high perishability, high respiration rate; 50-100 ml CO₂/h/kg produced at 20°C, allowing it to be a good representative of challenging post-harvest storage. A value of 13% was determined as a limit of acceptability for the consumers, permitting to define products’ shelf life. The ‘Virtual MAP modeling tool’ was validated in isothermal conditions (5, 10 and 20°C) and in dynamic temperature conditions mimicking commercial post-harvest storage of strawberries. RMSE values were systematically lower than 3% for respectively, O₂, CO₂ and deterioration profiles as a function of time confirming the goodness of model fitting. For the investigated temperature profile, a shelf life gain of 0.33 days was obtained in MAP compared to the conventional storage situation (no MAP condition). Shelf life gain of more than 1 day could be obtained for optimized post-harvest conditions as numerically investigated. Such shelf life gain permitted to anticipate a significant reduction of food losses at the distribution and consumer steps. This food losses' reduction as a function of shelf life gain has been quantified using a dedicated mathematical equation that has been developed for this purpose.

Keywords: food losses and wastes, modified atmosphere packaging, mathematical modeling, shelf life prediction

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5 Use of WhatsApp Messenger for Optimal Healthcare Operational Communication during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Josiah O. Carter, Charlotte Hayden, Elizabeth Arthurs

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Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital management policies have changed frequently and rapidly. This has created novel challenges in keeping the workforce abreast of these changes to enable them to deliver safe and effective care. Traditional communication methods, e.g. email, do not keep pace with the rapidly changing environment in the hospital, resulting in inaccurate, irrelevant, or outdated information being communicated, resulting in inefficiencies in patient care. Methods: The creation of a WhatsApp messaging group within the medical division at the Bristol Royal Infirmary has enabled senior clinicians and the hospital management team to update the medical workforce in real-time. It has two primary functions: (1) To enable dissemination of a concise, important operational summary. This comprises information on bed status and infection control procedural changes. It is fed directly from a daily critical incident briefing (2) To facilitate a monthly scheduled question and answer (Q&A) session for junior doctors to clarify issues with clinical directors, rota, and management staff. Additional ad-hoc updates are sent out for time-critical information; otherwise, it mainly functions as a broadcast-only group to prevent important information from being lost amongst other communication. All junior doctors within the medical division were invited to join the group. At present, the group comprises 131 participants, of which 10 are administrative staff (rota coordinators, management staff & clinical directors); the remaining 121 are junior clinicians working within the medical division. An electronic survey via Microsoft forms was sent out to junior doctors via the WhatsApp group and via email to assess its utilisation and effectiveness with the aim of quality improvements. Results: Of the 121 group participants, 19 completed the questionnaire (response rate 15.7%). Of these, 16/19 (84.2%) used it regularly, and 12/19 (63.2%) rated it as the most useful source for reliable updates relating to the hospital response to the COVID-19 pandemic, whereas only 2/19 (10.5%) found the trust intranet and the trust COVID-19 operational email update most useful. Respondents rated the WhatsApp group more useful as an information source (mean score 7.7/10) than as a means of providing feedback to management staff (mean score 6.3/10). Qualitative feedback suggested information around ward closures and changes to COVID cohorting, along with updates on staffing issues, were most useful. Respondents also noted the Q&A sessions were an efficient way of relaying feedback about management decisions but that it would be preferable if these sessions could be delivered more frequently. Discussion: During the current global COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increased need for rapid dissemination of critical information within NHS trusts; this includes communication between junior doctors, managers, and senior clinicians. The versatility of WhatsApp permits a variety of functions allowing for regular updates, the dissemination of time-critical information, and enables conversing and feedback. The project has demonstrated that reserved and well-managed use of a WhatsApp group is a welcome, efficient and practical means of communication between the senior management team and the junior medical workforce.

Keywords: communication, COVID-19, hospital management, WhatsApp

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4 Management of Femoral Neck Stress Fractures at a Specialist Centre and Predictive Factors to Return to Activity Time: An Audit

Authors: Charlotte K. Lee, Henrique R. N. Aguiar, Ralph Smith, James Baldock, Sam Botchey

Abstract:

Background: Femoral neck stress fractures (FNSF) are uncommon, making up 1 to 7.2% of stress fractures in healthy subjects. FNSFs are prevalent in young women, military recruits, endurance athletes, and individuals with energy deficiency syndrome or female athlete triad. Presentation is often non-specific and is often misdiagnosed following the initial examination. There is limited research addressing the return–to–activity time after FNSF. Previous studies have demonstrated prognostic time predictions based on various imaging techniques. Here, (1) OxSport clinic FNSF practice standards are retrospectively reviewed, (2) FNSF cohort demographics are examined, (3) Regression models were used to predict return–to–activity prognosis and consequently determine bone stress risk factors. Methods: Patients with a diagnosis of FNSF attending Oxsport clinic between 01/06/2020 and 01/01/2020 were selected from the Rheumatology Assessment Database Innovation in Oxford (RhADiOn) and OxSport Stress Fracture Database (n = 14). (1) Clinical practice was audited against five criteria based on local and National Institute for Health Care Excellence guidance, with a 100% standard. (2) Demographics of the FNSF cohort were examined with Student’s T-Test. (3) Lastly, linear regression and Random Forest regression models were used on this patient cohort to predict return–to–activity time. Consequently, an analysis of feature importance was conducted after fitting each model. Results: OxSport clinical practice met standard (100%) in 3/5 criteria. The criteria not met were patient waiting times and documentation of all bone stress risk factors. Importantly, analysis of patient demographics showed that of the population with complete bone stress risk factor assessments, 53% were positive for modifiable bone stress risk factors. Lastly, linear regression analysis was utilized to identify demographic factors that predicted return–to–activity time [R2 = 79.172%; average error 0.226]. This analysis identified four key variables that predicted return-to-activity time: vitamin D level, total hip DEXA T value, femoral neck DEXA T value, and history of an eating disorder/disordered eating. Furthermore, random forest regression models were employed for this task [R2 = 97.805%; average error 0.024]. Analysis of the importance of each feature again identified a set of 4 variables, 3 of which matched with the linear regression analysis (vitamin D level, total hip DEXA T value, and femoral neck DEXA T value) and the fourth: age. Conclusion: OxSport clinical practice could be improved by more comprehensively evaluating bone stress risk factors. The importance of this evaluation is demonstrated by the population found positive for these risk factors. Using this cohort, potential bone stress risk factors that significantly impacted return-to-activity prognosis were predicted using regression models.

Keywords: eating disorder, bone stress risk factor, femoral neck stress fracture, vitamin D

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3 Exploring Digital Media’s Impact on Sports Sponsorship: A Global Perspective

Authors: Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, Lisa-Charlotte Wolter

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With the continuous proliferation of media platforms, there have been tremendous changes in media consumption behaviors. From the perspective of sports sponsorship, while there is now a multitude of platforms to create brand associations, the changing media landscape and shift of message control also mean that sports sponsors will have to take into account the nature of and consumer responses toward these emerging digital media to devise effective marketing strategies. Utilizing the personal interview methodology, this study is qualitative and exploratory in nature. A total of 18 experts from European and American academics, sports marketing industry, and sports leagues/teams were interviewed to address three main research questions: 1) What are the major changes in digital technologies that are relevant to sports sponsorship; 2) How have digital media influenced the channels and platforms of sports sponsorship; and 3) How have these technologies affected the goals, strategies, and measurement of sports sponsorship. The study found that sports sponsorship has moved from consumer engagement, engagement measurement, and consequences of engagement on brand behaviors to micro-targeting one on one, engagement by context, time, and space, and activation and leveraging based on tracking and databases. From the perspective of platforms and channels, the use of mobile devices is prominent during sports content consumption. Increasing multiscreen media consumption means that sports sponsors need to optimize their investment decisions in leagues, teams, or game-related content sources, as they need to go where the fans are most engaged in. The study observed an imbalanced strategic leveraging of technology and digital infrastructure. While sports leagues have had less emphasis on brand value management via technology, sports sponsors have been much more active in utilizing technologies like mobile/LBS tools, big data/user info, real-time marketing and programmatic, and social media activation. Regardless of the new media/platforms, the study found that integration and contextualization are the two essential means of improving sports sponsorship effectiveness through technology. That is, how sponsors effectively integrate social media/mobile/second screen into their existing legacy media sponsorship plan so technology works for the experience/message instead of distracting fans. Additionally, technological advancement and attention economy amplify the importance of consumer data gathering, but sports consumer data does not mean loyalty or engagement. This study also affirms the benefit of digital media as they offer viral and pre-event activations through storytelling way before the actual event, which is critical for leveraging brand association before and after. That is, sponsors now have multiple opportunities and platforms to tell stories about their brands for longer time period. In summary, digital media facilitate fan experience, access to the brand message, multiplatform/channel presentations, storytelling, and content sharing. Nevertheless, rather than focusing on technology and media, today’s sponsors need to define what they want to focus on in terms of content themes that connect with their brands and then identify the channels/platforms. The big challenge for sponsors is to play to the venues/media’s specificity and its fit with the target audience and not uniformly deliver the same message in the same format on different platforms/channels.

Keywords: digital media, mobile media, social media, technology, sports sponsorship

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2 Construction and Cross-Linking of Polyelectrolyte Multilayers Based on Polysaccharides as Antifouling Coatings

Authors: Wenfa Yu, Thuva Gnanasampanthan, John Finlay, Jessica Clarke, Charlotte Anderson, Tony Clare, Axel Rosenhahn

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Marine biofouling is a worldwide problem at vast economic and ecological costs. Historically it was combated with toxic coatings such as tributyltin. As those coatings being banned nowadays, finding environmental friendly antifouling solution has become an urgent topic. In this study antifouling coatings consisted of natural occurring polysaccharides hyaluronic acid (HA), alginic acid (AA), chitosan (Ch) and polyelectrolyte polyethylenimine (PEI) are constructed into polyelectrolyte multilayers (PEMs) in a Layer-by-Layer (LbL) method. LbL PEM construction is a straightforward way to assemble biomacromolecular coatings on surfaces. Advantages about PEM include ease of handling, highly diverse PEM composition, precise control over the thickness and so on. PEMs have been widely employed in medical application and there are numerous studies regarding their protein adsorption, elasticity and cell adhesive properties. With the adjustment of coating composition, termination layer charge, coating morphology and cross-linking method, it is possible to prepare low marine biofouling coatings with PEMs. In this study, using spin coating technology, PEM construction was achieved at smooth multilayers with roughness as low as 2nm rms and highly reproducible thickness around 50nm. To obtain stability in sea water, the multilayers were covalently cross-linked either thermally or chemically. The cross-linking method affected surface energy, which was reflected in water contact angle, thermal cross-linking led to hydrophobic surfaces and chemical cross-linking generated hydrophilic surfaces. The coatings were then evaluated regarding its protein resistance and biological species resistance. While the hydrophobic thermally cross-linked PEM had low resistance towards proteins, the resistance of chemically cross-linked PEM strongly depended on the PEM termination layer and the charge of the protein, opposite charge caused high adsorption and same charge low adsorption, indicating electrostatic interaction plays a crucial role in the protein adsorption processes. Ulva linza was chosen as the biological species for antifouling performance evaluation. Despite of the poor resistance towards protein adsorption, thermally cross-linked PEM showed good resistance against Ulva spores settlement, the chemically cross-linked multilayers showed poor resistance regardless of the termination layer. Marine species adhesion is a complex process, although it involves proteins as bioadhesives, protein resistance its own is not a fully indicator for its antifouling performance. The species will pre select the surface, responding to cues like surface energy, chemistry, or charge and so on. Thus making it difficult for one single factors to determine its antifouling performance. Preparing PEM coating is a comprehensive work involving choosing polyelectrolyte combination, determining termination layer and the method for cross-linking. These decisions will affect PEM properties such as surface energy, charge, which is crucial, since biofouling is a process responding to surface properties in a highly sensitive and dynamic way.

Keywords: hyaluronic acid, polyelectrolyte multilayers, protein resistance, Ulva linza zoospores

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1 Parents’ Perceptions of the Consent Arrangements for Dental Public Health Programmes in North London: A Qualitative Exploration

Authors: Charlotte Jeavons, Charitini Stavropoulous, Nicolas Drey

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Background: Over one-third of five-year-olds and almost half of all eight-year-olds in the UK have obvious caries experience that can be detected by visual screening techniques. School-based caries preventions programs to apply fluoride varnish to young children’s teeth operate in many areas in the UK. Their aim is to reduce dental caries in children. The Department of Health guidance (2009) on consent states information must be provided to parents to enable informed autonomous decision-making prior to any treatment involving their young children. Fluoride varnish schemes delivered in primary schools use letters for this purpose. Parents are expected to return these indicating their consent or refusal. A large proportion of parents do not respond. In the absence of positive consent, these children are excluded from the program. Non-response is more common in deprived areas creating inequality. The reason for this is unknown. The consent process used is underpinned by the ethical theory of deontology that is prevalent in clinical dentistry and widely accepted in bio-ethics. Objective: To investigate parents’ views, understanding and experience of the fluoride varnish program taking place in their child’s school, including their views about the practical consent arrangements. Method: Schools participating in the fluoride varnish scheme operating in Enfield, North London, were asked to take part. Parents with children in nursery, reception, or year one were invited to participate via semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Thematic analysis was conducted. Findings: 40 parents were recruited from eight schools. The global theme of ‘trust’ was identified as the strongest influence on parental responses. Six themes were identified; protecting children from harm is viewed by parents as their role, parents have the capability to decide but lack confidence, sharing responsibility for their child’s oral health with the State is welcomed by a parent, existing relationships within parents’ social networks strongly influences consent decisions, official dental information is not communicated effectively, sending a letter to parents’ and excluding them from meeting dental practitioners is ineffective. The information delivered via a letter was not strongly identified by parents as influencing their response. Conclusions: Personal contact with the person(s) providing information and requesting consent has a greater impact on parental consent responses than written information provided alone. This demonstrates that traditional bio-ethical ideas about rational decision-making where emotions are transcended and interference is not justified unless preventing harm to an unaware person are outdated. Parental decision-making is relational and the consent process should be adapted to reflect this. The current system that has a deontology view of decision making at its core impoverishes parental autonomy and may, ultimately, increase dental inequalities as a result.

Keywords: consent, decision, ethics, fluoride, parents

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