Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 27

Search results for: vigilance

27 Mind-Wandering and Attention: Evidence from Behavioral and Subjective Perspective

Authors: Riya Mishra, Trayambak Tiwari, Anju Lata Singh, I. L. Singh, Tara Singh

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Decrement in vigilance task performance echoes impediment in effortful attention; here attention fluctuated in the realm of external and internal milieu of a person. To examine this fluctuation across time period, we employed two experiments of vigilance task with variation in thought probing rate, which was embedded in the task. The thought probe varies in terms of <2 minute per thought probe and <4 minute per thought probe during vigilance task. A 2x4 repeated measure factorial design was used. 15 individuals participated in this study with an age range of 20-26 years. It was found that thought probing rate has a negative trend with vigilance task performance whereas the subjective measures of mind-wandering have a positive relation with thought probe rate.

Keywords: criterion response, mental status, mind-wandering, thought probe, vigilance

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26 The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Vigilance, Fatigue, and Performance during Simulated Train Driving

Authors: Clara Theresia, Hardianto Iridiastadi

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Drowsiness is one of the main factors that contribute to the occurrence of accidents, particularly in the transportation sector. While the effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive functions have been reported, the exact relationships remain a critical issue. This study aimed at quantifying the effects of extreme sleep deprivation on vigilance, fatigue, and performance during simulated train driving. A total of 12 participants were asked to drive a train simulator continuously for 4 hours, either in a sleep deprived condition (2-hr of sleep) or normal (8-hr of sleep) condition. Dependent variables obtained during the task included Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT) parameters, degree of fatigue (assessed via Visual Analogue Scale/VAS) and sleepiness (reported using Karolinska Sleepiness Scale/KSS), and driving performance (the number of speed limit violations). Findings from this study demonstrated substantial decrements in vigilance in the sleep-deprived condition. This condition also resulted in 75% increase in speed violation and a two-fold increase in the degree of fatigue and sleepiness. Extreme sleep deprivation was clearly associated with substantially poorer response. The exact effects, however, were dependent upon the types of responses.

Keywords: cognitive function, psychomotor vigilance task, sleep deprivation, train simulator

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25 Experimental Simulation Set-Up for Validating Out-Of-The-Loop Mitigation when Monitoring High Levels of Automation in Air Traffic Control

Authors: Oliver Ohneiser, Francesca De Crescenzio, Gianluca Di Flumeri, Jan Kraemer, Bruno Berberian, Sara Bagassi, Nicolina Sciaraffa, Pietro Aricò, Gianluca Borghini, Fabio Babiloni

Abstract:

An increasing degree of automation in air traffic will also change the role of the air traffic controller (ATCO). ATCOs will fulfill significantly more monitoring tasks compared to today. However, this rather passive role may lead to Out-Of-The-Loop (OOTL) effects comprising vigilance decrement and less situation awareness. The project MINIMA (Mitigating Negative Impacts of Monitoring high levels of Automation) has conceived a system to control and mitigate such OOTL phenomena. In order to demonstrate the MINIMA concept, an experimental simulation set-up has been designed. This set-up consists of two parts: 1) a Task Environment (TE) comprising a Terminal Maneuvering Area (TMA) simulator as well as 2) a Vigilance and Attention Controller (VAC) based on neurophysiological data recording such as electroencephalography (EEG) and eye-tracking devices. The current vigilance level and the attention focus of the controller are measured during the ATCO’s active work in front of the human machine interface (HMI). The derived vigilance level and attention trigger adaptive automation functionalities in the TE to avoid OOTL effects. This paper describes the full-scale experimental set-up and the component development work towards it. Hence, it encompasses a pre-test whose results influenced the development of the VAC as well as the functionalities of the final TE and the two VAC’s sub-components.

Keywords: automation, human factors, air traffic controller, MINIMA, OOTL (Out-Of-The-Loop), EEG (Electroencephalography), HMI (Human Machine Interface)

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24 Combat Capability Improvement Using Sleep Analysis

Authors: Gabriela Kloudova, Miloslav Stehlik, Peter Sos

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The quality of sleep can affect combat performance where the vigilance, accuracy and reaction time are a decisive factor. In the present study, airborne and special units are measured on duty using actigraphy fingerprint scoring algorithm and QEEG (quantitative EEG). Actigraphic variables of interest will be: mean nightly sleep duration, mean napping duration, mean 24-h sleep duration, mean sleep latency, mean sleep maintenance efficiency, mean sleep fragmentation index, mean sleep onset time, mean sleep offset time and mean midpoint time. In an attempt to determine the individual somnotype of each subject, the data like sleep pattern, chronotype (morning and evening lateness), biological need for sleep (daytime and anytime sleepability) and trototype (daytime and anytime wakeability) will be extracted. Subsequently, a series of recommendations will be included in the training plan based on daily routine, timing of the day and night activities, duration of sleep and the number of sleeping blocks in a defined time. The aim of these modifications in the training plan is to reduce day-time sleepiness, improve vigilance, attention, accuracy, speed of the conducted tasks and to optimize energy supplies. Regular improvement of the training supposed to have long-term neurobiological consequences including neuronal activity changes measured by QEEG. Subsequently, that should enhance cognitive functioning in subjects assessed by the digital cognitive test batteries and improve their overall performance.

Keywords: sleep quality, combat performance, actigraph, somnotype

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23 The Effects of Shift Work on Neurobehavioral Performance: A Meta Analysis

Authors: Thomas Vlasak, Tanja Dujlociv, Alfred Barth

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Shift work is an essential element of modern labor, ensuring ideal conditions of service for today’s economy and society. Despite the beneficial properties, its impact on the neurobehavioral performance of exposed subjects remains controversial. This meta-analysis aims to provide first summarizing the effects regarding the association between shift work exposure and different cognitive functions. A literature search was performed via the databases PubMed, PsyINFO, PsyARTICLES, MedLine, PsycNET and Scopus including eligible studies until December 2020 that compared shift workers with non-shift workers regarding neurobehavioral performance tests. A random-effects model was carried out using Hedge’s g as a meta-analytical effect size with a restricted likelihood estimator to summarize the mean differences between the exposure group and controls. The heterogeneity of effect sizes was addressed by a sensitivity analysis using funnel plots, egger’s tests, p-curve analysis, meta-regressions, and subgroup analysis. The meta-analysis included 18 studies resulting in a total sample of 18,802 participants and 37 effect sizes concerning six different neurobehavioral outcomes. The results showed significantly worse performance in shift workers compared to non-shift workers in the following cognitive functions with g (95% CI): processing speed 0.16 (0.02 - 0.30), working memory 0.28 (0.51 - 0.50), psychomotor vigilance 0.21 (0.05 - 0.37), cognitive control 0.86 (0.45 - 1.27) and visual attention 0.19 (0.11 - 0.26). Neither significant moderating effects of publication year or study quality nor significant subgroup differences regarding type of shift or type of profession were indicated for the cognitive outcomes. These are the first meta-analytical findings that associate shift work with decreased cognitive performance in processing speed, working memory, psychomotor vigilance, cognitive control, and visual attention. Further studies should focus on a more homogenous measurement of cognitive functions, a precise assessment of experience of shift work and occupation types which are underrepresented in the current literature (e.g., law enforcement). In occupations where shift work is fundamental (e.g., healthcare, industries, law enforcement), protective countermeasures should be promoted for workers.

Keywords: meta-analysis, neurobehavioral performance, occupational psychology, shift work

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22 Study of Germs Responsible of Nosocomial Infections in Hospital of Guelma

Authors: Wissem Abdaoui, Ilhem Mokhtari, Adel Gouri, Benouareth Djamel Eddine

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Contracted in a health facility, hospital-acquired infections are a major public health problem in recent years. The increase of nosocomial infections is partly related to diagnostic and therapeutic advances in medicine. The aim of our study was to isolate and diagnose some types of bacteria that are circulating in the hospital by performing different samples at two medical services: Pulmonary and Infectious Diseases. The antibiotic susceptibility tests were performed for bacterial isolates. The results have shown that there is a predominance of enterobacteria followed by the staphylococcus with its two species epidermidis ans saprophyticus. The study of the antibiogramme identified that some of these bacteria have a resistant profile against all the tested antibiotics. The fight against nosocomial infections is difficult because it must act on several factors: quality of care, safety of the hospital environment, hygiene, wearing gloves etc. are all areas that should be of heightened vigilance and preventive measures.

Keywords: nosocomial infection, isolation, identification, sensitivity and resistance to antibiotics

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21 Pre-Analytical Laboratory Performance Evaluation Utilizing Quality Indicators between Private and Government-Owned Hospitals Affiliated to University of Santo Tomas

Authors: A. J. Francisco, K. C. Gallosa, R. J. Gasacao, J. R. Ros, B. J. Viado

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The study focuses on the use of quality indicators (QI)s based on the standards made by the (IFCC), that could effectively identify and minimize errors occurring throughout the total testing process (TTP), in order to improve patient safety. The study was conducted through a survey questionnaire that was given to a random sample of 19 respondents (eight privately-owned and eleven government-owned hospitals), mainly CMTs, MTs, and Supervisors from UST-affiliated hospitals. The pre-analytical laboratory errors, which include misidentification errors, transcription errors, sample collection errors and sample handling and transportation errors, were considered as variables according to the IFCC WG-LEPS. Data gathered were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test, Percentile, Linear Regression, Percentage, and Frequency. The laboratory performance of both hospitals is High level. There is no significant difference between the laboratory performance between the two stated variables. Moreover, among the four QIs, sample handling and transportation errors contributed most to the difference between the two variables. Outcomes indicate satisfactory performance between both variables. However, in order to ensure high-quality and efficient laboratory operation, constant vigilance and improvements in pre-analytical QI are still needed. Expanding the coverage of the study, the inclusion of other phases, utilization of parametric tests are recommended.

Keywords: pre-analytical phase, quality indicators, laboratory performance, pre-analytical error

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20 Influence of Vibration Amplitude on Reaction Time and Drowsiness Level

Authors: Mohd A. Azizan, Mohd Z. Zali

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It is well established that exposure to vibration has an adverse effect on human health, comfort, and performance. However, there is little quantitative knowledge on performance combined with drowsiness level during vibration exposure. This paper reports a study investigating the influence of vibration amplitude on seated occupant reaction time and drowsiness level. Eighteen male volunteers were recruited for this experiment. Before commencing the experiment, total transmitted acceleration measured at interfaces between the seat pan and seatback to human body was adjusted to become 0.2 ms-2 r.m.s and 0.4 ms-2 r.m.s for each volunteer. Seated volunteers were exposed to Gaussian random vibration with frequency band 1-15 Hz at two level of amplitude (low vibration amplitude and medium vibration amplitude) for 20-minutes in separate days. For the purpose of drowsiness measurement, volunteers were asked to complete 10-minutes PVT test before and after vibration exposure and rate their subjective drowsiness by giving score using Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS) before vibration, every 5-minutes interval and following 20-minutes of vibration exposure. Strong evidence of drowsiness was found as there was a significant increase in reaction time and number of lapse following exposure to vibration in both conditions. However, the effect is more apparent in medium vibration amplitude. A steady increase of drowsiness level can also be observed in KSS in all volunteers. However, no significant differences were found in KSS between low vibration amplitude and medium vibration amplitude. It is concluded that exposure to vibration has an adverse effect on human alertness level and more pronounced at higher vibration amplitude. Taken together, these findings suggest a role of vibration in promoting drowsiness, especially at higher vibration amplitude.

Keywords: drowsiness, human vibration, karolinska sleepiness scale, psychomotor vigilance test

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19 Health Status among Government and Private Primary School Children in the Central of Thailand

Authors: Petcharat Kerdonfag, Supunnee Thrakul

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School health services through regular screening of school students’ health status have been the main responsibility for community or school health nurses. The purposes of these retrospective study were to assess and compare health problems between government and private primary school students in the central region of Thailand. The data were collected from the school health records in October at the end of the first semester in the academic year 2018. Two thousand and fifty primary school health records from government and private primary schools were gathered to assess health problems regarding anthropometric measurements, physical examination/personal hygiene, and clinical findings for this study. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square were used to be analyzed. The results revealed that health problems of all the school students remained high magnitude. The five top ranks for prevalence rate of health problems were dental caries (36.6%), visual acuity problem (27.7%), over-nutrition (16.8%), head lice (12.8%), and under-nutrition (6.8%), respectively. However, when compared between government and private schools among five health problems; dental caries (55.0% vs 19.9%), visual acuity problem (23.1% vs 31.9%), over-nutrition (20.2% vs 13.8%), head lice (26.5% vs 0.3%), and under-nutrition (10.6% vs 3.4%) with Chi-square analysis, there were significantly different (p < .001). The problem of visual acuity seems to be more serious in private schools while other health problems tend to be more critical in government schools. The findings have suggested that parents who have children in the private primary schools should pay more attention to visual health defects whereas parents with children in the government school should pay more vigilance regards to hygiene and health behavior problems.

Keywords: community health nursing, school health service, health status, primary school children

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18 Study of Some Biometric Parameters of the Incubated Eggs and Unhatched Eggs Depending on the Age of Breeding in Domestic Japanese Quail Coturnix japonica (Aves, Phasianidae)

Authors: Amina Smaï, Habiba Idouhar-Saadi, Safia Zenia, Fairouz Haddadj, Salaheddine Doumandji

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The poultry industry (chicken and egg consumption) has become important in Algeria, but that does not prevent other farms from beginning to position themselves on the ground like the turkey, guinea fowl, partridge and quail Japanese. The breeding importance of this last, reside, also in game meat, egg quality and their therapeutic role without forgetting its growth performance. To the same effect, a study was held at the center of Zeralda hunting on various parameters such as the weight and number of eggs laid and this in order to know better the potential of production and reproduction of domestic quail. Egg laying has started from the 8th week of reproductive age, their harvest and their counts are performed daily up to 32 weeks of age and more. We have given the biometrics of incubated eggs and unhatched eggs. The parameters studied were the weight, large and small diameter, density, volume, shell index and the shape index. The work revealed that the maximum weight in males is reached in the 11th week, against the female, he reached the 13th week of age. Indeed, there is a good correlation (R = 0.79) between the weight of females and egg production. The rate of unhatched eggs varies between 11 and 43%, these values are recorded respectively in breeding under the age of 25 and 43 weeks. Furthermore, the biometric parameters of hatched and unhatched eggs have differences that are marked, especially during the beginning and end of lay. Further results will be subsequently exploited. Indeed, rearing Japanese quail is easy in technical terms and does not require big investment but its practical application vigilance and daily presence of the breeder within the farm who oversees the hygiene and well-being of its poultry.

Keywords: Japanese quail, biometrics, eggs, unhatching eggs, reproduction

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17 Deployment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to Reduce Occurrences of Terrorism in Nigeria

Authors: Okike Benjamin

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Terrorism is the use of violence and threat to intimidate or coerce a person, group, society or even government especially for political purposes. Terrorism may be a way of resisting government by some group who may feel marginalized. It could also be a way of expressing displeasure over the activities of government. On 26th December, 2009, US placed Nigeria as a terrorist nation. Recently, the occurrences of terrorism in Nigeria have increased considerably. In Jos, Plateau state, Nigeria, there was a bomb blast which claimed many lives on the eve of 2010 Christmas. Similarly, there was another bomb blast in Mugadishi (Sani Abacha) Barracks Mammy market on the eve of 2011 New Year. For some time now, it is no longer news that bomb exploded in some Northern part of Nigeria. About 25 years ago, stopping terrorism in America by the Americans relied on old-fashioned tools such as strict physical security at vulnerable places, intelligence gathering by government agents, or individuals, vigilance on the part of all citizens, and a sense of community in which citizens do what could be done to protect each other. Just as technology has virtually been used to better the way many other things are done, so also this powerful new weapon called computer technology can be used to detect and prevent terrorism not only in Nigeria, but all over the world. This paper will x-ray the possible causes and effects of bomb blast, which is an act of terrorism and suggest ways in which Explosive Detection Devices (EDDs) and computer software technology could be deployed to reduce the occurrences of terrorism in Nigeria. This become necessary with the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State from their hostel by members of Boko Haram sect members on 14th April, 2014. Presently, Barrack Obama and other world leaders have sent some of their military personnel to help rescue those innocent schoolgirls whose offence is simply seeking to acquire western education which the sect strongly believe is forbidden.

Keywords: terrorism, bomb blast, computer technology, explosive detection devices, Nigeria

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16 Uncanny Orania: White Complicity as the Abject of the Discursive Construction of Racism

Authors: Daphne Fietz

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This paper builds on a reflection on an autobiographical experience of uncanniness during fieldwork in the white Afrikaner settlement Orania in South Africa. Drawing on Kristeva’s theory of abjection to establish a theory of Whiteness which is based on boundary threats, it is argued that the uncanny experience as the emergence of the abject points to a moment of crisis of the author’s Whiteness. The emanating abject directs the author to her closeness or convergence with Orania's inhabitants, that is a reciprocity based on mutual Whiteness. The experienced confluence appeals to the author’s White complicity to racism. With recourse to Butler’s theory of subjectivation, the abject, White complicity, inhabits both the outside of a discourse on racism, and of the 'self', as 'I' establish myself in relation to discourse. In this view, the qualities of the experienced abject are linked to the abject of discourse on racism, or, in other words, its frames of intelligibility. It then becomes clear, that discourse on (overt) racism functions as a necessary counter-image through which White morality is established instead of questioned, because here, by White reasoning, the abject of complicity to racism is successfully repressed, curbed, as completely impossible in the binary construction. Hence, such discourse endangers a preservation of racism in its pre-discursive and structural forms as long as its critique does not encompass its own location and performance in discourse. Discourse on overt racism is indispensable to White ignorance as it covers underlying racism and pre-empts further critique. This understanding directs us towards a form of critique which does necessitate self-reflection, uncertainty, and vigilance, which will be referred to as a discourse of relationality. Such a discourse diverges from the presumption of a detached author as a point of reference, and instead departs from attachment, dependence, mutuality and embraces the visceral as a resource of knowledge of relationality. A discourse of relationality points to another possibility of White engagement with Whiteness and racism and further promotes a conception of responsibility, which allows for and highlights dispossession and relationality in contrast to single agency and guilt.

Keywords: abjection, discourse, relationality, the visceral, whiteness

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15 Nitrogen Fixation in Hare Gastrointestinal Tract

Authors: Tatiana A. Kuznetsova, Maxim V. Vechersky, Natalia V. Kostina, Marat M. Umarov, Elena I. Naumova

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One of the main problems of nutrition of phytophagous animals is the insufficiency of protein in their forage. Usually, symbiotic microorganisms highly contribute both to carbohydrates and nitrogen compounds of the food. But it is not easy to utilize microbial biomass in the large intestine and caecum for the animals with hindgut fermentation. So that, some animals, as well hares, developed special mechanism of contribution of such biomass - obligate autocoprophagy, or reingestion. Hares have two types of feces - the hard and the soft. Hard feces are excreted at night, while hares are vigilance ("foraging period"), and the soft ones (caecotrophs) are produced and reingested in the day-time during hares "resting-period". We examine the role of microbial digestion in providing nitrogen nutrition of hare (Lepus europaeus). We determine the ability of nitrogen fixation in fornix and stomach body, small intestine, caecum and colon of hares' gastro-intestinal tract in two main period of hares activity - "resting-period" (day time) and "foraging period" (late-evening and very-early-morning). We use gas chromatography to measure levels of nitrogen fixing activity (acetylene reduction). Nitrogen fixing activity was detected in the contents of all analyzed parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Maximum values were recorded in the large intestine. Also daily dynamics of the process was detected. Thus, during hare “resting-period” (caecotrophs formation) N2-fixing activity was significantly higher than during “foraging period”, reaching 0,3 nmol C2H4/g*h. N2-fixing activity in the gastrointestinal tract can allocate to significant contribution of nitrogen fixers to microbial digestion in hare and confirms the importance of coprophagy as a nitrogen source in lagomorphs.

Keywords: coprophagy, gastrointestinal tract, lagomorphs, nitrogen fixation

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14 A Continuous Real-Time Analytic for Predicting Instability in Acute Care Rapid Response Team Activations

Authors: Ashwin Belle, Bryce Benson, Mark Salamango, Fadi Islim, Rodney Daniels, Kevin Ward

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A reliable, real-time, and non-invasive system that can identify patients at risk for hemodynamic instability is needed to aid clinicians in their efforts to anticipate patient deterioration and initiate early interventions. The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the clinical capabilities of a real-time analytic from a single lead of an electrocardiograph to correctly distinguish between rapid response team (RRT) activations due to hemodynamic (H-RRT) and non-hemodynamic (NH-RRT) causes, as well as predict H-RRT cases with actionable lead times. The study consisted of a single center, retrospective cohort of 21 patients with RRT activations from step-down and telemetry units. Through electronic health record review and blinded to the analytic’s output, each patient was categorized by clinicians into H-RRT and NH-RRT cases. The analytic output and the categorization were compared. The prediction lead time prior to the RRT call was calculated. The analytic correctly distinguished between H-RRT and NH-RRT cases with 100% accuracy, demonstrating 100% positive and negative predictive values, and 100% sensitivity and specificity. In H-RRT cases, the analytic detected hemodynamic deterioration with a median lead time of 9.5 hours prior to the RRT call (range 14 minutes to 52 hours). The study demonstrates that an electrocardiogram (ECG) based analytic has the potential for providing clinical decision and monitoring support for caregivers to identify at risk patients within a clinically relevant timeframe allowing for increased vigilance and early interventional support to reduce the chances of continued patient deterioration.

Keywords: critical care, early warning systems, emergency medicine, heart rate variability, hemodynamic instability, rapid response team

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13 The Effectiveness of the Recovering from Child Abuse Programme (RCAP) for the Treatment of CPTSD: A Pilot Study

Authors: Siobhan Hegarty, Michael Bloomfield, Kim Entholt, Dorothy Williams, Helen Kennerley

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Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) confers greater risk of poor outcomes than does Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Despite this, the current treatment guidelines for CPTSD aim to reduce only the ‘core’ symptoms of re-experiencing, hyper-vigilance and avoidance, while not addressing the Disturbances of Self Organisation (DSO) symptoms that distinguish this novel diagnosis from PTSD. The Recovering from Child Abuse Programme (RCAP) is a group protocol, based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Preliminary evidence suggests the program is effective at reducing DSO symptoms. This pilot study is the first to investigate the potential effectiveness of the RCAP for the specific treatment of CPTSD. This study was conducted as a service evaluation in a secondary care, traumatic stress service. Treatment was delivered once a week, in two-hour sessions, to ten existing female CPTSD patients of the service, who had experienced sexual abuse in childhood. The programme was administered by two therapists and two additional facilitators, following the RCAP protocol manual. Symptom severity was measured before the administration of therapy and was tracked across a range of measures (International Trauma Questionnaire; Patient Health Questionnaire; Community Assessment of Psychic Experience; Work and Social Adjustment Scale) at five time points, over the course of treatment. Qualitative appraisal of the programme was gathered via weekly feedback forms and from audio-taped recordings of verbal feedback given during group sessions. Preliminary results suggest the programme causes a slight reduction in CPTSD and depressive symptom severity and preliminary qualitative analysis suggests that the RCAP is both helpful and acceptable to group members. Final results and conclusions will follow completed thematic analysis of results.

Keywords: Child sexual abuse, Cognitive behavioural therapy, Complex post-traumatic stress disorder, Recovering from child abuse programme

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12 Continuous Improvement of Teaching Quality through Course Evaluation by the Students

Authors: Valerie Follonier, Henrike Hamelmann, Jean-Michel Jullien

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The Distance Learning University in Switzerland (UniDistance) is offering bachelor and master courses as well as further education programs. The professors and their assistants work at traditional Swiss universities and are giving their courses at UniDistance following a blended learning and flipped classroom approach. A standardized course evaluation by the students has been established as a component of a quality improvement process. The students’ feedback enables the stakeholders to identify areas of improvement, initiate professional development for the teaching teams and thus continuously augment the quality of instruction. This paper describes the evaluation process, the tools involved and how the approach involving all stakeholders helps forming a culture of quality in teaching. Additionally, it will present the first evaluation results following the new process. Two software tools have been developed to support all stakeholders in the process of the semi-annual formative evaluation. The first tool allows to create the survey and to assign it to the relevant courses and students. The second tool presents the results of the evaluation to the stakeholders, providing specific features for the teaching teams, the dean, the directorate and EDUDL+ (Educational development unit distance learning). The survey items were selected in accordance with the e-learning strategy of the institution and are formulated to support the professional development of the teaching teams. By reviewing the results the teaching teams become aware of the opinion of the students and are asked to write a feedback for the attention of their dean. The dean reviews the results of the faculty and writes a general report about the situation of the faculty and the possible improvements intended. Finally, EDUDL+ writes a final report summarising the evaluation results. A mechanism of adjustable warnings allows it to generate quality indicators for each module. These are summarised for each faculty and globally for the whole institution in order to increase the vigilance of the responsible. The quality process involves changing the indicators regularly to focus on different areas each semester, to facilitate the professional development of the teaching teams and to progressively augment the overall teaching quality of the institution.

Keywords: continuous improvement process, course evaluation, distance learning, software tools, teaching quality

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11 Modelling for Roof Failure Analysis in an Underground Cave

Authors: M. Belén Prendes-Gero, Celestino González-Nicieza, M. Inmaculada Alvarez-Fernández

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Roof collapse is one of the problems with a higher frequency in most of the mines of all countries, even now. There are many reasons that may cause the roof to collapse, namely the mine stress activities in the mining process, the lack of vigilance and carelessness or the complexity of the geological structure and irregular operations. This work is the result of the analysis of one accident produced in the “Mary” coal exploitation located in northern Spain. In this accident, the roof of a crossroad of excavated galleries to exploit the “Morena” Layer, 700 m deep, collapsed. In the paper, the work done by the forensic team to determine the causes of the incident, its conclusions and recommendations are collected. Initially, the available documentation (geology, geotechnics, mining, etc.) and accident area were reviewed. After that, laboratory and on-site tests were carried out to characterize the behaviour of the rock materials and the support used (metal frames and shotcrete). With this information, different hypotheses of failure were simulated to find the one that best fits reality. For this work, the software of finite differences in three dimensions, FLAC 3D, was employed. The results of the study confirmed that the detachment was originated as a consequence of one sliding in the layer wall, due to the large roof span present in the place of the accident, and probably triggered as a consequence of the existence of a protection pillar insufficient. The results allowed to establish some corrective measures avoiding future risks. For example, the dimensions of the protection zones that must be remained unexploited and their interaction with the crossing areas between galleries, or the use of more adequate supports for these conditions, in which the significant deformations may discourage the use of rigid supports such as shotcrete. At last, a grid of seismic control was proposed as a predictive system. Its efficiency was tested along the investigation period employing three control equipment that detected new incidents (although smaller) in other similar areas of the mine. These new incidents show that the use of explosives produces vibrations which are a new risk factor to analyse in a next future.

Keywords: forensic analysis, hypothesis modelling, roof failure, seismic monitoring

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10 Satellite Interferometric Investigations of Subsidence Events Associated with Groundwater Extraction in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Authors: B. Mendonça, D. Sandwell

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The Metropolitan Region of Sao Paulo (MRSP) has suffered from serious water scarcity. Consequently, the most convenient solution has been building wells to extract groundwater from local aquifers. However, it requires constant vigilance to prevent over extraction and future events that can pose serious threat to the population, such as subsidence. Radar imaging techniques (InSAR) have allowed continuous investigation of such phenomena. The analysis of data in the present study consists of 23 SAR images dated from October 2007 to March 2011, obtained by the ALOS-1 spacecraft. Data processing was made with the software GMTSAR, by using the InSAR technique to create pairs of interferograms with ground displacement during different time spans. First results show a correlation between the location of 102 wells registered in 2009 and signals of ground displacement equal or lower than -90 millimeters (mm) in the region. The longest time span interferogram obtained dates from October 2007 to March 2010. As a result, from that interferogram, it was possible to detect the average velocity of displacement in millimeters per year (mm/y), and which areas strong signals have persisted in the MRSP. Four specific areas with signals of subsidence of 28 mm/y to 40 mm/y were chosen to investigate the phenomenon: Guarulhos (Sao Paulo International Airport), the Greater Sao Paulo, Itaquera and Sao Caetano do Sul. The coverage area of the signals was between 0.6 km and 1.65 km of length. All areas are located above a sedimentary type of aquifer. Itaquera and Sao Caetano do Sul showed signals varying from 28 mm/y to 32 mm/y. On the other hand, the places most likely to be suffering from stronger subsidence are the ones in the Greater Sao Paulo and Guarulhos, right beside the International Airport of Sao Paulo. The rate of displacement observed in both regions goes from 35 mm/y to 40 mm/y. Previous investigations of the water use at the International Airport highlight the risks of excessive water extraction that was being done through 9 deep wells. Therefore, it is affirmed that subsidence events are likely to occur and to cause serious damage in the area. This study could show a situation that has not been explored with proper importance in the city, given its social and economic consequences. Since the data were only available until 2011, the question that remains is if the situation still persists. It could be reaffirmed, however, a scenario of risk at the International Airport of Sao Paulo that needs further investigation.

Keywords: ground subsidence, Interferometric Satellite Aperture Radar (InSAR), metropolitan region of Sao Paulo, water extraction

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9 Building Resilient Communities: The Traumatic Effect of Wildfire on Mati, Greece

Authors: K. Vallianou, T. Alexopoulos, V. Plaka, M. K. Seleventi, V. Skanavis, C. Skanavis

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The present research addresses the role of place attachment and emotions in community resiliency and recovery within the context of a disaster. Natural disasters represent a disruption in the normal functioning of a community, leading to a general feeling of disorientation. This study draws on the trauma caused by a natural hazard such as a forest fire. The changes of the sense of togetherness are being assessed. Finally this research determines how the place attachment of the inhabitants was affected during the reorientation process of the community. The case study area is Mati, a small coastal town in eastern Attica, Greece. The fire broke out on July 23rd, 2018. A quantitative research was conducted through questionnaires via phone interviews, one year after the disaster, to address community resiliency in the long-run. The sample was composed of 159 participants from the rural community of Mati plus 120 coming from Skyros Island that was used as a control group. Inhabitants were prompted to answer items gauging their emotions related to the event, group identification and emotional significance of their community, and place attachment before and a year after the fire took place. Importantly, the community recovery and reorientation were examined within the context of a relative absence of government backing and official support. Emotions related to the event were aggregated into 4 clusters related to: activation/vigilance, distress/disorientation, indignation, and helplessness. The findings revealed a decrease in the level of place attachment in the impacted area of Mati as compared to the control group of Skyros Island. Importantly, initial distress caused by the fire prompted the residents to identify more with their community and to report more positive feelings toward their community. Moreover, a mediation analysis indicated that the positive effect of community cohesion on place attachment one year after the disaster was mediated by the positive feelings toward the community. Finally, place attachment contributes to enhanced optimism and a more positive perspective concerning Mati’s future prospects. Despite an insufficient state support to this affected area, the findings suggest an important role of emotions and place attachment during the process of recovery. Implications concerning the role of emotions and social dynamics in meshing place attachment during the disaster recovery process as well as community resiliency are discussed.

Keywords: community resilience, natural disasters, place attachment, wildfire

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8 Visual Aid and Imagery Ramification on Decision Making: An Exploratory Study Applicable in Emergency Situations

Authors: Priyanka Bharti

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Decades ago designs were based on common sense and tradition, but after an enhancement in visualization technology and research, we are now able to comprehend the cognitive ability involved in the decoding of the visual information. However, many fields in visuals need intense research to deliver an efficient explanation for the events. Visuals are an information representation mode through images, symbols and graphics. It plays an impactful role in decision making by facilitating quick recognition, comprehension, and analysis of a situation. They enhance problem-solving capabilities by enabling the processing of more data without overloading the decision maker. As research proves that, visuals offer an improved learning environment by a factor of 400 compared to textual information. Visual information engages learners at a cognitive level and triggers the imagination, which enables the user to process the information faster (visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text). Appropriate information, visualization, and its presentation are known to aid and intensify the decision-making process for the users. However, most literature discusses the role of visual aids in comprehension and decision making during normal conditions alone. Unlike emergencies, in a normal situation (e.g. our day to day life) users are neither exposed to stringent time constraints nor face the anxiety of survival and have sufficient time to evaluate various alternatives before making any decision. An emergency is an unexpected probably fatal real-life situation which may inflict serious ramifications on both human life and material possessions unless corrective measures are taken instantly. The situation demands the exposed user to negotiate in a dynamic and unstable scenario in the absence or lack of any preparation, but still, take swift and appropriate decisions to save life/lives or possessions. But the resulting stress and anxiety restricts cue sampling, decreases vigilance, reduces the capacity of working memory, causes premature closure in evaluating alternative options, and results in task shedding. Limited time, uncertainty, high stakes and vague goals negatively affect cognitive abilities to take appropriate decisions. More so, theory of natural decision making by experts has been understood with far more depth than that of an ordinary user. Therefore, in this study, the author aims to understand the role of visual aids in supporting rapid comprehension to take appropriate decisions during an emergency situation.

Keywords: cognition, visual, decision making, graphics, recognition

Procedia PDF Downloads 179
7 Methylphenidate Use by Canadian Children and Adolescents and the Associated Adverse Reactions

Authors: Ming-Dong Wang, Abigail F. Ruby, Michelle E. Ross

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Methylphenidate is a first-line treatment drug for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a common mental health disorder in children and adolescents. Over the last several decades, the rate of children and adolescents using ADHD medication has been increasing in many countries. A recent study found that the prevalence of ADHD medication use among children aged 3-18 years increased in 13 different world regions between 2001 and 2015, where the absolute increase ranged from 0.02 to 0.26% per year. The goal of this study was to examine the use of methylphenidate in Canadian children and its associated adverse reactions. Methylphenidate use information among young Canadians aged 0-14 years was extracted from IQVIA data on prescriptions dispensed by pharmacies between April 2014 and June 2020. The adverse reaction information associated with methylphenidate use was extracted from the Canada Vigilance database for the same time period. Methylphenidate use trends were analyzed based on sex, age group (0-4 years, 5-9 years, and 10-14 years), and geographical location (province). The common classes of adverse reactions associated with methylphenidate use were sorted, and the relative risks associated with methylphenidate use as compared with two second-line amphetamine medications for ADHD were estimated. This study revealed that among Canadians aged 0-14 years, every 100 people used about 25 prescriptions (or 23,000 mg) of methylphenidate per year during the study period, and the use increased with time. Boys used almost three times more methylphenidate than girls. The amount of drug used was inversely associated with age: Canadians aged 10-14 years used nearly three times as many drugs compared to those aged 5-9 years. Seasonal methylphenidate use patterns were apparent among young Canadians, but the seasonal trends differed among the three age groups. Methylphenidate use varied from region to region, and the highest methylphenidate use was observed in Quebec, where the use of methylphenidate was at least double that of any other province. During the study period, Health Canada received 304 adverse reaction reports associated with the use of methylphenidate for Canadians aged 0-14 years. The number of adverse reaction reports received for boys was 3.5 times higher than that for girls. The three most common adverse reaction classes were psychiatric disorders, nervous system disorders and injury, poisoning procedural complications. The number one commonly reported adverse reaction for boys was aggression (11.2%), while for girls, it was a tremor (9.6%). The safety profile in terms of adverse reaction classes associated with methylphenidate use was similar to that of the selected control products. Methylphenidate is a commonly used pharmaceutical product in young Canadians, particularly in the province of Quebec. Boys used approximately three times more of this product as compared to girls. Future investigation is needed to determine what factors are associated with the observed geographic variations in Canada.

Keywords: adverse reaction risk, methylphenidate, prescription trend, use variation

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6 Exploring Neural Responses to Urban Spaces in Older People Using Mobile EEG

Authors: Chris Neale, Jenny Roe, Peter Aspinall, Sara Tilley, Steve Cinderby, Panos Mavros, Richard Coyne, Neil Thin, Catharine Ward Thompson

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This research directly assesses older people’s neural activation in response to walking through a changing urban environment, as measured by electroencephalography (EEG). As the global urban population is predicted to grow, there is a need to understand the role that the urban environment may play on the health of its older inhabitants. There is a large body of evidence suggesting green space has a beneficial restorative effect, but this effect remains largely understudied in both older people and by using a neuroimaging assessment. For this study, participants aged 65 years and over were required to walk between a busy urban built environment and a green urban environment, in a counterbalanced design, wearing an Emotiv EEG headset to record real-time neural responses to place. Here we report on the outputs for these responses derived from both the proprietary Affectiv Suite software, which creates emotional parameters with a real time value assigned to them, as well as the raw EEG output focusing on alpha and beta changes, associated with changes in relaxation and attention respectively. Each walk lasted around fifteen minutes and was undertaken at the natural walking pace of the participant. The two walking environments were compared using a form of high dimensional correlated component regression (CCR) on difference data between the urban busy and urban green spaces. For the Emotiv parameters, results showed that levels of ‘engagement’ increased in the urban green space (with a subsequent decrease in the urban busy built space) whereas levels of ‘excitement’ increased in the urban busy environment (with a subsequent decrease in the urban green space). In the raw data, low beta (13 – 19 Hz) increased in the urban busy space with a subsequent decrease shown in the green space, similar to the pattern shown with the ‘excitement’ result. Alpha activity (9 – 13 Hz) shows a correlation with low beta, but not with dependent change in the regression model. This suggests that alpha is acting as a suppressor variable. These results suggest that there are neural signatures associated with the experience of urban spaces which may reflect the age of the cohort or the spatiality of the settings themselves. These are shown both in the outputs of the proprietary software as well as the raw EEG output. Built busy urban spaces appear to induce neural activity associated with vigilance and low level stress, while this effect is ameliorated in the urban green space, potentially suggesting a beneficial effect on attentional capacity in urban green space in this participant group. The interaction between low beta and alpha requires further investigation, in particular the role of alpha in this relationship.

Keywords: ageing, EEG, green space, urban space

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5 A Multifactorial Algorithm to Automate Screening of Drug-Induced Liver Injury Cases in Clinical and Post-Marketing Settings

Authors: Osman Turkoglu, Alvin Estilo, Ritu Gupta, Liliam Pineda-Salgado, Rajesh Pandey

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Background: Hepatotoxicity can be linked to a variety of clinical symptoms and histopathological signs, posing a great challenge in the surveillance of suspected drug-induced liver injury (DILI) cases in the safety database. Additionally, the majority of such cases are rare, idiosyncratic, highly unpredictable, and tend to demonstrate unique individual susceptibility; these qualities, in turn, lend to a pharmacovigilance monitoring process that is often tedious and time-consuming. Objective: Develop a multifactorial algorithm to assist pharmacovigilance physicians in identifying high-risk hepatotoxicity cases associated with DILI from the sponsor’s safety database (Argus). Methods: Multifactorial selection criteria were established using Structured Query Language (SQL) and the TIBCO Spotfire® visualization tool, via a combination of word fragments, wildcard strings, and mathematical constructs, based on Hy’s law criteria and pattern of injury (R-value). These criteria excluded non-eligible cases from monthly line listings mined from the Argus safety database. The capabilities and limitations of these criteria were verified by comparing a manual review of all monthly cases with system-generated monthly listings over six months. Results: On an average, over a period of six months, the algorithm accurately identified 92% of DILI cases meeting established criteria. The automated process easily compared liver enzyme elevations with baseline values, reducing the screening time to under 15 minutes as opposed to multiple hours exhausted using a cognitively laborious, manual process. Limitations of the algorithm include its inability to identify cases associated with non-standard laboratory tests, naming conventions, and/or incomplete/incorrectly entered laboratory values. Conclusions: The newly developed multifactorial algorithm proved to be extremely useful in detecting potential DILI cases, while heightening the vigilance of the drug safety department. Additionally, the application of this algorithm may be useful in identifying a potential signal for DILI in drugs not yet known to cause liver injury (e.g., drugs in the initial phases of development). This algorithm also carries the potential for universal application, due to its product-agnostic data and keyword mining features. Plans for the tool include improving it into a fully automated application, thereby completely eliminating a manual screening process.

Keywords: automation, drug-induced liver injury, pharmacovigilance, post-marketing

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4 Anti-Graft Instruments and Their Role in Curbing Corruption: Integrity Pact and Its Impact on Indian Procurement

Authors: Jot Prakash Kaur

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The paper aims to showcase that with the introduction of anti-graft instruments and willingness of the governments towards their implementation, a significant change can be witnessed in the anti-corruption landscape of any country. Since the past decade anti-graft instruments have been introduced by several international non-governmental organizations with the vision of curbing corruption. Transparency International’s ‘Integrity Pact’ has been one such initiative. Integrity Pact has been described as a tool for preventing corruption in public contracting. Integrity Pact has found its relevance in a developing country like India where public procurement constitutes 25-30 percent of Gross Domestic Product. Corruption in public procurement has been a cause of concern even though India has in place a whole architecture of rules and regulations governing public procurement. Integrity Pact was first adopted by a leading Oil and Gas government company in 2006. Till May 2015, over ninety organizations had adopted Integrity Pact, of which majority of them are central government units. The methodology undertaken to understand impact of Integrity Pact on Public procurement is through analyzing information received from important stakeholders of the instrument. Government, information was sought through Right to Information Act 2005 about the details of adoption of this instrument by various government organizations and departments. Contractor, Company websites and annual reports were used to find out the steps taken towards implementation of Integrity Pact. Civil Society, Transparency International India’s resource materials which include publications and reports on Integrity Pact were also used to understand the impact of Integrity Pact. Some of the findings of the study include organizations adopting Integrity pacts in all kinds of contracts such that 90% of their procurements fall under Integrity Pact. Indian State governments have found merit in Integrity Pact and have adopted it in their procurement contracts. Integrity Pact has been instrumental in creating a brand image of companies. External Monitors, an essential feature of Integrity Pact have emerged as arbitrators for the bidders and are the first line of procurement auditors for the organizations. India has cancelled two defense contracts finding it conflicting with the provisions of Integrity Pact. Some of the clauses of Integrity Pact have been included in the proposed Public Procurement legislation. Integrity Pact has slowly but steadily grown to become an integral part of big ticket procurement in India. Government’s commitment to implement Integrity Pact has changed the way in which public procurement is conducted in India. Public Procurement was a segment infested with corruption but with the adoption of Integrity Pact a number of clean up acts have been performed to make procurement transparent. The paper is divided in five sections. First section elaborates on Integrity Pact. Second section talks about stakeholders of the instrument and the role it plays in its implementation. Third section talks about the efforts taken by the government to implement Integrity Pact in India. Fourth section talks about the role of External Monitor as Arbitrator. The final section puts forth suggestions to strengthen the existing form of Integrity Pact and increase its reach.

Keywords: corruption, integrity pact, procurement, vigilance

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3 An Introspective look into Hotel Employees Career Satisfaction

Authors: Anastasios Zopiatis, Antonis L. Theocharous

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In the midst of a fierce war for talent, the hospitality industry is seeking new and innovative ways to enrich its image as an employer of choice and not a necessity. Historically, the industry’s professions are portrayed as ‘unattractive’ due to their repetitious nature, long and unsocial working schedules, below average remunerations, and the mental and physical demands of the job. Aligning with the industry, hospitality and tourism scholars embarked on a journey to investigate pertinent topics with the aim of enhancing our conceptual understanding of the elements that influence employees at the hospitality world of work. Topics such as job involvement, commitment, job and career satisfaction, and turnover intentions became the focal points in a multitude of relevant empirical and conceptual investigations. Nevertheless, gaps or inconsistencies in existing theories, as a result of both the volatile complexity of the relationships governing human behavior in the hospitality workplace, and the academic community’s unopposed acceptance of theoretical frameworks mainly propounded in the United States and United Kingdom years ago, necessitate our continuous vigilance. Thus, in an effort to enhance and enrich the discourse, we set out to investigate the relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction traits and the individual’s career satisfaction, and subsequent intention to remain in the hospitality industry. Reflecting on existing literature, a quantitative survey was developed and administered, face-to-face, to 650 individuals working as full-time employees in 4- and 5- star hotel establishments in Cyprus, whereas a multivariate statistical analysis method, namely Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), was utilized to determine whether relationships existed between constructs as a means to either accept or reject the hypothesized theory. Findings, of interest to both industry stakeholders and academic scholars, suggest that the individual’s future intention to remain within the industry is primarily associated with extrinsic job traits. Our findings revealed that positive associations exist between extrinsic job traits, and both career satisfaction and future intention. In contrast, when investigating the relationship of intrinsic traits, a positive association was revealed only with career satisfaction. Apparently, the local industry’s environmental factors of seasonality, excessive turnover, overdependence on seasonal, and part-time migrant workers, prohibit industry stakeholders in effectively investing the time and resources in the development and professional growth of their employees. Consequently intrinsic job satisfaction factors such as advancement, growth, and achievement, take backstage to the more materialistic extrinsic factors. Findings from the subsequent mediation analysis support the notion that intrinsic traits can positively influence future intentions indirectly only through career satisfaction, whereas extrinsic traits can positively impact both career satisfaction and future intention both directly and indirectly.

Keywords: career satisfaction, Cyprus, hotel employees, structural equation modeling, SEM

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2 Implementation of a Multidisciplinary Weekly Safety Briefing in a Tertiary Paediatric Cardiothoracic Transplant Unit

Authors: Lauren Dhugga, Meena Parameswaran, David Blundell, Abbas Khushnood

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Context: A multidisciplinary weekly safety briefing was implemented at the Paediatric Cardiothoracic Unit at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It is a tertiary referral centre with a quarternary cardiac paediatric intensive care unit and provides complexed care including heart and lung transplants, mechanical support and advanced heart failure assessment. Aim: The aim of this briefing is to provide a structured platform of communication, in an effort to improve efficiency, safety, and patient care. Problem: The paediatric cardiothoracic unit is made up of a vast multidisciplinary team including doctors, intensivists, anaesthetists, surgeons, specialist nurses, echocardiogram technicians, physiotherapists, psychologists, dentists, and dietitians. It provides care for children with congenital and acquired cardiac disease and is one of only two units in the UK to offer paediatric heart transplant. The complexity of cases means that there can be many teams involved in providing care to each patient, and frequent movement of children between ward, high dependency, and intensive care areas. Currently, there is no structured forum for communicating important information across the department, for example, staffing shortages, prescribing errors and significant events. Strategy: An initial survey questioning the need for better communication found 90% of respondents agreed that they could think of an incident that had occurred due to ineffective communication, and 85% felt that incident could have been avoided had there been a better form of communication. Lastly, 80% of respondents felt that a weekly 60 second safety briefing would be beneficial to improve communication within our multidisciplinary team. Based on those promising results, a weekly 60 second safety briefing was implemented to be conducted on a Monday morning. The safety briefing covered four key areas (SAFE): staffing, awareness, fix and events. This was to highlight any staffing gaps, any incident reports to be learned from, any issues that required fixing and any events including teachings for the week ahead. The teams were encouraged to email suggestions or issues to be raised for the week or to approach in person with information to add. The safety briefing was implemented using change theory. Effect: The safety briefing has been trialled over 6 weeks and has received a good buy in from staff across specialties. The aim is to embed this safety briefing into a weekly meeting using the PDSA cycle. There will be a second survey in one month to assess the efficacy of the safety briefing and to continue to improve the delivery of information. The project will be presented at the next clinical governance briefing to attract wider feedback and input from across the trust. Lessons: The briefing displays promise as a tool to improve vigilance and communication in a busy multi-disciplinary unit. We have learned about how to implement quality improvement and about the culture of our hospital - how hierarchy influences change. We demonstrate how to implement change through a grassroots process, using a junior led briefing to improve the efficiency, safety, and communication in the workplace.

Keywords: briefing, communication, safety, team

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1 Vertebral Artery Dissection Complicating Pregnancy and Puerperium: Case Report and Review of the Literature

Authors: N. Reza Pour, S. Chuah, T. Vo

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Background: Vertebral artery dissection (VAD) is a rare complication of pregnancy. It can occur spontaneously or following a traumatic event. The pathogenesis is unclear. Predisposing factors include chronic hypertension, Marfan’s syndrome, fibromuscular dysplasia, vasculitis and cystic medial necrosis. Physiological changes of pregnancy have also been proposed as potential mechanisms of injury to the vessel wall. The clinical presentation varies and it can present as a headache, neck pain, diplopia, transient ischaemic attack, or an ischemic stroke. Isolated cases of VAD in pregnancy and puerperium have been reported in the literature. One case was found to have posterior circulation stroke as a result of bilateral VAD and labour was induced at 37 weeks gestation for preeclampsia. Another patient at 38 weeks with severe neck pain that persisted after induction for elevated blood pressure and arteriography showed right VAD postpartum. A single case of lethal VAD in pregnancy with subsequent massive subarachnoid haemorrhage has been reported which was confirmed by the autopsy. Case Presentation: We report two cases of vertebral artery dissection in pregnancy. The first patient was a 32-year-old primigravida presented at the 38th week of pregnancy with the onset of early labour and blood pressure (BP) of 130/70 on arrival. After 2 hours, the patient developed a severe headache with blurry vision and BP was 238/120. Despite treatment with an intravenous antihypertensive, she had eclamptic fit. Magnesium solfate was started and Emergency Caesarean Section was performed under the general anaesthesia. On the second day after the operation, she developed left-sided neck pain. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) angiography confirmed a short segment left vertebral artery dissection at the level of C3. The patient was treated with aspirin and remained stable without any neurological deficit. The second patient was a 33-year-old primigavida who was admitted to the hospital at 36 weeks gestation with BP of 155/105, constant headache and visual disturbances. She was medicated with an oral antihypertensive agent. On day 4, she complained of right-sided neck pain. MRI angiogram revealed a short segment dissection of the right vertebral artery at the C2-3 level. Pregnancy was terminated on the same day with emergency Caesarean Section and anticoagulation was started subsequently. Post-operative recovery was complicated by rectus sheath haematoma requiring evacuation. She was discharged home on Aspirin without any neurological sequelae. Conclusion: Because of collateral circulation, unilateral vertebral artery dissections may go unrecognized and may be more common than suspected. The outcome for most patients is benign, reflecting the adequacy of the collateral circulation in young patients. Spontaneous VAD is usually treated with anticoagulation or antiplatelet therapy for a minimum of 3-6 months to prevent future ischaemic events, allowing the dissection to heal on its own. We had two cases of VAD in the context of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy with an acceptable outcome. A high level of vigilance is required particularly with preeclamptic patients presenting with head/neck pain to allow an early diagnosis. This is as we hypothesize, early and aggressive management of vertebral artery dissection may potentially prevent further complications.

Keywords: eclampsia, preeclampsia, pregnancy, Vertebral Artery Dissection

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