Sample records for assessment tool mdat

  1. The Malawi Developmental Assessment Tool (MDAT: the creation, validation, and reliability of a tool to assess child development in rural African settings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa Gladstone


    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Although 80% of children with disabilities live in developing countries, there are few culturally appropriate developmental assessment tools available for these settings. Often tools from the West provide misleading findings in different cultural settings, where some items are unfamiliar and reference values are different from those of Western populations. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Following preliminary and qualitative studies, we produced a draft developmental assessment tool with 162 items in four domains of development. After face and content validity testing and piloting, we expanded the draft tool to 185 items. We then assessed 1,426 normal rural children aged 0-6 y from rural Malawi and derived age-standardized norms for all items. We examined performance of items using logistic regression and reliability using kappa statistics. We then considered all items at a consensus meeting and removed those performing badly and those that were unnecessary or difficult to administer, leaving 136 items in the final Malawi Developmental Assessment Tool (MDAT. We validated the tool by comparing age-matched normal children with those with malnutrition (120 and neurodisabilities (80. Reliability was good for items remaining with 94%-100% of items scoring kappas >0.4 for interobserver immediate, delayed, and intra-observer testing. We demonstrated significant differences in overall mean scores (and individual domain scores for children with neurodisabilities (35 versus 99 [p<0.001] when compared to normal children. Using a pass/fail technique similar to the Denver II, 3% of children with neurodisabilities passed in comparison to 82% of normal children, demonstrating good sensitivity (97% and specificity (82%. Overall mean scores of children with malnutrition (weight for height <80% were also significantly different from scores of normal controls (62.5 versus 77.4 [p<0.001]; scores in the separate domains, excluding social development, also differed

  2. Formative assessments as pedagogic tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashwin Kumar


    Full Text Available This article aims at presenting a state of the art status of formative assessment as a pedagogic tool. To this end, a brief developmental account of different modes of assessment over the last decades will be presented first. Then, formative assessment will be discussed in its constructivist guise. The present literature on assessment suggests that assessment for learning (formative assessment not only represents an assessment tool but it also serves as a pedagogic tool to enhance learning and thinking. It has also gone to lengths to affect the design of classroom tasks and activities. Attempts have been made to delineate the underlying principles of formative assessment which can be used to picture the formation process of learners’ knowledge and development. Subsequently, alternative assessment techniques of which the present article will give an account have been suggested by scholars to operationalize these principles.

  3. Tools for Microbiological risk assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bassett, john; Nauta, Maarten; Lindqvist, Roland

    Microbiological Risk Assessment (MRA) has emerged as a comprehensive and systematic approach for addressing the risk of pathogens in specific foods and/or processes. At government level, MRA is increasingly recognised as a structured and objective approach to understand the level of risk in a given...... food/pathogen scenario. Tools developed so far support qualitative and quantitative assessments of the risk that a food pathogen poses to a particular population. Risk can be expressed as absolute numbers or as relative (ranked) risks. The food industry is beginning to appreciate that the tools for MRA...... can increase the understanding of microbiological risks in foods. It is timely to inform food safety professionals about the availability and utility of MRA tools. Therefore, the focus of this report is to aid the food safety manager by providing a concise summary of the tools available for the MRA...

  4. Tools for microbiological risk assessment


    Bassett, J; Nauta, M; Lindqvist, R.; Zwietering, M. H.


    Microbiological Risk Assessment (MRA) has emerged as a comprehensive and systematic approach for addressing the risk of pathogens in specific foods and/or processes. At government level, MRA is increasingly recognised as a structured and objective approach to understand the level of risk in a given food/pathogen scenario. Tools developed so far support qualitative and quantitative assessments of the risk that a food pathogen poses to a particular population. Risk can be expressed as absolute ...

  5. Employability Skills Assessment Tool Development (United States)

    Rasul, Mohamad Sattar; Rauf, Rose Amnah Abd; Mansor, Azlin Norhaini; Puvanasvaran, A. P.


    Research nationally and internationally found that technical graduates are lacking in employability skills. As employability skills are crucial in outcome-based education, the main goal of this research is to develop an Employability Skill Assessment Tool to help students and lecturers produce competent graduates in employability skills needed by…

  6. Probabilistic Flood Defence Assessment Tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Slomp Robert


    Full Text Available The WTI2017 project is responsible for the development of flood defence assessment tools for the 3600 km of Dutch primary flood defences, dikes/levees, dunes and hydraulic structures. These tools are necessary, as per January 1st 2017, the new flood risk management policy for the Netherlands will be implemented. Then, the seven decades old design practice (maximum water level methodology of 1958 and two decades old safety standards (and maximum hydraulic load methodology of 1996 will formally be replaced by a more risked based approach for the national policy in flood risk management. The formal flood defence assessment is an important part of this new policy, especially for flood defence managers, since national and regional funding for reinforcement is based on this assessment. This new flood defence policy is based on a maximum allowable probability of flooding. For this, a maximum acceptable individual risk was determined at 1/100 000 per year, this is the probability of life loss of for every protected area in the Netherlands. Safety standards of flood defences were then determined based on this acceptable individual risk. The results were adjusted based on information from cost -benefit analysis, societal risk and large scale societal disruption due to the failure of critical infrastructure e.g. power stations. The resulting riskbased flood defence safety standards range from a 300 to a 100 000 year return period for failure. Two policy studies, WV21 (Safety from floods in the 21st century and VNK-2 (the National Flood Risk in 2010 provided the essential information to determine the new risk based safety standards for flood defences. The WTI2017 project will provide the safety assessment tools based on these new standards and is thus an essential element for the implementation of this policy change. A major issue to be tackled was the development of user-friendly tools, as the new assessment is to be carried out by personnel of the

  7. Human factors assessment mechanical compression tools

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murphy, C. [BC Research Inc., Vancouver, BC (Canada)


    The design and use of mechanical compression tools in electrical distribution functions were examined from the point of view of effects of design and use of tools on human operators. Various alternative tools such as manual compression tools, battery operated tools, wedge pressure tools, hydraulic tools, and insulating piercing connectors were also examined for purposes of comparison. Results of the comparative assessment were summarized and a tool satisfaction ratings table was produced for Burndy MD6, Huskie-Robo (REC 258) and Ampact (small) tools, rating level of effort, fatigue experienced, tool mass, force required to crimp, ease of use, comfort while using the tool, maneuverability, and overall satisfaction. Both the battery operated tool as well as the wedge pressure tool have been found to have ergonomic advantages over the mechanical compression tool.

  8. Calculational Tool for Skin Contamination Dose Assessment

    CERN Document Server

    Hill, R L


    Spreadsheet calculational tool was developed to automate the calculations preformed for dose assessment of skin contamination. This document reports on the design and testing of the spreadsheet calculational tool.

  9. Revolutionary Wake Hazard Assessment Tool Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Continuum Dynamics, Inc. (CDI) has developed a Multiple Aircraft Simulation Tool (MAST) that revolutionizes the ability to predict and assess wake interactions...

  10. Requirements Management Tools: A Quantitative Assessment


    Sud, Rajat R.; Arthur, James D.


    This report is primarily aimed at people with some background in Requirements Engineering or practitioners wishing to assess tools available for managing requirements. We provide a starting point for this assessment, by presenting a brief survey of existing Requirements Management tools. As a part of the survey, we characterize a set of requirements management tools by outlining their features, capabilities and goals. The characterization offers a foundation to select and possibly customize a...

  11. Observation as an Assessment Tool. (United States)

    Nickell, Pat; Wilson, Angene


    Considers the use of observation in the classroom as a means of student assessment. Focuses on developing an observation instrument, the scoring criteria, and using progress-based rankings rather than static rankings. Provides an example teacher observation form. (CMK)

  12. PCATool: primary care assessment tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armando Henrique Norman


    Full Text Available A Revista Brasileira de Medicina de Família e Comunidade (RBMFC  encerra o ano de 2013 com uma edição em comemoração ao nascimento da Dra. Barbara Starfield em 18 de dezembro (18/12/1932 - 10/6/2011. A foto da capa, intitulada  “Desayuno en Buitrago de Lozoya” retrata a amizade entre Barbara Starfield, seu marido Neil “Tony” Holtzman e Juan Gérvas e Mercedes Pérez Fernández (autora da foto, na qual desfrutam e compartilham a vida à mesa. A mesa também faz referência a uma característica marcante de Starfield: a de nutriz (do latim nuctrix, que possui a capacidade de nutrir; que sustenta. Como  afirmou seu marido Tony: - “Ela fez isso por meio de sua pesquisa, sua paixão altruísta e sua orientação àqueles que se preocupam com as pessoas, a justiça e a verdade”1.O editorial especial para esta edição foi escrito pelo Dr. Juan Gérvas e reflete a importância de se avaliar a qualidade da atenção primária à saúde (APS a fim de que ela possa, continuamente,  se fortalecer. Em decorrência disso, todos os artigos desta edição versam sobre o Instrumento de Avaliação da Atenção Primária, em inglês Primary Care Assessment Tool (PCATool, sua validação, adaptação e aplicação para a APS2. Starfield e colaboradores desenvolveram, no The Johns Hopkins Populations Care Policy Center for the Underserved Populations, o PCATool, instrumento que permite mensurar a presença e a extensão dos atributos essenciais e derivados da APS3. Os quatro atributos essenciais da APS: a acesso de primeiro contato; b continuidade do cuidado; c abrangência  (comprehensiveness; e d coordenação dos cuidados são subcomponentes do acesso e, portanto, a qualidade dos serviços passa pela melhoria de estruturas e processos (efetividade que garantam o acesso tanto no nível individual – atendendo os indivíduos e suas necessidades em saúde – como no nível populacional, em que o acesso volta-se à dimensão ética da

  13. Air Traffic Management Cost Assessment Tool Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Robust Analytics air traffic management cost assessment tool provides the comprehensive capability to analyze the impacts of NASA Airspace Systems Program (ASP)...

  14. New risk assessment tools in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kraker, H. de; Douwes, M.


    In this paper an introduction to and description of the risk assessment tools that are freely available for companies in The Netherlands is given. It is explained in what way the tools can and should be used and how the level I checklist for physical load and the level II instruments are related. Th

  15. Automated Assessment in a Programming Tools Course (United States)

    Fernandez Aleman, J. L.


    Automated assessment systems can be useful for both students and instructors. Ranking and immediate feedback can have a strongly positive effect on student learning. This paper presents an experience using automatic assessment in a programming tools course. The proposal aims at extending the traditional use of an online judging system with a…

  16. Designing Online Assessment Tools for Disengaged Youth (United States)

    Brader, Andy; Luke, Allan; Klenowski, Val; Connolly, Stephen; Behzadpour, Adib


    This article reports on the development of online assessment tools for disengaged youth in flexible learning environments. Sociocultural theories of learning and assessment and Bourdieu's sociological concepts of capital and exchange were used to design a purpose-built content management system. This design experiment engaged participants in…

  17. Exposure Assessment Tools by Lifestages and Populations (United States)

    EPA ExpoBox is a toolbox for exposure assessors. Its purpose is to provide a compendium of exposure assessment and risk characterization tools that will present comprehensive step-by-step guidance and links to relevant exposure assessment data bases

  18. A Tool To Assess Journal Price Discrimination. (United States)

    Meyer, Richard W.


    The author designed an experiment to determine whether periodical price inflation might be dampened by electronic scholarship. This article discusses results of an econometric analysis of prices for 859 periodical titles for three consecutive years, and concludes with a description of an analytical tool that may be used to assess journal prices.…

  19. Assessment and Development of Software Engineering Tools (United States)


    Assessment (REA) tool would advise a potential software reuser on the tradeoffs between reusing a RSC versus developing a brand new software product...of memberships in the key RSC reusability attributes; e.g., size, structure, or documentation, etc., all of which would be weighted by reuser

  20. Software Tools Used for Continuous Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corina SBUGHEA


    Full Text Available he present paper addresses the subject of continuous evaluation and of the IT tools that support it. The approach starts from the main concepts and methods used in the teaching process, according to the assessment methodology and, then, it focuses on their implementation in the Wondershare QuizCreator software.

  1. Risk assessment meta tool LDRD final report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bouchard, Ann Marie; Osbourn, Gordon Cecil


    The goal of this project was to develop a risk analysis meta tool--a tool that enables security analysts both to combine and analyze data from multiple other risk assessment tools on demand. Our approach was based on the innovative self-assembling software technology under development by the project team. This technology provides a mechanism for the user to specify his intentions at a very high level (e.g., equations or English-like text), and then the code self-assembles itself, taking care of the implementation details. The first version of the meta tool focused specifically in importing and analyzing data from Joint Conflict and Tactical Simulation (JCATS) force-on-force simulation. We discuss the problem, our approach, technical risk, and accomplishments on this project, and outline next steps to be addressed with follow-on funding.

  2. Mass Casualty Triage Performance Assessment Tool (United States)


    tactical tasks for which Soldiers are supposed to be trained to complete and the lack of more precise measurement tools, one key gap identified for...between the wound and the heart) and elevate the wound above the level of the heart to slow the flow of blood to the wound. • Apply a clean...TERMS Assessment, Triage, Performance measurement , Feedback, Tasks-Collective, Brigade Combat Teams, Task analysis

  3. Data Center IT Equipment Energy Assessment Tools: Current State of Commercial Tools, Proposal for a Future Set of Assessment Tools

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Radhakrishnan, Ben D. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); National Univ., San Diego, CA (United States). School of Engineering


    This research project, which was conducted during the Summer and Fall of 2011, investigated some commercially available assessment tools with a focus on IT equipment to see if such tools could round out the DC Pro tool suite. In this research, the assessment capabilities of the various tools were compiled to help make “non-biased” information available to the public. This research should not be considered to be exhaustive on all existing vendor tools although a number of vendors were contacted. Large IT equipment OEM’s like IBM and Dell provide their proprietary internal automated software which does not work on any other IT equipment. However, found two companies with products that showed promise in performing automated assessments for IT equipment from different OEM vendors. This report documents the research and provides a list of software products reviewed, contacts and websites, product details, discussions with specific companies, a set of recommendations, and next steps. As a result of this research, a simple 3-level approach to an IT assessment tool is proposed along with an example of an assessment using a simple IT equipment data collection tool (Level 1, spreadsheet). The tool has been reviewed with the Green Grid and LBNL staff. The initial feedback has been positive although further refinement to the tool will be necessary. Proposed next steps include a field trial of at least two vendors’ software in two different data centers with an objective to prove the concept, ascertain the extent of energy and computational assessment, ease of installation and opportunities for continuous improvement. Based on the discussions, field trials (or case studies) are proposed with two vendors – JouleX (expected to be completed in 2012) and Sentilla.

  4. Wound assessment tools and nurses' needs: an evaluation study. (United States)

    Greatrex-White, Sheila; Moxey, Helen


    The purpose of this study was to ascertain how well different wound assessment tools meet the needs of nurses in carrying out general wound assessment and whether current tools are fit for purpose. The methodology employed was evaluation research. In order to conduct the evaluation, a literature review was undertaken to identify the criteria of an optimal wound assessment tool which would meet nurses' needs. Several freely available wound assessment tools were selected based on predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria and an audit tool was developed to evaluate the selected tools based on how well they met the criteria of the optimal wound assessment tool. The results provide a measure of how well the selected wound assessment tools meet the criteria of the optimal wound assessment tool. No tool was identified which fulfilled all the criteria, but two (the Applied Wound Management tool and the National Wound Assessment Form) met the most criteria of the optimal tool and were therefore considered to best meet nurses' needs in wound assessment. The study provides a mechanism for the appraisal of wound assessment tools using a set of optimal criteria which could aid practitioners in their search for the best wound assessment tool.

  5. Strengthening the foundations of proliferation assessment tools.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rexroth, Paul E.; Saltiel, David H.; Rochau, Gary Eugene; Cleary, Virginia D.; Ng, Selena (AREVA NC, Paris, France); Greneche, Dominique (AREVA NC, Paris, France); Giannangeli, Don (Texas A& M University, College Station, TX); Charlton, William S. (Texas A& M University, College Station, TX); Ford, David (Texas A& M University, College Station, TX)


    Robust and reliable quantitative proliferation assessment tools have the potential to contribute significantly to a strengthened nonproliferation regime and to the future deployment of nuclear fuel cycle technologies. Efforts to quantify proliferation resistance have thus far met with limited success due to the inherent subjectivity of the problem and interdependencies between attributes that lead to proliferation resistance. We suggest that these limitations flow substantially from weaknesses in the foundations of existing methodologies--the initial data inputs. In most existing methodologies, little consideration has been given to the utilization of varying types of inputs--particularly the mixing of subjective and objective data--or to identifying, understanding, and untangling relationships and dependencies between inputs. To address these concerns, a model set of inputs is suggested that could potentially be employed in multiple approaches. We present an input classification scheme and the initial results of testing for relationships between these inputs. We will discuss how classifying and testing the relationship between these inputs can help strengthen tools to assess the proliferation risk of nuclear fuel cycle processes, systems, and facilities.

  6. Wound assessment tools and nurses’ needs: an evaluation study


    Greatrex-White, Sheila; Moxey, Helen


    The purpose of this study was to ascertain how well different wound assessment tools meet the needs of nurses in carrying out general wound assessment and whether current tools are fit for purpose. The methodology employed was evaluation research. In order to conduct the evaluation, a literature review was undertaken to identify the criteria of an optimal wound assessment tool which would meet nurses’ needs. Several freely available wound assessment tools were selected based on predetermin...

  7. Collaborative Assessment Tool (CAT) - Assessing scientific practices in introductory physics (United States)

    Irving, Paul


    An important learning goal of Projects and Practices in Physics (P3) , the transformed introductory mechanics course at Michigan State University, is the development of scientific practices. The design team, as part of the P3 course construction, made clear attempts to assess learning goals that can often be perceived as being a part of the hidden curriculum or considered difficult to assess (e.g., learning to work productively in a group) by developing a collaborative assessment tool (CAT). The CAT is a formative assessment tool that provides students with a numerical grade for how they participated in their learning group on a weekly basis while also providing feedback in the form of written commentary and suggestions on how they might improve at a particular collaborative practice. In this presentation, we demonstrate the CAT tool from two perspectives: 1) how the CAT tool is used within the P3 context and 2) how the formative feedback has affected changes in student interactions in class. We will present the case studies of 3 students who had differing reactions to the feedback they received. We will explore the role the feedback had in their interactions over a four-week period from an in-class perspective and a reflected perspective through interviews and observations. The analysis will also be presented from a tutor and group perspective, which will highlight the affordances the CAT can have in creating a productive learning group. The research on the CAT shows promise in encouraging growth in students' collaborative skills, but this research is still in its infancy and needs to be expanded to include different contexts.

  8. Student Online Readiness Assessment Tools: A Systematic Review Approach (United States)

    Farid, Alem


    Although there are tools to assess student's readiness in an "online learning context," little is known about the "psychometric" properties of the tools used or not. A systematic review of 5107 published and unpublished papers identified in a literature search on student online readiness assessment tools between 1990 and…

  9. Ultrasonography - A viable tool for airway assessment (United States)

    Reddy, Preethi B; Punetha, Pankaj; Chalam, Kolli S


    Background and Aims: Accurate prediction of the Cormack-Lehane (CL) grade preoperatively can help in better airway management of the patient during induction of anaesthesia. Our aim was to determine the utility of ultrasonography in predicting CL grade. Methods: We studied 100 patients undergoing general endotracheal anaesthesia. Mallampati (MP) class, thyromental distance (TMD) and sternomental distance (SMD) were noted. Ultrasound measurements of the anterior neck soft tissue thickness at the level of the hyoid (ANS-Hyoid), anterior neck soft tissue thickness at the level of the vocal cords (ANS-VC) and ratio of the depth of the pre-epiglottic space (Pre-E) to the distance from the epiglottis to the mid-point of the distance between the vocal cords (E-VC) were obtained. CL grade was noted during intubation. Chi-square test was employed to determine if there was any statistical difference in the measurements of patients with different CL grades. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV) and accuracy were calculated for the various parameters. Results: The incidence of difficult intubation was 14%. An ANS-VC >0.23 cm had a sensitivity of 85.7% in predicting a CL Grade of 3 or 4, which was higher than that of MP class, TMD and SMD. However, the specificity, PPV and accuracy were lower than the physical parameters. The NPV was comparable. Conclusion: Ultrasound is a useful tool in airway assessment. ANS-VC >0.23 cm is a potential predictor of difficult intubation. ANS-Hyoid is not indicative of difficult intubation. The ratio Pre-E/E-VC has a low to moderate predictive value. PMID:27942053

  10. Ultrasonography - A viable tool for airway assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Preethi B Reddy


    Full Text Available Background and Aims: Accurate prediction of the Cormack-Lehane (CL grade preoperatively can help in better airway management of the patient during induction of anaesthesia. Our aim was to determine the utility of ultrasonography in predicting CL grade. Methods: We studied 100 patients undergoing general endotracheal anaesthesia. Mallampati (MP class, thyromental distance (TMD and sternomental distance (SMD were noted. Ultrasound measurements of the anterior neck soft tissue thickness at the level of the hyoid (ANS-Hyoid, anterior neck soft tissue thickness at the level of the vocal cords (ANS-VC and ratio of the depth of the pre-epiglottic space (Pre-E to the  distance from the epiglottis to the mid-point of the distance between the vocal cords (E-VC were obtained. CL grade was noted during intubation. Chi-square test was employed to determine if there was any statistical difference in the measurements of patients with different CL grades. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV, negative predictive value (NPV and accuracy were calculated for the various parameters. Results: The incidence of difficult intubation was 14%. An ANS-VC >0.23 cm had a sensitivity of 85.7% in predicting a CL Grade of 3 or 4, which was higher than that of MP class, TMD and SMD. However, the specificity, PPV and accuracy were lower than the physical parameters. The NPV was comparable. Conclusion: Ultrasound is a useful tool in airway assessment. ANS-VC >0.23 cm is a potential predictor of difficult intubation. ANS-Hyoid is not indicative of difficult intubation. The ratio Pre-E/E-VC has a low to moderate predictive value.

  11. 77 FR 28894 - Maritime Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool (United States)


    ... SECURITY Transportation Security Administration Maritime Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool AGENCY: Transportation Security Administration, DHS. ACTION: Notice of removal of TSA's maritime vulnerability self... Self-Assessment Risk Module (TMSARM), developed to support the United States Coast Guard's...

  12. Advanced REACH tool: A Bayesian model for occupational exposure assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McNally, K.; Warren, N.; Fransman, W.; Entink, R.K.; Schinkel, J.; Van Tongeren, M.; Cherrie, J.W.; Kromhout, H.; Schneider, T.; Tielemans, E.


    This paper describes a Bayesian model for the assessment of inhalation exposures in an occupational setting; the methodology underpins a freely available web-based application for exposure assessment, the Advanced REACH Tool (ART). The ART is a higher tier exposure tool that combines disparate sourc

  13. Nursing Assessment Tool for People With Liver Cirrhosis


    GIMENES, Fernanda Raphael Escobar; Reis, Renata Karina; da Silva, Patrícia Costa dos Santos; Silva,Ana Elisa Bauer de Camargo; Atila, Elisabeth


    The aim of this study was to describe the process of developing a nursing assessment tool for hospitalized adult patients with liver cirrhosis. A descriptive study was carried out in three stages. First, we conducted a literature review to develop a data collection tool on the basis of the Conceptual Model of Wanda Horta. Second, the data collection tool was assessed through an expert panel. Third, we conducted the pilot testing in hospitalized patients. Most of the comments offered by the pa...

  14. Development of a sustainability assessment tool for office buildings


    Barbosa, José Amarilio; Mateus, Ricardo; Bragança, L.


    The few available sustainability assessment tools applicable in Portugal are oriented for residential buildings. Nevertheless, the impacts of office buildings have been rising mainly due to an increase in the energy consumption for cooling and heating. This way, due to the growing environmental impact of office buildings, the development of Build-ing Sustainability Assessment (BSA) tools to assess the sustainability of this type of buildings is necessary and important to guide and to boost th...

  15. Assessment Methods and Tools for Architectural Curricula (United States)

    Marriott, Christine A.


    This research explores the process of assessment within the arena of architectural education by questioning traditional assessment practices and probing into the conditions that necessitate change. As architectural educators we have opened our studios to digital technologies for the purposes of design and representation, but how do we measure and…

  16. Analysis of Alternatives for Risk Assessment Methodologies and Tools

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nachtigal, Noel M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States). System Analytics; Fruetel, Julia A. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States). Systems Research and Analysis; Gleason, Nathaniel J. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States). Systems Research and Analysis; Helms, Jovana [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States). Systems Research and Analysis; Imbro, Dennis Raymond [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States). Systems Research and Analysis; Sumner, Matthew C. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States). Systems Research and Analysis


    The purpose of this document is to provide a basic overview and understanding of risk assessment methodologies and tools from the literature and to assess the suitability of these methodologies and tools for cyber risk assessment. Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) performed this review in support of risk modeling activities performed for the Stakeholder Engagement and Cyber Infrastructure Resilience (SECIR) division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C). The set of methodologies and tools covered in this document is not intended to be exhaustive; instead, it focuses on those that are commonly used in the risk assessment community. The classification of methodologies and tools was performed by a group of analysts with experience in risk analysis and cybersecurity, and the resulting analysis of alternatives has been tailored to address the needs of a cyber risk assessment.

  17. Durability, adaptability and energy conservation (DAEC) assessment tool

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Langford, D.A.; Macleod, I.; Dimitrijevic, B. [University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (United Kingdom). Dept. of Civil Engineering; Maver, T.W. [University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (United Kingdom). Dept. of Architecture and Building


    This paper presents an evaluation tool for assessing the durability, adaptability and energy conservation of existing buildings and new building designs - DAEC Tool. The tool is one of the outcomes of the research project 'Sustainability of Buildings: Durability, Adaptability and Energy Conservation'. The paper examines the issues which were the basis for developing the metrics, and the application of the DAEC Tool in the evaluation of selected higher education buildings and a new building design for a community hospital. The paper explains how the DAEC Tool can be used in building design and building management. (author)

  18. Assessment of Available Numerical Tools for Dynamic Mooring Analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Jonas Bjerg; Eskilsson, Claes; Ferri, Francesco

    This report covers a preliminary assessment of available numerical tools to be used in upcoming full dynamic analysis of the mooring systems assessed in the project _Mooring Solutions for Large Wave Energy Converters_. The assessments tends to cover potential candidate software and subsequently c...

  19. Current established risk assessment methodologies and tools

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ionita, Dan; Hartel, Pieter; Pieters, Wolter; Wieringa, Roel


    The technology behind information systems evolves at an exponential rate, while at the same time becoming more and more ubiquitous. This brings with it an implicit rise in the average complexity of systems as well as the number of external interactions. In order to allow a proper assessment of the

  20. Tools for climate change adaptation in water management - inventory and assessment of methods and tools

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ludwig, F.; Swart, R.


    This report summarizes an inventory of methods and tools for assessing climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation options, focusing on the water sector. Two questions are central: What are the opportunities for international applications of Dutch methods and tools? And: Which methods and t

  1. Risk Informed Design Using Integrated Vehicle Rapid Assessment Tools Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A successful proof of concept was performed in FY 2012 integrating the Envision tool for parametric estimates of vehicle mass and the Rapid Response Risk Assessment...

  2. Development and psychometric testing of the nursing culture assessment tool. (United States)

    Kennerly, Susan M; Yap, Tracey L; Hemmings, Annette; Beckett, Gulbahar; Schafer, John C; Borchers, Andrea


    A valid and reliable nursing culture assessment tool aimed at capturing general aspects of nursing culture is needed for use in health care settings to assess and then reshape indicated troubled areas of the nursing culture. This article summarizes the Nursing Culture Assessment Tool's (NCAT) development and reports on a cross-sectional, exploratory investigation of its psychometric properties. The research aims were to test the tool's psychometric properties; discover its dimensionality; and refine the item structure to best represent the construct of nursing culture, an occupational subset of organizational culture. Empirical construct validity was tested using a sample of licensed nurses and nursing assistants (n = 340). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and logistical regression yielded a 6-factor, 19-item solution. Evidence supports the tool's validity for assessing nursing culture as a basis for shaping the culture into one that supports change, thereby accelerating, improving, and advancing nursing best practices and care outcomes.

  3. CogGauge (A Cognitive Assessment Tool) Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Cognitive Gauge (CogGauge) tool aims to develop a portable gaming application that assesses cognitive state of astronaut crew members with the goal of...

  4. GIS Technology: Resource and Habitability Assessment Tool Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This is a one-year project to apply a GIS analysis tool to new orbital data for lunar resource assessment and martian habitability identification.  We used...

  5. Comparative Testing for Corporate Impact Assessment Tools

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Farsang, Andrea; Reisch, Lucia A.

    Environmental and social pressures have increased substantially over the few last decades, and have been accompanied by growing political pressure (e.g., mandatory economic, environmental, social, and governance reporting) and respective societal demands (e.g., critical media reports). Companies...... are increasingly challenged to be ready to respond to these demands. This paper critically examines the following question: To what extent do the measurement tools currently available, in practice and in literature, effectively measure companies’ impact on sustainable development goals (SDGs)? The focus issues...... of our study are: poverty, water and sanitation, education, food and agriculture, climate change, and human rights in three industries, namely: footwear, coffee, and paper and pulp. The paper develops a protocol for the selection and quantification of indicators that can be used in selecting...

  6. Evaluating IMU communication skills training programme: assessment tool development. (United States)

    Yeap, R; Beevi, Z; Lukman, H


    This article describes the development of four assessment tools designed to evaluate the communication skills training (CST) programme at the International Medical University (IMU). The tools measure pre-clinical students' 1) perceived competency in basic interpersonal skills, 2) attitude towards patient-centred communication, 3) conceptual knowledge on doctor-patient communication, and 4) acceptance of the CST programme.

  7. Tools for Assessing Readability of Statistics Teaching Materials (United States)

    Lesser, Lawrence; Wagler, Amy


    This article provides tools and rationale for instructors in math and science to make their assessment and curriculum materials (more) readable for students. The tools discussed (MSWord, LexTutor, Coh-Metrix TEA) are readily available linguistic analysis applications that are grounded in current linguistic theory, but present output that can…

  8. The Development and Demonstration of The Metric Assessment Tool (United States)


    motivate continuous improvement and likewise quality. Attributen of MNaninafui Metrica Section Overview. The importance of metrics cannot be overstated...some of the attributes of meaningful measures discussed earlier in this chapter. The Metrica Handbook. This guide is utilized by a variety of Air...Metric Assessment Tool. 3-8 Metrica Belaction The metric assessment tool was designed to apply to any type of metric. Two criteria were established for

  9. A common assessment tool in inflammatory rheumatisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan Nemeş


    Full Text Available Aims: Once the biologic therapies have been used, the present-day medicine trend is to homogenize the treatment of the inflammatory autoimmune rheumatic diseases, meaning rheumatoid arthritis (RA, ankylosing spondylitis (AS, psoriatic arthritis (PsA and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE. But, there is still the need to find out a common assessment instrument for this pathology.Methods:The study included 120 patients (40 patients with RA, 40 patients with AS, 20 patients with PsA and 20 patients with SLE. They were assessed at the beginning and at the end of the study period by using both DAS (Disease Activity Score and HAQ (Health Assessment Questionnaire scales. BASDAI (Bath AS Disease Activity Index was used for AS patients and SLEDAI (SLE Disease Activity Index for SLE patients. Results: The RA patients had significant improvements regarding both DAS and HAQ scores (DAS mean score was initially 4.49 and finally 3.75; HAQ mean score was initially 1.78 and finally 2.15; p<0.05. Important improvements were registered in AS patients (DAS mean score was initially 5.25 and finally 4.02; HAQ mean score was initially 2.24 and finally 2.57; BASDAI mean score was initially 4.28 and finally 3.21; p<0.05, in PsA patients (DAS mean score was initially 7.32 and finally 5.15; HAQ mean score was initially 2.1 and finally 2.51; p<0.05 and in SLE patients (DAS mean score was initially 4.4 and finally 3.45; HAQ mean score was initially 1.9 and finally 2.4; SLEDAI mean score was initially 24.7 and finally 12.5; p<0.05.Conclusions:Having in view that the DAS scale analyses complex aspects (clinical activity of the disease, its inflammatory lab evidence, patient’s general health status, as well as its good correlation to other specific disease scales, it can be used as a more widely assessment instrument in the autoimmune inflammatory rheumatisms.

  10. Computational Tools to Assess Turbine Biological Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richmond, Marshall C.; Serkowski, John A.; Rakowski, Cynthia L.; Strickler, Brad; Weisbeck, Molly; Dotson, Curtis L.


    Public Utility District No. 2 of Grant County (GCPUD) operates the Priest Rapids Dam (PRD), a hydroelectric facility on the Columbia River in Washington State. The dam contains 10 Kaplan-type turbine units that are now more than 50 years old. Plans are underway to refit these aging turbines with new runners. The Columbia River at PRD is a migratory pathway for several species of juvenile and adult salmonids, so passage of fish through the dam is a major consideration when upgrading the turbines. In this paper, a method for turbine biological performance assessment (BioPA) is demonstrated. Using this method, a suite of biological performance indicators is computed based on simulated data from a CFD model of a proposed turbine design. Each performance indicator is a measure of the probability of exposure to a certain dose of an injury mechanism. Using known relationships between the dose of an injury mechanism and frequency of injury (dose–response) from laboratory or field studies, the likelihood of fish injury for a turbine design can be computed from the performance indicator. By comparing the values of the indicators from proposed designs, the engineer can identify the more-promising alternatives. We present an application of the BioPA method for baseline risk assessment calculations for the existing Kaplan turbines at PRD that will be used as the minimum biological performance that a proposed new design must achieve.

  11. Simulation tools for robotics research and assessment (United States)

    Fields, MaryAnne; Brewer, Ralph; Edge, Harris L.; Pusey, Jason L.; Weller, Ed; Patel, Dilip G.; DiBerardino, Charles A.


    The Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance (RCTA) program focuses on four overlapping technology areas: Perception, Intelligence, Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), and Dexterous Manipulation and Unique Mobility (DMUM). In addition, the RCTA program has a requirement to assess progress of this research in standalone as well as integrated form. Since the research is evolving and the robotic platforms with unique mobility and dexterous manipulation are in the early development stage and very expensive, an alternate approach is needed for efficient assessment. Simulation of robotic systems, platforms, sensors, and algorithms, is an attractive alternative to expensive field-based testing. Simulation can provide insight during development and debugging unavailable by many other means. This paper explores the maturity of robotic simulation systems for applications to real-world problems in robotic systems research. Open source (such as Gazebo and Moby), commercial (Simulink, Actin, LMS), government (ANVEL/VANE), and the RCTA-developed RIVET simulation environments are examined with respect to their application in the robotic research domains of Perception, Intelligence, HRI, and DMUM. Tradeoffs for applications to representative problems from each domain are presented, along with known deficiencies and disadvantages. In particular, no single robotic simulation environment adequately covers the needs of the robotic researcher in all of the domains. Simulation for DMUM poses unique constraints on the development of physics-based computational models of the robot, the environment and objects within the environment, and the interactions between them. Most current robot simulations focus on quasi-static systems, but dynamic robotic motion places an increased emphasis on the accuracy of the computational models. In order to understand the interaction of dynamic multi-body systems, such as limbed robots, with the environment, it may be necessary to build component

  12. The readability of online breast cancer risk assessment tools. (United States)

    Cortez, Sarah; Milbrandt, Melissa; Kaphingst, Kimberly; James, Aimee; Colditz, Graham


    Numerous breast cancer risk assessment tools that allow users to input personal risk information and obtain a personalized breast cancer risk estimate are available on the Internet. The goal of these tools is to increase screening awareness and identify modifiable health behaviors; however, the utility of this risk information is limited by the readability of the material. We undertook this study to assess the overall readability of breast cancer risk assessment tools and accompanying information, as well as to identify areas of suggested improvement. We searched for breast cancer risk assessment tools, using five search terms, on three search engines. All searches were performed on June 12, 2014. Sites that met inclusion criteria were then assessed for readability using the suitability assessment of materials (SAM) and the SMOG readability formula (July 1, 2014–January 31, 2015). The primary outcomes are the frequency distribution of overall SAM readability category (superior, adequate, or not suitable) and mean SMOG reading grade level. The search returned 42 sites were eligible for assessment, only 9 (21.4 %) of which achieved an overall SAM superior rating, and 27 (64.3 %) were deemed adequate. The average SMOG reading grade level was grade 12.1 (SD 1.6, range 9–15). The readability of breast cancer risk assessment tools and the sites that host them is an important barrier to risk communication. This study demonstrates that most breast cancer risk assessment tools are not accessible to individuals with limited health literacy skills. More importantly, this study identifies potential areas of improvement and has the potential to heighten a physician’s awareness of the Internet resources a patient might navigate in their quest for breast cancer risk information.

  13. Development of ecohydrological assessment tool and its application

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    The development of Hydro-Informatic Modelling System (HIMS) provides an integrated platform for hydrological simulation. To extend the application of HIMS, an ecohydrological modeling system named ecohydrological assessment tool (EcoHAT) has been developed. Integrating parameter-management tools, RS (remote sensing) inversion tools, module-design tools and GIS analysis tools, the EcoHAT provides an integrated tool to simulate ecohydrological processes on regional scale, which develops a new method on sustainable use of water. EcoHAT has been applied to several case studies, such as, the Yellow River Basin, the acid deposition area in Guizhou province and the riparian catchment of Guanting reservoir in Beijing. Results prove that EcoHAT can efficiently simulate and analysis the ecohydrological processes on regional scale and provide technical support to integrated water resources management on basin scale.

  14. Development of ecohydrological assessment tool and its application

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU ChangMing; YANG ShengTian; WEN ZhiQun; WANG XueLei; WANG YuJuan; LI Qian; SHENG HaoRan


    The development of Hydro-Informatic Modelling System (HIMS) provides an integrated platform for hydrological simulation. To extend the application of HIMS, an ecohydrological modeling system named ecohydrological assessment tool (EcoHAT) has been developed, integrating parameter-management tools, RS (remote sensing) inversion tools, module-design tools and GIS analysis tools, the EcoHAT provides an integrated tool to simulate ecohydrological processes on regional scale, which develops a new method on sustainable use of water. EcoHAT has been applied to several case studies,such as, the Yellow River Basin, the acid deposition area in Guizhou province and the riparian catchment of Guanting reservoir in Beijing. Results prove that EcoHAT can efficiently simulate and analysis the ecohydrological processes on regional scale and provide technical support to integrated water resources management on basin scale.

  15. Validation of a clinical assessment tool for spinal anaesthesia.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Breen, D


    There is a need for a procedure-specific means of assessment of clinical performance in anaesthesia. The aim of this study was to devise a tool for assessing the performance of spinal anaesthesia, which has both content and construct validity.

  16. Using Tree Diagrams as an Assessment Tool in Statistics Education (United States)

    Yin, Yue


    This study examines the potential of the tree diagram, a type of graphic organizer, as an assessment tool to measure students' knowledge structures in statistics education. Students' knowledge structures in statistics have not been sufficiently assessed in statistics, despite their importance. This article first presents the rationale and method…

  17. School Websites as a Novel Internationalization Assessment Tool (United States)

    Yemini, Miri; Cohen, Anat


    This article presents a case study on internationalization assessment. The international, intercultural and global dimensions at the school level are examined, focusing on the case of one particular secondary school in Israel. A novel, practical assessment tool is presented for the measurement of internationalization intensity and scope at the…

  18. Customizable tool for ecological data entry, assessment, monitoring, and interpretation (United States)

    The Database for Inventory, Monitoring and Assessment (DIMA) is a highly customizable tool for data entry, assessment, monitoring, and interpretation. DIMA is a Microsoft Access database that can easily be used without Access knowledge and is available at no cost. Data can be entered for common, nat...

  19. Psychometric Testing of the Gordon Facial Muscle Weakness Assessment Tool (United States)

    Gordon, Shirley C.; Blum, Cynthia Ann; Parcells, Dax Andrew


    School nurses may be the first health professionals to assess the onset of facial paralysis/muscle weakness in school-age children. The purpose of this study was to test the psychometric properties of the Gordon Facial Muscle Weakness Assessment Tool (GFMWT) developed by Gordon. Data were collected in two phases. In Phase 1, 4 content experts…

  20. Exposure Assessment Tools by Lifestages and Populations - Lifestages (United States)

    EPA ExpoBox is a toolbox for exposure assessors. Its purpose is to provide a compendium of exposure assessment and risk characterization tools that will present comprehensive step-by-step guidance and links to relevant exposure assessment data bases

  1. Exposure Assessment Tools by Lifestages and Populations - Occupational Workers (United States)

    EPA ExpoBox is a toolbox for exposure assessors. Its purpose is to provide a compendium of exposure assessment and risk characterization tools that will present comprehensive step-by-step guidance and links to relevant exposure assessment data bases

  2. Exposure Assessment Tools by Lifestages and Populations - Residential Consumers (United States)

    EPA ExpoBox is a toolbox for exposure assessors. Its purpose is to provide a compendium of exposure assessment and risk characterization tools that will present comprehensive step-by-step guidance and links to relevant exposure assessment data bases

  3. Exposure Assessment Tools by Lifestages and Populations - General Population (United States)

    EPA ExpoBox is a toolbox for exposure assessors. Its purpose is to provide a compendium of exposure assessment and risk characterization tools that will present comprehensive step-by-step guidance and links to relevant exposure assessment data bases

  4. Physical function assessment tools in pediatric rheumatology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Onel Karen B


    Full Text Available Abstract Pediatric rheumatic diseases with predominant musculoskeletal involvement such as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA and juvenile dermatomyositis(JDM can cause considerable physical functional impairment and significantly affect the children's quality of life (QOL. Physical function, QOL, health-related QOL (HRQOL and health status are personal constructs used as outcomes to estimate the impact of these diseases and often used as proxies for each other. The chronic, fluctuating nature of these diseases differs within and between patients, and complicates the measurement of these outcomes. In children, their growing needs and expectations, limited use of age-specific questionnaires, and the use of proxy respondents further influences this evaluation. This article will briefly review the different constructs inclusive of and related to physical function, and the scales used for measuring them. An understanding of these instruments will enable assessment of functional outcome in clinical studies of children with rheumatic diseases, measure the impact of the disease and treatments on their lives, and guide us in formulating appropriate interventions.

  5. ECTA/DaSy Framework Self-Assessment Comparison Tool (United States)

    Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy), 2016


    The Self-Assessment Comparison (SAC) Tool is for state Part C and Section 619/Preschool programs to use to assess changes in the implementation of one or more components of the ECTA System Framework and/or subcomponenets of the DaSy Data System Framework. It is a companion to the ECTA/DaSy Framework Self-Assessment. Key features of the SAC are…

  6. Teamwork Assessment Tools in Modern Surgical Practice: A Systematic Review. (United States)

    Whittaker, George; Abboudi, Hamid; Khan, Muhammed Shamim; Dasgupta, Prokar; Ahmed, Kamran


    Introduction. Deficiencies in teamwork skills have been shown to contribute to the occurrence of adverse events during surgery. Consequently, several teamwork assessment tools have been developed to evaluate trainee nontechnical performance. This paper aims to provide an overview of these instruments and review the validity of each tool. Furthermore, the present paper aims to review the deficiencies surrounding training and propose several recommendations to address these issues. Methods. A systematic literature search was conducted to identify teamwork assessment tools using MEDLINE (1946 to August 2015), EMBASE (1974 to August 2015), and PsycINFO (1806 to August 2015) databases. Results. Eight assessment tools which encompass aspects of teamwork were identified. The Nontechnical Skills for Surgeons (NOTSS) assessment was found to possess the highest level of validity from a variety of sources; reliability and acceptability have also been established for this tool. Conclusions. Deficits in current surgical training pathways have prompted several recommendations to meet the evolving requirements of surgeons. Recommendations from the current paper include integration of teamwork training and assessment into medical school curricula, standardised formal training of assessors to ensure accurate evaluation of nontechnical skill acquisition, and integration of concurrent technical and nontechnical skills training throughout training.

  7. Teamwork Assessment Tools in Modern Surgical Practice: A Systematic Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Whittaker


    Full Text Available Introduction. Deficiencies in teamwork skills have been shown to contribute to the occurrence of adverse events during surgery. Consequently, several teamwork assessment tools have been developed to evaluate trainee nontechnical performance. This paper aims to provide an overview of these instruments and review the validity of each tool. Furthermore, the present paper aims to review the deficiencies surrounding training and propose several recommendations to address these issues. Methods. A systematic literature search was conducted to identify teamwork assessment tools using MEDLINE (1946 to August 2015, EMBASE (1974 to August 2015, and PsycINFO (1806 to August 2015 databases. Results. Eight assessment tools which encompass aspects of teamwork were identified. The Nontechnical Skills for Surgeons (NOTSS assessment was found to possess the highest level of validity from a variety of sources; reliability and acceptability have also been established for this tool. Conclusions. Deficits in current surgical training pathways have prompted several recommendations to meet the evolving requirements of surgeons. Recommendations from the current paper include integration of teamwork training and assessment into medical school curricula, standardised formal training of assessors to ensure accurate evaluation of nontechnical skill acquisition, and integration of concurrent technical and nontechnical skills training throughout training.

  8. Got Graphs? An Assessment of Data Visualization Tools (United States)

    Schaefer, C. M.; Foy, M.


    Graphs are powerful tools for simplifying complex data. They are useful for quickly assessing patterns and relationships among one or more variables from a dataset. As the amount of data increases, it becomes more difficult to visualize potential associations. Lifetime Surveillance of Astronaut Health (LSAH) was charged with assessing its current visualization tools along with others on the market to determine whether new tools would be useful for supporting NASA's occupational surveillance effort. It was concluded by members of LSAH that the current tools hindered their ability to provide quick results to researchers working with the department. Due to the high volume of data requests and the many iterations of visualizations requested by researchers, software with a better ability to replicate graphs and edit quickly could improve LSAH's efficiency and lead to faster research results.

  9. Teamwork Assessment Tools in Modern Surgical Practice: A Systematic Review


    George Whittaker; Hamid Abboudi; Muhammed Shamim Khan; Prokar Dasgupta; Kamran Ahmed


    Introduction. Deficiencies in teamwork skills have been shown to contribute to the occurrence of adverse events during surgery. Consequently, several teamwork assessment tools have been developed to evaluate trainee nontechnical performance. This paper aims to provide an overview of these instruments and review the validity of each tool. Furthermore, the present paper aims to review the deficiencies surrounding training and propose several recommendations to address these issues. Methods. A s...

  10. Performance Analysis of the Capability Assessment Tool for Sustainable Manufacturing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enda Crossin


    Full Text Available This paper explores the performance of a novel capability assessment tool, developed to identify capability gaps and associated training and development requirements across the supply chain for environmentally-sustainable manufacturing. The tool was developed to assess 170 capabilities that have been clustered with respect to key areas of concern such as managing energy, water, material resources, carbon emissions and waste as well as environmental management practices for sustainability. Two independent expert teams used the tool to assess a sample group of five first and second tier sports apparel and footwear suppliers within the supply chain of a global sporting goods manufacturer in Asia. The paper addresses the reliability and robustness of the developed assessment method by formulating the expected links between the assessment results. The management practices of the participating suppliers were shown to be closely connected to their performance in managing their resources and emissions. The companies’ initiatives in implementing energy efficiency measures were found to be generally related to their performance in carbon emissions management. The suppliers were also asked to undertake a self-assessment by using a short questionnaire. The large gap between the comprehensive assessment and these in-house self-assessments revealed the suppliers’ misconceptions about their capabilities.

  11. Survey of Ambient Air Pollution Health Risk Assessment Tools. (United States)

    Anenberg, Susan C; Belova, Anna; Brandt, Jørgen; Fann, Neal; Greco, Sue; Guttikunda, Sarath; Heroux, Marie-Eve; Hurley, Fintan; Krzyzanowski, Michal; Medina, Sylvia; Miller, Brian; Pandey, Kiran; Roos, Joachim; Van Dingenen, Rita


    Designing air quality policies that improve public health can benefit from information about air pollution health risks and impacts, which include respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and premature death. Several computer-based tools help automate air pollution health impact assessments and are being used for a variety of contexts. Expanding information gathered for a May 2014 World Health Organization expert meeting, we survey 12 multinational air pollution health impact assessment tools, categorize them according to key technical and operational characteristics, and identify limitations and challenges. Key characteristics include spatial resolution, pollutants and health effect outcomes evaluated, and method for characterizing population exposure, as well as tool format, accessibility, complexity, and degree of peer review and application in policy contexts. While many of the tools use common data sources for concentration-response associations, population, and baseline mortality rates, they vary in the exposure information source, format, and degree of technical complexity. We find that there is an important tradeoff between technical refinement and accessibility for a broad range of applications. Analysts should apply tools that provide the appropriate geographic scope, resolution, and maximum degree of technical rigor for the intended assessment, within resources constraints. A systematic intercomparison of the tools' inputs, assumptions, calculations, and results would be helpful to determine the appropriateness of each for different types of assessment. Future work would benefit from accounting for multiple uncertainty sources and integrating ambient air pollution health impact assessment tools with those addressing other related health risks (e.g., smoking, indoor pollution, climate change, vehicle accidents, physical activity).

  12. Framework for Detailed Comparison of Building Environmental Assessment Tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ola Eriksson


    Full Text Available Understanding how Building Environmental Assessments Tools (BEATs measure and define “environmental” building is of great interest to many stakeholders, but it is difficult to understand how BEATs relate to each other, as well as to make detailed and systematic tool comparisons. A framework for comparing BEATs is presented in the following which facilitates an understanding and comparison of similarities and differences in terms of structure, content, aggregation, and scope. The framework was tested by comparing three distinctly different assessment tools; LEED-NC v3, Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH, and EcoEffect. Illustrations of the hierarchical structure of the tools gave a clear overview of their structural differences. When using the framework, the analysis showed that all three tools treat issues related to the main assessment categories: Energy and Pollution, Indoor Environment, and Materials and Waste. However, the environmental issues addressed, and the parameters defining the object of study, differ and, subsequently, so do rating, results, categories, issues, input data, aggregation methodology, and weighting. This means that BEATs measure “environmental” building differently and push “environmental” design in different directions. Therefore, tool comparisons are important, and the framework can be used to make these comparisons in a more detailed and systematic way.

  13. Breast clinic triage tool: telephone assessment of new referrals. (United States)

    Cusack, Leila; Brennan, Meagan; Weissenberg, Leisha; Moore, Katrina


    Efficient systems to triage increasing numbers of new referrals to breast clinics are needed, to optimise the management of patients with cancer and benign disease. A tool was developed to triage the urgency of referrals and allocate the most appropriate clinician consultation (surgeon or breast physician (BP)). 259 consecutive new referrals were triaged using the tool. 100% new cancers and 256 (98.8%) referrals overall were triaged to both appropriate category of urgency and the appropriate clinician. This triage tool provides a simple method for assessing new referrals to a breast clinic and can be easily delivered by trained administrative staff by telephone.

  14. The music therapy assessment tool in Alzheimer's patients. (United States)

    Glynn, N J


    1. Empirical research is needed to evaluate immediate and sustained physiological, psychological, and psychosocial therapeutic effects, if any, of music therapy on behavioral patterns of elderly institutionalized Alzheimer's patients. 2. The Music Therapy Assessment Tool (MTAT) was specifically designed and developed to assess the effects of music therapy on behavioral patterns of Alzheimer's disease patients. 3. Preliminary testing of the MTAT suggests that it has fairly high internal consistency and inter-rater reliability and warrants consideration as a research tool. 4. Musical intervention included familiar music to facilitate communication and socialization, ethnic and nostalgic music to stimulate reminiscence, and melodies with distinctive rhythmic patterns to enhance movement and behavioral repatterning.

  15. Risk Assessment in Fractured Clayey Tills - Which Modeling Tools?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chambon, Julie Claire Claudia; Bjerg, Poul Løgstrup; Binning, Philip John


    assessment is challenging and the inclusion of the relevant processes is difficult. Furthermore the lack of long-term monitoring data prevents from verifying the accuracy of the different conceptual models. Further investigations based on long-term data and numerical modeling are needed to accurately......The article presents different tools available for risk assessment in fractured clayey tills and their advantages and limitations are discussed. Because of the complex processes occurring during contaminant transport through fractured media, the development of simple practical tools for risk...

  16. Integrated assessment of marine biodiversity status using a prototype indicator-based assessment tool

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jesper H; Dahl, Karsten; Göke, Cordula


    at an incorrect spatial scale and/or poorly integrated with existing marine environmental monitoring efforts. The objective of this Method Paper is to introduce and describe a simple tool for integrated assessment of biodiversity status based on the HELCOM Biodiversity Assessment Tool (BEAT), where interim...

  17. Web-based teaching tool incorporating peer assessment and self-assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McEvoy, Fintan; McEvoy, Peter M.; Svalastoga, Eiliv L.


    OBJECTIVE. Our objective was to create an electronic learning tool that incorporates the pedagogic advantages of peer assessment and self-assessment into report-generating skills. CONCLUSION. The tool was created using Web programming software. It was tested with 12 veterinary students and provided...

  18. Observational gait assessment tools in paediatrics--a systematic review. (United States)

    Rathinam, Chandrasekar; Bateman, Andrew; Peirson, Janet; Skinner, Jane


    Instrumented gait analysis (IGA) is an expensive technique used to objectively detect gait abnormalities in children. Observational gait assessment is considered as a cost effective alternate for IGA in regular clinical practice. This article is aimed at systematically reviewing the available paediatric gait analysis tools and examines their reliability and validity compared to IGA. This review also examines the structure of these tools, their clinical use and limitations. Articles were searched from PubMed, CINHL, AMED, BNI, EMBASE, PEDro and Cochrane library from the earliest record on the database to December 2012. Hand searches were carried out in a few journals. Studies that examined children's gait using a structured assessment tool were included and analysed for their quality, reliability and validity. Pre-established criteria were used to judge the quality of methodology and reliability and validity. Five observational gait tools for children with Cerebral Palsy (CP) and one for children with Downs Syndrome were identified. Nine studies related to children with CP were enrolled for this review. None of the tools have accomplished the level of IGA's consistency. Edinburgh Visual Gait Score (EVGS) was found to have better reliability and validity than the other tools. Very limited studies were available for most of the gait assessment tools therefore their clinical use cannot be judged based on the existing evidence. EVGS was found to have better concurrent validity and reliability and it should be considered to assess CP gait in regular practice. Future work to investigate the use of low cost technology to improve observers' accuracy of EVGS is suggested.

  19. GEOGLAM Crop Monitor Assessment Tool: Developing Monthly Crop Condition Assessments (United States)

    McGaughey, K.; Becker Reshef, I.; Barker, B.; Humber, M. L.; Nordling, J.; Justice, C. O.; Deshayes, M.


    The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) developed the Global Agricultural Monitoring initiative (GEOGLAM) to improve existing agricultural information through a network of international partnerships, data sharing, and operational research. This presentation will discuss the Crop Monitor component of GEOGLAM, which provides the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) with an international, multi-source, and transparent consensus assessment of crop growing conditions, status, and agro-climatic conditions likely to impact global production. This activity covers the four primary crop types (wheat, maize, rice, and soybean) within the main agricultural producing regions of the AMIS countries. These assessments have been produced operationally since September 2013 and are published in the AMIS Market Monitor Bulletin. The Crop Monitor reports provide cartographic and textual summaries of crop conditions as of the 28th of each month, according to crop type. This presentation will focus on the building of international networks, data collection, and data dissemination.

  20. Creation of complexity assessment tool for patients receiving home care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Leopoldina de Castro Villas Bôas


    Full Text Available Abstract OBJECTIVE To create and validate a complexity assessment tool for patients receiving home care from a public health service. METHOD A diagnostic accuracy study, with estimates for the tool's validity and reliability. Measurements of sensitivity and specificity were considered when producing validity estimates. The resulting tool was used for testing. Assessment by a specialized team of home care professionals was used as the gold standard. In the tool's reliability study, the authors used the Kappa statistic. The tool's sensitivity and specificity were analyzed using various cut-off points. RESULTS On the best cut-off point-21-with the gold standard, a sensitivity of 75.5% was obtained, with the limits of confidence interval (95% at 68.3% and 82.8% and specificity of 53.2%, with the limits of confidence interval (95% at 43.8% and 62.7%. CONCLUSION The tool presented evidence of validity and reliability, possibly helping in service organization at patient admission, care type change, or support during the creation of care plans.

  1. An assessment tool for developing healthcare managerial skills and roles. (United States)

    Guo, Kristina L


    This article is based on a study to identify, and by doing so help develop, the skills and roles of senior-level healthcare managers related to the needs of the current healthcare environment. To classify these roles and skills, a qualitative study was conducted to examine the literature on forces in the healthcare environment and their impact on managers. Ten senior managers were interviewed, revealing six roles as the most crucial to their positions along with the skills necessary to perform those roles. A pilot study was conducted with these senior managers to produce a final assessment tool. This assessment tool helps managers to identify strengths and weaknesses, develop in deficient areas, and promote competence in all areas as demanded by the market and organization. This tool can be used by organizations in the recruitment process and in the training process.

  2. Evaluation of TENCompetence proof of concept assessment tools

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petrov, Milen; Aleksieva-Petrova, Adelina; Stefanov, Krassen; Schoonenboom, Judith; Miao, Yongwu


    Petrov, M., Aleksieva-Petrova, A., Stefanov, K., Schoonenboom, J., & Miao, Y. (2008). Evaluation of TENCompetence proof of concept assessment tools. In H. W. Sligte & R. Koper (Eds.). Proceedings of the 4th TENCompetence Open Workshop. Empowering Learners for Lifelong Competence Development: pedagog

  3. Econometric Assessment of "One Minute" Paper as a Pedagogic Tool (United States)

    Das, Amaresh


    This paper makes an econometric testing of one-minute paper used as a tool to manage and assess instruction in my statistics class. One of our findings is that the one minute paper when I have tested it by using an OLS estimate in a controlled Vs experimental design framework is found to statistically significant and effective in enhancing…


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coculescu Cristina


    Full Text Available The use of information and communication technologies in education offers new means of evaluation and examination. e-Testing is a valuable evaluation tool that teachers can use during final exams and students can exploit for self-assessment, in order to g

  5. Building Assessment Tools Aligned with Grade-Level Outcomes (United States)

    Martin, Caryl; Horton, Mel L.; Tarr, Susan J.


    This article focuses on the development of assessment tools to enhance the acquisition of the grade-level outcomes developed in the K-12 curriculum. Physical education is one of the few educational programs that does not have a multitude of available state and national tests to measure student progress. This distinction has been both a strength…

  6. An advanced tool for Preventive Voltage Security Assessment


    Van Cutsem, Thierry; Capitanescu, Florin; Moors, Cédric; Lefebvre, Daniel; Sermanson, Vincent


    This paper deals with methods for the preventive assessment of voltage security with respect to contingencies. We describe a computing tool for the determination of secure operation limits, together with methods for contingency filtering. Examples from two very different real-life systems are provided. We outline extensions in the field of preventive control. Peer reviewed

  7. Assessing Educational Processes Using Total-Quality-Management Measurement Tools. (United States)

    Macchia, Peter, Jr.


    Discussion of the use of Total Quality Management (TQM) assessment tools in educational settings highlights and gives examples of fishbone diagrams, or cause and effect charts; Pareto diagrams; control charts; histograms and check sheets; scatter diagrams; and flowcharts. Variation and quality are discussed in terms of continuous process…

  8. Developing a Quantitative Tool for Sustainability Assessment of HEIs (United States)

    Waheed, Bushra; Khan, Faisal I.; Veitch, Brian


    Purpose: Implementation of a sustainability paradigm demands new choices and innovative ways of thinking. The main objective of this paper is to provide a meaningful sustainability assessment tool for make informed decisions, which is applied to higher education institutions (HEIs). Design/methodology/approach: The objective is achieved by…

  9. An implementation evaluation of a qualitative culture assessment tool. (United States)

    Tappin, D C; Bentley, T A; Ashby, L E


    Safety culture has been identified as a critical element of healthy and safe workplaces and as such warrants the attention of ergonomists involved in occupational health and safety (OHS). This study sought to evaluate a tool for assessing organisational safety culture as it impacts a common OHS problem: musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). The level of advancement across nine cultural aspects was assessed in two implementation site organisations. These organisations, in residential healthcare and timber processing, enabled evaluation of the tool in contrasting settings, with reported MSD rates also high in both sectors. Interviews were conducted with 39 managers and workers across the two organisations. Interview responses and company documentation were compared by two researchers to the descriptor items for each MSD culture aspect. An assignment of the level of advancement, using a five stage framework, was made for each aspect. The tool was readily adapted to each implementation site context and provided sufficient evidence to assess their levels of advancement. Assessments for most MSD culture aspects were in the mid to upper levels of advancement, although the levels differed within each organisation, indicating that different aspects of MSD culture, as with safety culture, develop at a different pace within organisations. Areas for MSD culture improvement were identified for each organisation. Reflections are made on the use and merits of the tool by ergonomists for addressing MSD risk.

  10. 48 CFR 1323.705 - Electronic products environmental assessment tool. (United States)


    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Electronic products... COMMERCE SOCIOECONOMIC PROGRAMS ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY AND WATER EFFICIENCY, RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES... Products and Services 1323.705 Electronic products environmental assessment tool. The procedures...

  11. Teaching and Learning: Using Digital Tools for Progressive Assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kastbjerg, Rita B.; Petersson, Eva; Lewis Brooks, Anthony


      Non-biased assessment becomes a reality when Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is implemented as a pedagogical tool to augment teacher practice and student learning. This paper details a study that was undertaken at a secondary school in Lithuania involving four educators and 200......) a change from an individual to a collaborative responsibility of assessment, (2) a change from an individual to a collective knowledge shaping, and (3) a change from a possibly weighted evaluation to a defined non-biased assessment outcome. Results from the study point to the potentials from CBT applied...... in education to address future augmented teacher - students' liaisons....

  12. Comparison of occupational exposure assessment tools and concepts for nanomaterials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liguori, Biase; Hansen, Steffen Foss; Baun, Anders

    for Nanomaterials”; “NanoSafer vs. 1.1 – A web-based precautionary risk assessment tool for manufactured nanomaterials using first order modeling” Based on the literature information we have analyzed these tools and discussed elements regarding: the domain of application and whether it accounts for the nanospecific...... opinions, and some concepts were purely theoretical. Therefore, immediate combination of the different models into a larger holistic framework is not possible. Further development of the frameworks, harmonization and validation is needed in future research....

  13. Occupational Exposure Assessment of Nanomaterials using Control Banding Tools

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liguori, Biase

    Nanotechnology can be termed as the “new industrial revolution”. A broad range of potential benefits in various applications for the environment and everyday life of humans can be related to the use of nanotechnology. Nanomaterials are used in a large variety of products already in the market...... assessment to nanomaterials is still a promising route. A few years ago a new conceptual model for the assessment of inhalation exposure to nanomaterials was developed. As illustrated in this thesis, this new model includes considerations on nanoparticles behaviour and physical and chemical properties...... to pursue the development of an advanced CB tool for occupational exposure assessment to nanomaterials. Such as model could be a suitable strategic component for a first exposure assessment and may also improve the risk communication between stakeholders involved in risk assessment of nanomaterials...

  14. Occupational Exposure Assessment of Nanomaterials using Control Banding Tools

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liguori, Biase

    to measurements, it was found that models in general can be used successfully and effectively in assessing the exposure to conventional chemicals. Several models are suggested also by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in the technical guidance document R.14 for the assessment of occupational exposure and some...... assessment to nanomaterials is still a promising route. A few years ago a new conceptual model for the assessment of inhalation exposure to nanomaterials was developed. As illustrated in this thesis, this new model includes considerations on nanoparticles behaviour and physical and chemical properties...... and the included scientific papers provide an in-depth analysis and a case study of CB tools. A set of parameters were identified which should always be taken into account for occupational assessment of inhalation exposure to nanoparticles. Harmonization considering a set of parameters was encouraged in order...

  15. Patient simulation: a literary synthesis of assessment tools in anesthesiology. (United States)

    Edler, Alice A; Fanning, Ruth G; Chen, Michael I; Claure, Rebecca; Almazan, Dondee; Struyk, Brain; Seiden, Samuel C


    High-fidelity patient simulation (HFPS) has been hypothesized as a modality for assessing competency of knowledge and skill in patient simulation, but uniform methods for HFPS performance assessment (PA) have not yet been completely achieved. Anesthesiology as a field founded the HFPS discipline and also leads in its PA. This project reviews the types, quality, and designated purpose of HFPS PA tools in anesthesiology. We used the systematic review method and systematically reviewed anesthesiology literature referenced in PubMed to assess the quality and reliability of available PA tools in HFPS. Of 412 articles identified, 50 met our inclusion criteria. Seventy seven percent of studies have been published since 2000; more recent studies demonstrated higher quality. Investigators reported a variety of test construction and validation methods. The most commonly reported test construction methods included "modified Delphi Techniques" for item selection, reliability measurement using inter-rater agreement, and intra-class correlations between test items or subtests. Modern test theory, in particular generalizability theory, was used in nine (18%) of studies. Test score validity has been addressed in multiple investigations and shown a significant improvement in reporting accuracy. However the assessment of predicative has been low across the majority of studies. Usability and practicality of testing occasions and tools was only anecdotally reported. To more completely comply with the gold standards for PA design, both shared experience of experts and recognition of test construction standards, including reliability and validity measurements, instrument piloting, rater training, and explicit identification of the purpose and proposed use of the assessment tool, are required.

  16. Comparative analysis of deterministic and probabilistic fracture mechanical assessment tools

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heckmann, Klaus [Gesellschaft fuer Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS) gGmbH, Koeln (Germany); Saifi, Qais [VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo (Finland)


    Uncertainties in material properties, manufacturing processes, loading conditions and damage mechanisms complicate the quantification of structural reliability. Probabilistic structure mechanical computing codes serve as tools for assessing leak- and break probabilities of nuclear piping components. Probabilistic fracture mechanical tools were compared in different benchmark activities, usually revealing minor, but systematic discrepancies between results of different codes. In this joint paper, probabilistic fracture mechanical codes are compared. Crack initiation, crack growth and the influence of in-service inspections are analyzed. Example cases for stress corrosion cracking and fatigue in LWR conditions are analyzed. The evolution of annual failure probabilities during simulated operation time is investigated, in order to identify the reasons for differences in the results of different codes. The comparison of the tools is used for further improvements of the codes applied by the partners.

  17. Frameworks and tools for risk assessment of manufactured nanomaterials. (United States)

    Hristozov, Danail; Gottardo, Stefania; Semenzin, Elena; Oomen, Agnes; Bos, Peter; Peijnenburg, Willie; van Tongeren, Martie; Nowack, Bernd; Hunt, Neil; Brunelli, Andrea; Scott-Fordsmand, Janeck J; Tran, Lang; Marcomini, Antonio


    Commercialization of nanotechnologies entails a regulatory requirement for understanding their environmental, health and safety (EHS) risks. Today we face challenges to assess these risks, which emerge from uncertainties around the interactions of manufactured nanomaterials (MNs) with humans and the environment. In order to reduce these uncertainties, it is necessary to generate sound scientific data on hazard and exposure by means of relevant frameworks and tools. The development of such approaches to facilitate the risk assessment (RA) of MNs has become a dynamic area of research. The aim of this paper was to review and critically analyse these approaches against a set of relevant criteria. The analysis concluded that none of the reviewed frameworks were able to fulfill all evaluation criteria. Many of the existing modelling tools are designed to provide screening-level assessments rather than to support regulatory RA and risk management. Nevertheless, there is a tendency towards developing more quantitative, higher-tier models, capable of incorporating uncertainty into their analyses. There is also a trend towards developing validated experimental protocols for material identification and hazard testing, reproducible across laboratories. These tools could enable a shift from a costly case-by-case RA of MNs towards a targeted, flexible and efficient process, based on grouping and read-across strategies and compliant with the 3R (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement) principles. In order to facilitate this process, it is important to transform the current efforts on developing databases and computational models into creating an integrated data and tools infrastructure to support the risk assessment and management of MNs.

  18. Clinical assessment tools identify functional deficits in fragility fracture patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ames TD


    Full Text Available Tyler D Ames,1 Corinne E Wee,1 Khoi M Le,1 Tiffany L Wang,1 Julie Y Bishop,2 Laura S Phieffer,2 Carmen E Quatman2 1The Ohio State University College of Medicine, 2Department of Orthopaedics, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH, USA Purpose: To identify inexpensive, noninvasive, portable, clinical assessment tools that can be used to assess functional performance measures that may put older patients at risk for falls such as balance, handgrip strength, and lumbopelvic control.Patients and methods: Twenty fragility fracture patients and 21 healthy control subjects were evaluated using clinical assessment tools (Nintendo Wii Balance Board [WBB], a handheld dynamometer, and an application for the Apple iPod Touch, the Level Belt that measure functional performance during activity of daily living tasks. The main outcome measurements were balance (WBB, handgrip strength (handheld dynamometer, and lumbopelvic control (iPod Touch Level Belt, which were compared between fragility fracture patients and healthy controls.Results: Fragility fracture patients had lower scores on the vertical component of the WBB Torso Twist task (P=0.042 and greater medial–lateral lumbopelvic sway during a 40 m walk (P=0.026 when compared to healthy controls. Unexpectedly, the fracture patients had significantly higher scores on the left leg (P=0.020 and total components (P=0.010 of the WBB Single Leg Stand task as well as less faults during the left Single Leg Stand task (P=0.003.Conclusion: The clinical assessment tools utilized in this study are relatively inexpensive and portable tools of performance measures capable of detecting differences in postural sway between fragility fracture patients and controls. Keywords: fall risk, geriatric fracture, Nintendo Wii Balance Board, Level Belt, fragility fracture

  19. Developing and implementing an oral care policy and assessment tool.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Stout, Michelle


    Oral hygiene is an essential aspect of nursing care. Poor oral care results in patients experiencing pain and discomfort, puts individuals at risk of nutritional deficiency and infection, and has an adverse effect on quality of life. This article describes how an oral care policy and assessment tool were updated to ensure the implementation of evidence-based practice at one hospital in the Republic of Ireland.

  20. System Maturity and Architecture Assessment Methods, Processes, and Tools (United States)


    1 For a detailed description of the SRL methodology see Sauser, B., J.E. Ramirez- Marquez , D. Nowicki, A...and Ramirez- Marquez 2009; Magnaye, Sauser et al. 2010). Although there are guidelines and tools to support the assessment process (Nolte, Kennedy...employ these metrics (Tan, Sauser et al. 2011). Graettinger, et al. (Graettinger, Garcia et al. 2002) reports that approaches for readiness level

  1. Reliability of tactile tools for pain assessment in blind athletes. (United States)

    Leite, Ana Claudia de Souza; Pagliuca, Lorita M Freitag; Almeida, Paulo Cesar P; Dallaire, Clemence C


    Health professionals have numerous visual and reporting scales at their disposal to assess pain. In recent years new tactile tools have been created (Pain Texture Scale and Tactile Pain Scale). This study validates these scales compared with the Numerical Rating Scale in 36 blind athletes who were assessed before and after competitions in the World Paralympics Games organized by the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) in Quebec, Canada. The reliability of these scales was analyzed through the intraclass correlation coefficient. Results showed good reliability for the Tactile Pain Scale and satisfactory reliability for the Pain Texture Scale.

  2. Assessment of in-hand manipulation: Tool development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kavitha Raja


    Full Text Available Objective: The aim of this study is to develop an assessment tool for in-hand manipulation skills (IHMS and establish its psychometric properties. Design: Items are pooled based on literature and expert opinion. Content validation was performed by ten rehabilitation professionals. The test was administered to 123 typically developing, and 15 children with hand dysfunction-cerebral palsy (3, developmental coordination disorder (5, and Down syndrome (7. The latter group was given intervention, specific to upper extremity for 15 days, and test was readministered. Rasch analysis for rating scale structure, fit statistics, and dimension analysis was done. Results: Content validation was analyzed qualitatively. Suggestions were incorporated which consisted of instructions for scoring and test administration. The four-level ordinal rating scale was appropriate according to Rasch analysis. Of fifty items, three misfit items from translation subscale were removed based on fit statistics and clinical decision. The final test has 47 items. The tool had excellent inter-tester reliability and test stability and was responsive to change. Conclusion: Assessment of in-hand manipulation is a robust tool for clinical use in assessment IHMS.

  3. Dangerous chemical substances – Tools supporting occupational risk assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elżbieta Dobrzyńska


    Full Text Available The assessment of risk associated with exposure to chemicals in the work environment is a task that still poses a lot of difficulties for the employers. At the same time the probability of adverse health effects faced by an employee as a result of such risks, and the related employer’s material losses should motivate employers to seek effective solutions aimed at assessing the risks and controling them to an acceptable level by the application of appropriate preventive measures. The paper presents examples of tools to assist the employer in the risk assessment associated with the presence of chemical agents in the workplace. Examples of guides, manuals, checklists and various interactive tools, developed in Poland and other European Union (EU countries, as well as in countries outside the EU and international organizations are described. These tools have been developed to meet the current requirements of the law and allow a rough estimation of chemical risk and based on these estimates take further steps to improve working conditions and safety. Med Pr 2014;65(5:683–692

  4. Development and Validation of the Tibetan Primary Care Assessment Tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenhua Wang


    Full Text Available Objective. To develop a primary care assessment tool in Tibetan area and assess the primary care quality among different healthcare settings. Methods. Primary care assessment tool-Tibetan version (PCAT-T was developed to measure seven primary care domains. Data from a cross-sectional survey of 1386 patients was used to conduct validity and reliability analysis of PCAT-T. Analysis of variance was used to conduct comparison of primary care quality among different healthcare settings. Results. A 28-item PCAT-T was constructed which included seven multi-item scales and two single-item scales. All of multi-item scales achieved good internal consistency and item-total correlations. Scaling assumptions tests were well satisfied. The full range of possible scores was observed for all scales, except first contact and continuity. Compared with prefecture hospital (77.42 and county hospital (82.01, township health center achieved highest primary care quality total score (86.64. Conclusions. PCAT-T is a valid and reliable tool to measure patients' experience of primary care in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Township health center has the best primary care performance compared with other healthcare settings, and township health center should play a key role in providing primary care in Tibet.

  5. Assessing Comprehension During Reading with the Reading Strategy Assessment Tool (RSAT)


    Magliano, Joseph P.; Millis, Keith K.; Levinstein, Irwin


    Comprehension emerges as the results of inference and strategic processes that support the construction of a coherent mental model for a text. However, the vast majority of comprehension skills tests adopt a format that does not afford an assessment of these processes as they operate during reading. This study assessed the viability of the Reading Strategy Assessment Tool (RSAT), which is an automated computer-based reading assessment designed to measure readers’ comprehension and spontaneous...

  6. Software Tools to Support the Assessment of System Health (United States)

    Melcher, Kevin J.


    This presentation provides an overview of three software tools that were developed by the NASA Glenn Research Center to support the assessment of system health: the Propulsion Diagnostic Method Evaluation Strategy (ProDIMES), the Systematic Sensor Selection Strategy (S4), and the Extended Testability Analysis (ETA) tool. Originally developed to support specific NASA projects in aeronautics and space, these software tools are currently available to U.S. citizens through the NASA Glenn Software Catalog. The ProDiMES software tool was developed to support a uniform comparison of propulsion gas path diagnostic methods. Methods published in the open literature are typically applied to dissimilar platforms with different levels of complexity. They often address different diagnostic problems and use inconsistent metrics for evaluating performance. As a result, it is difficult to perform a one ]to ]one comparison of the various diagnostic methods. ProDIMES solves this problem by serving as a theme problem to aid in propulsion gas path diagnostic technology development and evaluation. The overall goal is to provide a tool that will serve as an industry standard, and will truly facilitate the development and evaluation of significant Engine Health Management (EHM) capabilities. ProDiMES has been developed under a collaborative project of The Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP) based on feedback provided by individuals within the aircraft engine health management community. The S4 software tool provides a framework that supports the optimal selection of sensors for health management assessments. S4 is structured to accommodate user ]defined applications, diagnostic systems, search techniques, and system requirements/constraints. One or more sensor suites that maximize this performance while meeting other user ]defined system requirements that are presumed to exist. S4 provides a systematic approach for evaluating combinations of sensors to determine the set or sets of

  7. Reduction of inequalities in health: assessing evidence-based tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shea Beverley


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The reduction of health inequalities is a focus of many national and international health organisations. The need for pragmatic evidence-based approaches has led to the development of a number of evidence-based equity initiatives. This paper describes a new program that focuses upon evidence- based tools, which are useful for policy initiatives that reduce inequities. Methods This paper is based on a presentation that was given at the "Regional Consultation on Policy Tools: Equity in Population Health Reports," held in Toronto, Canada in June 2002. Results Five assessment tools were presented. 1. A database of systematic reviews on the effects of educational, legal, social, and health interventions to reduce unfair inequalities is being established through the Cochrane and Campbell Collaborations. 2 Decision aids and shared decision making can be facilitated in disadvantaged groups by 'health coaches' to help people become better decision makers, negotiators, and navigators of the health system; a pilot study in Chile has provided proof of this concept. 3. The CIET Cycle: Combining adapted cluster survey techniques with qualitative methods, CIET's population based applications support evidence-based decision making at local and national levels. The CIET map generates maps directly from survey or routine institutional data, to be used as evidence-based decisions aids. Complex data can be displayed attractively, providing an important tool for studying and comparing health indicators among and between different populations. 4. The Ottawa Equity Gauge is applying the Global Equity Gauge Alliance framework to an industrialised country setting. 5 The Needs-Based Health Assessment Toolkit, established to assemble information on which clinical and health policy decisions can be based, is being expanded to ensure a focus on distribution and average health indicators. Conclusion Evidence-based planning tools have much to offer the

  8. Developing a tool for assessing public health law in countries. (United States)

    Kim, So Yoon; Lee, Yuri; Sohn, Myongsei; Hahm, Ki-Hyun


    At present, the World Health Organization (WHO) is in the process of developing a tool designed to assess the status of public health legislation in a given country. An Expert Consultation on Public Health Law was convened in Manila, Philippines, in May 2011. The participants agreed that the tool could serve as a guide for a regional approach to assist Member States in assessing the scope, completeness, and adequacy of their public health law. Given the broad definition of "public health" and the laws that affect health, directly or indirectly, the participants further agreed to narrow the field to 4 areas based on significant WHO works/policies, each organized into an independent module: (1) International Digest on Health Law, (2) Primary Health Care, (3) International Health Regulations 2005, and (4) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The tool would be drafted in a questionnaire format that asks the respondent to determine whether primary and/or subsidiary legislation exists in the country on a specific topic and, if so, to cite the relevant law, describe the pertinent points, and attach and/or link to the full text where available. The participants agreed that the respondents should include government officials and/or academics with legal competency. Version 1 of the tool was piloted in the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Samoa, and Vanuatu. At a 2nd Expert Consultation on Public Health Law, convened in Incheon, Republic of Korea, in October 2011, in conjunction with the 43rd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium on Public Health, the participants determined that the tool was generally usable, certain concerns notwithstanding, such as the risk of standardizing compliance with WHO policies. The agreed next step is to finalize the analysis tool by August 2012, marking the end of stage I in the development process. Stage II will consist of team building and networking of responsible officers and/or professionals in the countries. The tool

  9. Community Assessment Tool for Public Health Emergencies Including Pandemic Influenza

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    ORAU' s Oak Ridge Institute for Science Education (HCTT-CHE)


    The Community Assessment Tool (CAT) for Public Health Emergencies Including Pandemic Influenza (hereafter referred to as the CAT) was developed as a result of feedback received from several communities. These communities participated in workshops focused on influenza pandemic planning and response. The 2008 through 2011 workshops were sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Feedback during those workshops indicated the need for a tool that a community can use to assess its readiness for a disaster - readiness from a total healthcare perspective, not just hospitals, but the whole healthcare system. The CAT intends to do just that - help strengthen existing preparedness plans by allowing the healthcare system and other agencies to work together during an influenza pandemic. It helps reveal each core agency partners (sectors) capabilities and resources, and highlights cases of the same vendors being used for resource supplies (e.g., personal protective equipment [PPE] and oxygen) by the partners (e.g., public health departments, clinics, or hospitals). The CAT also addresses gaps in the community's capabilities or potential shortages in resources. This tool has been reviewed by a variety of key subject matter experts from federal, state, and local agencies and organizations. It also has been piloted with various communities that consist of different population sizes, to include large urban to small rural communities.

  10. ANSYS Creep-Fatigue Assessment tool for EUROFER97 components

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Mahler


    Full Text Available The damage caused by creep-fatigue is an important factor for materials at high temperatures. For in-vessel components of fusion reactors the material EUROFER97 is a candidate for structural application where it is subjected to irradiation and cyclic thermo-mechanical loads. To be able to evaluate fusion reactor components reliably, creep-fatigue damage has to be taken into account. In the frame of Engineering Data and Design Integration (EDDI in EUROfusion Technology Work Programme rapid and easy design evaluation is very important to predict the critical regions under typical fusion reactor loading conditions. The presented Creep-Fatigue Assessment (CFA tool is based on the creep-fatigue rules in ASME Boiler Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC Section 3 Division 1 Subsection NH which was adapted to the material EUROFER97 and developed for ANSYS. The CFA tool uses the local stress, maximum elastic strain range and temperature from the elastic analysis of the component performed with ANSYS. For the assessment design fatigue and stress to rupture curves of EUROFER97 as well as isochronous stress vs. strain curves determined by a constitutive model considering irradiation influence are used to deal with creep-fatigue damage. As a result allowable number of cycles based on creep-fatigue damage interaction under given hold times and irradiation rates is obtained. This tool can be coupled with ANSYS MAPDL and ANSYS Workbench utilizing MAPDL script files.

  11. Validation of a quantitative phosphorus loss assessment tool. (United States)

    White, Michael J; Storm, Daniel E; Smolen, Michael D; Busteed, Philip R; Zhang, Hailin; Fox, Garey A


    Pasture Phosphorus Management Plus (PPM Plus) is a tool that allows nutrient management and conservation planners to evaluate phosphorus (P) loss from agricultural fields. This tool uses a modified version of the widely used Soil and Water Assessment Tool model with a vastly simplified interface. The development of PPM Plus has been fully described in previous publications; in this article we evaluate the accuracy of PPM Plus using 286 field-years of runoff, sediment, and P validation data from runoff studies at various locations in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Georgia. Land uses include pasture, small grains, and row crops with rainfall ranging from 630 to 1390 mm yr, with and without animal manure application. PPM Plus explained 68% of the variability in total P loss, 56% of runoff, and 73% of the variability of sediment yield. An empirical model developed from these data using soil test P, total applied P, slope, and precipitation only accounted for 15% of the variability in total P loss, which implies that a process-based model is required to account for the diversity present in these data. PPM Plus is an easy-to-use conservation planning tool for P loss prediction, which, with modification, could be applicable at the regional and national scales.

  12. SIAT, a sustainable impact assessment tool for understanding the drivers in integrated impact assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verweij, P.J.F.M.; Sieber, B.; Wien, J.J.F.; Müller, K.


    SENSOR is an Integrated Project within the 6th Framework program of the EU. The major outcome is the modeling approach Sustainable Impact Assessment Tool (SIAT). The knowledge-based model SIAT enables end users to assess the impacts of land-use relevant EU-policy strategies. The results are presente


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wouter Cools


    Full Text Available The importance of movement is often overlooked because it is such a natural part of human life. It is, however, crucial for a child's physical, cognitive and social development. In addition, experiences support learning and development of fundamental movement skills. The foundations of those skills are laid in early childhood and essential to encourage a physically active lifestyle. Fundamental movement skill performance can be examined with several assessment tools. The choice of a test will depend on the context in which the assessment is planned. This article compares seven assessment tools which are often referred to in European or international context. It discusses the tools' usefulness for the assessment of movement skill development in general population samples. After a brief description of each assessment tool the article focuses on contents, reliability, validity and normative data. A conclusion outline of strengths and weaknesses of all reviewed assessment tools focusing on their use in educational research settings is provided and stresses the importance of regular data collection of fundamental movement skill development among preschool children.

  14. Computer Aided Safety Assessment(CASA) Tool for ISS Payloads (United States)

    Hochstein, Jason; Festa, Fabrizio


    In an effort to streamline the processes established by the partners of the International Space Station(ISS) to certify the safety of hardware and experiments destined for the Station, the European Space Agency’s(ESA) ISS System Safety Team is developing the Computer Aided Safety Assessment(CASA) tool suite. These software tools guide payload developers through the creation process of two types of standard payload hazard reports via a series of questions following a predetermined logic. The responses provided by the user are used by the CASA system to complete the majority of each hazard report requisite for payload flight safety reviews, employing consistent, approved descriptions of most hazards, hazard causes, controls and verification methods. Though some manual inputs will still be required to complete these reports, working with CASA will considerably reduce the amount of time necessary to review the documentation by agency safety authorities.

  15. Development and testing of the codependency assessment tool. (United States)

    Hughes-Hammer, C; Martsolf, D S; Zeller, R A


    Codependency constitutes a significant health risk, particularly for women, because codependent women are often involved in abusive and potentially harmful relationships. Individuals who are identified as codependent can engage in therapy and gain knowledge and freedom from such relationships. However, there is no reliable and valid measure of codependency that is consistently used to identify these individuals. This article describes the development and testing of the Codependency Assessment Tool, a multivariate tool that conceptualizes codependency as a construct comprising five factors: (1) Other Focus/Self-Neglect, (2) Low Self-Worth, (3) Hiding Self, (4) Medical Problems, and (5) Family of Origin Issues. The instrument has excellent reliability and validity. Its test-retest reliabilities = .78 to .94; Cronbach's alpha = .78 to .91. Criterion validity was determined to be established by using known groups; construct validity was established by comparing the codependency dimensions with depression.

  16. Testing a health impact assessment tool by assessing community opinion about a public park. (United States)

    Hengpraprom, Sarunya; Bualert, Surat; Sithisarankul, Pornchai


    The purpose of this study was to assess a health impact assessment (HIA) tool to determine the perceived health impact by the public of a public park. The authors conducted a cross-sectional study from March to April, 2011, using this HIA questionnaire to collect data and through focus group discussions. We also assessed community concerns about the park and obtained recommendations of how to mitigate possible negative aspects of the parks. Four aspects were listed as possible benefits of the park: physical, mental, social, and spiritual health. The negative aspects mentioned by participants were that a park could be a potential place of assembly for teenagers, a place for theft and crime and accidents among children. The HIA tool used for this research seemed appropriate. The next challenge is to use this tool to assess a more controversial project.

  17. A Concise Review on Validated Risk Assessment Tools For Sexually Abusive Youth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. C. Miccio-Fonseca


    Full Text Available Reviewed are validated and cross-validated risk assessment tools for assessing sexual improprieties in youth: J-SOAP-II, ERASOR,2.0, and MEGA♪. Assessments are significantly more accurate when tools focused on specific populations of youth are employed. The review affirms a New Paradigm of ecologically based, developmentally and gender sensitive risk assessment tools.

  18. Community Assessment Tool for Public Health Emergencies Including Pandemic Influenza

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    The Community Assessment Tool (CAT) for Public Health Emergencies Including Pandemic Influenza (hereafter referred to as the CAT) was developed as a result of feedback received from several communities. These communities participated in workshops focused on influenza pandemic planning and response. The 2008 through 2011 workshops were sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Feedback during those workshops indicated the need for a tool that a community can use to assess its readiness for a disaster—readiness from a total healthcare perspective, not just hospitals, but the whole healthcare system. The CAT intends to do just that—help strengthen existing preparedness plans by allowing the healthcare system and other agencies to work together during an influenza pandemic. It helps reveal each core agency partners' (sectors) capabilities and resources, and highlights cases of the same vendors being used for resource supplies (e.g., personal protective equipment [PPE] and oxygen) by the partners (e.g., public health departments, clinics, or hospitals). The CAT also addresses gaps in the community's capabilities or potential shortages in resources. While the purpose of the CAT is to further prepare the community for an influenza pandemic, its framework is an extension of the traditional all-hazards approach to planning and preparedness. As such, the information gathered by the tool is useful in preparation for most widespread public health emergencies. This tool is primarily intended for use by those involved in healthcare emergency preparedness (e.g., community planners, community disaster preparedness coordinators, 9-1-1 directors, hospital emergency preparedness coordinators). It is divided into sections based on the core agency partners, which may be involved in the community's influenza pandemic influenza response.

  19. NDT tools for life assessment of high temperature pressure components

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Delle Site, C.; De Petris, C.; Mennuti, C. [ISPESL, Rome (Italy)


    Creep damage of pressure equipment involves a great variety of high temperature components ranging from superheaters, reheaters, furnaces, reactors, etc. Consequence of failures of these components are of high economic and safety concern. Moreover, the probability of failure of high temperature components is now increasing due to frequent cyclic of power plants imposed by a deregulated market and the search for increasing temperatures in ultrasupercritical plants. In this scenario, a complete NDT campaign is necessary both during the design stage and during the in-service stage. The choice of the specific NDT technique for each component type is of great importance. In this work an overview of the existing NDT techniques for creep designed and operated components are presented. Together with metallographic replica, which is still considered the fundamental tool for creep damage assessment in the majority of materials, other NDT techniques which are able to detect creep cavity or cracks are presented and compared: ultrasonic techniques (tofd and phased-arrays), acoustic emission, holographic interferometry. In the second part of this paper the ability of some NDT tools to support residual life assessments are discussed. Among the most interesting tools are oxide scale ultrasonic measurement, micro-hardness testing, small-punch testing and on-stream deformation measurement. This tools are not strictly devoted to detecting creep defects (such as microcavities or microcracks) rather they give useful information related to creep damage, such as component deformation, material degradation and maximum service temperature. Moreover, a global procedure developed by ISPESL for inspection planning and interpretation of results of NDT examination according to a risk-based approach is presented. Eventually the new features of EN 13445-5 ''Creep Amendments'' concerning inspection and testing on creep designed components are briefly illustrated. (orig.)

  20. Benefits Assessment for Tactical Runway Configuration Management Tool (United States)

    Oseguera-Lohr, Rosa; Phojanamongkolkij, Nipa; Lohr, Gary; Fenbert, James W.


    The Tactical Runway Configuration Management (TRCM) software tool was developed to provide air traffic flow managers and supervisors with recommendations for airport configuration changes and runway usage. The objective for this study is to conduct a benefits assessment at Memphis (MEM), Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW) and New York's John F. Kennedy (JFK) airports using the TRCM tool. Results from simulations using the TRCM-generated runway configuration schedule are compared with results using historical schedules. For the 12 days of data used in this analysis, the transit time (arrival fix to spot on airport movement area for arrivals, or spot to departure fix for departures) for MEM departures is greater (7%) than for arrivals (3%); for JFK, there is a benefit for arrivals (9%) but not for departures (-2%); for DFW, arrivals show a slight benefit (1%), but this is offset by departures (-2%). Departure queue length benefits show fewer aircraft in queue for JFK (29%) and MEM (11%), but not for DFW (-13%). Fuel savings for surface operations at MEM are seen for both arrivals and departures. At JFK there are fuel savings for arrivals, but these are offset by increased fuel use for departures. In this study, no surface fuel benefits resulted for DFW. Results suggest that the TRCM algorithm requires modifications for complex surface traffic operations that can cause taxi delays. For all three airports, the average number of changes in flow direction (runway configuration) recommended by TRCM was many times greater than the historical data; TRCM would need to be adapted to a particular airport's needs, to limit the number of changes to acceptable levels. The results from this analysis indicate the TRCM tool can provide benefits at some high-capacity airports. The magnitude of these benefits depends on many airport-specific factors and would require adaptation of the TRCM tool; a detailed assessment is needed prior to determining suitability for a particular airport.

  1. A generic rabies risk assessment tool to support surveillance. (United States)

    Ward, Michael P; Hernández-Jover, Marta


    The continued spread of rabies in Indonesia poses a risk to human and animal populations in the remaining free islands, as well as the neighbouring rabies-free countries of Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and Australia. Here we describe the development of a generic risk assessment tool which can be used to rapidly determine the vulnerability of rabies-free islands, so that scarce resources can be targeted to surveillance activities and the sensitivity of surveillance systems increased. The tool was developed by integrating information on the historical spread of rabies, anthropological studies, and the opinions of local animal health experts. The resulting tool is based on eight critical parameters that can be estimated from the literature, expert opinion, observational studies and information generated from routine surveillance. In the case study presented, results generated by this tool were most sensitive to the probability that dogs are present on private and fishing boats and it was predicted that rabies-infection (one infected case) might occur in a rabies-free island (upper 95% prediction interval) with a volume of 1000 boats movements. With 25,000 boat movements, the median of the probability distribution would be equal to one infected case, with an upper 95% prediction interval of six infected cases. This tool could also be used at the national-level to guide control and eradication plans. An initial recommendation from this study is to develop a surveillance programme to determine the likelihood that boats transport dogs, for example by port surveillance or regularly conducted surveys of fisherman and passenger ferries. However, the illegal nature of dog transportation from rabies-infected to rabies-free islands is a challenge for developing such surveillance.

  2. A novel tool for assessing and summarizing the built environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kroeger Gretchen L


    Full Text Available Abstract Background A growing corpus of research focuses on assessing the quality of the local built environment and also examining the relationship between the built environment and health outcomes and indicators in communities. However, there is a lack of research presenting a highly resolved, systematic, and comprehensive spatial approach to assessing the built environment over a large geographic extent. In this paper, we contribute to the built environment literature by describing a tool used to assess the residential built environment at the tax parcel-level, as well as a methodology for summarizing the data into meaningful indices for linkages with health data. Methods A database containing residential built environment variables was constructed using the existing body of literature, as well as input from local community partners. During the summer of 2008, a team of trained assessors conducted an on-foot, curb-side assessment of approximately 17,000 tax parcels in Durham, North Carolina, evaluating the built environment on over 80 variables using handheld Global Positioning System (GPS devices. The exercise was repeated again in the summer of 2011 over a larger geographic area that included roughly 30,700 tax parcels; summary data presented here are from the 2008 assessment. Results Built environment data were combined with Durham crime data and tax assessor data in order to construct seven built environment indices. These indices were aggregated to US Census blocks, as well as to primary adjacency communities (PACs and secondary adjacency communities (SACs which better described the larger neighborhood context experienced by local residents. Results were disseminated to community members, public health professionals, and government officials. Conclusions The assessment tool described is both easily-replicable and comprehensive in design. Furthermore, our construction of PACs and SACs introduces a novel concept to approximate varying

  3. 77 FR 33227 - Assessment Questionnaire-IP Sector Specific Agency Risk Self Assessment Tool (IP-SSARSAT) (United States)


    ... SECURITY Assessment Questionnaire--IP Sector Specific Agency Risk Self Assessment Tool (IP-SSARSAT) AGENCY...--Assessment Questionnaire--IP Sector Specific Agency Risk Self Assessment Tool (IP-SSARSAT). DHS previously...-operators and/or security managers often volunteer to conduct an automated self risk assessment....

  4. 76 FR 81955 - Assessment Questionnaire-IP Sector Specific Agency Risk Self Assessment Tool (IP-SSARSAT) (United States)


    ... SECURITY Assessment Questionnaire--IP Sector Specific Agency Risk Self Assessment Tool (IP-SSARSAT) AGENCY... managers often volunteer to conduct an automated self risk assessment. The requested questionnaire...: Assessment Questionnaire--IP Sector Specific Agency Risk Self Assessment Tool (IP-SSARSAT). OMB Number:...

  5. Development of a clinically applicable tool for bone density assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sun, Y. [Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Oral Imaging Center, Faculty of Medicine, Leuven (Belgium); St John' s Hospital, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Genk (Belgium); Dobbelaer, B. de; Suetens, P. [Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Medical Image Computing (PSI), Faculty of Engineering, Leuven (Belgium); Nackaerts, O.; Yan, B.; Jacobs, R. [Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Oral Imaging Center, Faculty of Medicine, Leuven (Belgium); Loubele, M. [Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Oral Imaging Center, Faculty of Medicine, Leuven (Belgium); Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Medical Image Computing (PSI), Faculty of Engineering, Leuven (Belgium); Politis, C.; Vrielinck, L. [St John' s Hospital, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Genk (Belgium); Schepers, S. [St John' s Hospital, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Genk (Belgium); University of Gent, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Gent (Belgium); Lambrichts, I. [University of Hasselt, Department of Morphology, Diepenbeek (Belgium); Horner, K.; Devlin, H. [University of Manchester, School of Dentistry, Manchester (United Kingdom)


    To assess the accuracy and reliability of new software for radiodensitometric evaluations. A densitometric tool developed by MevisLab {sup registered} was used in conjunction with intraoral radiographs of the premolar region in both in vivo and laboratory settings. An aluminum step wedge was utilized for comparison of grey values. After computer-aided segmentation, the interproximal bone between the premolars was assessed in order to determine the mean grey value intensity of this region and convert it to a thickness in aluminum. Evaluation of the tool was determined using bone mineral density (BMD) values derived from decalcified human bone specimens as a reference standard. In vivo BMD data was collected from 35 patients as determined with dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). The intra and interobserver reliability of this method was assessed by Bland and Altman Plots to determine the precision of this tool. In the laboratory study, the threshold value for detection of bone loss was 6.5%. The densitometric data (mm Al eq.) was highly correlated with the jaw bone BMD, as determined using dual X-ray absorptiometry (r=0.96). For the in vivo study, the correlations between the mm Al equivalent of the average upper and lower jaw with the lumbar spine BMD, total hip BMD and femoral neck BMD were 0.489, 0.537 and 0.467, respectively (P<0.05). For the intraobserver reliability, a Bland and Altman plot showed that the mean difference {+-}1.96 SD were within {+-}0.15 mm Al eq. with the mean difference value small than 0.003 mm Al eq. For the interobserver reliability, the mean difference {+-}1.96 SD were within {+-}0.11 mm Al eq. with the mean difference of 0.008 mm Al eq. A densitometric software tool has been developed, that is reliable for bone density assessment. It now requires further investigation to evaluate its accuracy and clinical applicability in large scale studies. (orig.)

  6. Field Assessment of Energy Audit Tools for Retrofit Programs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Edwards, J. [Univ. of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN (United States); Bohac, D. [Univ. of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN (United States); Nelson, C. [Univ. of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN (United States); Smith, I. [Univ. of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN (United States)


    This project focused on the use of home energy ratings as a tool to promote energy retrofits in existing homes. A home energy rating provides a quantitative appraisal of a home’s energy performance, usually compared to a benchmark such as the average energy use of similar homes in the same region. Rating systems based on energy performance models, the focus of this report, can establish a home’s achievable energy efficiency potential and provide a quantitative assessment of energy savings after retrofits are completed, although their accuracy needs to be verified by actual measurement or billing data. Ratings can also show homeowners where they stand compared to their neighbors, thus creating social pressure to conform to or surpass others. This project field-tested three different building performance models of varying complexity, in order to assess their value as rating systems in the context of a residential retrofit program: Home Energy Score, SIMPLE, and REM/Rate.

  7. A new aquifer assessment tool using reactive tracers (United States)

    McKnight, D.; Smalley, A. L.; Banwart, S. A.; Lerner, D. N.; Thomson, N. R.; Thornton, S. F.; Wilson, R. D.


    A major obstacle to making informed decisions about trigger levels for restoration and choosing remediation options is that current Site Investigation (SI) practice fails to make optimal use of available SI techniques resulting in poor value for money in conceptual site models. Often it is simply too expensive to obtain the type of site data required to build the case for natural attenuation, even though this restoration option may be relatively cheaper than a pump-and-treat system. In particular, aquifer property measurement techniques for groundwater transport and reactions are too costly and this results in over-reliance on literature values or model assumptions. This results in overly uncertain predictions of in situ performance and therefore unnecessarily cautious risk assessment and costly remediation strategies. Therefore, cost-effective SI tools that have the capability of producing high quality characterisation data are required. The dipole flow test which circulates groundwater between isolated injection (source) and extraction (sink) chambers within a single borehole has been used successfully by others to delineate heterogeneous hydraulic properties in both highly permeable and fractured rock aquifers. We propose to extend this approach by adding a suite of reactive tracers into a dipole flow field to assess the geochemical properties and biodegradation potential of aquifers. If successful this will provide a method to ascertain site-specific parameters for use in appropriate reactive transport models. The initial phase of this project involves the construction of a laboratory-scale physical model of a dipole probe to investigate the utility of the dipole flow and reactive tracer test (DFRTT) as an aquifer assessment tool. This phase will also serve as the developmental stage between mathematical theory and a host of planned field trials. The development of the laboratory-scale DFRTT including initial scoping calculations, numerical simulation results

  8. Translating and validating a Training Needs Assessment tool into Greek

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hicks Carolyn M


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The translation and cultural adaptation of widely accepted, psychometrically tested tools is regarded as an essential component of effective human resource management in the primary care arena. The Training Needs Assessment (TNA is a widely used, valid instrument, designed to measure professional development needs of health care professionals, especially in primary health care. This study aims to describe the translation, adaptation and validation of the TNA questionnaire into Greek language and discuss possibilities of its use in primary care settings. Methods A modified version of the English self-administered questionnaire consisting of 30 items was used. Internationally recommended methodology, mandating forward translation, backward translation, reconciliation and pretesting steps, was followed. Tool validation included assessing item internal consistency, using the alpha coefficient of Cronbach. Reproducibility (test – retest reliability was measured by the kappa correlation coefficient. Criterion validity was calculated for selected parts of the questionnaire by correlating respondents' research experience with relevant research item scores. An exploratory factor analysis highlighted how the items group together, using a Varimax (oblique rotation and subsequent Cronbach's alpha assessment. Results The psychometric properties of the Greek version of the TNA questionnaire for nursing staff employed in primary care were good. Internal consistency of the instrument was very good, Cronbach's alpha was found to be 0.985 (p 1.0, KMO (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of sampling adequacy = 0.680 and Bartlett's test of sphericity, p Conclusion The translated and adapted Greek version is comparable with the original English instrument in terms of validity and reliability and it is suitable to assess professional development needs of nursing staff in Greek primary care settings.

  9. Geospatial tools for landscape character assessment in Cyprus (United States)

    Symons, N. P.; Vogiatzakis, I. N.; Griffiths, G. H.; Warnock, S.; Vassou, V.; Zomeni, M.; Trigkas, V.


    The development of Landscape Typologies in Europe relies upon advances in geospatial tools and increasing availability of digital datasets. Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) is a technique used to classify, describe and understand the combined physical, ecological and cultural characteristics of a landscape. LCA uses a range of data sources to identify and describe areas of common character and can operate at a range of scales i.e.national and regional and local. The paper describes the steps taken to develop an island wide landscape typology for Cyprus, based on the use of GIS and remote sensing tools. The methodology involved integrating physiographical, ecological and cultural information about the Cypriot landscape. Datasets on the cultural attributes (e.g. settlement and field patterns) were not available, so they were created de novo based on information from topographical maps (for settlement dispersion and density) and medium resolution satellite imagery from Google Earth, from which a number of distinctive field patterns could be distinguished. The mapping work is carried out on two levels using a hierarchical approach. The first level at a 1:100, 000 scale has been completed resulting in a map with 17 distinct landscape types. The second level is under way with the view of producing a more detailed landscape typology at 1:50, 000 scale which will incorporate the cultural aspects of the island. This is the first time that such a typology has been produced for Cyprus and it is expected to provide an invaluable tool for landscape planning and management.

  10. Field Assessment of Energy Audit Tools for Retrofit Programs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Edwards, J.; Bohac, D.; Nelson, C.; Smith, I.


    This project focused on the use of home energy ratings as a tool to promote energy retrofits in existing homes. A home energy rating provides a quantitative appraisal of a home's asset performance, usually compared to a benchmark such as the average energy use of similar homes in the same region. Home rating systems can help motivate homeowners in several ways. Ratings can clearly communicate a home's achievable energy efficiency potential, provide a quantitative assessment of energy savings after retrofits are completed, and show homeowners how they rate compared to their neighbors, thus creating an incentive to conform to a social standard. An important consideration is how rating tools for the retrofit market will integrate with existing home energy service programs. For residential programs that target energy savings only, home visits should be focused on key efficiency measures for that home. In order to gain wide adoption, a rating tool must be easily integrated into the field process, demonstrate consistency and reasonable accuracy to earn the trust of home energy technicians, and have a low monetary cost and time hurdle for homeowners. Along with the Home Energy Score, this project also evaluated the energy modeling performance of SIMPLE and REM/Rate.

  11. Development of the Central Dogma Concept Inventory (CDCI) Assessment Tool. (United States)

    Newman, Dina L; Snyder, Christopher W; Fisk, J Nick; Wright, L Kate


    Scientific teaching requires scientifically constructed, field-tested instruments to accurately evaluate student thinking and gauge teacher effectiveness. We have developed a 23-question, multiple select-format assessment of student understanding of the essential concepts of the central dogma of molecular biology that is appropriate for all levels of undergraduate biology. Questions for the Central Dogma Concept Inventory (CDCI) tool were developed and iteratively revised based on student language and review by experts. The ability of the CDCI to discriminate between levels of understanding of the central dogma is supported by field testing (N= 54), and large-scale beta testing (N= 1733). Performance on the assessment increased with experience in biology; scores covered a broad range and showed no ceiling effect, even with senior biology majors, and pre/posttesting of a single class focused on the central dogma showed significant improvement. The multiple-select format reduces the chances of correct answers by random guessing, allows students at different levels to exhibit the extent of their knowledge, and provides deeper insight into the complexity of student thinking on each theme. To date, the CDCI is the first tool dedicated to measuring student thinking about the central dogma of molecular biology, and version 5 is ready to use.

  12. GUIDOS: tools for the assessment of pattern, connectivity, and fragmentation (United States)

    Vogt, Peter


    Pattern, connectivity, and fragmentation can be considered as pillars for a quantitative analysis of digital landscape images. The free software toolbox GUIDOS ( includes a variety of dedicated methodologies for the quantitative assessment of these features. Amongst others, Morphological Spatial Pattern Analysis (MSPA) is used for an intuitive description of image pattern structures and the automatic detection of connectivity pathways. GUIDOS includes tools for the detection and quantitative assessment of key nodes and links as well as to define connectedness in raster images and to setup appropriate input files for an enhanced network analysis using Conefor Sensinode. Finally, fragmentation is usually defined from a species point of view but a generic and quantifiable indicator is needed to measure fragmentation and its changes. Some preliminary results for different conceptual approaches will be shown for a sample dataset. Complemented by pre- and post-processing routines and a complete GIS environment the portable GUIDOS Toolbox may facilitate a holistic assessment in risk assessment studies, landscape planning, and conservation/restoration policies. Alternatively, individual analysis components may contribute to or enhance studies conducted with other software packages in landscape ecology.

  13. Developing an integration tool for soil contamination assessment (United States)

    Anaya-Romero, Maria; Zingg, Felix; Pérez-Álvarez, José Miguel; Madejón, Paula; Kotb Abd-Elmabod, Sameh


    In the last decades, huge soil areas have been negatively influenced or altered in multiples forms. Soils and, consequently, underground water, have been contaminated by accumulation of contaminants from agricultural activities (fertilizers and pesticides) industrial activities (harmful material dumping, sludge, flying ashes) and urban activities (hydrocarbon, metals from vehicle traffic, urban waste dumping). In the framework of the RECARE project, local partners across Europe are focusing on a wide range of soil threats, as soil contamination, and aiming to develop effective prevention, remediation and restoration measures by designing and applying targeted land management strategies (van Lynden et al., 2013). In this context, the Guadiamar Green Corridor (Southern Spain) was used as a case study, aiming to obtain soil data and new information in order to assess soil contamination. The main threat in the Guadiamar valley is soil contamination after a mine spill occurred on April 1998. About four hm3 of acid waters and two hm3 of mud, rich in heavy metals, were released into the Agrio and Guadiamar rivers affecting more than 4,600 ha of agricultural and pasture land. Main trace elements contaminating soil and water were As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Tl and Zn. The objective of the present research is to develop informatics tools that integrate soil database, models and interactive platforms for soil contamination assessment. Preliminary results were obtained related to the compilation of harmonized databases including geographical, hydro-meteorological, soil and socio-economic variables based on spatial analysis and stakeholder's consultation. Further research will be modellization and upscaling at the European level, in order to obtain a scientifically-technical predictive tool for the assessment of soil contamination.

  14. Aqueduct: an interactive tool to empower global water risk assessment (United States)

    Reig, Paul; Gassert, Francis


    The Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas (Aqueduct) is a publicly available, global database and interactive tool that maps indicators of water related risks for decision makers worldwide. Aqueduct makes use of the latest geo-statistical modeling techniques to compute a composite index and translate the most recently available hydrological data into practical information on water related risks for companies, investors, and governments alike. Twelve global indicators are grouped into a Water Risk Framework designed in response to the growing concerns from private sector actors around water scarcity, water quality, climate change, and increasing demand for freshwater. The Aqueduct framework includes indicators of water stress, variability in supply, storage, flood, drought, groundwater, water quality and social conflict, addressing both spatial and temporal variation in water hazards. It organizes indicators into three categories of risk that bring together multiple dimensions of water related risk into comprehensive aggregated scores, which allow for dynamic weighting to capture users' unique exposure to water hazards. All information is compiled into an online, open access platform, from which decision-makers can view indicators, scores, and maps, conduct global risk assessments, and export data and shape files for further analysis. Companies can use this tool to evaluate their exposure to water risks across operations and supply chains, investors to assess water-related risks in their portfolio, and public-sector actors to better understand water security. Additionally, the open nature of the data and maps allow other organizations to build off of this effort with new research, for example in the areas of water-energy or water-food relationships. This presentation will showcase the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas online tool and the features and functionalities it offers, as well as explain how it can be used for both private and public sector applications. The session will

  15. From Clinical-Developmental Theory to Assessment: The Holistic Student Assessment Tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gil Noam


    Full Text Available A description and test of the Holistic Student Assessment Tool (HSA, an assessment tool to measure children’s and adolescents’ resiliencies in relation to externalizing and internalizing problem behaviors. The HSA is based on the authors’ research-based clinical-developmental Clover Leaf Model of resilience and psychopathology, and is one of the first attempts at closing the gap between risk and resilience approaches in developmental assessment. The HSA was tested in a cross-sectional sample of 423 children and adolescents.The results lend support to the HSA as a valid measure of children’s and adolescents’ resiliencies. Furthermore, the resilience scales mostly exhibited the theoretically expected convergent and divergent relationships with the psychopathology scales. In addition, we show how the resilience scales predict adolescents’ externalizing and internalizing symptoms. We contend that evidence-based intervention to address youth aggression needs to be based on sounddevelopmental assessment.

  16. Users' manual for the Hydroecological Integrity Assessment Process software (including the New Jersey Assessment Tools) (United States)

    Henriksen, James A.; Heasley, John; Kennen, Jonathan G.; Nieswand, Steven


    This manual is a user’s guide to four computer software tools that have been developed for the Hydroecological Integrity Assessment Process. The Hydroecological Integrity Assessment Process recognizes that streamflow is strongly related to many critical physiochemical components of rivers, such as dissolved oxygen, channel geomorphology, and water temperature, and can be considered a “master variable” that limits the disturbance, abundance, and diversity of many aquatic plant and animal species.

  17. Embedded performance validity testing in neuropsychological assessment: Potential clinical tools. (United States)

    Rickards, Tyler A; Cranston, Christopher C; Touradji, Pegah; Bechtold, Kathleen T


    The article aims to suggest clinically-useful tools in neuropsychological assessment for efficient use of embedded measures of performance validity. To accomplish this, we integrated available validity-related and statistical research from the literature, consensus statements, and survey-based data from practicing neuropsychologists. We provide recommendations for use of 1) Cutoffs for embedded performance validity tests including Reliable Digit Span, California Verbal Learning Test (Second Edition) Forced Choice Recognition, Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test Combination Score, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test Failure to Maintain Set, and the Finger Tapping Test; 2) Selecting number of performance validity measures to administer in an assessment; and 3) Hypothetical clinical decision-making models for use of performance validity testing in a neuropsychological assessment collectively considering behavior, patient reporting, and data indicating invalid or noncredible performance. Performance validity testing helps inform the clinician about an individual's general approach to tasks: response to failure, task engagement and persistence, compliance with task demands. Data-driven clinical suggestions provide a resource to clinicians and to instigate conversation within the field to make more uniform, testable decisions to further the discussion, and guide future research in this area.

  18. Ultrasound as a Tool to Assess Body Fat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dale R. Wagner


    Full Text Available Ultrasound has been used effectively to assess body fat for nearly 5 decades, yet this method is not known as well as many other body composition techniques. The purpose of this review is to explain the technical principles of the ultrasound method, explain the procedures for taking a measurement and interpreting the results, evaluate the reliability and validity of this method for measuring subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue, highlight the advantages and limitations of ultrasound relative to other body composition methods, consider its utility to clinical populations, and introduce new body composition-specific ultrasound technology. The focus of this review is adipose, although various tissue thicknesses (e.g., muscle and bone can be measured with ultrasound. Being a portable imaging device that is capable of making fast regional estimates of body composition, ultrasound is an attractive assessment tool in instances when other methods are limited. Furthermore, much of the research suggests that it is reliable, reproducible, and accurate. The biggest limitations appear to be a lack of standardization for the measurement technique and results that are highly dependent on operator proficiency. New ultrasound devices and accompanying software designed specifically for the purpose of body composition assessment might help to minimize these limitations.

  19. Thinking Tools in Computer-Based Assessment: Technology Enhancements in Assessments for Learning (United States)

    Rosen, Yigal


    One of the greatest concerns in schools today is how teachers can bring together assessment and learning in a way that is meaningful for students' thinking skills, while focusing on content standards. Better understanding of how different types of technology based thinking tools can be used for improving classroom teaching and learning,…

  20. Evaluation of the literature: evidence assessment tools for clinicians. (United States)

    Prato, Giovanpaolo Pini; Pagliaro, Umberto; Buti, Jacopo; Rotundo, Roberto; Newman, Michael G


    The progressive improvement in the quality of scientific articles has led to an increase in difficulty in reading and interpreting them so that now clinical knowledge and experience must be complemented by methodological, statistical and computer skills. The aim of this article is to offer practitioners the tools, the simplest keys, that will allow them to understand and critically judge the results of scientific studies. The "peer-review" process of a clinical article submitted to a journal is described and the Science Citation Index and the Impact Factor are presented to the reader as essential instruments to evaluate a specific article's impact and the impact of a given journal on the scientific world, respectively. An article should be evaluated on the basis of some key issues which include, at least, an assessment of methodological aspects, a critical analysis of the statistical component and a proper understanding of the clinical impact of the study outcomes. The standard approach for evaluating the quality of individual studies is based on a hierarchical grading system of research design which represents an essential tool to identify the strength of the evidence of an article. Many different biases may affect the reliability of study results. Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) and Systematic Reviews (SRs) are able to minimize the number of biases and thus are at the highest level of the scale of evidence representing the final steps of a treatment's "career." Finally, moving from research to clinical practice, attention on the clinical impact of study's outcomes is of paramount importance as the literature contains studies (including RCTs) that present statistically significant results but which, from the clinical standpoint, are only relatively or not at all significant. Clinical Practice Guidelines represent a useful tool for practitioners assisting the decision-making process when choosing the most appropriate treatment for their patients.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Salvador


    Full Text Available The growing concern about the development of sustainable production systems leads organizations to seek the support of management tools for decision-making. Considering the whole life cycle of the product, the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA has an important role in this scenario. The objective of this paper is to present, through the theoretical discussion, the role of LCA in strategic planning of the organization. It showed the enormous potential for decision making on the environmental aspect, but also the critical factor in the development shares in the competitive context. The use of LCA can reduce the environmental impacts of the system under study (primary purpose and guide the range of advantages in the fields of marketing, legislation and environmental labeling, competitive strategies, efficiency use of resources and others.

  2. Tools for peer assessment in an e-learning environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugo Nordseth


    Full Text Available Our exploration of peer assessment in the formative feedback of themes within ITL111 Digital Competence for teachers (15 ECTS and GEO102 Physical Geography (15 ECTS is based on support from tools within the LMS, sets of learning based outcomes, rubrics and Six Thinking Hats. The overall effect is improved quality of the student assignments and deeper learning. The best results were registered with the use of rubrics where the students were presented with clearly defined criteria for expected performance on a sample of different themes within the course. In order to perform the peer review, the students had to acquire the basic knowledge of the various themes. In addition, seeing how others solved the assignment provided the student with reflections on the themes that would improve the student's own final portfolio.

  3. Psychometric properties of the Turkish form of Codependency Assessment Tool. (United States)

    Ançel, Gülsüm; Kabakçi, Elif


    This study evaluated the psychometric properties of the Codependency Assessment Tool (CODAT) developed by C. Hughes Hammer, D. S. Martsolf, and R. A. Zeller (1998a, 1998b) for Turkish students and investigated the relationship of codependency with attachment styles and family problems. After the translation of the CODAT, Beck Depression Inventory, Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised, and Family Problems of Young Adulthood Evaluation Scale, each was administrated to Turkish female nurse students (n = 400). Factor analysis and Cronbach's alpha values were then computed. Five-factor solution revealed a similar factor structure for the Turkish version of CODAT compared with that of the original tool. Five factors explained 48.38% of the variance. All of the items (with one exception) loaded on their original factors. Cronbach's alpha values for factors ranged between .62 and .78. For the total score, Cronbach's alpha was found to be .75. After statistically controlling for the effects of depressive symptoms, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted to investigate if the attachment styles and family problems would change depending on codependency levels. For ANCOVAs, CODAT scores were treated at three levels. Students with higher CODAT scores had more attachment-related anxiety and reported more family problems after controlling for the effects of depressive symptoms. Our research results support the internal consistency and validity of the Turkish version of CODAT.

  4. Using urban forest assessment tools to model bird habitat potential (United States)

    Lerman, Susannah B.; Nislow, Keith H.; Nowak, David J.; Destefano, Stephen; King, David I.; Jones-Farrand, D. Todd


    The alteration of forest cover and the replacement of native vegetation with buildings, roads, exotic vegetation, and other urban features pose one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. As more land becomes slated for urban development, identifying effective urban forest wildlife management tools becomes paramount to ensure the urban forest provides habitat to sustain bird and other wildlife populations. The primary goal of this study was to integrate wildlife suitability indices to an existing national urban forest assessment tool, i-Tree. We quantified available habitat characteristics of urban forests for ten northeastern U.S. cities, and summarized bird habitat relationships from the literature in terms of variables that were represented in the i-Tree datasets. With these data, we generated habitat suitability equations for nine bird species representing a range of life history traits and conservation status that predicts the habitat suitability based on i-Tree data. We applied these equations to the urban forest datasets to calculate the overall habitat suitability for each city and the habitat suitability for different types of land-use (e.g., residential, commercial, parkland) for each bird species. The proposed habitat models will help guide wildlife managers, urban planners, and landscape designers who require specific information such as desirable habitat conditions within an urban management project to help improve the suitability of urban forests for birds.

  5. Using the Program Sustainability Assessment Tool to assess and plan for sustainability. (United States)

    Calhoun, Annaliese; Mainor, Avia; Moreland-Russell, Sarah; Maier, Ryan C; Brossart, Laura; Luke, Douglas A


    Implementing and growing a public health program that benefits society takes considerable time and effort. To ensure that positive outcomes are maintained over time, program managers and stakeholders should plan and implement activities to build sustainability capacity within their programs. We describe a 3-part sustainability planning process that programs can follow to build their sustainability capacity. First, program staff and stakeholders take the Program Sustainability Assessment Tool to measure their program's sustainability across 8 domains. Next, managers and stakeholders use results from the assessment to inform and prioritize sustainability action planning. Lastly, staff members implement the plan and keep track of progress toward their sustainability goals. Through this process, staff can more holistically address the internal and external challenges and pressures associated with sustaining a program. We include a case example of a chronic disease program that completed the Program Sustainability Assessment Tool and engaged in program sustainability planning.

  6. A Participatory Approach to Develop the Power Mobility Screening Tool and the Power Mobility Clinical Driving Assessment Tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deepan C. Kamaraj


    Full Text Available The electric powered wheelchair (EPW is an indispensable assistive device that increases participation among individuals with disabilities. However, due to lack of standardized assessment tools, developing evidence based training protocols for EPW users to improve driving skills has been a challenge. In this study, we adopt the principles of participatory research and employ qualitative methods to develop the Power Mobility Screening Tool (PMST and Power Mobility Clinical Driving Assessment (PMCDA. Qualitative data from professional experts and expert EPW users who participated in a focus group and a discussion forum were used to establish content validity of the PMCDA and the PMST. These tools collectively could assess a user’s current level of bodily function and their current EPW driving capacity. Further multicenter studies are necessary to evaluate the psychometric properties of these tests and develop EPW driving training protocols based on these assessment tools.

  7. The development of a practical tool for risk assessment of manual work – the HAT-tool

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kraker, H. de; Douwes, M.


    For the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment we developed a tool to assess the risks of developing complaints of the arm, neck or shoulders during manual work. The tool was developed for every type of organization and is easy to use, does not require measurements other than time and can b

  8. Biomonitoring tools and risk assessment in the Arctic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Camus, L. [Akvaplan-niva, Polar Environmental Centre, Tromso (Norway); Univercity Centre at Svalbard, (Norway); Nahrgang, J.; Olsen, G.H. [Akvaplan-niva, Polar Environmental Centre, Tromso (Norway)


    With the expansion of oil and gas exploration and production activities in the Arctic, there is a need for reliable risk assessment and environmental monitoring tools adapted for the Arctic environment. Probabilistic approaches for risk assessment are used by offshore operators in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. However, these methods are based on toxicity data on temperate species because there is insufficient data to run these models on Arctic species. Therefore, this study was conducted to perform toxicity tests with Arctic species and calculate their sensitivity distribution curve. The study was based on the Norwegian Water Column Monitoring programme. It involved a 3 year project to characterize the biological response of polar cold to oil exposure. Waterborne and dietary exposure to crude oil in polar cod collected in Svalbard was monitored. Many biological indexes ranging from molecular to biochemical, cellular and physiological levels were measured at various time points for biomonitoring the impact of oil in pack ice ecosystems. 29 refs., 3 tabs.

  9. Development and assessment of the Alberta Context Tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Birdsell Judy M


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The context of healthcare organizations such as hospitals is increasingly accepted as having the potential to influence the use of new knowledge. However, the mechanisms by which the organizational context influences evidence-based practices are not well understood. Current measures of organizational context lack a theory-informed approach, lack construct clarity and generally have modest psychometric properties. This paper presents the development and initial psychometric validation of the Alberta Context Tool (ACT, an eight dimension measure of organizational context for healthcare settings. Methods Three principles guided the development of the ACT: substantive theory, brevity, and modifiability. The Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARiHS framework and related literature were used to guide selection of items in the ACT. The ACT was required to be brief enough to be tolerated in busy and resource stretched work settings and to assess concepts of organizational context that were potentially modifiable. The English version of the ACT was completed by 764 nurses (752 valid responses working in seven Canadian pediatric care hospitals as part of its initial validation. Cronbach's alpha, exploratory factor analysis, analysis of variance, and tests of association were used to assess instrument reliability and validity. Results Factor analysis indicated a 13-factor solution (accounting for 59.26% of the variance in 'organizational context'. The composition of the factors was similar to those originally conceptualized. Cronbach's alpha for the 13 factors ranged from .54 to .91 with 4 factors performing below the commonly accepted alpha cut off of .70. Bivariate associations between instrumental research utilization levels (which the ACT was developed to predict and the ACT's 13 factors were statistically significant at the 5% level for 12 of the 13 factors. Each factor also showed a trend of

  10. The Sport Concussion Assessment Tool: a systematic review. (United States)

    Yengo-Kahn, Aaron M; Hale, Andrew T; Zalneraitis, Brian H; Zuckerman, Scott L; Sills, Allen K; Solomon, Gary S


    OBJECTIVE Over the last 2 decades, sport-related concussion (SRC) has garnered significant attention. Even with increased awareness and athlete education, sideline recognition and real-time diagnosis remain crucial. The need for an objective and standardized assessment of concussion led to the eventual development of the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) during the Second International Conference on Concussion in Sport in 2004, which is now in its third iteration (SCAT3). In an effort to update our understanding of the most well-known sideline concussion assessment, the authors conducted a systematic review of the SCAT and the evidence supporting its use to date. METHODS English-language titles and abstracts published between 1995 and October 2015 were searched systematically across 4 electronic databases and a review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines adapted for the review of a heterogeneous collection of study designs. Peer-reviewed journal articles were included if they reported quantitative data on any iteration of the SCAT, Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC), or modified Balance Error Scoring System (mBESS) data at baseline or following concussion in an exclusively athlete population with any portion older than 13 years of age. Studies that included nonathletes, only children less than 13 years old, exclusively BESS data, exclusively symptom scale data, or a non-SCAT-related assessment were excluded. RESULTS The database search process yielded 549 abstracts, and 105 full-text articles were reviewed with 36 meeting criteria for inclusion. Nineteen studies were associated with the SAC, 1 was associated with the mBESS exclusively, and 16 studies were associated with a full iteration of the SCAT. The majority of these studies (56%) were prospective cohort studies. Male football players were the most common athletes studied. An analysis of the studies focused on

  11. Integrated assessment of marine biodiversity status using a prototype indicator-based assessment tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesper H. Andersen


    Full Text Available Integrated assessment of the status of marine biodiversity is and has been problematic compared to, for example, assessments of eutrophication and contamination status, mostly as a consequence of the fact that monitoring of marine habitats, communities and species is expensive, often collected at an incorrect spatial scale and/or poorly integrated with existing marine environmental monitoring efforts. The objective of this Method Paper is to introduce and describe a simple tool for integrated assessment of biodiversity status based on the HELCOM Biodiversity Assessment Tool (BEAT, where interim biodiversity indicators are grouped by themes: broad-scale habitats, communities, and species as well as supporting non-biodiversity indicators. Further, we report the application of an initial indicator-based assessment of biodiversity status of Danish marine waters where we have tentatively classified the biodiversity status of Danish marine waters. The biodiversity status was in no areas classified as ‘unaffected by human activities’. In all the 22 assessment areas, the status was classified as either ‘moderately affected by human activities’ or ‘significantly affected by human activities. Spatial variations in the biodiversity status were in general related to the eutrophication status as well as fishing pressure.

  12. Doloplus-2, a valid tool for behavioural pain assessment?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loge Jon H


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Doloplus-2 is used for behavioural pain assessment in cognitively impaired patients. Little data exists on the psychometric properties of the Doloplus-2. Our objectives were to test the criterion validity and inter-rater reliability of the Doloplus-2, and to explore a design for validations of behavioural pain assessment tools. Methods Fifty-one nursing home patients and 22 patients admitted to a geriatric hospital ward were included. All were cognitively impaired and unable to self-report pain. Each patient was examined by an expert in pain evaluation and treatment, who rated the pain on a numerical rating scale. The ratings were based on information from the medical record, reports from nurses and patients (if possible about pain during the past 24 hours, and a clinical examination. These ratings were used as pain criterion. The Doloplus-2 was administered by the attending nurse. Regression analyses were used to estimate the ability of the Doloplus-2 to explain the expert's ratings. The inter-rater reliability of the Doloplus-2 was evaluated in 16 patients by comparing the ratings of two nurses administrating the Doloplus-2. Results There was no association between the Doloplus-2 and the expert's pain ratings (R2 = 0.02. There was an association (R2 = 0.54 between the expert's ratings and the Doloplus-2 scores in a subgroup of 16 patients assessed by a geriatric expert nurse (the most experienced Doloplus-2 administrator. The inter-rater reliability between the Doloplus-2 administrators assessed by the intra-class coefficient was 0.77. The pain expert's ratings were compared with ratings of two independent geriatricians in a sub sample of 15, and were found satisfactory (intra-class correlation 0.74. Conclusion It was challenging to conduct such a study in patients with cognitive impairment and the study has several limitations. The results do not support the validity of the Doloplus-2 in its present version and they

  13. Developing Anticipatory Life Cycle Assessment Tools to Support Responsible Innovation (United States)

    Wender, Benjamin

    Several prominent research strategy organizations recommend applying life cycle assessment (LCA) early in the development of emerging technologies. For example, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the National Research Council, the Department of Energy, and the National Nanotechnology Initiative identify the potential for LCA to inform research and development (R&D) of photovoltaics and products containing engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). In this capacity, application of LCA to emerging technologies may contribute to the growing movement for responsible research and innovation (RRI). However, existing LCA practices are largely retrospective and ill-suited to support the objectives of RRI. For example, barriers related to data availability, rapid technology change, and isolation of environmental from technical research inhibit application of LCA to developing technologies. This dissertation focuses on development of anticipatory LCA tools that incorporate elements of technology forecasting, provide robust explorations of uncertainty, and engage diverse innovation actors in overcoming retrospective approaches to environmental assessment and improvement of emerging technologies. Chapter one contextualizes current LCA practices within the growing literature articulating RRI and identifies the optimal place in the stage gate innovation model to apply LCA. Chapter one concludes with a call to develop anticipatory LCA---building on the theory of anticipatory governance---as a series of methodological improvements that seek to align LCA practices with the objectives of RRI. Chapter two provides a framework for anticipatory LCA, identifies where research from multiple disciplines informs LCA practice, and builds off the recommendations presented in the preceding chapter. Chapter two focuses on crystalline and thin film photovoltaics (PV) to illustrate the novel framework, in part because PV is an environmentally motivated technology undergoing extensive R&D efforts and

  14. [Sedation and analgesia assessment tools in ICU patients]. (United States)

    Thuong, M


    Sedative and analgesic treatment administered to critically ill patients need to be regularly assessed to ensure that predefinite goals are well achieved as the risk of complications of oversedation is minimized. In most of the cases, which are lightly sedation patients, the goal to reach is a calm, cooperative and painless patient, adapted to the ventilator. Recently, eight new bedside scoring systems to monitor sedation have been developed and mainly tested for reliability and validity. The choice of a sedation scale measuring level of consciousness, could be made between the Ramsay sedation scale, the Richmond Agitation Sedation scale (RASS) and the Adaptation to The Intensive Care Environment scale-ATICE. The Behavioral Pain Scale (BPS) is a behavioral pain scale. Two of them have been tested with strong evidence of their clinimetric properties: ATICE, RASS. The nurses'preference for a convenient tool could be defined by the level of reliability, the level of clarity, the variety of sedation and agitation states represented user friendliness and speed. In fine, the choice between a simple scale easy to use and a well-defined and complex scale has to be discussed and determined in each unit. Actually, randomized controlled studies are needed to assess the potential superiority of one scale compared with others scales, including evaluation of the reliability and the compliance to the scale. The usefulness of the BIS in ICU for patients lightly sedated is limited, mainly because of EMG artefact, when subjective scales are more appropriated in this situation. On the other hand, subjective scales are insensitive to detect oversedation in patients requiring deep sedation. The contribution of the BIS in deeply sedation patients, patients under neuromuscular blockade or barbiturates has to be proved. Pharmacoeconomics studies are lacking.

  15. The Mental Disability Military Assessment Tool : A Reliable Tool for Determining Disability in Veterans with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fokkens, Andrea S.; Groothoff, Johan W.; van der Klink, Jac J. L.; Popping, Roel; Stewart, Roy E.; van de Ven, Lex; Brouwer, Sandra; Tuinstra, Jolanda


    Purpose An assessment tool was developed to assess disability in veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to a military mission. The objective of this study was to determine the reliability, intra-rater and inter-rater variation of the Mental Disability Military (MDM) asses

  16. Health Impact Assessment: a useful tool for decision makers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Livia Turco


    Full Text Available Health Impact Assessment is defined as ‘the combination of procedures, methods and tools through which it is possible to evaluate a policy, a program or a development plan concerning possible effects on public health and their distribution in the general population’. In a constructive debate this definition points out some interesting observations: - health is not the result of health policies alone, but it is often defined by the attention given to it in other contexts; - health is however the result of policies and it therefore must deserve the attention of Decision Makers; - health must not be taken into consideration without taking into account an evaluation of its distribution and its determinants within a population. Particular attention must therefore be paid into inequalities; - following the Council of the European Union recent conclusions on Health in All Policies we have to consider that everyday environments such as day-care centers, schools,workplaces,neighborhoods and the commute between them have significant effects on health and that health, in turn, has an effect on the economy by enabling active and productive participation in working life. In the past 20 years huge progress has been achieved in the epidemiological contest to define risks. Nowadays, it is known that a low cultural level lowers the capacity to respond to prevention, that elevated pollution levels do represent a health risk, and that the scarce social relationships that elderly people have in our society have strong consequences on their health and their quality of life.

  17. Financial instability in the region: assessment methods and elimination tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel Andreevich Ivanov


    Full Text Available Financial instability is one of the most important factors in the level and sustainability of socio-economic development of territories. However, at present, from the viewpoint of methodology, this concept is developed insufficiently in relation to the elimination and forecasting of economic and financial crisis threats. This problem is especially acute at the regional level. For its solution the article proposes a methodology for assessing the risks of financial instability; it helps to determine the indicators of the current state and development of regional finances that are most liable to volatility in the context of the main institutional sectors (government, business, households; the methodology also helps to forecast the probable maximum change in the indicators in the future with the use of the VaR methodology The calculations carried out according to the proposed methodology on the example of the Republic of Bashkortostan show that regional finances are most vulnerable to fiscal risk. As a tool to eliminate budget risk the authors give several suggestions on improving the efficiency of interbudgetary transfers that make it possible to increase the degree of financial autonomy of the regions and to act as an effective incentive to their innovation development

  18. Can multicriteria assessment tools help build trust into organic products?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernhard Freyer


    Full Text Available In a continuously expanding, globalizing, and industrializing organic market, organic consumers confront increasing complexity in organic product representation, labeling, and information that challenges how they build trust in organic products. We present a conceptual framework to analyze how consumers might build and practice trust in the organic agrifood chain. We asked specifically about the role of multicriteria assessment tools (MCATs for trust building. We identified three consumer trust types: uninformed trust in labels (type 1; informed trust in extensive information, control, and certification (type 2; and informed and engaged trust in forms of close farmer-consumer relationships (type 3. Three concepts of "reflexivity" - unreflective, reflective, self-reflective - are used to explain how these three consumer trust types are operating. We see MCATs as tools accepted and applied mainly by the informed and reflective type. We further examined how reflexivity about two aspects - ethics and systems thinking - in the context of the organic agrifood chain can affect how people trust. Hedonistic, materialistic-oriented consumers might not care about MCATs to deepen their trust in organic, while anthropocentric-oriented consumers were identified as those applying MCATs; eco-centric and holistic-oriented consumers perceive MCATs more as a confinement that limits their self-reflexive and holistic understanding of organic. Awareness of, and interest in, systems thinking by unreflective and uninformed consumer trust types is rather limited; any MCAT is therefore without relevance. The reflective and informed consumer trust type uses a bundle of systems thinking methodologies, and in this context, MCATs would serve as an orientation. The self-reflective, informed, and engaged consumer trust type applies systems theory to learn how to become independent and to better learn how to protect against power interventions; e.g., from industries into the

  19. Concept Maps as a Research and Evaluation Tool To Assess Conceptual Change in Quantum Physics. (United States)

    Sen, Ahmet Ilhan


    Informs teachers about using concept maps as a learning tool and alternative assessment tools in education. Presents research results of how students might use concept maps to communicate their cognitive structure. (Author/KHR)

  20. The fracture risk assessment tool (FRAX® score in subclinical hyperthyroidism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Polovina Snežana


    Full Text Available Background/Aim. The Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX® score is the 10-year estimated risk calculation tool for bone fracture that includes clinical data and hip bone mineral density measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to elucidate the ability of the FRAX® score in discriminating between bone fracture positive and negative pre- and post-menopausal women with subclinical hyperthyroidism. Methods. The bone mineral density (by DXA, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH level, free thyroxine (fT4 level, thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb titre, osteocalcin and beta-cross-laps were measured in 27 pre- and post-menopausal women with newly discovered subclinical hyperthyroidism [age 58.85 ± 7.83 years, body mass index (BMI 27.89 ± 3.46 kg/m2, menopause onset in 46.88 ± 10.21 years] and 51 matched euthyroid controls (age 59.69 ± 5.72 years, BMI 27.68 ± 4.66 kg/m2, menopause onset in 48.53 ± 4.58 years. The etiology of subclinical hyperthyroisims was autoimmune thyroid disease or toxic goiter. FRAX® score calculation was performed in both groups. Results. In the group with subclinical hyperthyroidism the main FRAX® score was significantly higher than in the controls (6.50 ± 1.58 vs 4.35 ± 1.56 respectively; p = 0.015. The FRAX® score for hip was also higher in the evaluated group than in the controls (1.33 ± 3.92 vs 0.50 ± 0.46 respectively; p = 0.022. There was no correlations between low TSH and fracture risk (p > 0.05. The ability of the FRAX® score in discriminating between bone fracture positive and negative pre- and postmenopausal female subjects (p < 0.001 is presented by the area under the curve (AUC plotted via ROC analysis. The determined FRAX score cut-off value by this analysis was 6%, with estimated sensitivity and specificity of 95% and 75.9%, respectively. Conclusion. Pre- and postmenopausal women with subclinical hyperthyroidism have higher FRAX® scores and thus

  1. The value of tools to assess pulmonary arterial hypertension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Gupta


    Full Text Available Pulmonary hypertension is a common but complex clinical problem. When suspected in an appropriate clinical setting or detected incidetally, an array of investigative tools are employed with an intent to confirm the diagnosis, define aetiology, evaluate the functional and haemodynamic impairment, define treatment options, monitor the therapy, and establish long-term prognosis. However, no single tool provides comprehensive information that encompasses the aforementioned aims. Therefore, judicious use of these tools is of paramount importance, in order to maximise outcome and cost-effectiveness, while minimising risks and redundancies. Furthermore, a number of promising tools and techniques are emerging rapidly in the arena of pulmonary hypertension. These tools augment our understanding of pathophysiology and natural history of pulmonary hypertension. There is, therefore, increasing need for validating these emerging paradigms in multicentre trials. In this review, we focus on the tools commonly used to evaluate pulmonary arterial hyertension and also define some of the new approaches to pulmonary arterial hypertension.

  2. A bacteriophage detection tool for viability assessment of Salmonella cells. (United States)

    Fernandes, E; Martins, V C; Nóbrega, C; Carvalho, C M; Cardoso, F A; Cardoso, S; Dias, J; Deng, D; Kluskens, L D; Freitas, P P; Azeredo, J


    Salmonellosis, one of the most common food and water-borne diseases, has a major global health and economic impact. Salmonella cells present high infection rates, persistence over inauspicious conditions and the potential to preserve virulence in dormant states when cells are viable but non-culturable (VBNC). These facts are challenging for current detection methods. Culture methods lack the capacity to detect VBNC cells, while biomolecular methods (e.g. DNA- or protein-based) hardly distinguish between dead innocuous cells and their viable lethal counterparts. This work presents and validates a novel bacteriophage (phage)-based microbial detection tool to detect and assess Salmonella viability. Salmonella Enteritidis cells in a VBNC physiological state were evaluated by cell culture, flow-cytometry and epifluorescence microscopy, and further assayed with a biosensor platform. Free PVP-SE1 phages in solution showed the ability to recognize VBNC cells, with no lysis induction, in contrast to the minor recognition of heat-killed cells. This ability was confirmed for immobilized phages on gold surfaces, where the phage detection signal follows the same trend of the concentration of viable plus VBNC cells in the sample. The phage probe was then tested in a magnetoresistive biosensor platform allowing the quantitative detection and discrimination of viable and VBNC cells from dead cells, with high sensitivity. Signals arising from 3 to 4 cells per sensor were recorded. In comparison to a polyclonal antibody that does not distinguish viable from dead cells, the phage selectivity in cell recognition minimizes false-negative and false-positive results often associated with most detection methods.

  3. Developing Tools to Assess European Trace Gas Trends (United States)

    Wilson, Rebecca; Fleming, Zoe; Henne, Stephan; Monks, Paul


    The GEOmon (Global Earth Observation and MONitoring) project has produced a harmonised data set of trace gases from thirty ground-based measurement stations belonging to a number of regional, national and European air quality networks (e.g. EMEP, GAW). A variety of tools have been developed in R to evaluate European trace gas trends as a method to assess data quality and the effectiveness of European emission legislation. Long-term O3, NO2 and CO have been characterised at all sites using lowess regression. Additionally, O3 was deseasonalised and linear trends were fitted to and quantified for monthly means, 5th and 95th percentiles (to illustrate changes in mean, background and peak concentrations respectively). Twenty-four of these sites have data between 1996-2005 (Incl). Analysis of these sites for the time period provides an easily comparable characterisation of continental-scale O3 trends. However, few sites have statistically significant trends during this limited analysis period. The RETRO monthly NOx emissions fluxes at the GEOmon harmonised data sites were plotted from 1985-2000. The introduction of catalytic converters in Europe in 1985 and subsequent EU legislation in 1993 (requiring catalytic converters in all new petrol cars sold), corresponds to a decrease in NOx emissions throughout 1990's for the majority of sites. It is noted that the rate of reduction in NOx emissions decreases from the mid-1990's to 2000 for fifteen locations. This may account for the less pronounced, and reduced statistical significance of, O3 trends during the 1996-2005 period. Although the spatial distribution of European O3 trends 1996-2005 is inconclusive for the present GEOmon harmonised dataset, the expansion to more European sites may lead to a more detailed characterisation.

  4. Assessing Change in High School Student Information Literacy Using the Tool for Real-Time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills (United States)

    Kovalik, Cindy L.; Yutzey, Susan D.; Piazza, Laura M.


    Change in high school student information literacy (IL) knowledge and skills, from freshman year to senior year in high school was the focus of this quasi-experimental research project. Researchers used a free information literacy skills assessment tool entitled TRAILS (Tool for Real-time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills) to measure…

  5. Perspectives and Practices of Elementary Teachers Using an Internet-Based Formative Assessment Tool: The Case of "Assessing Mathematics Concepts" (United States)

    Martin, Christie S.; Polly, Drew; Wang, Chuang; Lambert, Richard G.; Pugalee, David K.


    This study examined the influence of professional development on elementary school teachers' perceptions of and use of an internet-based formative assessment tool focused on students' number sense skills. Data sources include teacher-participants' pre and post survey, open ended response on post survey, use of the assessment tool and their written…

  6. Embedded value systems in sustainability assessment tools and their implications. (United States)

    Gasparatos, Alexandros


    This paper explores the implications that arise with the selection of specific sustainability evaluation tools. Sustainability evaluation tools are conceptualized in this paper as value articulating institutions and as such their choice is a far from a trivial matter. In fact their choice can entail various ethical and practical repercussions. However, in most cases the choice of the evaluation tool is made by the analyst(s) without taking into consideration the values of the affected stakeholders. By choosing the analytical tool the analyst essentially "subscribes to" and ultimately "enforces" a particular worldview as the legitimate yardstick to evaluate the sustainability of a particular project (or policy). Instead, this paper argues that the selection of evaluation tools should be consistent with the values of the affected stakeholders. With this in mind, different sustainability evaluation tools' assumptions are critically reviewed and a number of suggestions that could facilitate the choice of the most appropriate tool according to the context of the sustainability evaluation are provided. It is expected that conscious evaluation tool selection, following the suggestions made in this paper, will reduce the risk of providing distorted sustainability evaluations.

  7. Development of an indicator-based Tool for assessment of marine biodiversity status

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jesper; Borja, Angel; Berg, Torsten

    ) and consequently, there is a pan-European need to overcome shortcomings in regard to biodiversity monitoring, indicators and tools. Here, we present a prototype tool for assessment of marine biodiversity status sensu the MSFD. The tool has a modular structure and is based on a conceptual view of the marine......With the adoption of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), Member States are committed to produce Initial Assessments including assessments of marine biodiversity status. Only few EU Member States have applied indicator-based assessment tools in the first reporting round (2012......, the tool also examines the propagation of uncertainty from indicators to overall biodiversity assessment. Based on an existing set of indicators with numerical target values from the North Sea - Baltic Sea transition area, we test the tool, discuss its strengths and weakness and compare it with earlier...

  8. HEFCE's People Management Self-Assessment Tool: Ticking Boxes or Adding Value? A Case Study (United States)

    McDonald, Claire


    This article examines one specific organisational development tool in depth and uses a case study to investigate whether using the tool is more than a tick-box exercise and really can add value and help organisations to develop and improve. The People Management Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) is used to examine higher education institutions' (HEIs)…

  9. Teaching Students How to Integrate and Assess Social Networking Tools in Marketing Communications (United States)

    Schlee, Regina Pefanis; Harich, Katrin R.


    This research is based on two studies that focus on teaching students how to integrate and assess social networking tools in marketing communications. Study 1 examines how students in marketing classes utilize social networking tools and explores their attitudes regarding the use of such tools for marketing communications. Study 2 focuses on an…

  10. Development and validation of a Clinical Assessment Tool for Nursing Education (CAT-NE). (United States)

    Skúladóttir, Hafdís; Svavarsdóttir, Margrét Hrönn


    The aim of this study was to develop a valid assessment tool to guide clinical education and evaluate students' performance in clinical nursing education. The development of the Clinical Assessment Tool for Nursing Education (CAT-NE) was based on the theory of nursing as professional caring and the Bologna learning outcomes. Benson and Clark's four steps of instrument development and validation guided the development and assessment of the tool. A mixed-methods approach with individual structured cognitive interviewing and quantitative assessments was used to validate the tool. Supervisory teachers, a pedagogical consultant, clinical expert teachers, clinical teachers, and nursing students at the University of Akureyri in Iceland participated in the process. This assessment tool is valid to assess the clinical performance of nursing students; it consists of rubrics that list the criteria for the students' expected performance. According to the students and their clinical teachers, the assessment tool clarified learning objectives, enhanced the focus of the assessment process, and made evaluation more objective. Training clinical teachers on how to assess students' performances in clinical studies and use the tool enhanced the quality of clinical assessment in nursing education.

  11. Sustainability assessment in the 21. century. Tools, trends and applications. Symposium abstracts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    Focus on sustainability of products and corporations has been increasing over the last decade. New market trends develop, engendering new tools and application areas with the purpose of increasing sustainability, thus setting new demands for industry and academia. The 2012 SETAC LCA Case Study Symposium focuses on the experiences gained in industry and academia on the application of LCA and on the application of new tools for sustainability assessment. These tools may relate to environmental 'footstep' assessments, such as carbon, water or chemical footprints, as well as life cycle oriented tools for assessing other dimensions of sustainability. (LN)

  12. Assessment Tools as Drivers for SPI: Short-term Benefits and Long-term Challenges

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mûller, Sune Dueholm; Nørbjerg, Jacob; Cho, Hiu Ngan


    Full scale software process maturity assessments are costly, can have large organizational impact, and are carried out at long (12-24 months) intervals. Consequently, there is a need for techniques and tools to monitor and help manage an SPI project through inexpensive, ongoing progress assessments....... In this paper we present findings from two cases of using such a tool. We have found that the tool does provide useful snapshots of the status of SPI projects, but that long-term use of the tool introduces costs and challenges related to modifying and tailoring the tool to both the organizational context...... and the SPI implementation approach. Also, persistent use of an assessment tool may jeopardize assessment reliability due to wear-out and routinization....

  13. Assessment Tools as Drivers for SPI: Short-term Benefits and Long-term Challenges

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mûller, Sune Dueholm; Nørbjerg, Jacob; Cho, Hiu Ngan


    Full scale software process maturity assessments are costly, can have large organizational impact, and are carried out at long (12-24 months) intervals. Consequently, there is a need for techniques and tools to monitor and help manage an SPI project through inexpensive, ongoing progress assessment....... In this paper we present findings from two cases of using such a tool We have found that the tool does provide useful snapshots of the status of an SPI projects, but that long-term use of the tool introduces costs and challenges related to modifying and tailoring the tool to both the organizational context...... and the SPI implementation approach. Also, persistent use of an assessment tool may jeopardize assessment reliability due to wear-out and routinization....

  14. Development of an Automated Security Risk Assessment Methodology Tool for Critical Infrastructures.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaeger, Calvin Dell; Roehrig, Nathaniel S.; Torres, Teresa M.


    This document presents the security automated Risk Assessment Methodology (RAM) prototype tool developed by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). This work leverages SNL's capabilities and skills in security risk analysis and the development of vulnerability assessment/risk assessment methodologies to develop an automated prototype security RAM tool for critical infrastructures (RAM-CITM). The prototype automated RAM tool provides a user-friendly, systematic, and comprehensive risk-based tool to assist CI sector and security professionals in assessing and managing security risk from malevolent threats. The current tool is structured on the basic RAM framework developed by SNL. It is envisioned that this prototype tool will be adapted to meet the requirements of different CI sectors and thereby provide additional capabilities.

  15. Developing an Intelligent Diagnosis and Assessment E-Learning Tool for Introductory Programming (United States)

    Huang, Chenn-Jung; Chen, Chun-Hua; Luo, Yun-Cheng; Chen, Hong-Xin; Chuang, Yi-Ta


    Recently, a lot of open source e-learning platforms have been offered for free in the Internet. We thus incorporate the intelligent diagnosis and assessment tool into an open software e-learning platform developed for programming language courses, wherein the proposed learning diagnosis assessment tools based on text mining and machine learning…

  16. Towards sustainability in cold chains: Development of a quality, energy and environmental assessment tool (QEEAT)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gwanpua, S.G.; Verboven, P.; Brown, T.; Leducq, D.; Verlinden, B.E.; Evans, J.; Van Der Sluis, S.; Wissink, E.B.; Taoukis, P.; Gogou, E.; Stahl, V.; El Jabri, M.; Thuault, D.; Claussen, I.; Indergård, E.; M. Nicolai, B.; Alvarez, G.; Geeraerd, A.H.


    Quantification of the impact of refrigeration technologies in terms of the quality of refrigerated food, energy usage, and environmental impact is essential to assess cold chain sustainability. In this paper, we present a software tool QEEAT (Quality, Energy and Environmental Assessment Tool) for ev

  17. Portfolio as a learning strategy and a tool for assessment - a Danish experience

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mogensen, Arne


    A short presentation of some Danish expereriences using portfolio in maths teaching in primary and lower secondary schools as a learning strategy AND a tool for assessment.......A short presentation of some Danish expereriences using portfolio in maths teaching in primary and lower secondary schools as a learning strategy AND a tool for assessment....

  18. Pain Assessment Using The Adolescent Pediatric Pain Tool: A Systematic Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ananda Maria Fernandes


    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Adolescent Pediatric Pain Tool (APPT is a multidimensional pain assessment tool designed to assess pain location (body outline diagram, intensity (word graphic rating scale and quality (list of pain descriptors in hospitalized children eight to 17 years of age.

  19. Environmental assessment tools for the evaluation and improvement of European livestock production systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Halberg, N.; Werf, H.M.G.; Basset-Mens, C.; Dalgaard, P.; Boer, de I.J.M.


    Different types of assessment tools have been developed in Europe with the purpose of determining the environmental impact of various livestock production systems at farm level. The assessment tools differ in terms of which environmental objectives are included and how indicators are constructed and

  20. FEAT - Flash Environmental Assessment Tool to identify acute environmental risks following disasters. The tool, the explanation and a case study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Dijk S; Brand E; de Zwart D; Posthuma L; Middelaar J van; IMG


    Voor veldteams van de Verenigde Naties die bij (natuur)rampen worden ingezet is de methode Flash Environmental Assessment Tool (FEAT) ontwikkeld. Hiermee kan worden ingeschat in welk gebied effecten van vrijgekomen chemische stoffen voor mens en milieu te verwachten zijn. De methode geeft aan welk

  1. Development of the Assessment of Burden of COPD tool : an integrated tool to measure the burden of COPD

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slok, Annerika H. M.; in 't Veen, Johannes C. C. M.; Chavannes, Niels H.; van der Molen, Thys; Rutten-van Molken, Maureen P. M. H.; Kerstjens, Huib A. B.; Salome, Philippe L.; Holverda, Sebastiaan; Dekhuijzen, P. N. Richard; Schuiten, Denise; Asijee, Guus M.; van Schayck, Onno C. P.


    In deciding on the treatment plan for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the burden of COPD as experienced by patients should be the core focus. It is therefore important for daily practice to develop a tool that can both assess the burden of COPD and facilitate communicatio

  2. Development of the assessment of burden of COPD tool: An integrated tool to measure the burden of COPD

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.H.M. Slok (Annerika); J.C.C.M. in 't Veen (Johannes); N.H. Chavannes (Nicolas); T. van der Molen (Thys); M.P.M.H. Rutten-van Mölken (Maureen); H.A.M. Kerstjens (Huib); J. Salomé; S. Holverda (Sebastiaan); P.N.R. Dekhuijzen (Richard); D. Schuiten (Denise); G.M. Asijee (Guus); O.C.P. Schayck (Onno)


    textabstractIn deciding on the treatment plan for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the burden of COPD as experienced by patients should be the core focus. It is therefore important for daily practice to develop a tool that can both assess the burden of COPD and facilitate

  3. Development of the Assessment of Burden of COPD tool: an integrated tool to measure the burden of COPD

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slok, A.H.; Veen, J.C. In 't; Chavannes, N.H.; Molen, T. van der; Molken, M.P. Rutten-van; Kerstjens, H.A.; Salome, P.L.; Holverda, S.; Dekhuijzen, P.N.R.; Schuiten, D.; Asijee, G.M.; Schayck, O.C.P. van


    In deciding on the treatment plan for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the burden of COPD as experienced by patients should be the core focus. It is therefore important for daily practice to develop a tool that can both assess the burden of COPD and facilitate communicatio

  4. Implementation of a risk assessment tool based on a probabilistic safety assessment developed for radiotherapy practices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paz, A.; Godinez, V.; Lopez, R., E-mail: abpaz@cnsns.gob.m [Comision Nacional de Seguridad Nuclear y Salvaguardias, Dr. Barragan No. 779, Col. Narvarte, 03020 Mexico D. F. (Mexico)


    The present work describes the implementation process and main results of the risk assessment to the radiotherapy practices with Linear Accelerators (Linac), with cobalt 60, and with brachytherapy. These evaluations were made throughout the risk assessment tool for radiotherapy practices SEVRRA (risk evaluation system for radiotherapy), developed at the Mexican National Commission in Nuclear Safety and Safeguards derived from the outcome obtained with the Probabilistic Safety Analysis developed at the Ibero-American Regulators Forum for these radiotherapy facilities. The methodology used is supported by risk matrices method, a mathematical tool that estimates the risk to the patient, radiation workers and public from mechanical failures, mis calibration of the devices, human mistakes, and so. The initiating events are defined as those undesirable events that, together with other failures, can produce a delivery of an over-dose or an under-dose of the medical prescribed dose, to the planned target volume, or a significant dose to non prescribed human organs. Initiating events frequency and reducer of its frequency (actions intended to avoid the accident) are estimated as well as robustness of barriers to those actions, such as mechanical switches, which detect and prevent the accident from occurring. The spectrum of the consequences is parameterized, and the actions performed to reduce the consequences are identified. Based on this analysis, a software tool was developed in order to simplify the evaluations to radiotherapy installations and it has been applied as a first step forward to some Mexican installations, as part of a national implementation process, the final goal is evaluation of all Mexican facilities in the near future. The main target and benefits of the SEVRRA implementation are presented in this paper. (Author)


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    César Alveiro Montoya


    Full Text Available This paper makes a reflection against the component that gives you the tool of the (BSC Balanced Scorecard, the administrative process, in that connection that is shared at today's organizations from becoming highly competitive institutions. Similarly, the contribution is presented by Kaplan and Norton introduced for the evaluation of organizational management as a new tool for the fulfillment of the objectives in the organization.Similarly, it is a development of the four perspectives of BSC which seeks to identify the contribution that each of these contributes to the mission and competitive performance of the organization.

  6. Assess/Mitigate Risk through the Use of Computer-Aided Software Engineering (CASE) Tools (United States)

    Aguilar, Michael L.


    The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) was requested to perform an independent assessment of the mitigation of the Constellation Program (CxP) Risk 4421 through the use of computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools. With the cancellation of the CxP, the assessment goals were modified to capture lessons learned and best practices in the use of CASE tools. The assessment goal was to prepare the next program for the use of these CASE tools. The outcome of the assessment is contained in this document.

  7. CLIMCONG: A framework-tool for assessing CLIMate CONGruency (United States)

    Buras, Allan; Kölling, Christian; Menzel, Annette


    It is widely accepted that the anticipated elevational and latitudinal shifting of climate forces living organisms (including humans) to track these changes in space over a certain time. Due to the complexity of climate change, prediction of consequent migrations is a difficult procedure afflicted with many uncertainties. To simplify climate complexity and ease respective attempts, various approaches aimed at classifying global climates. For instance, the frequently used Köppen-Geiger climate classification (Köppen, 1900) has been applied to predict the shift of climate zones throughout the 21st century (Rubel and Kottek, 2010). Another - more objective but also more complex - classification approach has recently been presented by Metzger et al. (2013). Though being comprehensive, classifications have certain drawbacks, as I) often focusing on few variables, II) having discrete borders at the margins of classes, and III) subjective selection of an arbitrary number of classes. Ecological theory suggests that when only considering temperature and precipitation (such as Köppen, 1900) particular climate features - e.g. radiation and plant water availability - may not be represented with sufficient precision. Furthermore, sharp boundaries among homogeneous classes do not reflect natural gradients. To overcome the aforementioned drawbacks, we here present CLIMCONG - a framework-tool for assessing climate congruency for quantitatively describing climate similarity through continua in space and time. CLIMCONG allows users to individually select variables for calculation of climate congruency. By this, particular foci can be specified, depending on actual research questions posed towards climate change. For instance, while ecologists focus on a multitude of parameters driving net ecosystem productivity, water managers may only be interested in variables related to drought extremes and water availability. Based on the chosen parameters CLIMCONG determines congruency of

  8. Tools and perspectives for assessing chemical mixtures and multiple stressors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Løkke, Hans; Ragas, Ad M. J.; Holmstrup, Martin


    The present paper summarizes the most important insights and findings of the EU NoMiracle project with a focus on (1) risk assessment of chemical mixtures, (2) combinations of chemical and natural stressors, and (3) the receptor-oriented approach in cumulative risk assessment. The project aimed a...... is suggested. The results are discussed in the light of recent developments in risk assessment of mixtures and multiple stressors....

  9. Critical Technology Assessment of Five Axis Simultaneous Control Machine Tools (United States)


    some of the less traditional end-uses cited in export license applications for these particular machine tools include the manufacture of artificial ... insemination equipment for cattle and the manufacture of moulds for the soles of shoes. C. Military Applications According to DOD’s Military

  10. Third Party Risk Assessment Tool (3PRAT) User Guide (United States)


    2 Lethal Crash Area – LCA Tab...Program includes five modules; Casualty Expectation, Probability of Loss of Aircraft (PLoA), Potential Crash Location, Lethal Crash Area ( LCA ), and...hypothetical UAS example, the fixed wing “Robin” is provided to assist in the comprehension of the LCA portion of the tool. Specifications for the Robin are

  11. Validation of a new assessment tool for qualitative research articles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schou, Lone; Høstrup, Helle; Lyngsø, Elin Egholm


    is the Danish acronym for Appraisal of Qualitative Studies. Phase 1 was to develop the tool based on a literature review and on consultation with qualitative researchers. Phase 2 was an inter-rater reliability test in which 40 health professionals participated. Phase 3 was an inter-rater reliability test among...

  12. The development of a partnering assessment tool for projects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Holkers, A.; Voordijk, J.T.; Greenwood, D.


    Many firms in the construction industry claim to be working in a ‘partnering’ or even in an ‘integrated’ way. It is, however, very difficult to verify these claims with the tools currently available. The purpose of this study was to collect and refine existing work on integrative and collaborative w

  13. Tools and Techniques for Basin-Scale Climate Change Assessment (United States)

    Zagona, E.; Rajagopalan, B.; Oakley, W.; Wilson, N.; Weinstein, P.; Verdin, A.; Jerla, C.; Prairie, J. R.


    The Department of Interior's WaterSMART Program seeks to secure and stretch water supplies to benefit future generations and identify adaptive measures to address climate change. Under WaterSMART, Basin Studies are comprehensive water studies to explore options for meeting projected imbalances in water supply and demand in specific basins. Such studies could be most beneficial with application of recent scientific advances in climate projections, stochastic simulation, operational modeling and robust decision-making, as well as computational techniques to organize and analyze many alternatives. A new integrated set of tools and techniques to facilitate these studies includes the following components: Future supply scenarios are produced by the Hydrology Simulator, which uses non-parametric K-nearest neighbor resampling techniques to generate ensembles of hydrologic traces based on historical data, optionally conditioned on long paleo reconstructed data using various Markov Chain techniuqes. Resampling can also be conditioned on climate change projections from e.g., downscaled GCM projections to capture increased variability; spatial and temporal disaggregation is also provided. The simulations produced are ensembles of hydrologic inputs to the RiverWare operations/infrastucture decision modeling software. Alternative demand scenarios can be produced with the Demand Input Tool (DIT), an Excel-based tool that allows modifying future demands by groups such as states; sectors, e.g., agriculture, municipal, energy; and hydrologic basins. The demands can be scaled at future dates or changes ramped over specified time periods. Resulting data is imported directly into the decision model. Different model files can represent infrastructure alternatives and different Policy Sets represent alternative operating policies, including options for noticing when conditions point to unacceptable vulnerabilities, which trigger dynamically executing changes in operations or other

  14. MATILDA: A Military Laser Range Safety Tool Based on Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) Techniques (United States)


    AFRL-RH-FS-TR-2014-0035 MATILDA: A Military Laser Range Safety Tool Based on Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) Techniques Paul...the Government’s approval or disapproval of its ideas or findings. MATILDA: A Military Laser Range Safety Tool Based on Probabilistic Risk Assessment... Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) techniques to perform laser safety and hazard analysis for high output lasers in outdoor environments has become

  15. e-Health readiness assessment tools for healthcare institutions in developing countries. (United States)

    Khoja, Shariq; Scott, Richard E; Casebeer, Ann L; Mohsin, M; Ishaq, A F M; Gilani, Salman


    e-Health Readiness refers to the preparedness of healthcare institutions or communities for the anticipated change brought by programs related to Information and Communications Technology (ICT). This paper presents e-Health Readiness assessment tools developed for healthcare institutions in developing countries. The objectives of the overall study were to develop e-health readiness assessment tools for public and private healthcare institutions in developing countries, and to test these tools in Pakistan. Tools were developed using participatory action research to capture partners' opinions, reviewing existing tools, and developing a conceptual framework based on available literature on the determinants of access to e-health. Separate tools were developed for managers and for healthcare providers to assess e-health readiness within their institutions. The tools for managers and healthcare providers contained 54 and 50 items, respectively. Each tool contained four categories of readiness. The items in each category were distributed into sections, which either represented a determinant of access to e-health, or an important aspect of planning. The conceptual framework, and the validity and reliability testing of these tools are presented in separate papers. e-Health readiness assessment tools for healthcare providers and managers have been developed for healthcare institutions in developing countries.

  16. Case study applications of the BASINS climate assessment tool (CAT) (United States)

    This EPA report will illustrate the application of different climate assessment capabilities within EPA’s BASINS modeling system for assessing a range of potential questions about the effects of climate change on streamflow and water quality in different watershed settings and us...

  17. Traditional Assessment as a Subjectification Tool in Schools in Lesotho (United States)

    Khalanyane, Tankie; Hala-hala, Mokhoele


    The concept of assessment is one of the most important practices in any education system across the globe. Tracing the concept probably to the time immemorial through the Chinese Imperial Examination System in the fifteenth century, the notion of assessment seems to have proved to be one of the indispensable markers of selection, placement and…

  18. SAPPIRE: a prototype mobile tool for pressure ulcer risk assessment. (United States)

    Kim, Hyeoneui; Chung, Heejoon; Wang, Shuang; Jiang, Xiaoqian; Choi, Jeeyae


    Accurate assessment and documentation of skin conditions facilitate communication among care providers and are critical to effective prevention and mitigation of pressure ulcer. We report developing a prototype mobile system called SAPPIRE (Skin Assessment for Pressure Ulcer Prevention, an Integrated Recording Environment) for an android device to assist nurses with skin assessment and documentation at bedside. SAPPIRE demonstrates (1) data documentation conforming to the relevant terminology standards, (2) data exchange using Continuity of Care Records (CCR) standard and (3) smart display of patient data relevant to risk parameters to promote accurate pressure ulcer risk assessment with the Braden scale. Challenges associated standardizing assessment data faced during this development and the approaches that SAPPIRE took to overcome them are described.

  19. NDT-based bridge condition assessment supported by expert tools (United States)

    Bień, J.; KuŻawa, M.


    This paper is focused on the progress in the application of Expert Tools supporting integration of inspection and NDT testing findings in order to effectuate effective decision making by bridge owners. Possibilities of knowledge representation in the intelligent computer Expert Tools by means of the multi-level hybrid network technology are described. These multi-level hybrid networks can be built of neural, fuzzy and functional components depending on the problem that needs to be solved and on the type of available information. Application of the technology is illustrated by an example of the Bridge Evaluation Expert Function (BEEF) implemented in the Railway Bridge Management System "SMOK" operated by the Polish State Railways.

  20. Gaps in tools assessing the energy implications of renovation versus rebuilding decisions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Goldstein, Benjamin Paul; Herbøl, Mads; Meza, Maria Josefina Figueroa


    The state of building stocks changes over time. Owners and municipalities face the choice to renovate or rebuild buildings to improve energy efficiency. This review addresses how current sustainability assessment tools support these decisions. It finds that advanced tools are better tailored...... to evaluate project level energy-related decisions than at larger scales. Information gaps identified within assessment tools lead to uncertainty for decision makers about which option improves energy efficiency. In the case of a number of large-scale EU building renovating/renewing projects these tools have...

  1. Impact assessment with different scoring tools: How well do alien amphibian assessments match?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina Kumschick


    Full Text Available Classification of alien species’ impacts can aid policy making through evidence based listing and management recommendations. We highlight differences and a number of potential difficulties with two scoring tools, the Environmental Impact Classification of Alien Taxa (EICAT and the Generic Impact Scoring System (GISS using amphibians as a case study. Generally, GISS and EICAT assessments lead to very similar impact levels, but scores from the schemes are not equivalent. Small differences are attributable to discrepancies in the verbal descriptions for scores. Differences were found in several impact categories. While the issue of disease appears to be related to uncertainties in both schemes, hybridisation might be inflated in EICAT. We conclude that GISS scores cannot directly be translated into EICAT classifications, but they give very similar outcomes and the same literature base can be used for both schemes.

  2. Frameworks and tools for risk assessment of manufactured nanomaterials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hristozov, Danail; Gottardo, Stefania; Semenzin, Elena;


    Commercialization of nanotechnologies entails a regulatory requirement for understanding their environmental, health and safety (EHS) risks. Today we face challenges to assess these risks, which emerge from uncertainties around the interactions of manufactured nanomaterials (MNs) with humans...

  3. Hardware performance assessment recommendations and tools for baropodometric sensor systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Giacomozzi


    Full Text Available Accurate plantar pressure measurements are mandatory in both clinical and research contexts. Differences in accuracy, precision, reliability of pressure measurement devices (PMDs prevented so far the onset of standardization processes and of reliable reference datasets. The Italian National Institute of Health (ISS approved and conducted a scientific project aimed to design, validate and implement dedicated testing methods for both in-factory and on-the-field PMD assessment. A general-purpose experimental set-up was built, complete and suitable for the assessment of PMDs based on different sensor technology, electronic conditioning and mechanical solutions. Preliminary assessments have been conducted on 5 commercial PMDs. The study lead to the definition of: i an appropriate set of instruments and procedures for PMD technical assessment; ii a minimum set of significant parameters for the technical characterization of the PMD performance; iii some recommendations to both manufacturers and end users for an appropriate use in clinics and in research context

  4. Dangerous chemical substances – Tools supporting occupational risk assessment


    Elżbieta Dobrzyńska; Małgorzata Pośniak


    The assessment of risk associated with exposure to chemicals in the work environment is a task that still poses a lot of difficulties for the employers. At the same time the probability of adverse health effects faced by an employee as a result of such risks, and the related employer’s material losses should motivate employers to seek effective solutions aimed at assessing the risks and controling them to an acceptable level by the application of appropriate preventive measures. The paper pre...

  5. A tool for assessing ecological status of forest ecosystem (United States)

    Rahman Kassim, Abd; Afizzul Misman, Muhammad; Azahari Faidi, Mohd; Omar, Hamdan


    Managers and policy makers are beginning to appreciate the value of ecological monitoring of artificially regenerated forest especially in urban areas. With the advent of more advance technology in precision forestry, high resolution remotely sensed data e.g. hyperspectral and LiDAR are becoming available for rapid and precise assessment of the forest condition. An assessment of ecological status of forest ecosystem was developed and tested using FRIM campus forest stand. The forest consisted of three major blocks; the old growth artificially regenerated native species forests, naturally regenerated forest and recent planted forest for commercial timber and other forest products. Our aim is to assess the ecological status and its proximity to the mature old growth artificially regenerated stand. We used airborne LiDAR, orthophoto and thirty field sampling quadrats of 20x20m for ground verification. The parameter assessments were grouped into four broad categories: a. forest community level-composition, structures, function; landscape structures-road network and forest edges. A metric of parameters and rating criteria was introduced as indicators of the forest ecological status. We applied multi-criteria assessment to categorize the ecological status of the forest stand. The paper demonstrates the application of the assessment approach using FRIM campus forest as its first case study. Its potential application to both artificially and naturally regenerated forest in the variety of Malaysian landscape is discussed

  6. Predictive validity of adult risk assessment tools with juveniles who offended sexually. (United States)

    Ralston, Christopher A; Epperson, Douglas L


    An often-held assumption in the area of sexual recidivism risk assessment is that different tools should be used for adults and juveniles. This assumption is driven either by the observation that adolescents tend to be in a constant state of flux in the areas of development, education, and social structure or by the fact that the judicial system recognizes that juveniles and adults are different. Though the assumption is plausible, it is largely untested. The present study addressed this issue by scoring 2 adult sexual offender risk assessment tools, the Minnesota Sex Offender Screening Tool-Revised and the Static-99, on an exhaustive sample (N = 636) of juveniles who had sexually offended (JSOs) in Utah. For comparison, 2 tools designed for JSOs were also scored: the Juvenile-Sex Offender Assessment Protocol-II and the Juvenile Risk Assessment Scale. Recidivism data were collected for 2 time periods: before age 18 (sexual, violent, any recidivism) and from age 18 to the year 2004 (sexual). The adult actuarial risk assessment tools predicted all types of juvenile recidivism significantly and at approximately the same level of accuracy as juvenile-specific tools. However, the accuracy of longer term predictions of adult sexual recidivism across all 4 tools was substantially lower than the accuracy achieved in predicting juvenile sexual recidivism, with 2 of the tools producing nonsignificant results, documenting the greater difficulty in making longer term predictions on the basis of adolescent behavior.

  7. Cross-Cultural Adaptations of the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool for Treatment in Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Background According to general ethical and legal principles, valid consent must be obtained before starting any procedure. Objectives Due to the lack of a standard tool for assessing patients’ capacity to consent to medical treatment in Iran, the present study was carried out aiming to devise a Persian version of a cross-cultural adaptation of the MacArthur competence assessment tool. Patients and Methods By reviewing different methods of cultural translation and adaptation for assessment tools, and due to the lack of consensus on its processes, we selected Wild’s model as one of the most comprehensive methods in this regard. Wild’s (2005 10-stage model includes preparation, forward translation, reconciliation of the forward translation, back translation of reconciliation, back translation review, cognitive debriefing and cognitive review, and finalization, proofreading and final reporting. Using this model, we translated the MacArthur assessment tool and made it adaptable to Iranian patients. Results The MacArthur assessment tool is not dependent on any specific culture and language. As a result, if translation and its scientific adaptation are done based on an integrated and detailed model, the tool can be used for every culture and language. In other words, this tool is not culture-specific; so, it is applicable in cases where a translation is needed, and it can be culturally adapted to suit different societies. Conclusions In the present study, we are able to focus on and prove the efficacy and benefits of this measurement tool.

  8. An Alternative Grading Tool for Enhancing Assessment Practice and Quality Assurance in Higher Education (United States)

    Grainger, Peter; Weir, Katie


    Assessing student learning in university courses is commonly done using a rubric that arranges the assessment criteria and standards descriptors in a matrix style or grid format. This paper introduces an alternative style of grading tool known as the continua model of a guide to making judgements, which arranges assessment criteria based on a…

  9. Welfare assessment in porcine biomedical research – Suggestion for an operational tool

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Søndergaard, Lene Vammen; Dagnæs-Hansen, Frederik; Herskin, Mette S


    of the extent of welfare assessment in pigs used in biomedical research and to suggest a welfare assessment standard for research facilities based on an exposition of ethological considerations relevant for the welfare of pigs in biomedical research. The tools for porcine welfare assessment presented suggest...

  10. Peer Assessment with Online Tools to Improve Student Modeling (United States)

    Atkins, Leslie J.


    Introductory physics courses often require students to develop precise models of phenomena and represent these with diagrams, including free-body diagrams, light-ray diagrams, and maps of field lines. Instructors expect that students will adopt a certain rigor and precision when constructing these diagrams, but we want that rigor and precision to be an aid to sense-making rather than meeting seemingly arbitrary requirements set by the instructor. By giving students the authority to develop their own models and establish requirements for their diagrams, the sense that these are arbitrary requirements diminishes and students are more likely to see modeling as a sense-making activity. The practice of peer assessment can help students take ownership; however, it can be difficult for instructors to manage. Furthermore, it is not without risk: students can be reluctant to critique their peers, they may view this as the job of the instructor, and there is no guarantee that students will employ greater rigor and precision as a result of peer assessment. In this article, we describe one approach for peer assessment that can establish norms for diagrams in a way that is student driven, where students retain agency and authority in assessing and improving their work. We show that such an approach does indeed improve students' diagrams and abilities to assess their own work, without sacrificing students' authority and agency.

  11. Fitting cognitive diagnostic assessment to the Concept Assessment Tool for Statics (CATS) (United States)

    Santiago Roman, Aidsa Ivette

    A concept inventory (CI) is a multiple-choice instrument designed to evaluate whether a person has an accurate, working knowledge of a specific set of concepts. An important role of CI's is to provide instructors with clues about the pre-conceptions (or misconceptions) their students hold which may be actively interfering with learning. Only a few engineering CI's have been able to be applied successfully in instructional settings, due in part to statistical analysis techniques that are typically applied to the instrument. These techniques include psychometric interpretative techniques such as Classical Test Theory (CTT) and Item Response Theory (IRT), which measure the item performance data of the CI's. However, these strategies do not measure students' cognitive abilities (misconceptions). To begin filing this gap, the objective of this study was to determine the applicability of a new statistical method called the Fusion Model to the Concept Assessment Tool for Statics (CATS) among engineering students from various US universities. Specifically, the research question that guided this study was: Can the Fusion Model be appropriately used with the Cognitive Assessment Tool for Statics (CATS) to diagnostically measure students' cognitive understanding of Statics concepts? In this study, the Fusion Model was applied to CATS through a four-phase procedure. Each phase had a specific objective that was tied to the primary research question. The analysis performed resulted in the generation of a Q-matrix that relates a set of cognitive attributes to specific questions. These attributes were determined using the expertise of the author of this study and most importantly the developer of CATS. Results of the study indicated that CATS has high capability to be used as diagnostic assessment, and also identified items (questions) that needed to be revised because they were not able to discriminate between examinees who were masters and non-masters of the specified attributes

  12. The evolution of the sustainability assessment tool SBToolPT: from buildings to the built environment. (United States)

    Castanheira, Guilherme; Bragança, Luís


    This paper analyses the current trends in sustainability assessment. After about 15 years from the launch of sustainability assessment tools, focused on buildings evaluation, the paradigm of sustainability assessment tools is changing from the building scale to the built environment scale. Currently European cities and cities around the world are concerned with sustainable development, as well as its evolution. Cities seek a way to adapt to contemporary changes, in order to meet the required needs and ensure population's well-being. Considering this, the new generations of sustainability assessment tools are being developed to be used to guide and help cities and urban areas to become more sustainable. Following the trend of the most important sustainability assessment tools, the sustainability assessment tool SBTool(PT) is also developing its version for assessing the sustainability of the built environment, namely, the urban planning projects and the urban regeneration projects, to be developed in Portugal, the SBTool(PT)-UP. The application of the methodology to three case studies will demonstrate its feasibility; at the same time this will identify the best practices which will serve as reference for new projects, thereby assisting the development of the tool.

  13. The Evolution of the Sustainability Assessment Tool SBToolPT: From Buildings to the Built Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guilherme Castanheira


    Full Text Available This paper analyses the current trends in sustainability assessment. After about 15 years from the launch of sustainability assessment tools, focused on buildings evaluation, the paradigm of sustainability assessment tools is changing from the building scale to the built environment scale. Currently European cities and cities around the world are concerned with sustainable development, as well as its evolution. Cities seek a way to adapt to contemporary changes, in order to meet the required needs and ensure population’s well-being. Considering this, the new generations of sustainability assessment tools are being developed to be used to guide and help cities and urban areas to become more sustainable. Following the trend of the most important sustainability assessment tools, the sustainability assessment tool SBToolPT is also developing its version for assessing the sustainability of the built environment, namely, the urban planning projects and the urban regeneration projects, to be developed in Portugal, the SBToolPT-UP. The application of the methodology to three case studies will demonstrate its feasibility; at the same time this will identify the best practices which will serve as reference for new projects, thereby assisting the development of the tool.

  14. Estimation of Risk Factors - Useful Tools in Assessing Calves Welfare

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioana Andronie


    Full Text Available The study has been aimed at identify risk factors that may be used in welfare assessment of calves reared in intensive farming systems. These factors may be useful to the farmers in planning breeder measures in order to increase the animal welfare levels in relation to the legislative requirements. The estimation considered the housing conditions of calves aged 0-6 months grouped in two lots A (n: 50 and B (n: 60, depending on their accommodation system. We have monitored the calves decubitus on the housing surface, body hygiene as well as that of the resting area and the thermal comfort. The assessment was made by direct observation and numerical estimation, based on the Welfare Quality ® 2009 protocol (Assessment protocol for cattle as well as by means of a calves safety and welfare evaluation chart according to the European and national legislation on minimum calves safety and protection standards. Data collected and processed have shown the fact that not all housing conditions completely answer calves physiological requirements. Thus the appropriate housing criterion in the present study was met at B lot of 85 % and to a much smaller degree by the A lot (76 %. The assessment carried out by means of the safety chart have indicated that only the minimum criteria for calves rearing were met, which does not translate into a high level of their welfare.

  15. Are bioassays useful tools to assess redox processes and biodegradation?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen; Pedersen, Philip Grinder; Ludvigsen, L.


    sensitive hydrochemical or geochemical parameters, levels of hydrogen, and redox potential. However, all these approaches have to be evaluated against TEAP-bioassays as the most direct measure. We assessed successfully ongoing microbial-mediated redox processes by TEAP-bioassays in degradation studies...

  16. Biology Blogs: An Online Journal Club & Assessment Tool (United States)

    De Souza-Hart, Janet A.


    A "blog" can be used as an online journal club to supplement classroom learning. When crafted in a certain way, it can help students develop their scientific reading comprehension, critical thinking, and writing skills in a way that can easily be assessed by educators.

  17. Oral Exams as a Tool for Teaching and Assessment (United States)

    Sayre, Eleanor C.


    Oral exams are a fruitful and practical alternative to written exams in small-enrolment Science classes. In an oral exam, the instructor can assess conceptual understanding, problem-solving, scientific communication skills, and a student's philosophy of science. In contrast, a written exam gives a much poorer picture of how students learn and…

  18. Statistical tools to improve assessing agreement between several observers. (United States)

    Ruddat, I; Scholz, B; Bergmann, S; Buehring, A-L; Fischer, S; Manton, A; Prengel, D; Rauch, E; Steiner, S; Wiedmann, S; Kreienbrock, L; Campe, A


    In the context of assessing the impact of management and environmental factors on animal health, behaviour or performance it has become increasingly important to conduct (epidemiological) studies in the field. Hence, the number of investigated farms per study is considerably high so that numerous observers are needed for investigation. In order to maintain the quality and validity of study results calibration meetings where observers are trained and the current level of agreement is assessed have to be conducted to minimise the observer effect. When study animals were rated independently by the same observers by a categorical variable the exclusion test can be performed to identify disagreeing observers. This statistical test compares for each variable and each observer the observer-specific agreement with the overall agreement among all observers based on kappa coefficients. It accounts for two major challenges, namely the absence of a gold-standard observer and different data type comprising ordinal, nominal and binary data. The presented methods are applied on a reliability study to assess the agreement among eight observers rating welfare parameters of laying hens. The degree to which the observers agreed depended on the investigated item (global weighted kappa coefficients: 0.37 to 0.94). The proposed method and graphical description served to assess the direction and degree to which an observer deviates from the others. It is suggested to further improve studies with numerous observers by conducting calibration meetings and accounting for observer bias.

  19. The Learning Log as an Integrated Instructional Assessment Tool. (United States)

    Topaz, Beverley


    Use of student learning logs is recommended as a means for both students and teacher to assess second-language learning. The approach encourages learners to analyze their learning difficulties and plan for overcoming them. Incorporated into portfolios, logs can be used to analyze progress. Sample log sheet and chart used as a framework for…

  20. Poor concurrence between disabilities as described by patients and established assessment tools three months after stroke

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tistad, Malin; Ytterberg, Charlotte; Tham, Kerstin;


    stroke and to explore the concurrence between felt problems and assessed problems. METHOD: The patients (n=203) received care in the stroke units at Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden. Felt problems, drawn from an open question, were categorized. Results from established assessment tools: Katz...... Extended Index of ADL (KI); Barthel Index (BI) and Stroke Impact Scale (SIS) represented assessed problems. Items/domains in the assessment tools that corresponded to the categories of felt problems were identified and comparisons performed. RESULT: The category Fatigue had the largest number of felt...... problems (n=58, 28%). Fourteen out of the 24 categories of felt problems had corresponding items/domains in the assessment tools. KE/BI failed to identify 16-57% and SIS 0-33% of the felt problems. CONCLUSION: There was a substantial lack of concurrence between felt and assessed problems. The results...

  1. The National Single Assessment Tool (SAT) a pilot study in older persons care-survey results. (United States)

    McDermott-Scales, L; Beaton, D; McMahon, F; Vereker, N; McCormack, B; Coen, R F; O'Keefe, S T


    Following a consultation and review process, the interRAI suite of assessment tools was chosen as the most suitable instrument for assessment of the care needs of older people in Ireland. We used previously validated questionnaires to examine the usability, practicality and acceptability of these tools to professionals, carers and clients in rural and urban acute, long-term care and community settings. Of the 45 professionals, 42-44 (93-98%) agreed or strongly agreed with 14 of 15 positive statements regarding the acceptability, clinical value and ease of use of the interRAl tools; 39 (87%) felt the terminology was consistent and familiar, although 35 (78%) felt some areas would require further explanation. Responses from carers (n = 15) and clients (n = 68) were similarly overwhelmingly positive regarding the experience of being assessed using these tools. These results support the clinical utility and practicality of using this approach to assess older people in Irish clinical practice.

  2. Multi-Physics Computational Modeling Tool for Materials Damage Assessment Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The innovation proposed here is to provide a multi-physics modeling tool for materials damage assessment for application to future aircraft design. The software...

  3. Policy relevance of three integrated assessment tools - A comparison with specific reference to agricultural policies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uthes, S.; Fricke, K.; Konig, H.; Zander, P.; Ittersum, van M.K.; Sieber, S.; Helming, K.; Piorr, A.; Muller, K.


    The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), a system of market support instruments, direct income transfers, and rural development measures, has been put through an ongoing reform process in recent decades. This paper introduces three policy impact assessment tools (SIAT, SEAMLESS-IF, MEA-Scope tool) and

  4. An interactive water indicator assessment tool to support land use planning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hellegers, P.J.G.J.; Jansen, H.C.; Bastiaanssen, W.G.M.


    This paper presents an interactive web-based rapid assessment tool that generates key water related indicators to support decision making by stakeholders in land use planning. The tool is built on a consistent science based method that combines remote sensing with hydrological and socioeconomic anal

  5. A risk assessment tool for contaminated sites in low-permeability fractured media

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chambon, Julie Claire Claudia; Binning, Philip John; Jørgensen, Peter R.;


    A risk assessment tool for contaminated sites in low-permeability fractured media is developed, based on simple transient and steady-state analytical solutions. The discrete fracture (DF) tool, which explicitly accounts for the transport along fractures, covers different source geometries...

  6. Streamflow, a GIS-based Environmental Assessment Tool for Lowland Streams

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pieterse, N.M.; Olde Venterink, H.; Schot, P.P.; Verkroost, A.W.M.


    Human activities, such as stream management, drainage, urbanization and agriculture, heavily influence the aquatic ecosystems in small lowland streams. For the assessment of the impact of human activities of aquatic ecosystems, a modeling tool is created. This modeling tool is part of the EU-life Do

  7. Dynamo-HIA-a dynamic modeling tool for generic health impact assessments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S.K. Lhachimi (Stefan); W.J. Nusselder (Wilma); H.A. Smit (Henriëtte); P.H.M. van Baal (Pieter); P. Baili (Paolo); K. Bennett (Kathleen); E. Fernández (Esteve); M.C. Kulik (Margarete); T. Lobstein (Tim); J. Pomerleau (Joceline); J.P. Mackenbach (Johan); H.C. Boshuizen (Hendriek)


    textabstractBackground: Currently, no standard tool is publicly available that allows researchers or policy-makers to quantify the impact of policies using epidemiological evidence within the causal framework of Health Impact Assessment (HIA). A standard tool should comply with three technical crite

  8. DYNAMO-HIA - A Dynamic Modelling tool for generic Health Impact Assessments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lhachimi, S.K.; Nusselder, W.J.; Smit, H.A.; Baal, van P.; Bailli, P.; Bennett, K.; Fernández, E.; Kulik, M.C.; Lobstein, T.; Pomerleau, J.; Mackenbach, J.P.; Boshuizen, H.C.


    Background Currently, no standard tool is publicly available that allows researchers or policy-makers to quantify the impact of policies using epidemiological evidence within the causal framework of Health Impact Assessment (HIA). A standard tool should comply with three technical criteria (real-lif

  9. Assessing the performance of statistical validation tools for megavariate metabolomics data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rubingh, C.M.; Bijlsma, S.; Derks, E.P.P.A.; Bobeldijk, I.; Verheij, E.R.; Kochhar, S.; Smilde, A.K.


    Statistical model validation tools such as cross-validation, jack-knifing model parameters and permutation tests are meant to obtain an objective assessment of the performance and stability of a statistical model. However, little is known about the performance of these tools for megavariate data set

  10. The Development of a Visual-Perceptual Chemistry Specific (VPCS) Assessment Tool (United States)

    Oliver-Hoyo, Maria; Sloan, Caroline


    The development of the Visual-Perceptual Chemistry Specific (VPCS) assessment tool is based on items that align to eight visual-perceptual skills considered as needed by chemistry students. This tool includes a comprehensive range of visual operations and presents items within a chemistry context without requiring content knowledge to solve…

  11. BioScore: A tool to assess the impacts of European Community policies on Europe's biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Delbaere, B.; Nieto Serradilla, A.; Snethlage, M.; Alkemade, R.; Boitani, L.; Eggers, J.; Falcucci, A.; Framstad, E.; Heer, de M.; Hennekens, S.M.; Kemitzoglou, D.; Knegt, de B.; Knijf, de G.; Louette, G.; Maes, D.; Maiorano, L.; Nagy, S.; Ozinga, W.A.; Schaminée, J.H.J.; Tol, van S.; Tröltzsch, K.


    BioScore offers a European biodiversity impact assessment tool. The tool contains indicator values on the ecological preferences of more than 1000 species of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, butterflies, dragonflies, aquatic macro-invertebrates and vascular plants. These values are linked

  12. Evaluation Tools to Guide Students' Peer-Assessment and Self-Assessment in Group Activities for the Lab and Classroom (United States)

    Wenzel, Thomas J.


    Evaluation tools are provided that help students' peer-assessment and self-assessment in group activities for the laboratories and classroom. The self- and peer-evaluations have helped teachers provide better feedback to the students and feel more confident in assigning each individual a grade for their contribution to the group laboratory project.

  13. Competency Assessment Tool (CAT). The Evaluation of an Innovative Competency-Based Assessment Experience in Higher Education (United States)

    Ion, Georgeta; Cano, Elena; Cabrera, Nati


    This article examines an innovation in teaching-learning and assessment processes through the use of a platform called the Competency Assessment Tool (CAT). It allows for the tracking of student blogs with the objective of improving self-reflective processes and providing feedback. The experiment was carried out in six universities in Catalonia,…

  14. Assessing ELT Pre-Service Teachers via Web 2.0 Tools: Perceptions toward Traditional, Online and Alternative Assessment (United States)

    Cirit, Nazli Ceren


    The purpose of this study is to investigate the perceptions of the ELT pre-service teachers toward the traditional, alternative, and online assessment methods and examine whether the participants' attitudes change toward the types of assessment after the tasks via Web 2.0 tools are implemented. In the light of these aims, the study was conducted…

  15. An assessment tool for acutely ill medical patients.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Gleeson, Margaret


    This article reports the implementation and impact of a standardized systematic evidence-based predictive score for the initial assessment of acutely ill medical patients. The Simple Clinical Score (SCS) was introduced in the A&E department and the medical floor of the authors\\' hospital between June 2007 and July 2008. The SCS was well received by the staff - 67% felt it greatly improved patient assessment and was very valuable for ensuring appropriate placement of the patient after admission and improved the quality of care. This article describes the change process, the pilot evaluation and the training programme undertaken during the implementation of the SCS. It is hoped that this experience will be of value to other project teams who are undertaking similar initiatives.

  16. An assessment tool for acutely ill medical patients.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Gleeson, Margaret


    This article reports the implementation and impact of a standardized systematic evidence-based predictive score for the initial assessment of acutely ill medical patients. The Simple Clinical Score (SCS) was introduced in the A&E department and the medical floor of the authors\\' hospital between June 2007 and July 2008. The SCS was well received by the staff - 67% felt it greatly improved patient assessment and was very valuable for ensuring appropriate placement of the patient after admission and improved the quality of care. This article describes the change process, the pilot evaluation and the training programme undertaken during the implementation of the SCS. It is hoped that this experience will be of value to other project teams who are undertaking similar initiatives.

  17. The Music Therapy assessment tool for Advanced Huntington's Disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    O'Kelly, Julian; Bodak, R.


    in respiration rate with decreases in respiration variability. Similar findings within EEG data for controls and both VS and MCS cohorts, combined with significant findings for behavioral measures across the VS cohort, indicate music therapy is able to increase arousal levels for DOC patients, optimising...... is limited, is a challenging process. With awareness often masked by perceptual or motor impairments, misdiagnosis rates remain high. Music therapy assessment holds the potential to elicit responses despite damage to verbal or visual processing faculties, although robust empirical studies are lacking...... the conditions for accurate assessment. Research is indicated to explore both the use of bio-markers of awareness and longer term effects upon neuroplasticity in response to music therapy within this population....

  18. Risk factor assessment tools for the prevention of periodontitis progression a systematic review


    Lang, Niklaus P.; Suvan, Jean E; Tonetti, Maurizio S


    OBJECTIVES (i) To identify characteristics of currently published patient-based tools used to assess levels of risk for periodontitis progression and (ii) systematically review the evidence documenting the use of patient-based risk assessment tools for predicting periodontitis progression. MATERIAL AND METHODS A systematic review was prepared on the basis of an electronic search of the literature supplemented with manually searching the relevant journals of the latest 5 years. Prospective ...

  19. A Tool for Assessing the Text Legibility of Digital Human Machine Interfaces

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roger Lew; Ronald L. Boring; Thomas A. Ulrich


    A tool intended to aid qualified professionals in the assessment of the legibility of text presented on a digital display is described. The assessment of legibility is primarily for the purposes of designing and analyzing human machine interfaces in accordance with NUREG-0700 and MIL-STD 1472G. The tool addresses shortcomings of existing guidelines by providing more accurate metrics of text legibility with greater sensitivity to design alternatives.

  20. Development of a Burn Escharotomy Assessment Tool: A Pilot Study. (United States)

    Ur, Rebecca; Holmes, James H; Johnson, James E; Molnar, Joseph A; Carter, Jeffrey E


    Severe burn injuries can require escharotomies which are urgent, infrequent, and relatively high-risk procedures necessary to preserve limb perfusion and sometimes ventilation. The American Burn Association Advanced Burn Life Support© course educates surgeons and emergency providers about escharotomy incisions but lacks a biomimetic trainer to demonstrate, practice, or provide assessment. The goal was to build an affordable biomimetic trainer with discrete points of failure and pilot a validation study. Fellowship-trained burn and plastic surgeons worked with special effect artists and anatomists to develop a biomimetic trainer with three discrete points of failure: median or ulnar nerve injury, fasciotomy, and failure to check distal pulse. Participants were divided between experienced and inexperienced, survey pre- and post-procedure on a biomimetic model while being timed. The trainer total cost per participant was less than $35. Eighteen participants were involved in the study. The inexperienced (0-1 prior escharotomies performed) had significantly more violations at the discrete points of failure relative to more experienced participants (P = .036). Face validity was assessed with 100% of participants agreement that the model appeared similar to real life and was valuable in their training. Given the advancements in biomimetic models and the need to train surgeons in how to perform infrequent, emergent surgical procedures, an escharotomy trainer is needed today. The authors developed an affordable model with a successful pilot study demonstrating discrimination between experienced and inexperienced surgeons. Additional research is needed to increase the reliability and assessment metrics.

  1. Reflection on the development process of a sustainability assessment tool: learning from a Flemish case

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laure Triste


    Full Text Available Adoption of sustainability assessment tools in agricultural practice is often disappointing. One of the critical success factors for adoption is the tool development process. Because scientific attention to these development processes and insights about them are rather limited, we aimed to foster the scientific debate on this topic. This was done by reflecting on the development process of a Flemish sustainability assessment tool, MOTIFS. MOTIFS was developed with the aim of becoming widely adopted by farmers and farm advisors, but this result was not achieved. Our reflection process showed success factors favoring and barriers hindering tool adoption. These were grouped into three clusters of lessons learned for sound tool development: (1 institutional embeddedness, (2 ownership, and (3 tool functions. This clustering allowed us to formulate actions for researchers on the following aspects: (1 learning from stakeholders and end users, (2 providing coaching for appropriate tool use, and (3 structuring development of different tool types and exploring spin-offs from existing tools. We hope these normative results evoke other researchers to feed a debate on understanding tool development.

  2. Spatially-explicit LCIA model for marine eutrophication as a tool for sustainability assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cosme, Nuno Miguel Dias; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky


    degradation. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is as a tool to comparatively quantify the environmental impacts from product systems throughout their life cycle. Marine eutrophication is one of the LC Impact Assessment (LCIA) categories and it is still lacking an overall model linking nutrients over...... into impact assessment methods in LCA to help characterizing the eutrophication impact of product systems related to agricultural production or involving combustion processes, and ultimately to assess the environmental sustainability of human activities....

  3. A Successful ED Fall Risk Program Using the KINDER 1 Fall RiskAssessment Tool. (United States)

    Townsend, Ann B; Valle-Ortiz, Marisol; Sansweet, Tracy


    Emergency nurses did not perform falls risk assessments routinely on our ED patients; the instrument used was aimed at inpatients. We identified a need to revise fall assessment practices specific to our emergency department. The purpose of the performance improvement project was to reduce ED falls and evaluate the use of an ED-specific fall risk tool, the KINDER 1 Fall Risk Assessment. The plan was to establish fall risk assessment practices at point of ED entry and to decrease total falls.

  4. A New Tool to Assess the Perception of Stretching Intensity. (United States)

    Freitas, Sandro R; Vaz, João R; Gomes, Luis; Silvestre, Rui; Hilário, Edgar; Cordeiro, Nuno; Carnide, Filomena; Pezarat-Correia, Pedro; Mil-Homens, Pedro


    This study aimed to develop a valid and reliable scale to assess the perception of stretching intensity below and above the maximal range of motion. Experiments were conducted through a passive leg extension angle-torque assessment to healthy population (n = 90). In the study's first phase, the visual, numerical, and description of the stretching intensity scale (SIS) components were developed. The visual analog scale (VAS) score, absolute magnitude estimation (AME) score, and verbal stretching intensity symptom descriptors were assessed for different stretching intensities. In the second phase, the SIS was tested for validity, reliability, scale production, and estimation properties as well as responsiveness to stretching. In the first phase, a high correlation was found between SIS score and range of motion (ROM), as well as SIS and torque in both submaximal (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] = 0.89-0.99, r = 0.88-0.99) and supramaximal (ICC = 0.75-0.86, r = 0.68-0.88) stretching intensities. The AME and VAS scores fitted well in an exponential model for submaximal stretching intensities (y = 14.829e, ICC = 0.97 [0.83-0.99], r = 0.98), and in a linear model for supramaximal stretching intensities (y = 0.7667x - 25.751, ICC = 0.97 [0.89-0.99], r = 0.9594). For the second phase, a high correlation was found between SIS score and ROM (r = 0.70-0.76, ICC = 0.76-0.85), as well as SIS and torque (r = 0.62-0.88, ICC = 0.57-0.85). The interday reliability was high to produce (r = 0.70, ICC = 0.70 [0.50-0.83]) or estimate (r = 0.89, ICC = 0.89 [0.82-0.93]) stretching intensities. The acute stretching effects on ROM and passive torque were detectable using the SIS. It is expected a high application in assessing the stretch intensity using the SIS in future studies and practical interventions.

  5. Integrated Land-Water-Energy assessment using the Foreseer Tool (United States)

    Allwood, Julian; Konadu, Dennis; Mourao, Zenaida; Lupton, Rick; Richards, Keith; Fenner, Richard; Skelton, Sandy; McMahon, Richard


    This study presents an integrated energy and resource modelling and visualisation approach, ForeseerTM, which characterises the interdependencies and evaluates the land and water requirement for energy system pathways. The Foreseer Tool maps linked energy, water and land resource futures by outputting a set of Sankey diagrams for energy, water and land, showing the flow from basic resource (e.g. coal, surface water, and forested land) through transformations (e.g. fuel refining and desalination) to final services (e.g. sustenance, hygiene and transportation). By 'mapping' resources in this way, policy-makers can more easily understand the competing uses through the identification of the services it delivers (e.g. food production, landscaping, energy), the potential opportunities for improving the management of the resource and the connections with other resources which are often overlooked in a traditional sector-based management strategy. This paper will present a case study of the UK Carbon Plan, and highlights the need for integrated resource planning and policy development.

  6. Data connectivity: A critical tool for external quality assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben Cheng


    Full Text Available Point-of-care (POC tests have been useful in increasing access to testing and treatment monitoring for HIV. Decentralising testing from laboratories to hundreds of sites around a country presents tremendous challenges in training and quality assurance. In order to address these concerns, companies are now either embedding connectivity in their new POC diagnostic instruments or providing some form of channel for electronic result exchange. These will allow automated key performance and operational metrics from devices in the field to a central database. Setting up connectivity between these POC devices and a central database at the Ministries of Health will allow automated data transmission, creating an opportunity for real- time information on diagnostic instrument performance as well as the competency of the operator through external quality assessment. A pilot programme in Zimbabwe shows that connectivity has significantly improve the turn-around time of external quality assessment result submissions and allow corrective actions to be provided in a timely manner. Furthermore, by linking the data to existing supply chain management software, stock-outs can be minimised. As countries are looking forward to achieving the 90-90-90 targets for HIV, such innovative technologies can automate disease surveillance, improve the quality of testing and strengthen the efficiency of health systems.

  7. Skype: a tool for functional assessment in orthopaedic research.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Good, Daniel W


    Skype is a free program which enables PC users to make video calls to other users with Internet access. We carried out a prospective review of all acromioclavicular joint hook plates for lateral-third clavicle fractures over a five-year period. Functional assessment with Oxford and Constant shoulder scores were carried out using Skype and compared to outpatient review using the Bland-Altman method. Of 36 patients (mean age 36 years), 33 had a computer with a video camera, all 33 had Internet access and 22 were already users of Skype. In total 29 patients were happy to take part in Skype assessment (83%). In comparison with outpatient review, there was a mean difference in the Oxford score of -0.48 (95% confidence interval -0.84, -0.12); the mean difference for the Constant score was -0.68 (95% confidence interval -1.08, -0.29). These differences were not clinically significant, confirming that Skype can be used as an alternative to goniometry in this clinical setting. A survey showed that 93% of 29 patients surveyed preferred the use of Skype for follow-up, mainly due to the convenience and cost-saving involved. The study demonstrates the potential for this new technique in providing patients with more options for follow-up.

  8. Traumatic brain injury: future assessment tools and treatment prospects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven R Flanagan


    Full Text Available Steven R Flanagan1, Joshua B Cantor2, Teresa A Ashman21New York University School of Medicine, The Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation, New York, NY, USA; 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USAAbstract: Traumatic brain injury (TBI is widespread and leads to death and disability in millions of individuals around the world each year. Overall incidence and prevalence of TBI are likely to increase in absolute terms in the future. Tackling the problem of treating TBI successfully will require improvements in the understanding of normal cerebral anatomy, physiology, and function throughout the lifespan, as well as the pathological and recuperative responses that result from trauma. New treatment approaches and combinations will need to be targeted to the heterogeneous needs of TBI populations. This article explores and evaluates the research evidence in areas that will likely lead to a reduction in TBI-related morbidity and improved outcomes. These include emerging assessment instruments and techniques in areas of structural/chemical and functional neuroimaging and neuropsychology, advances in the realms of cell-based therapies and genetics, promising cognitive rehabilitation techniques including cognitive remediation and the use of electronic technologies including assistive devices and virtual reality, and the emerging field of complementary and alternative medicine.Keywords: traumatic brain injury, assessments, treatments

  9. Technology Assessment Tool - An Application of Systems Engineering to USDOE Technology Proposals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rynearson, Michael Ardel


    This paper discusses the system design for a Technology Assessment (TA) tool that can be used to quantitatively evaluate new and advanced technologies, products, or processes. Key features of the tool include organization of information in an indentured hierarchy; questions and categories derived from the decomposition of technology performance; segregation of life-cycle issues into six assessment categories; and scoring, relative impact, and sensitivity analysis capability. An advantage of the tool's use is its ability to provide decision analysis data, based on incomplete or complete data.

  10. Technology Assessment Tool - An Application of Systems Engineering to USDOE Technology Proposals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. A. Rynearson


    This paper discusses the system design of a Technology Assessment (TA) tool that can be used to quantitatively evaluate new and advanced technologies, products, or processes. Key features of the tool include organization of information in an indentured hierarchy; questions and categories derived from the decomposition of technology performance; segregation of life-cycle issues into six assessment categories; and scoring, relative impact, and sensitivity analysis capability. An advantage of the tool's use is its ability to provide decision analysis data, based on incomplete or complete data.

  11. Tool for assessing eco-efficiency in urban planning and design

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lahti, P., Email:


    The goal of this project was to develop a fast, comprehensive and user-friendly eco-efficiency estimation method for urban development. A preliminary study concluded that urban planners, designers and architects lack a practical and comprehensive tool for the overall assessment of community-level ecological performance. The report on the tool itself concluded findings concerning the needs of urban planners and designers in the City of Helsinki, which were transferred to the structure and contents of the assessment tool. The project continues the development efforts during the next couple of years, integrating 14 partners. (orig.)

  12. Development of a Façade Assessment and Design Tool for Solar Energy (FASSADES)


    Jouri Kanters; Maria Wall; Marie-Claude Dubois


    Planning energy-efficient buildings which produce on-site renewable energy in an urban context is a challenge for all involved actors in the planning process. The primary objective of this study was to develop a façade assessment and design tool for solar energy (FASSADES) providing the necessary information for all stakeholders in the design process. The secondary objective was to demonstrate the tool by performing an assessment analysis of a building block. The FASSADES tool is a DIVA4Rhino...

  13. The Issues and Methodologies in Sustainability Assessment Tools for Higher Education Institutions: A Review of Recent Trends and Future Challenges (United States)

    Yarime, Masaru; Tanaka, Yuko


    Assessment tools influence incentives to higher education institutions by encouraging them to move towards sustainability. A review of 16 sustainability assessment tools was conducted to examine the recent trends in the issues and methodologies addressed in assessment tools quantitatively and qualitatively. The characteristics of the current…

  14. Supporting Red List threat assessments with GeoCAT: geospatial conservation assessment tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven Bachman


    Full Text Available GeoCAT is an open source, browser based tool that performs rapid geospatial analysis to ease the process of Red Listing taxa. Developed to utilise spatially referenced primary occurrence data, the analysis focuses on two aspects of the geographic range of a taxon: the extent of occurrence (EOO and the area of occupancy (AOO. These metrics form part of the IUCN Red List categories and criteria and have often proved challenging to obtain in an accurate, consistent and repeatable way. Within a familiar Google Maps environment, GeoCAT users can quickly and easily combine data from multiple sources such as GBIF, Flickr and Scratchpads as well as user generated occurrence data. Analysis is done with the click of a button and is visualised instantly, providing an indication of the Red List threat rating, subject to meeting the full requirements of the criteria. Outputs including the results, data and parameters used for analysis are stored in a GeoCAT file that can be easily reloaded or shared with collaborators. GeoCAT is a first step toward automating the data handling process of Red List assessing and provides a valuable hub from which further developments and enhancements can be spawned.

  15. QUADAS-2: a revised tool for the quality assessment of diagnostic accuracy studies. (United States)

    Whiting, Penny F; Rutjes, Anne W S; Westwood, Marie E; Mallett, Susan; Deeks, Jonathan J; Reitsma, Johannes B; Leeflang, Mariska M G; Sterne, Jonathan A C; Bossuyt, Patrick M M


    In 2003, the QUADAS tool for systematic reviews of diagnostic accuracy studies was developed. Experience, anecdotal reports, and feedback suggested areas for improvement; therefore, QUADAS-2 was developed. This tool comprises 4 domains: patient selection, index test, reference standard, and flow and timing. Each domain is assessed in terms of risk of bias, and the first 3 domains are also assessed in terms of concerns regarding applicability. Signalling questions are included to help judge risk of bias. The QUADAS-2 tool is applied in 4 phases: summarize the review question, tailor the tool and produce review-specific guidance, construct a flow diagram for the primary study, and judge bias and applicability. This tool will allow for more transparent rating of bias and applicability of primary diagnostic accuracy studies.

  16. Environmental risk assessment of metals: tools for incorporating bioavailability. (United States)

    Janssen, C R; Heijerick, D G; De Schamphelaere, K A C; Allen, H E


    In this paper, some of the main processes and parameters which affect metal bioavailability and toxicity in the aquatic environment and its implications for metal risk assessment procedures will be discussed. It has become clear that, besides chemical processes (speciation, complexation), attention should also be given to physiological aspects for predicting metal toxicity. The development of biotic ligand models (BLMs), which combine speciation models with more biologically oriented models (e.g. GSIM), has offered an answer to this need. The various BLMs which have been developed and/or refined for a number of metals (e.g. Cu, Ag, Zn) and species (algae, crustaceans, fish) are discussed here. Finally, the potential of the BLM approach is illustrated through a theoretical exercise in which chronic zinc toxicity to Daphnia magna is predicted in three regions, taking the physico-chemical characteristics of these areas into account.

  17. Assessing risks for gastric cancer: New tools for pathologists

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Robert M Genta; Massimo Rugge


    Although the Sydney Systems (original and updated) for the classification of gastritis have contributed substantially to the uniformity of the reporting of gastric conditions, they lack immediacy in conveying to the user information about gastric cancer risk. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the gastric lesions associated with an increased risk for cancer, and present the rationale for a proposal for new ways of reporting gastritis. In addition to the traditional histopathological data gathered and evaluated according to the Sydney System rules, pathologists could add an assessment expressed as grading and staging of the gastric inflammatory and atrophic lesions and integrate these findings with pertinent laboratory information on pepsinogens and gastrin levels. Such an integrated report could facilitate clinicians' approach to the management of patients with gastric conditions.

  18. Development of AMSTAR: a measurement tool to assess the methodological quality of systematic reviews

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamel Candyce


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Our objective was to develop an instrument to assess the methodological quality of systematic reviews, building upon previous tools, empirical evidence and expert consensus. Methods A 37-item assessment tool was formed by combining 1 the enhanced Overview Quality Assessment Questionnaire (OQAQ, 2 a checklist created by Sacks, and 3 three additional items recently judged to be of methodological importance. This tool was applied to 99 paper-based and 52 electronic systematic reviews. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify underlying components. The results were considered by methodological experts using a nominal group technique aimed at item reduction and design of an assessment tool with face and content validity. Results The factor analysis identified 11 components. From each component, one item was selected by the nominal group. The resulting instrument was judged to have face and content validity. Conclusion A measurement tool for the 'assessment of multiple systematic reviews' (AMSTAR was developed. The tool consists of 11 items and has good face and content validity for measuring the methodological quality of systematic reviews. Additional studies are needed with a focus on the reproducibility and construct validity of AMSTAR, before strong recommendations can be made on its use.

  19. Reliability and validity of a tool to assess airway management skills in anesthesia trainees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aliya Ahmed


    Conclusion: The tool designed to assess bag-mask ventilation and tracheal intubation skills in anesthesia trainees demonstrated excellent inter-rater reliability, fair test-retest reliability, and good construct validity. The authors recommend its use for formative and summative assessment of junior anesthesia trainees.

  20. Improving the flexibility and profitability of ICT-enabled business networks: an assessment method and tool.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D.J.E. Delporte-Vermeiren (Dominique)


    textabstractThis thesis deals with the development and the first empirical examination of an assessment method and decision support tool for the ex ante assessment of margin to be applied in ICT-enabled redesign of business networks. Many industries face the demand for customisation. This customisa

  1. A clinical assessment tool for ultrasound-guided axillary brachial plexus block.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Sultan, S F


    Competency in anesthesia traditionally has been determined subjectively in practice. Optimal training in procedural skills requires valid and reliable forms of assessment. The objective was to examine a procedure-specific clinical assessment tool for ultrasound-guided axillary brachial plexus block for inter-rater reliability and construct validity in a clinical setting.

  2. Measuring New Media Literacies: Towards the Development of a Comprehensive Assessment Tool (United States)

    Literat, Ioana


    This study assesses the psychometric properties of a newly tested self-report assessment tool for media literacy, based on the twelve new media literacy skills (NMLs) developed by Jenkins et al. (2006). The sample (N = 327) consisted of normal volunteers who completed a comprehensive online survey that measured their NML skills, media exposure,…

  3. Evaluating Psychiatry Residents as Physician-Managers: Development of an Assessment Tool (United States)

    Sockalingam, Sanjeev; Stergiopoulos, Vicky; Maggi, Julie D.; Zaretsky, Ari; Stovel, Laura; Hodges, Brian


    Objectives: With the emergence of physician-manager (PM) curricula in medical education, more effective assessment tools are needed to evaluate psychiatry trainees in this role. The aim of this study was to determine psychiatry residents', program directors', and PM educators' perceptions about PM role-assessment. Methods: Psychiatry residents at…

  4. EZEL : a Visual Tool for Performance Assessment of Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing Networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Voinea, Lucian; Telea, Alex; Wijk, Jarke J. van


    In this paper we present EZEL, a visual tool we developed for the performance assessment of peer-to-peer file-sharing networks. We start by identifying the relevant data transferred in this kind of networks and the main performance assessment questions. Then we describe the visualization of data fro

  5. The Cutaneous Assessment Tool : development and reliability in juvenile idiopathic inflammatory myopathy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huber, A. M.; Dugan, E. M.; Lachenbruch, P. A.; Feldman, B. M.; Perez, M. D.; Zemel, L. S.; Lindsley, C. B.; Rennebohm, R. M.; Wallace, C. A.; Passo, M. H.; Reed, A. M.; Bowyer, S. L.; Ballinger, S. H.; Miller, F. W.; Rider, L. G.


    Objectives. Clinical care and therapeutic trials in idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM) require accurate and consistent assessment of cutaneous involvement. The Cutaneous Assessment Tool (CAT) was designed to measure skin activity and damage in IIM. We describe the development and inter-rater r


    NARCIS (Netherlands)



    This paper reports on the results of two studies conducted to further validate the Abu-Saad Paediatric Pain Assessment Tool, a Dutch-language questionnaire developed to assess pain in school-age children. Children of 5 to 15 years of age reported in the first study their post-operative pain before a

  7. Calibrating the Difficulty of an Assessment Tool: The Blooming of a Statistics Examination (United States)

    Dunham, Bruce; Yapa, Gaitri; Yu, Eugenia


    Bloom's taxonomy is proposed as a tool by which to assess the level of complexity of assessment tasks in statistics. Guidelines are provided for how to locate tasks at each level of the taxonomy, along with descriptions and examples of suggested test questions. Through the "Blooming" of an examination--that is, locating its constituent…

  8. Eclipse-Free-Time Assessment Tool for IRIS (United States)

    Eagle, David


    IRIS_EFT is a scientific simulation that can be used to perform an Eclipse-Free- Time (EFT) assessment of IRIS (Infrared Imaging Surveyor) mission orbits. EFT is defined to be those time intervals longer than one day during which the IRIS spacecraft is not in the Earth s shadow. Program IRIS_EFT implements a special perturbation of orbital motion to numerically integrate Cowell's form of the system of differential equations. Shadow conditions are predicted by embedding this integrator within Brent s method for finding the root of a nonlinear equation. The IRIS_EFT software models the effects of the following types of orbit perturbations on the long-term evolution and shadow characteristics of IRIS mission orbits. (1) Non-spherical Earth gravity, (2) Atmospheric drag, (3) Point-mass gravity of the Sun, and (4) Point-mass gravity of the Moon. The objective of this effort was to create an in-house computer program that would perform eclipse-free-time analysis. of candidate IRIS spacecraft mission orbits in an accurate and timely fashion. The software is a suite of Fortran subroutines and data files organized as a "computational" engine that is used to accurately predict the long-term orbit evolution of IRIS mission orbits while searching for Earth shadow conditions.

  9. Assessment of Sonoelastography as Diagnosis Tool of Inflammatory Myopathies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina BOTAR-JID


    Full Text Available Background: Inflammatory myopathies represent a special group of pathology. Establishing the correct diagnosis in the early phase and a better follow-up are the main objective for improving the life quality of these patients. Objective: The aim of this research was to assess the usefulness of sonoelastography in diagnosis of inflammatory myopathies. Material and Method: A prospective longitudinal study with a control group was carried out in the Radio-Imaging Department, Cluj-Napoca District University Hospital, Romania, from May 2007 to July 2010. Measurements: Image Processing 2.8 software was used to analyze the elastographic images in correlation with clinical and biochemical data was used. Results: Analysis of Receiver Operating Characteristic curves statistics for elastography parameters showed significant values for the following parameters: average green color, average blue color, average intensity of color, dispersion of red, dispersion of green, and dispersion of hue. Conclusions: Our study highlighted the utility of some elastography parameters in the diagnosis of inflammatory myopathies; the parameter proved to be statistically different in case group compared to control. Anyway, standardization of sonoelastography and larger studies are required to ensure accurate diagnosis, reproductibility and reliability.

  10. Terrestrial perturbation experiments as an environmental assessment tool

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suter, G.W. II


    The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) was initially interpreted as requiring full disclosure of the environmental impacts of a federal action. Because of the limitations of time, money, and manpower, this requirement that all impacts be considered has led to superficial analysis of many important impacts. The President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has provided a solution to this problem by reinterpreting NEPA as requiring analysis of those impacts which have significant bearing on decision making. Because assessment resources can now be concentrated on a few critical issues, it should be possible to perform field perturbation experiments to provide direct evidence of the effects of a specific mixture of pollutants or physical disturbances on the specific receiving ecosystem. Techniques are described for field simulation of gaseous and particulate air pollution, soil pollutants, disturbance of the earth's surface, and disturbance of wildlife. These techniques are discussed in terms of their realism, cost, and the restrictions which they place on the measurement of ecological parameters.

  11. Oblique Aerial Photography Tool for Building Inspection and Damage Assessment (United States)

    Murtiyoso, A.; Remondino, F.; Rupnik, E.; Nex, F.; Grussenmeyer, P.


    Aerial photography has a long history of being employed for mapping purposes due to some of its main advantages, including large area imaging from above and minimization of field work. Since few years multi-camera aerial systems are becoming a practical sensor technology across a growing geospatial market, as complementary to the traditional vertical views. Multi-camera aerial systems capture not only the conventional nadir views, but also tilted images at the same time. In this paper, a particular use of such imagery in the field of building inspection as well as disaster assessment is addressed. The main idea is to inspect a building from four cardinal directions by using monoplotting functionalities. The developed application allows to measure building height and distances and to digitize man-made structures, creating 3D surfaces and building models. The realized GUI is capable of identifying a building from several oblique points of views, as well as calculates the approximate height of buildings, ground distances and basic vectorization. The geometric accuracy of the results remains a function of several parameters, namely image resolution, quality of available parameters (DEM, calibration and orientation values), user expertise and measuring capability.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tania Pietzschke Abate


    Full Text Available This article discusses the design of data collection instruments that include the opinions of blind students, in accordance with the principles of Universal Design (UD. The aim of this study is to understand the importance of adapting data collection instruments for the inclusion of disabled persons in field research in Architecture and Design, among other fields. The data collection instruments developed were a play interview with a tactile map and a 3D survey with the use of tactile models. These instruments sought to assess the school environment experienced by blind students. The study involved students from the early years of a school for the blind who had not yet mastered the Braille system. The participation of these students was evaluated. A multidisciplinary team consisting of architects, designers, educators, and psychologists lent support to the study. The results showed that the data collection instruments adapted to blind students were successful in making the group of authors examine questions regarding UD. An analysis of the participatory phase showed that the limitations resulting from blindness determine the specificities in the adaptation and implementation process of the instruments in schools. Practical recommendations for future studies related to instruments in the UD thematic are presented. This approach is in line with the global trend of including disabled persons in society based on these users’ opinions concerning what was designed by architects and designers.

  13. OASIS: an assessment tool of epidemiological surveillance systems in animal health and food safety. (United States)

    Hendrikx, P; Gay, E; Chazel, M; Moutou, F; Danan, C; Richomme, C; Boue, F; Souillard, R; Gauchard, F; Dufour, B


    The purpose of this study was to develop a standardized tool for the assessment of surveillance systems on zoonoses and animal diseases. We reviewed three existing methods and combined them to develop a semi-quantitative assessment tool associating their strengths and providing a standardized way to display multilevel results. We developed a set of 78 assessment criteria divided into ten sections, representing the functional parts of a surveillance system. Each criterion was given a score according to the prescription of a scoring guide. Three graphical assessment outputs were generated using a specific combination of the scores. Output 1 is a general overview through a series of pie charts synthesizing the scores of each section. Output 2 is a histogram representing the quality of eight critical control points. Output 3 is a radar chart representing the level reached by ten system attributes. This tool was applied on five surveillance networks.

  14. Toxicokinetic models and related tools in environmental risk assessment of chemicals. (United States)

    Grech, Audrey; Brochot, Céline; Dorne, Jean-Lou; Quignot, Nadia; Bois, Frédéric Y; Beaudouin, Rémy


    Environmental risk assessment of chemicals for the protection of ecosystems integrity is a key regulatory and scientific research field which is undergoing constant development in modelling approaches and harmonisation with human risk assessment. This review focuses on state-of-the-art toxicokinetic tools and models that have been applied to terrestrial and aquatic species relevant to environmental risk assessment of chemicals. Both empirical and mechanistic toxicokinetic models are discussed using the results of extensive literature searches together with tools and software for their calibration and an overview of applications in environmental risk assessment. These include simple tools such as one-compartment models, multi-compartment models to physiologically-based toxicokinetic (PBTK) models, mostly available for aquatic species such as fish species and a number of chemical classes including plant protection products, metals, persistent organic pollutants, nanoparticles. Data gaps and further research needs are highlighted.

  15. Bridging the gap between LCA, LCC and CBA as sustainability assessment tools

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoogmartens, Rob, E-mail: [Hasselt University, Faculty of Business Economics, Centre for Environmental Sciences, Agoralaan, Building D, 3590 Diepenbeek (Belgium); Van Passel, Steven, E-mail: [Hasselt University, Faculty of Business Economics, Centre for Environmental Sciences, Agoralaan, Building D, 3590 Diepenbeek (Belgium); Van Acker, Karel, E-mail: [Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, Kasteelpark Arenberg 44, 3001 Leuven (Belgium); Dubois, Maarten, E-mail: [Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Policy Research Centre for Sustainable Materials, Kasteelpark Arenberg 44, 3001 Leuven (Belgium)


    Increasing interest in sustainability has led to the development of sustainability assessment tools such as Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and Cost–Benefit Analysis (CBA). Due to methodological disparity of these three tools, conflicting assessment results generate confusion for many policy and business decisions. In order to interpret and integrate assessment results, the paper provides a framework that clarifies the connections and coherence between the included assessment methodologies. Building on this framework, the paper further focuses on key aspects to adapt any of the methodologies to full sustainability assessments. Aspects dealt with in the review are for example the reported metrics, the scope, data requirements, discounting, product- or project-related and approaches with respect to scarcity and labor requirements. In addition to these key aspects, the review shows that important connections exist: (i) the three tools can cope with social inequality, (ii) processes such as valuation techniques for LCC and CBA are common, (iii) Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is used as input in both LCA and CBA and (iv) LCA can be used in parallel with LCC. Furthermore, the most integrated sustainability approach combines elements of LCA and LCC to achieve the Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA). The key aspects and the connections referred to in the review are illustrated with a case study on the treatment of end-of-life automotive glass. - Highlights: • Proliferation of assessment tools creates ambiguity and confusion. • The developed assessment framework clarifies connections between assessment tools. • Broadening LCA, key aspects are metric and data requirements. • Broadening LCC, key aspects are scope, time frame and discounting. • Broadening CBA, focus point, timespan, references, labor and scarcity are key.

  16. Inspection of the Math Model Tools for On-Orbit Assessment of Impact Damage Report (United States)

    Harris, Charles E.; Raju, Ivatury S.; Piascik, Robert S> KramerWhite, Julie A.; KramerWhite, Julie A.; Labbe, Steve G.; Rotter, Hank A.


    In Spring of 2005, the NASA Engineering Safety Center (NESC) was engaged by the Space Shuttle Program (SSP) to peer review the suite of analytical tools being developed to support the determination of impact and damage tolerance of the Orbiter Thermal Protection Systems (TPS). The NESC formed an independent review team with the core disciplines of materials, flight sciences, structures, mechanical analysis and thermal analysis. The Math Model Tools reviewed included damage prediction and stress analysis, aeroheating analysis, and thermal analysis tools. Some tools are physics-based and other tools are empirically-derived. Each tool was created for a specific use and timeframe, including certification, real-time pre-launch assessments. In addition, the tools are used together in an integrated strategy for assessing the ramifications of impact damage to tile and RCC. The NESC teams conducted a peer review of the engineering data package for each Math Model Tool. This report contains the summary of the team observations and recommendations from these reviews.

  17. Development and testing of a prototype tool for integrated assessment of chemical status in marine environments. (United States)

    Andersen, Jesper H; Murray, Ciarán; Larsen, Martin M; Green, Norman; Høgåsen, Tore; Dahlgren, Elin; Garnaga-Budrė, Galina; Gustavson, Kim; Haarich, Michael; Kallenbach, Emilie M F; Mannio, Jaakko; Strand, Jakob; Korpinen, Samuli


    We report the development and application of a prototype tool for integrated assessment of chemical status in aquatic environments based on substance- and matrix-specific environmental assessment criteria (thresholds). The Chemical Status Assessment Tool (CHASE) integrates data on hazardous substances in water, sediments and biota as well as bio-effect indicators and is based on a substance- or bio-effect-specific calculation of a 'contamination ratio' being the ratio between an observed concentration and a threshold value. Values 1.0 indicate areas potentially 'affected'. These ratios are combined within matrices, i.e. for water, sediment and biota and for biological effects. The overall assessment used a 'one out, all out principle' with regard to each matrix. The CHASE tool was tested in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea in 376 assessment units. In the former, the chemical status was >1.0 in practically all areas indicating that all areas assessed were potentially affected. The North Sea included areas classified as unaffected or affected. The CHASE tool can in combination with temporal trend assessments of individual substances be advantageous for use in remedial action plans and, in particular, for the science-based evaluation of the status and for determining which specific substances are responsible for a status as potentially affected.

  18. Development of a self-assessment tool for measuring competences of obstetric nurses in rooming-in wards in China


    Zhang, Ju; Ye, Wenqin; Fan, Fan


    Introduction: To provide high-quality nursing care, a reliable and feasible competency assessment tool is critical. Although several questionnaire-based competency assessment tools have been reported, a tool specific for obstetric nurses in rooming-in wards is lacking. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to develop a competency assessment tool for obstetric rooming-in ward nurses. Methods: A literature review was conducted to create an individual intensive interview with 14 nurse manag...

  19. A streamlined sustainability assessment tool for improved decision making in the urban water industry. (United States)

    Schulz, Matthias; Short, Michael D; Peters, Gregory M


    Water supply is a key consideration in sustainable urban planning. Ideally, detailed quantitative sustainability assessments are undertaken during the planning stage to inform the decision-making process. In reality, however, the significant time and cost associated with undertaking such detailed environmental and economic assessments is often cited as a barrier to wider implementation of these key decision support tools, particularly for decisions made at the local or regional government level. In an attempt to overcome this barrier of complexity, 4 water service providers in Melbourne, Australia, funded the development of a publicly available streamlined Environmental Sustainability Assessment Tool, which is aimed at a wide range of decision makers to assist them in broadening the type and number of water servicing options that can be considered for greenfield or backlog developments. The Environmental Sustainability Assessment Tool consists of a simple user interface and draws on life cycle inventory data to allow for rapid estimation of the environmental and economic performance of different water servicing scenarios. Scenario options can then be further prioritized by means of an interactive multicriteria analysis. The intent of this article is to identify the key issues to be considered in a streamlined sustainability assessment tool for the urban water industry, and to demonstrate the feasibility of generating accurate life cycle assessments and life cycle costings, using such a tool. We use a real-life case study example consisting of 3 separate scenarios for a planned urban development to show that this kind of tool can emulate life cycle assessments and life cycle costings outcomes obtained through more detailed studies. This simplified approach is aimed at supporting "sustainability thinking" early in the decision-making process, thereby encouraging more sustainable water and sewerage infrastructure solutions.

  20. Risk assessment tools to identify women with increased risk of osteoporotic fracture. Complexity or simplicity?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rubin, Katrine Hass; Friis-Holmberg, Teresa; Hermann, Anne Pernille


    A huge number of risk assessment tools have been developed. Far from all have been validated in external studies, more of them have absence of methodological and transparent evidence and few are integrated in national guidelines. Therefore, we performed a systematic review to provide an overview...... of existing valid and reliable risk assessment tools for prediction of osteoporotic fractures. Additionally, we aimed to determine if the performance each tool was sufficient for practical use and lastly to examine whether the complexity of the tools influenced their discriminative power. We searched Pub...... fracture outcomes. High quality studies in randomized design with population-based cohorts with different case mixes are needed. © 2013 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research....

  1. Cold Environment Assessment Tool (CEAT) User’s Guide for Apple Mobile Devices (United States)


    Tool (CEAT) User’s Guide for Apple Mobile Devices by David Sauter Computational and Information Sciences Directorate, ARL...2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Cold Environment Assessment Tool (CEAT) User’s Guide for Apple Mobile Devices 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER...CEAT) application (from here on also referred to as the “app”) for iOS (Apple mobile operating system) mobile devices (smart phones and tablets

  2. Utilizing LMS tools to help with student assessment in an online course

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dudley B. Turner


    Full Text Available In online learning, feedback to students is important in their progress. Assessments are often final or summative assessments that do not allow the student to adjust or improve their learning progress. Assessment, however, takes valuable time. This paper describes how using the tools available in a LMS can assist faculty in assessing student work and provide helpful feedback to students in an online course. The tools available for faculty to use can be set up to save time for the faculty during assessments. The assignments in this study were developed based on previous research indicating assessment can be an aid to student learning, and students who know how well they are doing can make needed adjustments. Students used the feedback from these LMS tools to decide whether or not to try again or move on. Students had the opportunity for multiple attempts at assignments and received feedback on each to help measure their learning. The rubric tool was used to not only grade student papers but also to provide appropriate feedback for student performance on the levels of achievement. Quizzes can be automatically graded. Any additional attempts are drawn from a bank of questions. Results from this pilot study show the benefits of multiple attempts at quizzes and assignments. Students who took advantage of multiple attempts did improve their scores. The paper also discusses further research that to help support this practice.

  3. Formative assessment and design of a complex clinical decision support tool for pulmonary embolism. (United States)

    Khan, Sundas; McCullagh, Lauren; Press, Anne; Kharche, Manish; Schachter, Andy; Pardo, Salvatore; McGinn, Thomas


    Electronic health record (EHR)-based clinical decision support (CDS) tools are rolled out with the urgency to meet federal requirements without time for usability testing and refinement of the user interface. As part of a larger project to design, develop and integrate a pulmonary embolism CDS tool for emergency physicians, we conducted a formative assessment to determine providers' level of interest and input on designs and content. This was a study to conduct a formative assessment of emergency medicine (EM) physicians that included focus groups and key informant interviews. The focus of this study was twofold, to determine the general attitude towards CDS tool integration and the ideal integration point into the clinical workflow. To accomplish this, we first approached EM physicians in a focus group, then, during key informant interviews, we presented workflow designs and gave a scenario to help the providers visualise how the CDS tool works. Participants were asked questions regarding the trigger location, trigger words, integration into their workflow, perceived utility and heuristic of the tool. Results from the participants' survey responses to trigger location, perceived utility and efficiency, indicated that the providers felt the tool would be more of a hindrance than an aid. However, some providers commented that they had not had exposure to CDS tools but had used online calculators, and thought the tools would be helpful at the point-of-care if integrated into the EHR. Furthermore, there was a preference for an order entry wireframe. This study highlights several factors to consider when designing CDS tools: (1) formative assessment of EHR functionality and clinical environment workflow, (2) focus groups and key informative interviews to incorporate providers' perceptions of CDS and workflow integration and/or (3) the demonstration of proposed workflows through wireframes to help providers visualise design concepts.

  4. Two prototype tools for assessing good environmental/ecological status (GES) in aquatic ecosystems – DEVOTES and WATERS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Murray, Ciarán; Carstensen, Jacob; Andersen, Jesper


    We present two prototype tools for assessment of GES (good ecological status and good environmental status) in aquatic ecosystems: the DEVOTES biodiversity assessment tool (for the MSFD) and the WATERS ecological status assessment tool (for the WFD). Both tools are multi-metric indicator......-based tools, which classify ecological/environmental status in two classes (good or not good) and five classes (High, Good, Moderate, Poor or Bad) by comparing observed indicator values with specified status classification boundaries. Assessments are made for geographical entities (“sectors” in DEVOTES...... / “waterbodies” in WATERS) resulting in both an overall status for the geographical entity as well as classifications within indicator groups. Both tools are Excel-based and share many similarities. Whilst the WATERS tool performs assessments for a simple “flat” set of waterbodies, the DEVOTES tools allows...

  5. A Formative Assessment Tool for Conceptual Database Design Using UML Class Diagram

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josep Soler


    Full Text Available Database design is one of the main topics of any introductory database course. Traditionally, for teaching it entity-relationship diagrams (ERD are used. However, in the last years, Unified Modeling Language (UML has emerged as an effective modeling tool for database design. In this paper we present a web-based tool designed to give support to teaching and learning conceptual database design using UML class diagrams. The proposed UML environment is an effective tool for formative assessment since it is capable of correcting automatically UML class diagrams exercises providing immediate feedback to the student. The tool is part of a more general framework, denoted ACME, which provides the main functionalities of an e-learning platform. The tool has been used in a first experimental group of an introductory database course

  6. Comparative assessment of environmental performance tools and the role of the Green Building Challenge

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Todd, J.A.; Crawley, D.; Geissler, S.; Lindsey, G.


    Green Building Challenge (GBC) was intended to advance the state-of-the-art of building performance assessment, through the development, testing, and discussion of an assessment framework, criteria and tool. The contributions of GBC to building performance assessment are considered through comparing similarities and differences with a selection of available assessment tools. Unlike national or proprietary assessment systems, GBC was not designed for application to specific commercial markets. Instead, it emphasized research and involved researchers and practitioners from many countries. Consequently, GBC has been in a unique position to test and adopt new ideas and implement step changes. GBC's roles over the past five years have been to provide a reference framework, method and tools that can be used to develop new systems or improve existing systems; provide a forum for discussion among researchers and practitioners worldwide; and raise awareness and credibility of assessment systems. GBC's role has evolved as the context in which it operates has changed. Based on the analysis on GBC's specific characteristics and strengths, its potential future roles are found to reside in a unique position. Its role as a reference system has become less important to many participants as they implement their own national assessment systems. However, GBC's role as a forum and catalyst for change has taken on greater importance as researchers and practitioners continue to wrestle with the most difficult issues in building performance assessment. (author)

  7. Comparison of tools for assessing the methodological quality of primary and secondary studies in health technology assessment reports in Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter, Ulla


    Full Text Available Health care policy background: Findings from scientific studies form the basis for evidence-based health policy decisions. Scientific background: Quality assessments to evaluate the credibility of study results are an essential part of health technology assessment reports and systematic reviews. Quality assessment tools (QAT for assessing the study quality examine to what extent study results are systematically distorted by confounding or bias (internal validity. The tools can be divided into checklists, scales and component ratings. Research questions: What QAT are available to assess the quality of interventional studies or studies in the field of health economics, how do they differ from each other and what conclusions can be drawn from these results for quality assessments? Methods: A systematic search of relevant databases from 1988 onwards is done, supplemented by screening of the references, of the HTA reports of the German Agency for Health Technology Assessment (DAHTA and an internet search. The selection of relevant literature, the data extraction and the quality assessment are carried out by two independent reviewers. The substantive elements of the QAT are extracted using a modified criteria list consisting of items and domains specific to randomized trials, observational studies, diagnostic studies, systematic reviews and health economic studies. Based on the number of covered items and domains, more and less comprehensive QAT are distinguished. In order to exchange experiences regarding problems in the practical application of tools, a workshop is hosted. Results: A total of eight systematic methodological reviews is identified as well as 147 QAT: 15 for systematic reviews, 80 for randomized trials, 30 for observational studies, 17 for diagnostic studies and 22 for health economic studies. The tools vary considerably with regard to the content, the performance and quality of operationalisation. Some tools do not only include the

  8. Evaluation of the Iconic Pain Assessment Tool by a Heterogeneous Group of People in Pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chitra Lalloo


    Full Text Available The Iconic Pain Assessment Tool (IPAT is a novel web-based instrument for the self-report of pain quality, intensity and location in the form of a permanent diary. Originally designed for people with central poststroke pain, the tool is being adapted for a larger, more diverse patient population. The present study aimed to collect evaluative feedback on the IPAT from a heterogeneous sample of individuals with chronic pain. The specific study aims were to evaluate participant comfort with the tool including enjoyment, ease of use and comfort with the electronic medium; to assess perceived value of the tool for communicating pain quality, intensity and location; to gauge participant intent to share their pain diaries with others and use the tool on a regular basis to track their pain over time; to assess the perceived descriptiveness of current IPAT icons and the numerical rating scale; and to identify strengths and weaknesses of the tool to refine the existing prototype.

  9. Development Of Dynamic Probabilistic Safety Assessment: The Accident Dynamic Simulator (ADS) Tool

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chang, Y.H.; Mosleh, A.; Dang, V.N


    The development of a dynamic methodology for Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA) addresses the complex interactions between the behaviour of technical systems and personnel response in the evolution of accident scenarios. This paper introduces the discrete dynamic event tree, a framework for dynamic PSA, and its implementation in the Accident Dynamic Simulator (ADS) tool. Dynamic event tree tools generate and quantify accident scenarios through coupled simulation models of the plant physical processes, its automatic systems, the equipment reliability, and the human response. The current research on the framework, the ADS tool, and on Human Reliability Analysis issues within dynamic PSA, is discussed. (author)

  10. An assessment tool applied to manure management systems using innovative technologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Claus G.; Jacobsen, Brian H.; Sommer, Sven G.


    of operational and cost-effective animal manure handling technologies. An assessment tool covering the whole chain of the manure handling system from the animal houses to the field has been developed. The tool enables a system-oriented evaluation of labour demand, machinery capacity and costs related...... to the handling of manure. By applying the tool to a pig farm and a dairy farm scenario, the competitiveness of new technologies was compared with traditional manure handling. The concept of a continuous flow of transport and application of slurry using umbilical transportation systems rather than traditional...

  11. Trajectory Assessment and Modification Tools for Next Generation Air Traffic Management Operations (United States)

    Brasil, Connie; Lee, Paul; Mainini, Matthew; Lee, Homola; Lee, Hwasoo; Prevot, Thomas; Smith, Nancy


    This paper reviews three Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) based high fidelity air traffic control human-in-the-loop (HITL) simulations, with a focus on the expected requirement of enhanced automated trajectory assessment and modification tools to support future air traffic flow management (ATFM) planning positions. The simulations were conducted at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Centers Airspace Operations Laboratory (AOL) in 2009 and 2010. The test airspace for all three simulations assumed the mid-term NextGenEn-Route high altitude environment utilizing high altitude sectors from the Kansas City and Memphis Air Route Traffic Control Centers. Trajectory assessment, modification and coordination decision support tools were developed at the AOL in order to perform future ATFM tasks. Overall tool usage results and user acceptability ratings were collected across three areas of NextGen operatoins to evaluate the tools. In addition to the usefulness and usability feedback, feasibility issues, benefits, and future requirements were also addressed. Overall, the tool sets were rated very useful and usable, and many elements of the tools received high scores and were used frequently and successfully. Tool utilization results in all three HITLs showed both user and system benefits including better airspace throughput, reduced controller workload, and highly effective communication protocols in both full Data Comm and mixed-equipage environments.

  12. Operation reliability assessment for cutting tools by applying a proportional covariate model to condition monitoring information. (United States)

    Cai, Gaigai; Chen, Xuefeng; Li, Bing; Chen, Baojia; He, Zhengjia


    The reliability of cutting tools is critical to machining precision and production efficiency. The conventional statistic-based reliability assessment method aims at providing a general and overall estimation of reliability for a large population of identical units under given and fixed conditions. However, it has limited effectiveness in depicting the operational characteristics of a cutting tool. To overcome this limitation, this paper proposes an approach to assess the operation reliability of cutting tools. A proportional covariate model is introduced to construct the relationship between operation reliability and condition monitoring information. The wavelet packet transform and an improved distance evaluation technique are used to extract sensitive features from vibration signals, and a covariate function is constructed based on the proportional covariate model. Ultimately, the failure rate function of the cutting tool being assessed is calculated using the baseline covariate function obtained from a small sample of historical data. Experimental results and a comparative study show that the proposed method is effective for assessing the operation reliability of cutting tools.

  13. LCA-IWM: a decision support tool for sustainability assessment of waste management systems. (United States)

    den Boer, J; den Boer, E; Jager, J


    The paper outlines the most significant result of the project 'The use of life cycle assessment tools for the development of integrated waste management strategies for cities and regions with rapid growing economies', which was the development of two decision-support tools: a municipal waste prognostic tool and a waste management system assessment tool. The article focuses on the assessment tool, which supports the adequate decision making in the planning of urban waste management systems by allowing the creation and comparison of different scenarios, considering three basic subsystems: (i) temporary storage; (ii) collection and transport and (iii) treatment, disposal and recycling. The design and analysis options, as well as the assumptions made for each subsystem, are shortly introduced, providing an overview of the applied methodologies and technologies. The sustainability assessment methodology used in the project to support the selection of the most adequate scenario is presented with a brief explanation of the procedures, criteria and indicators applied on the evaluation of each of the three sustainability pillars.

  14. Environmental assessment of a territory: an overview of existing tools and methods. (United States)

    Loiseau, Eléonore; Junqua, Guillaume; Roux, Philippe; Bellon-Maurel, Véronique


    In order to reduce our environmental impact, methods for environmental assessment of human activities are urgently needed. In particular in the case of assessment of land planning scenarios, there is presently no consensual and widely adopted method although it is strongly required by the European Directive (2001/42/EC) on Strategic Environmental Assessment. However, different kinds of tools and methods are available such as human and environmental risk assessment, the ecological footprint, material flow analysis, substance flow analysis, physical input-output table, ecological network analysis, exergy, emergy or life cycle assessment. This review proposes a discussion on these tools and methods specifically applied to territories. After the meaning of territory is clarified, these approaches are presented and analyzed based on "key features" such as formalization, system modeling, inventoried flows, indicators provided and usability. This comparison highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each tool. It also emphasizes that the approach of life cycle assessment could provide a relevant framework for the environmental assessment of territories as it is the only method which can avoid burden shifting between life cycle stages, environmental impacts and territories.

  15. Venous Thromboembolism – Risk Assessment Tool and Thromboprophylaxis Policy: A National Survey

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Khan, MI


    Venous Thromboembolic (VTE) events in hospitalised patients are associated with significant mortality and morbidity and a major economic burden on the health service. It is well established in the literature that active implementation of a mandatory risk assessment tool and thromboprophylaxis policy reduces the incidence of hospital associated thrombosis (HAT). This study examines the utilization of a VTE risk assessment tool and thromboprophylaxis (TP) policy in Irish hospitals that manage acute admissions. A national survey was distributed to forty acute hospitals throughout Ireland. The response rate was 78% (31\\/40). The results showed that only 26% (n=8\\/31) of acute hospitals in Ireland have a local implemented TP policy. Six (75%) of these eight had a risk assessment tool in conjunction with the TP policy. All respondents who did not report to have a TP policy and risk assessment tool agreed that they should implement VTE prevention policy at their hospital. Based on the data from this survey and evidence from the effectiveness of the VTE prevention programme introduced in the United Kingdom, there is a need for a national risk assessment and thromboprophylaxis policy in Ireland. This change in practice would have the potential to prevent or reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with hospital acquired thrombosis

  16. Developing a green building assessment tool for developing countries - Case of Jordan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ali, Hikmat H. [Department of Architecture, Jordan University of Science and Technology, PO Box 3030, Irbid 22110 (Jordan); Al Nsairat, Saba F. [Department of Research and Design, Greater Amman Municipality, Amman (Jordan)


    The purpose of this research is to contribute to a better understanding of the concept of green building assessment tool and its role for achieving sustainable development through developing an effective green building rating system for residential units in Jordan in terms of the dimensions through which sustainable development tools are being produced and according to the local context. Developing such system is becoming necessary in the Developing World because of the considerable environmental, social and economical problems. Jordan as one of these countries is in need for this system, especially with poor resources and inefficient use. Therefore, this research studied international green building assessment tools such as such as LEED, CASBEE, BREEAM, GBTool, and others. Then defined new assessment items respecting the local conditions of Jordan and discussed them with (60) various stakeholders; 50% of them were experts of sustainable development. After selecting the assessment items they were weighted using the AHP method. The outcome of the research was a suggested green building assessment tool (SABA Green Building Rating System) - computer based program - that suits the Jordanian context in terms of environmental, social and economical perspectives. (author)

  17. User experience of interRAI assessment tools in New Zealand. (United States)

    Smith, Joanne; Whiddett, Dick; Hunter, Inga


    The international residential assessment instrument (interRAI) has been adopted for phased national implementation in New Zealand. It targets people over 65 years who require needs assessment for access to long term publicly funded services. There is limited research on the barriers to adoption for interRAI electronic assessment tools, and none relating to the New Zealand health sector. This research qualitatively explored clinicians' perceptions and experience of using interRAI electronic assessment tools using semi-structured interviews guided by constructs from the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model [9]. Analysis was conducted using thematic analysis. Three major barriers to adoption of interRAI tools emerged from the research: 1) lack of ready access to individual laptops/computers with consistent network connectivity, 2) need for ongoing training for interRAI assessors, and, 3) lack of understanding of what information is being collected and for what reasons. The growth in aging populations will see greater use of interRAI electronic assessment tools, and therefore more clinicians required to learn and use the technology. Addressing these barriers to adoption is therefore vital.

  18. Application of the GEM Inventory Data Capture Tools for Dynamic Vulnerability Assessment and Recovery Modelling (United States)

    Verrucci, Enrica; Bevington, John; Vicini, Alessandro


    A set of open-source tools to create building exposure datasets for seismic risk assessment was developed from 2010-13 by the Inventory Data Capture Tools (IDCT) Risk Global Component of the Global Earthquake Model (GEM). The tools were designed to integrate data derived from remotely-sensed imagery, statistically-sampled in-situ field data of buildings to generate per-building and regional exposure data. A number of software tools were created to aid the development of these data, including mobile data capture tools for in-field structural assessment, and the Spatial Inventory Data Developer (SIDD) for creating "mapping schemes" - statistically-inferred distributions of building stock applied to areas of homogeneous urban land use. These tools were made publically available in January 2014. Exemplar implementations in Europe and Central Asia during the IDCT project highlighted several potential application areas beyond the original scope of the project. These are investigated here. We describe and demonstrate how the GEM-IDCT suite can be used extensively within the framework proposed by the EC-FP7 project SENSUM (Framework to integrate Space-based and in-situ sENSing for dynamic vUlnerability and recovery Monitoring). Specifically, applications in the areas of 1) dynamic vulnerability assessment (pre-event), and 2) recovery monitoring and evaluation (post-event) are discussed. Strategies for using the IDC Tools for these purposes are discussed. The results demonstrate the benefits of using advanced technology tools for data capture, especially in a systematic fashion using the taxonomic standards set by GEM. Originally designed for seismic risk assessment, it is clear the IDCT tools have relevance for multi-hazard risk assessment. When combined with a suitable sampling framework and applied to multi-temporal recovery monitoring, data generated from the tools can reveal spatio-temporal patterns in the quality of recovery activities and resilience trends can be

  19. Pandora - a simulation tool for safety assessments. Technical description and user's guide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ekstroem, Per-Anders (Facilia AB (Sweden))


    This report documents a flexible simulation tool, Pandora, used in several post closure safety assessments in both Sweden and Finland to assess the radiological dose to man due to releases from radioactive waste repositories. Pandora allows the user to build compartment models to represent the migration and fate of radionuclides in the environment. The tool simplifies the implementation and simulation of radioecological biosphere models in which there exist a large set of radionuclides and input variables. Based on the well-known technical computing software MATLAB and especially its interactive graphical environment Simulink, Pandora receives many benefits. MATLAB/Simulink is a highly flexible tool used for simulations of practically any type of dynamic system; it is widely used, continuously maintained, and often upgraded. By basing the tool on this commercial software package, we gain both the graphical interface provided by Simulink, as well as the ability to access the advanced numerical equation solving routines in MATLAB. Since these numerical methods are well established and quality assured in their MATLAB implementation, the solution methods used in Pandora can be considered to have high level of quality assurance. The structure of Pandora provides clarity in the model format, which means the model itself assists its own documentation, since the model can be understood by inspecting its structure. With the introduction of the external tool Pandas (Pandora assessment tool), version handling and an integrated way of performing the entire calculation chain has been added. Instead of being dependent on other commercial statistical software as @Risk for performing probabilistic assessments, they can now be performed within the tool

  20. Initial development of a practical safety audit tool to assess fleet safety management practices. (United States)

    Mitchell, Rebecca; Friswell, Rena; Mooren, Lori


    Work-related vehicle crashes are a common cause of occupational injury. Yet, there are few studies that investigate management practices used for light vehicle fleets (i.e. vehicles less than 4.5 tonnes). One of the impediments to obtaining and sharing information on effective fleet safety management is the lack of an evidence-based, standardised measurement tool. This article describes the initial development of an audit tool to assess fleet safety management practices in light vehicle fleets. The audit tool was developed by triangulating information from a review of the literature on fleet safety management practices and from semi-structured interviews with 15 fleet managers and 21 fleet drivers. A preliminary useability assessment was conducted with 5 organisations. The audit tool assesses the management of fleet safety against five core categories: (1) management, systems and processes; (2) monitoring and assessment; (3) employee recruitment, training and education; (4) vehicle technology, selection and maintenance; and (5) vehicle journeys. Each of these core categories has between 1 and 3 sub-categories. Organisations are rated at one of 4 levels on each sub-category. The fleet safety management audit tool is designed to identify the extent to which fleet safety is managed in an organisation against best practice. It is intended that the audit tool be used to conduct audits within an organisation to provide an indicator of progress in managing fleet safety and to consistently benchmark performance against other organisations. Application of the tool by fleet safety researchers is now needed to inform its further development and refinement and to permit psychometric evaluation.

  1. Spiritual Assessment and Native Americans: Establishing the Social Validity of a Complementary Set of Assessment Tools (United States)

    Hodge, David R.; Limb, Gordon E.


    Although social work practitioners are increasingly likely to administer spiritual assessments with Native American clients, few qualitative assessment instruments have been validated with this population. This mixed-method study validates a complementary set of spiritual assessment instruments. Drawing on the social validity literature, a sample…

  2. Assessment of the Assessment Tool: Analysis of Items in a Non-MCQ Mathematics Exam (United States)

    Khoshaim, Heba Bakr; Rashid, Saima


    Assessment is one of the vital steps in the teaching and learning process. The reported action research examines the effectiveness of an assessment process and inspects the validity of exam questions used for the assessment purpose. The instructors of a college-level mathematics course studied questions used in the final exams during the academic…

  3. Risk assessment tools to identify women with increased risk of osteoporotic fracture: complexity or simplicity? A systematic review. (United States)

    Rubin, Katrine Hass; Friis-Holmberg, Teresa; Hermann, Anne Pernille; Abrahamsen, Bo; Brixen, Kim


    A huge number of risk assessment tools have been developed. Far from all have been validated in external studies, more of them have absence of methodological and transparent evidence, and few are integrated in national guidelines. Therefore, we performed a systematic review to provide an overview of existing valid and reliable risk assessment tools for prediction of osteoporotic fractures. Additionally, we aimed to determine if the performance of each tool was sufficient for practical use, and last, to examine whether the complexity of the tools influenced their discriminative power. We searched PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases for papers and evaluated these with respect to methodological quality using the Quality Assessment Tool for Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS) checklist. A total of 48 tools were identified; 20 had been externally validated, however, only six tools had been tested more than once in a population-based setting with acceptable methodological quality. None of the tools performed consistently better than the others and simple tools (i.e., the Osteoporosis Self-assessment Tool [OST], Osteoporosis Risk Assessment Instrument [ORAI], and Garvan Fracture Risk Calculator [Garvan]) often did as well or better than more complex tools (i.e., Simple Calculated Risk Estimation Score [SCORE], WHO Fracture Risk Assessment Tool [FRAX], and Qfracture). No studies determined the effectiveness of tools in selecting patients for therapy and thus improving fracture outcomes. High-quality studies in randomized design with population-based cohorts with different case mixes are needed.

  4. The use of the "Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills" as an Assessment Tool Among Danish Vascular Surgeons in Training

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lladó Grove, Gabriela; Langager Høgh, Annette; Nielsen, Judith;


    of all course participants. The following data were collected from the questionnaires: years as a candidate, months in vascular surgery or in another type of surgery, and the number of vascular anastomoses performed before the course. The assessment of surgical skills was conducted with an OSATS score......OBJECTIVE: The concept of the Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills (OSATS) is to quantify surgical skills in an objective way and, thereby, produce an additional procedure-specific assessment tool. Since 2005, a 2-day practical course for upcoming specialist registrars in vascular......, or the experience with vascular anastomoses and outcomes. CONCLUSION: OSATS is a valuable tool for evaluating the advancement of technical skills during an intensive practical course in performing vascular anastomoses. (C) 2015 Association of Program Directors in Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights...

  5. Validation of nutritional screening tools against anthropometric and functional assessments among elderly people in selangor. (United States)

    Suzana, Shahar; Siti Saifa, Hussain


    This cross sectional study was conducted to determine the validity of three screening tools, Mini Nutritional Assessment Short Form (MNA-SF), Malnutrition Risk Screening Tool for Community (MRST-C) and Malnutrition Risk Screening Tool for Hospital (MRST-H) among elderly people at health clinics. The screening tools were validated against anthropometric and functional assessments. The anthropometric assessments that were carried out included body weight, height, arm span, body mass index (BMI), calf circumference (CC) and mid upper arm circumference (MUAC). A set of questionnaire on manual dexterity, muscular strength, instrumental activities daily living (IADL) and cognitive status was used to assess functional abilities. A total of 156 subjects were recruited from rural (38 subjects) and urban (118 subjects) health clinics at Sabak Bernam and Cheras respectively. Subjects' age ranged from 60 to 83 years old, with 44.2% were men and 55.8% women. The prevalence of muscle wasting among the subjects assessed from MUAC and CC were both 7.0%. MNA-SF had the highest correlation with BMI (r = 0.497, pMNA-SF (93.2%), followed by MRST-H (52.5%) and MRST-C (25.8%). Specificity was the highest for MRST-H (97.3%), followed by MRST-C (90.8%) and MNA-SF (79.4%). Positive predictive value (PPV) for MRST-H, MNA-SF and MRST-C was 55.5%, 18.2% and 14.1%, respectively. In conclusion, among the screening tools being validated, MNA-SF is considered the most appropriate tool to be used in health clinics for identification of elderly individuals who are at high risk of malnutrition.

  6. Risk managment of complex aquifers contaminated by chemical mixtures : numerical tools and human health risk assessment


    Henri, Christopher


    Human impact on groundwater resources has led to a rapid growth of social concerns worldwide owing to an increasing presence of toxic chemicals released in the subsurface. Risk assessment provides the scientific tool needed to quantify the actual thread that these potential hazards pose to human health. Specifically, risk analysis enables decision makers to answer: What can happen? How likely is it to happen? What can be the consequences? Risk assessment is in this context essential. However,...

  7. Health smart home: towards an assistant tool for automatic assessment of the dependence of elders. (United States)

    Le, Xuan Hoa Binh; Di Mascolo, Maria; Gouin, Alexia; Noury, Norbert


    In order to help elders living alone to age in place independently and safely, it can be useful to have an assistant tool that can automatically assess their dependence and issue an alert if there is any loss of autonomy. The dependence can be assessed by the degree of performance, by the elders, of activities of daily living. This article presents an approach enabling the activity recognition for an elder living alone in a Health Smart Home equipped with noninvasive sensors.

  8. Assessment of the U.S. Department of Energy's Home Energy Scoring Tool

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roberts, David [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Merket, Noel [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Polly, Ben [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Heaney, Mike [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Casey, Sean [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Robertson, Joseph [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)


    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducted a series of assessments of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) proposed Home Energy Scoring Tool (HEST). This report is an assessment of the 4/27/2012 release of HEST. Predictions of electric and natural gas consumption were compared with weather-normalized utility billing data for a mixture of newer and older homes located in Oregon, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Carolina and Texas.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Nikov


    Full Text Available Emotional User Experience Design (eUXD has become increasingly important for web-based services. The primary objective of this study is to enable users to use websites that are easy to understand and operate and pleasing to use. A checklist tool for an emotional user experience (eUX assessment that supports web-based medical services is proposed. This tool measures user moods while using medical services’ websites. The tool allocates emotive design-oriented problems and thus defines relevant website design recommendations. A case study was performed illustrating the proposed tool on a website offering medical services. Five variants of this website with different design element categories were created. These variants were assessed, analyzed, and proposed for further redesign in applying the tool. The results reveal the variant and website design elements that best influenced eUX. Significant improvement in eUX is expected with implementation of design recommendations of this study. The advantages of the tool are: (1 measuring emotional responses of medical website users, (2 allocating emotive problems, (3 defining of recommendations for eUX design of web-based medical services, and (4 creation of suitable practices for eUX design of web-based medical services.

  10. Application of Risk Assessment Tools in the Continuous Risk Management (CRM) Process (United States)

    Ray, Paul S.


    Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is currently implementing the Continuous Risk Management (CRM) Program developed by the Carnegie Mellon University and recommended by NASA as the Risk Management (RM) implementation approach. The four most frequently used risk assessment tools in the center are: (a) Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Hazard Analysis (HA), Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), and Probabilistic Risk Analysis (PRA). There are some guidelines for selecting the type of risk assessment tools during the project formulation phase of a project, but there is not enough guidance as to how to apply these tools in the Continuous Risk Management process (CRM). But the ways the safety and risk assessment tools are used make a significant difference in the effectiveness in the risk management function. Decisions regarding, what events are to be included in the analysis, to what level of details should the analysis be continued, make significant difference in the effectiveness of risk management program. Tools of risk analysis also depends on the phase of a project e.g. at the initial phase of a project, when not much data are available on hardware, standard FMEA cannot be applied; instead a functional FMEA may be appropriate. This study attempted to provide some directives to alleviate the difficulty in applying FTA, PRA, and FMEA in the CRM process. Hazard Analysis was not included in the scope of the study due to the short duration of the summer research project.

  11. TOCO total assessment tool for decision-making on IP supplier selection

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王哲; 于渤; 荣毅虹; 徐殿国


    According to the Total Cost of Ownership concept (TOCO), the selection criterion of international procurement suppliers can be classified into two levels, namely Macroeconomic decision-making level and Microeconomic decision-making level. In this paper, a new quantitative method is put forward to accomplish the task of total assessment on the Microeconomic level which analyses all of the quantitative and qualitative factors with regard to the supplier selection. A Microsoft Excel based new application kit named TOCO Total Assessment Tool is introduced. It can calculate the direct cost and the indirect cost conveniently and can help to evaluate the performance of candidate suppliers. To use the tool, the first module called Total Cost Analysis Module is introduced to calculate the total cost of supplier selection, and then the second module named Supplier Evaluation Module is used to evaluate the performance of each supplier. Finally, the results from these two modules are transferred to the Final Comparison Module to get the final decision-making results. In this paper, the supplier selection related factors are discussed; the method of using the tool is illustrated in detail. It is shown that scientific usage of the TOCO Total Assessment Tool can make the decision-making processes of supplier selection in international procurement transparent, easily calculated, and objective. At the end, a practical case is given to clarify the procedure of using the tool.

  12. Development and Validation of a Fine-Motor Assessment Tool for Use with Young Children in a Chinese Population (United States)

    Siu, Andrew M. H.; Lai, Cynthia Y. Y.; Chiu, Amy S. M.; Yip, Calvin C. K.


    Objectives: Most of the fine-motor assessment tools used in Hong Kong have been designed in Western countries, so there is a need to develop a standardized assessment which is relevant to the culture and daily living tasks of the local (that is, Chinese) population. This study aimed to (1) develop a fine-motor assessment tool (the Hong Kong…

  13. Predictive Validity of Pressure Ulcer Risk Assessment Tools for Elderly: A Meta-Analysis. (United States)

    Park, Seong-Hi; Lee, Young-Shin; Kwon, Young-Mi


    Preventing pressure ulcers is one of the most challenging goals existing for today's health care provider. Currently used tools which assess risk of pressure ulcer development rarely evaluate the accuracy of predictability, especially in older adults. The current study aimed at providing a systemic review and meta-analysis of 29 studies using three pressure ulcer risk assessment tools: Braden, Norton, and Waterlow Scales. Overall predictive validities of pressure ulcer risks in the pooled sensitivity and specificity indicated a similar range with a moderate accuracy level in all three scales, while heterogeneity showed more than 80% variability among studies. The studies applying the Braden Scale used five different cut-off points representing the primary cause of heterogeneity. Results indicate that commonly used screening tools for pressure ulcer risk have limitations regarding validity and accuracy for use with older adults due to heterogeneity among studies.

  14. Developing a South African pedestrian environment assessment tool: Tshwane case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane Olwoch


    Full Text Available Pedestrians, comprising approximately 60% of the population, are among the most vulnerable road users in South Africa. The roadside environment may be an important factor influencing the nature and frequency of pedestrian fatalities. While there are audit tools for assessing the pedestrian environment in other countries, no such tool exists for South Africa. This study evaluated existing audit tools in relation to South African issues and conditions and developed a South African Pedestrian Environment Assessment Tool (PEAT. PEAT was tested at five sites in the Tshwane Metropolitan Area in Gauteng to assess its applicability. PEAT was simple to use and provided valuable information, however, appropriate measures need to be taken to address fieldworker security, especially for night-time assessments when several roadside factors, such as lighting, should be evaluated. Although it was not the focus of our study, based on our results, we suggest that the lack of pavements, pedestrian crossings and pedestrian lighting are factors that, potentially, could increase pedestrian vulnerability.

  15. Assessing and Managing Caregiver Stress: Development of a Teaching Tool for Medical Residents (United States)

    Famakinwa, Abisola; Fabiny, Anne


    Forty medical residents from major teaching hospitals in Boston, Massachusetts, participated in small group teaching sessions about caregiver stress. A teaching tool was developed that included a teaching handout, interactive cases, standard instruments for assessing caregiver stress, peer-reviewed articles about caregiving, and a list of…

  16. GENEPEASE Genomic tools for assessment of pesticide effects on the agricultural soil ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Carsten Suhr; Feld, Louise; Hjelmsø, Mathis Hjort;

    The project focussed on validating RNA based methods as potential genomic tools in assessment of agricultural soil ecosystems. It was shown that the mRNA based technique was very sensitive and the effects was seen in the same situations as when the OECD nitrification assay showed an effect. 16S r...

  17. Quick assessment tool for assurance of structural safety in the building process

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Terwel, K.C.; Jansen, S.J.T.


    From forensic investigation it is known that many structural failures can be attributed to human errors and organizational factors. To provide project leaders with information on the current state of factors in the building process influencing structural safety, we developed a quick assessment tool.

  18. Development, Evaluation, and Validation of Environmental Assessment Tools to Evaluate the College Nutrition Environment (United States)

    Freedman, Marjorie R.


    Objective: To develop, evaluate, and validate 2 nutrition environment assessment tools (surveys), for specific use in combating overweight on college/university campuses. Participants and Methods: Invitations to complete surveys were e-mailed to food service and health center directors at 47 universities, Winter 2008. Overall response rate was…

  19. Assessing Teamwork in Undergraduate Education: A Measurement Tool to Evaluate Individual Teamwork Skills (United States)

    Britton, Emily; Simper, Natalie; Leger, Andrew; Stephenson, Jenn


    Effective teamwork skills are essential for success in an increasingly team-based workplace. However, research suggests that there is often confusion concerning how teamwork is measured and assessed, making it difficult to develop these skills in undergraduate curricula. The goal of the present study was to develop a sustainable tool for assessing…

  20. A holistic sustainability assessment tool for bioenergy using the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) sustainability indicators

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hayashi, T.; Ierland, van E.C.; Zhu, X.


    In 2011 the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) released a set of indicators for sustainable bioenergy. However, two important issues still remain unresolved. One of them is the definition of “sustainability”, and the other is the lack of a holistic assessment tool for drawing conclusions from the i

  1. A Digital European Self-Assessment Tool for Student Teachers of Foreign Languages: The EPOSTL (United States)

    Mirici, Ismail Hakki; Hergüner, Sinem


    The acronym "EPOSTL" stands for the "European Portfolio for Student Teachers of Languages", which is a digital self-assessment tool for students in foreign language teacher training programs across Europe. It builds on insights from the "Common European Framework of Reference" ("CEFR") and the "European…

  2. ePortfolios in Education - Learning Tools or Means of Assessment?


    Dorninger, Christian; Schrack, Christian


    ePortfolios are collections of electronic evidence which capture the idea of lifelong learning ePortfolios at school can support the documentation of competences better than normal tests and assessments. The acquired competences may further be transfered from school to the world of work. On the other hand ePortfolios are powerful tools for learning and reflecting.

  3. University Students' Perceptions of E-Portfolios and Rubrics as Combined Assessment Tools in Education Courses (United States)

    Contreras-Higuera, Williams E.; Martínez-Olmo, Francesc; Rubio-Hurtado, M. José; Vilà-Baños, Ruth


    This article presents a study with a twofold research aim: (a) to ascertain university students' perceptions on two combined assessment tools (e-portfolios and formative rubrics) and (b) to identify if among students there were differing perceptions on the use of e-portfolios, and what factors favored acceptance of these. The data gathering method…

  4. The Community Barometer: A Breast Health Needs Assessment Tool for Community-Based Organizations (United States)

    Lounsbury, David; Rapkin, Bruce; Marini, Lisa; Jansky, Elizabeth; Massie, Mary Jane


    This article presents findings from the ACCESS Project focusing on the impact of an outreach initiative that used "data sharing" as a mechanism to establish a wide variety of academic-community partnerships for cancer awareness. The Community Barometer, a brief needs assessment tool developed for this purpose, was used to collect data from…

  5. Assessing Affordances of Selected Cloud Computing Tools for Language Teacher Education in Nigeria (United States)

    Ofemile, Abdulmalik Yusuf


    This paper reports part of a study that hoped to understand Teacher Educators' (TE) assessment of the affordances of selected cloud computing tools ranked among the top 100 for the year 2010. Research has shown that ICT and by extension cloud computing has positive impacts on daily life and this informed the Nigerian government's policy to…

  6. Higher Education Institution Sustainability Assessment Tools: Considerations on Their Use in Brazil (United States)

    de Araújo Góes, Heloisa Cronemberger; Magrini, Alessandra


    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to gather elements to propose a sustainability assessment tool (SAT) to be used in higher education institutions (HEIs) in Brazil and the related program to be created for SAT dissemination and HEI monitoring, publication of results and benchmarking. Design/methodology/approach: The characteristics of eight…

  7. PISA as a Political Tool in Spain: Assessment Instrument, Academic Discourse and Political Reform (United States)

    Vega Gil, Leoncio; Hernández Beltrán, Juan Carlos; García Redondo, Eva


    This study examines to what extent there is a sort of "political appropiation" by political parties when they seek to set a discourse about the Spanish PISA outcomes. We have consistently found that programs for assessing the competencies of students, especially PISA, have become tools of rationalization and the legitimization of…

  8. Validation of signal impact assessment tool in order to explore pharmacovigilance signals' follow-up actions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rolfes, Leàn; Kolfschoten, Judith; Van Hunsel, Florence; Van Puijenbroek, Eugene; van Grootheest, Kees


    Background: To determine which actions are advisable for signals arising from a spontaneous reporting system, the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb uses a Signal Impact Assessment Tool (SIAT). It categorizes signals into one of four categories: strong/moderate signal strength and similarly

  9. Median of patient results as a tool for assessment of analytical stability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Lars Mønster; Hansen, Steen Ingemann; Petersen, Per Hyltoft;


    BACKGROUND: In spite of the well-established external quality assessment and proficiency testing surveys of analytical quality performance in laboratory medicine, a simple tool to monitor the long-term analytical stability as a supplement to the internal control procedures is often needed. METHOD...

  10. Assessing Digital Humanities Tools: Use of Scalar at a Research University (United States)

    Tracy, Daniel G.


    As librarians increasingly support digital publication platforms, they must also understand the user experience of these tools. This case study assesses use of Scalar, a digital humanities publishing platform for media-rich projects, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Based on a survey, interviews, and content analysis, the study…

  11. Best Practices in Educational Psychology: Using Evolving Concept Maps as Instructional and Assessment Tools (United States)

    Buehl, Michelle M.; Fives, Helenrose


    We describe the implementation of evolving concept maps in two different graduate-level educational psychology courses: "The Adolescent Learner" and "Theories of Learning and Cognition." We provide an explicit description of how we used evolving concept maps as instructional and assessment tools in our respective classes, changes in the…

  12. Outcome Assessments in Children with Cerebral Palsy, Part II: Discriminatory Ability of Outcome Tools (United States)

    Bagley, Anita M; Gorton, George; Oeffinger, Donna; Barnes, Douglas; Calmes, Janine; Nicholson, Diane; Damiano, Diane; Abel, Mark; Kryscio, Richard; Rogers, Sarah; Tylkowski, Chester


    Discriminatory ability of several pediatric outcome tools was assessed relative to Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level in patients with cerebral palsy. Five hundred and sixty-two patients (400 with diplegia, 162 with hemiplegia; 339 males, 223 females; age range 4-18y, mean 11y 1mo [SD 3y 7mo]), classified as GMFCS Levels I to…

  13. ToSIA-A tool for sustainability impact assessment of forest-wood-chains

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lindner, M.; Suominen, T.; Palosuo, T.; Garcia-Gonzalo, J.; Verweij, P.J.F.M.; Zudin, S.; Päivinen, R.


    Within the forest sector, the sustainability concept has evolved from a narrow focus on sustainable wood production to a much broader evaluation of environmental, social, and economic sustainability for whole value chains. A new software tool – ToSIA – has been developed for assessing sustainability

  14. Elder Abuse and Neglect: Assessment Tools, Interventions, and Recommendations for Effective Service Provision (United States)

    Imbody, Bethany; Vandsburger, Etty


    With our communities rapidly aging, there is always a clear need for greater knowledge on how to serve elders. Professionals must be able to recognize cases of abuse and neglect and provide appropriate follow up services. Through reviewing recent literature, this paper surveys existing assessment tools and interventions, describes characteristics…

  15. Earth Observation Tools for Risk Exposure Monitoring: Welcoming Sentinel-2 Data in Risk Assessment Applications (United States)

    De Vecchi, Daniele; Dell'Acqua, Fabio


    In the framework of different FP7 projects, a set of open-source tools has been developed and refined with the aim to monitor the exposure component in risk assessment. The recent launch of Sentinels 1 and 2 with their open data license attracted a lot of attention in the remote sensing community stimulating new research and applications. To our tools, this meant Open Data feed into Open Source code. The similarity in both spectral and geometric resolutions between Landsat and Sentinel-2 satellites raises good hopes for reusability of the developed tools. In this paper, modifications to the original algorithms will be suggested according to the experiments outcome, in view of a new generation of Open Tools in line with the new Copernicus-aware Earth Observation scenario.

  16. [Analysis and evaluation of the QUALIFY tool for assessing quality indicators with structured group interviews]. (United States)

    Lüngen, Markus; Rath, Thomas


    Quality indicators are used world-wide to monitor the quality of health care. For these indicators to be effective they also have to meet certain quality criteria. The QUALIFY tool is used for assessing the quality criteria themselves against a scientific background. The present paper evaluates the QUALIFY tool and provides an indication of its further development. The evaluation of the QUALIFY tool was carried out using structured group interviews. Participants of the first focus group were involved in both the development of the tool and in its implementation. The second focus group exclusively consisted of QUALIFY users. There was no essential difference in the rating between the two focus groups. Up till now, QUALIFY has been used for the designation of quality indicators for the German Quality Record for Hospitals, for a pre-selection of indicators for the National Disease Management Guidelines, and for a pharmaceutical drug safety project of the Coalition for Patient Safety. Its wider distribution is hampered by the fact that the actual QUALIFY tool is far too complex and requires a lot of resources. Nevertheless, its cost-effectiveness was rated 'adequate' because the application of inappropriate quality indicators can be very expensive. Our ambition should be to define QUALIFY subsystems of various complexity for different purposes and to enforce anchoring of the tool at an international level. QUALIFY, and thus the assessment of quality indicators, has entered virgin territory. Since quality assessment will be gaining relevance the further evaluation and development of these tools is warranted. In this context group interviews could provide an applicable approach to evaluating acceptance and implementation problems.

  17. Translation, cultural adaptation and content re-validation of the observational teamwork assessment for surgery tool. (United States)

    Amaya Arias, Ana Carolina; Barajas, Rocío; Eslava-Schmalbach, Javier H; Wheelock, Ana; Gaitán Duarte, Hernando; Hull, Louise; Sevdalis, Nick


    Background. Poor teamwork and nontechnical skill performance are increasingly recognized as important contributing factors to errors and adverse events in the operating room. Assessment of these safety critical skills is important to facilitate improvement, however there are no tools available to assess these safety skills in Latin America. This study aimed to translate, culturally adapt and content validate the Observational Teamwork Assessment for Surgery (OTAS) tool for use in Latin America. Methods. A multi-phase, multi-method study was conducted: Phase 1: translation and back-translation; Phase 2: content validity assessed via expert consensus; Phase 3: inter-rater reliability assessed via real-time observation in 98 general surgical procedures using OTAS-S. Results. The first change in OTAS-S, was to distinguish between the surgical nurses and scrub technicians (both OR team members are captured in the nursing sub-team in the original OTAS). OTAS-S consists of 168 exemplar behaviors: 60/114 identical to the exemplars listed in the original OTAS tool, 48/114 original exemplars underwent minor modifications, 13 were duplicated (to account for the additional sub-team distinguished in OTAS-S), 6 original exemplars were removed, and 47 new exemplar behaviors were added. Inter-observer agreement was substantial (KW = 0.602; IC: 0.581-0.620). The calculated KW by phase, behaviors and teams were between 0.534 and 0.678. Conclusions. The study provides a content validated teamwork assessment tool for use within Colombian operating rooms and potentially Latin-American. OTAS-S can be used to assess the quality of teamwork in ORs, facilitate structured debriefing and thus improve patient safety and reduce team-related errors.

  18. A critical review of environmental assessment tools for sustainable urban design

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ameen, Raed Fawzi Mohammed, E-mail: [BRE Centre of Sustainable Construction, School of Engineering, The Parade, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF24 3AA (United Kingdom); Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Karbala (Iraq); Mourshed, Monjur, E-mail: [BRE Centre of Sustainable Construction, School of Engineering, The Parade, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF24 3AA (United Kingdom); Li, Haijiang, E-mail: [BRE Centre of Sustainable Construction, School of Engineering, The Parade, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF24 3AA (United Kingdom)


    Cities are responsible for the depletion of natural resources and agricultural lands, and 70% of global CO{sub 2} emissions. There are significant risks to cities from the impacts of climate change in addition to existing vulnerabilities, primarily because of rapid urbanization. Urban design and development are generally considered as the instrument to shape the future of the city and they determine the pattern of a city's resource usage and resilience to change, from climate or otherwise. Cities are inherently dynamic and require the participation and engagement of their diverse stakeholders for the effective management of change, which enables wider stakeholder involvement and buy-in at various stages of the development process. Sustainability assessment of urban design and development is increasingly being seen as indispensable for informed decision-making. A sustainability assessment tool also acts as a driver for the uptake of sustainable pathways by recognizing excellence through their rating system and by creating a market demand for sustainable products and processes. This research reviews six widely used sustainability assessment tools for urban design and development: BREEAM Communities, LEED-ND, CASBEE-UD, SBTool{sup PT}–UP, Pearl Community Rating System (PCRS) and GSAS/QSAS, to identify, compare and contrast the aim, structure, assessment methodology, scoring, weighting and suitability for application in different geographical contexts. Strengths and weaknesses of each tool are critically discussed. The study highlights the disparity in local and international contexts for global sustainability assessment tools. Despite their similarities in aim on environmental aspects, differences exist in the relative importance and share of mandatory vs optional indicators in both environmental and social dimensions. PCRS and GSAS/QSAS are new incarnations, but have widely varying shares of mandatory indicators, at 45.4% and 11.36% respectively, compared to

  19. Control banding tools for occupational exposure assessment of nanomaterials - Ready for use in a regulatory context?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liguori, Biase; Hansen, Steffen Foss; Baun, Anders


    area of concern. Therefore, a number of Control Banding (CB)-based tools have been developed in order to assess and manage the potential risks associated with occupational exposure to nanomaterials. In this paper we provide a comparative analysis of different nanomaterial-specific types of control-banding/risk...... developed for different purposes, with different application domains and inclusion criteria. The exposure assessments and derived risk levels are based on different concepts and assumptions and outputs in different formats. The use of requested input parameters for exposure assessment differ greatly among...

  20. Improving Teacher Effectiveness: Designing Better Assessment Tools in Learning Management Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dov Kruger


    Full Text Available Current-generation assessment tools used in K-12 and post-secondary education are limited in the type of questions they support; this limitation makes it difficult for instructors to navigate their assessment engines. Furthermore, the question types tend to score low on Bloom’s Taxonomy. Dedicated learning management systems (LMS such as Blackboard, Moodle and Canvas are somewhat better than informal tools as they offer more question types and some randomization. Still, question types in all the major LMS assessment engines are limited. Additionally, LMSs place a heavy burden on teachers to generate online assessments. In this study we analyzed the top three LMS providers to identify inefficiencies. These inefficiencies in LMS design, point us to ways to ask better questions. Our findings show that teachers have not adopted current tools because they do not offer definitive improvements in productivity. Therefore, we developed LiquiZ, a design for a next-generation assessment engine that reduces user effort and provides more advanced question types that allow teachers to ask questions that can currently only be asked in one-on-one demonstration. The initial LiquiZ project is targeted toward STEM subjects, so the question types are particularly advantageous in math or science subjects.

  1. Development of a Web-Based Tool for Climate Change Risk Assessment in the Business Sector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donghyun Kim


    Full Text Available The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2013 report claims that climate change from human-induced greenhouse gas emissions will cause increasing temperatures in many regions and various detrimental effects such as rising sea levels, ecosystem changes, droughts, and floods. This study proposes a method for assessing the climate risks resulting from climate change as well as a tool that companies can use to assess those risks. The method for assessing climate risk is proposed in accordance with the ISO 31000 risk management process. We then design a web-based tool to implement the climate change risk assessment process. The data the tool generates enable companies to identify and analyze their climate risks to reduce potentially negative future financial impacts. The data on potential damage costs indicate that climate change is no longer an environmental issue but rather an economic one for companies, and the results presented through the proposed assessment method can be used to establish countermeasures and sustainable planning at companies. The results of this research are significant in that they provide companies with the critical information needed to improve their planning and response to climate risk.

  2. A web-based rapid assessment tool for production publishing solutions (United States)

    Sun, Tong


    Solution assessment is a critical first-step in understanding and measuring the business process efficiency enabled by an integrated solution package. However, assessing the effectiveness of any solution is usually a very expensive and timeconsuming task which involves lots of domain knowledge, collecting and understanding the specific customer operational context, defining validation scenarios and estimating the expected performance and operational cost. This paper presents an intelligent web-based tool that can rapidly assess any given solution package for production publishing workflows via a simulation engine and create a report for various estimated performance metrics (e.g. throughput, turnaround time, resource utilization) and operational cost. By integrating the digital publishing workflow ontology and an activity based costing model with a Petri-net based workflow simulation engine, this web-based tool allows users to quickly evaluate any potential digital publishing solutions side-by-side within their desired operational contexts, and provides a low-cost and rapid assessment for organizations before committing any purchase. This tool also benefits the solution providers to shorten the sales cycles, establishing a trustworthy customer relationship and supplement the professional assessment services with a proven quantitative simulation and estimation technology.

  3. Rubric-based tools to support the monitoring and assessment of Bachelor’s Final Projects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verónica MORENO OLIVER


    Full Text Available The role of Bachelor’s Final Projects (BFP in Engineering Education is critical since it offers the opportunity for students to integrate and employ specific and transversal competences they have developed along the degree. However, given the special characteristics of this curriculum component (personalized according to the student’s interests, the number of teachers involved, the changing assessment boards, etc., the systematization of its formative and summative assessment has been extensively recognized as problematic but highly necessary. To face this problem, there are several recent initiatives reported in the literature that propose a set of rubrics as tools for project advisors and board members to structure the assessment. In this paper, we report the experience in the Engineering School at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona employing a rubricbased approach as part of an assessment guide (with a web-based support tool for BFP. The guide has been evaluated using quantitative and qualitative data gathering techniques used before, during and after the rubrics use, and the results provide insights about its utility, pertinence, user-friendliness, preciseness and actual adoption. Findings led to the provision an additional feature in the web-based tool for the integrated assessment of transversal and specific competences and a view of a summarized version of the rubrics that can be used using mobile devices.

  4. DNA damage in caged Gammarus fossarum amphipods: A tool for freshwater genotoxicity assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lacaze, Emilie [Universite de Lyon, INRA-ENTPE, Laboratoire des Sciences de l' Environnement, rue Maurice Audin, Vaulx en Velin F-69518 (France); Cemagref, Unite de Recherche des Milieux Aquatiques, (UR MALY), 3 bis quai Chauveau, 69336 Lyon, Cedex 9 (France); Devaux, Alain [Universite de Lyon, INRA-ENTPE, Laboratoire des Sciences de l' Environnement, rue Maurice Audin, Vaulx en Velin F-69518 (France); Mons, Raphael [Cemagref, Unite de Recherche des Milieux Aquatiques, (UR MALY), 3 bis quai Chauveau, 69336 Lyon, Cedex 9 (France); Bony, Sylvie [Universite de Lyon, INRA-ENTPE, Laboratoire des Sciences de l' Environnement, rue Maurice Audin, Vaulx en Velin F-69518 (France); Garric, Jeanne [Cemagref, Unite de Recherche des Milieux Aquatiques, (UR MALY), 3 bis quai Chauveau, 69336 Lyon, Cedex 9 (France); Geffard, Alain [EA 2069 URVVC-SE, Laboratoire d' Eco-Toxicologie, UFR Sciences, Moulin de la Housse, BP 1039, 51687 Reims Cedex 2 (France); Geffard, Olivier, E-mail: [Cemagref, Unite de Recherche des Milieux Aquatiques, (UR MALY), 3 bis quai Chauveau, 69336 Lyon, Cedex 9 (France)


    The aim of this study was to propose a tool for freshwater environmental genotoxicity assessment using Gammarus fossarum, a high ecologically relevant species. In a first part, gammarids were caged upstream and downstream wastewater treatment plant effluent output. The sensitivity of genotoxic responses of haemocytes, oocytes and spermatozoa was compared using the Comet assay. Spermatozoa appeared to be the most sensitive, suitable and relevant cell type for genotoxicity risk assessment. In a second part, a watershed-scale study was conducted over 2 years to evaluate the applicability of our caging procedure. The genotoxic impact of a contamination was followed, taking into account seasonal variability. DNA damage in spermatozoa exhibited low basal level and low variability in control upstream sites, providing a reliable discrimination of polluted sites. Finally, DNA damage in caged G. fossarum has been proved to be a sensitive and reproducible tool for freshwater genotoxicity assessment. - Highlights: > Two different contamination contexts: WWTP effluents and polymetallic contamination. > DNA damage in caged Gammarus fossarum is a sensitive tool for freshwater quality assessment. > Spermatozoa is the most relevant cell type for biomonitoring freshwater genotoxicity. > Combining biomarker responses with analytical chemistry provides rich ecotoxicological information. - We propose an approach to assess freshwater genotoxicity in the field based on caged Gammarus fossarum (Crustacea, amphipoda).

  5. Biological effects of anthropogenic chemical stress: Tools for the assessment of ecosystem health (BEAST)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lehtonen, Kari K.; Sundelin, Brita; Lang, Thomas;

    : Tools for the Assessment of Ecosystem Health, 2009-2011), which is part of the Baltic Sea BONUS+ Programme funded jointly by national funding agencies and FP7 ERA-NET+ of the European Commission. The BEAST project consists of three workpackages (WP) with the following main tasks: WP1- Field studies...... and experiments in selected sub-regions of the Baltic Sea, WP2 - Application and validation of methods in monitoring and assessment in the Baltic Sea, and WP3 - Developing tools for ecosystem health assessment in the Baltic Sea. BEAST research activities are focused in the sub-regions of Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf...... of Finland, Gulf of Riga, Gulf of Gdansk and the Belt Sea, most of which are characterised by scarce data on biological effects of hazardous substances. The data acquired will be combined with previous data (e.g. national monitoring activities, case studies, EU BEEP project) to reach the goals of WP2 and WP3...

  6. Tools for sustainability assessment in island socio-ecological systems: an application to the Canary Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel Banos-González


    Full Text Available An integral dynamic model, in combination with other methods (indicators, policy and scenario analysis, is presented as a tool for sustainability assessment in island socio-ecological systems (SES. The Fuerteventura sustainability model (FSM, tested for the 1996-2011, allows a better understanding of the dynamic interactions between sustainability indicators and other factors of this island. The FSM was first applied to analyse the vulnerability of this island to climate change for the 2012-2025 period; results point to the need for urgent measures to mitigate its effects on some of the analysed indicators. A set of policy measures was then assessed from the behaviour of nine indicators and their sustainability thresholds. Finally, the FSM facilitated the development of a dynamic model of the island of El Hierro, extrapolating the features common to both SES. We propose this to be a useful tool for the quantitative sustainability assessment and the management of real island socio-ecological systems

  7. Safety assessment driving radioactive waste management solutions (SADRWMS Methodology) implemented in a software tool (SAFRAN)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kinker, M., E-mail: [International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna (Austria); Avila, R.; Hofman, D., E-mail: [FACILIA AB, Stockholm (Sweden); Jova Sed, L., E-mail: [Centro Nacional de Seguridad Nuclear (CNSN), La Habana (Cuba); Ledroit, F., E-mail: [IRSN PSN-EXP/SSRD/BTE, (France)


    In 2004, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) organized the International Project on Safety Assessment Driving Radioactive Waste Management Solutions (SADRWMS) to examine international approaches to safety assessment for predisposal management of radioactive waste. The initial outcome of the SADRWMS Project was achieved through the development of flowcharts which could be used to improve the mechanisms for applying safety assessment methodologies to predisposal management of radioactive waste. These flowcharts have since been incorporated into DS284 (General Safety Guide on the Safety Case and Safety Assessment for Predisposal Management of Radioactive Waste), and were also considered during the early development stages of the Safety Assessment Framework (SAFRAN) Tool. In 2009 the IAEA presented DS284 to the IAEA Waste Safety Standards Committee, during which it was proposed that the graded approach to safety case and safety assessment be illustrated through the development of Safety Reports for representative predisposal radioactive waste management facilities and activities. To oversee the development of these reports, it was agreed to establish the International Project on Complementary Safety Reports: Development and Application to Waste Management Facilities (CRAFT). The goal of the CRAFT project is to develop complementary reports by 2014, which the IAEA could then publish as IAEA Safety Reports. The present work describes how the DS284 methodology and SAFRAN Tool can be applied in the development and review of the safety case and safety assessment to a range of predisposal waste management facilities or activities within the Region. (author)

  8. Development of computer-based analytical tool for assessing physical protection system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mardhi, Alim, E-mail: [National Nuclear Energy Agency Indonesia, (BATAN), PUSPIPTEK area, Building 80, Serpong, Tangerang Selatan, Banten (Indonesia); Chulalongkorn University, Faculty of Engineering, Nuclear Engineering Department, 254 Phayathai Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok Thailand. 10330 (Thailand); Pengvanich, Phongphaeth, E-mail: [Chulalongkorn University, Faculty of Engineering, Nuclear Engineering Department, 254 Phayathai Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok Thailand. 10330 (Thailand)


    Assessment of physical protection system effectiveness is the priority for ensuring the optimum protection caused by unlawful acts against a nuclear facility, such as unauthorized removal of nuclear materials and sabotage of the facility itself. Since an assessment based on real exercise scenarios is costly and time-consuming, the computer-based analytical tool can offer the solution for approaching the likelihood threat scenario. There are several currently available tools that can be used instantly such as EASI and SAPE, however for our research purpose it is more suitable to have the tool that can be customized and enhanced further. In this work, we have developed a computer–based analytical tool by utilizing the network methodological approach for modelling the adversary paths. The inputs are multi-elements in security used for evaluate the effectiveness of the system’s detection, delay, and response. The tool has capability to analyze the most critical path and quantify the probability of effectiveness of the system as performance measure.

  9. On-Line Tool for the Assessment of Radiation in Space - Deep Space Mission Enhancements (United States)

    Sandridge, Chris a.; Blattnig, Steve R.; Norman, Ryan B.; Slaba, Tony C.; Walker, Steve A.; Spangler, Jan L.


    The On-Line Tool for the Assessment of Radiation in Space (OLTARIS, is a web-based set of tools and models that allows engineers and scientists to assess the effects of space radiation on spacecraft, habitats, rovers, and spacesuits. The site is intended to be a design tool for those studying the effects of space radiation for current and future missions as well as a research tool for those developing advanced material and shielding concepts. The tools and models are built around the HZETRN radiation transport code and are primarily focused on human- and electronic-related responses. The focus of this paper is to highlight new capabilities that have been added to support deep space (outside Low Earth Orbit) missions. Specifically, the electron, proton, and heavy ion design environments for the Europa mission have been incorporated along with an efficient coupled electron-photon transport capability to enable the analysis of complicated geometries and slabs exposed to these environments. In addition, a neutron albedo lunar surface environment was also added, that will be of value for the analysis of surface habitats. These updates will be discussed in terms of their implementation and on how OLTARIS can be used by instrument vendors, mission designers, and researchers to analyze their specific requirements.12

  10. The Use of Impact Assessment Tools to Support Sustainable Policy Objectives in Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter De Smedt


    Full Text Available Sustainable development has become an overall policy objective in Europe. The sustainability transition is seen as the process of coming to terms with sustainability in all its ecological, social, economic, and institutional dimensions. This challenging process is as much about new ways of knowing as it is about resource management and product innovation. I analyzed how scientific tools such as environmental, socioeconomic, and integrated models have been developed and used to provide a solid foundation for sustainable policy objectives. I used a scoping study to compare current impact assessment exercises and research policy cases within the European Commission (EC. Although the EC is recognized as having supported environmental policy integration for more than three decades, updated insight is relevant because the current impact assessment system within the EC is highly dynamic, involving frequent new policy commitments and institutional initiatives to strengthen its practice and quality within the last three years. In addition, a broad range of research projects have been initiated to support this process by developing new concepts and tools and linking them with actual policy initiatives. Finally, the focus on design and use of scientific tools will contribute to a better understanding of what hinders the tools from being relevant, accurate, and legitimate. For example, while being simplifications of reality, many scientific models remain so complex that they are seen as black boxes instead of transparent analytical tools. Consequently, research outcomes do not fully reach policy makers.

  11. Development of a Façade Assessment and Design Tool for Solar Energy (FASSADES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jouri Kanters


    Full Text Available Planning energy-efficient buildings which produce on-site renewable energy in an urban context is a challenge for all involved actors in the planning process. The primary objective of this study was to develop a façade assessment and design tool for solar energy (FASSADES providing the necessary information for all stakeholders in the design process. The secondary objective was to demonstrate the tool by performing an assessment analysis of a building block. The FASSADES tool is a DIVA4Rhino script, combining Radiance/Daysim and EnergyPlus for simulating the annual production of solar thermal and photovoltaic systems on facades, the cost-effectiveness of the solar energy system, and the payback time. Different output methods are available; graphically within the 3D drawing environment and numerically within post-processing software. The tool was tested to analyse a building block within a city under Swedish conditions. Output of the developed tool showed that shading from nearby buildings greatly affects the feasibility of photovoltaic and solar thermal systems on facades.

  12. Development of computer-based analytical tool for assessing physical protection system (United States)

    Mardhi, Alim; Pengvanich, Phongphaeth


    Assessment of physical protection system effectiveness is the priority for ensuring the optimum protection caused by unlawful acts against a nuclear facility, such as unauthorized removal of nuclear materials and sabotage of the facility itself. Since an assessment based on real exercise scenarios is costly and time-consuming, the computer-based analytical tool can offer the solution for approaching the likelihood threat scenario. There are several currently available tools that can be used instantly such as EASI and SAPE, however for our research purpose it is more suitable to have the tool that can be customized and enhanced further. In this work, we have developed a computer-based analytical tool by utilizing the network methodological approach for modelling the adversary paths. The inputs are multi-elements in security used for evaluate the effectiveness of the system's detection, delay, and response. The tool has capability to analyze the most critical path and quantify the probability of effectiveness of the system as performance measure.

  13. Informing the judgments of fingerprint analysts using quality metric and statistical assessment tools. (United States)

    Langenburg, Glenn; Champod, Christophe; Genessay, Thibault


    The aim of this research was to evaluate how fingerprint analysts would incorporate information from newly developed tools into their decision making processes. Specifically, we assessed effects using the following: (1) a quality tool to aid in the assessment of the clarity of the friction ridge details, (2) a statistical tool to provide likelihood ratios representing the strength of the corresponding features between compared fingerprints, and (3) consensus information from a group of trained fingerprint experts. The measured variables for the effect on examiner performance were the accuracy and reproducibility of the conclusions against the ground truth (including the impact on error rates) and the analyst accuracy and variation for feature selection and comparison. The results showed that participants using the consensus information from other fingerprint experts demonstrated more consistency and accuracy in minutiae selection. They also demonstrated higher accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity in the decisions reported. The quality tool also affected minutiae selection (which, in turn, had limited influence on the reported decisions); the statistical tool did not appear to influence the reported decisions.

  14. A risk assessment tool applied to the study of shale gas resources. (United States)

    Veiguela, Miguel; Hurtado, Antonio; Eguilior, Sonsoles; Recreo, Fernando; Roqueñi, Nieves; Loredo, Jorge


    The implementation of a risk assessment tool with the capacity to evaluate the risks for health, safety and the environment (HSE) from extraction of non-conventional fossil fuel resources by the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) technique can be a useful tool to boost development and progress of the technology and winning public trust and acceptance of this. At the early project stages, the lack of data related the selection of non-conventional gas deposits makes it difficult the use of existing approaches to risk assessment of fluids injected into geologic formations. The qualitative risk assessment tool developed in this work is based on the approach that shale gas exploitation risk is dependent on both the geologic site and the technological aspects. It follows from the Oldenburg's 'Screening and Ranking Framework (SRF)' developed to evaluate potential geologic carbon dioxide (CO2) storage sites. These two global characteristics: (1) characteristics centered on the natural aspects of the site and (2) characteristics centered on the technological aspects of the Project, have been evaluated through user input of Property values, which define Attributes, which define the Characteristics. In order to carry out an individual evaluation of each of the characteristics and the elements of the model, the tool has been implemented in a spreadsheet. The proposed model has been applied to a site with potential for the exploitation of shale gas in Asturias (northwestern Spain) with tree different technological options to test the approach.

  15. A normative study of the sport concussion assessment tool (SCAT2) in children and adolescents. (United States)

    Snyder, Aliyah R; Bauer, Russell M


    Recent clinical practice parameters encourage systematic use of concussion surveillance/management tools that evaluate participating athletes at baseline and after concussion. Office-based tools (Sports Concussion Assessment Tool; SCAT2) require accurate baseline assessment to maximize utility but no normative data exist for children on the SCAT2, limiting identification of "normal" or "impaired" score ranges. The purpose of this study was to develop child and adolescent baseline norms for the SCAT2 to provide reference values for different age groups. A community-based approach was implemented to compile baseline performance data on the SCAT2 in 761 children aged 9 to 18 to create age- and sex-graded norms. Findings indicate a significant age effect on SCAT2 performance such that older adolescents and teenagers produced higher (better) total scores than younger children (ages 9 to 11) driven by age differences on individual components measuring cognition (SAC), postural stability (BESS), and symptom report. Females endorsed greater numbers of symptoms at baseline than males. Normative data tables are presented. Findings support the SCAT2 as a useful clinical tool for assessing baseline functioning in teenagers, but suggest clinical utility may be limited in children under age 11. Follow-up studies after incident concussion are needed to confirm this assumption.

  16. The soil management assessment framework: A potential soil health assessment tool (United States)

    The Soil Management Assessment Framework (SMAF) was developed in the 1990s utilizing Systems Engineering and Ecology experiences with scoring functions to normalize disparate soil physical, chemical, and biological indicator data representing critical properties and processes associated with soil qu...

  17. A Formaldehyde Exposure Assessment Tool for Occupants of FEMA Temporary Housing Units

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parthasarathy, Srinandini; Spears, Michael; Maddalena, Randy L.; Russell, Marion L; Apte, Michael G.


    The report outlines the methodology used to develop a web-based tool to assess the formaldehyde exposure of the occupants of Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) temporary housing units (THUs) after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Linear regression models were built using available data to retrospectively estimate the indoor temperature and relative humidity, formaldehyde emission factors and concentration, and hence the formaldehyde exposures. The interactive web-tool allows the user to define the inputs to the model to evaluate formaldehyde exposures for different scenarios.

  18. Critical Review of the Material Criteria of Building Sustainability Assessment Tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiyoung Park


    Full Text Available Comparative analysis of the material criteria embedded in building sustainability assessment tools was performed. The material-related issues were identified, classified, and summarized. A framework, the triple bottom line of sustainability (environment, economy, and society, was used to examine the material assessment criteria, evaluation parameters, and descriptions. The material criteria were evaluated to identify the current features and weaknesses as balanced material assessments for sustainable development. The criteria showed significant differences in their scopes in covering the social and economic aspects beyond the environmental aspect. For comprehensive sustainability assessment purposes, it is essential that adequate attention be paid to all three dimensions. Finally, this paper proposes the indicators of the sustainable material assessment from an analysis of all the material-related items.

  19. Assessing the nutritional status of elderly Chinese lung cancer patients using the Mini-Nutritional Assessment (MNA® tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang L


    Full Text Available Lei Zhang,1,* Yanjun Su,1,* Chen Wang,2 Yongsheng Sha,1 Hong Zhu,3 Shumin Xie,4 Sabrina Kwauk,5 Jing Zhang,2 Yunshou Lin,2 Changli Wang1,*1Department of Thoracic Surgery, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, Tianjin Lung Cancer Center, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Tianjin, 2Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, 3Department of Public Health, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, 4Xiangya Medical School of Central-South University, Changsha, People's Republic of China; 5School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, Cambridge, MA, USA*These authors contributed equally to this workPurpose: This study assessed the nutritional status of elderly Chinese lung cancer inpatients using a revised version of the Mini-Nutritional Assessment (MNA® tool.Patients and methods: The revised version of the MNA tool was used to assess the nutritional status of 180 elderly Chinese lung cancer inpatients prior to their scheduled surgery between June 2010 and July 2011. Patients' demographic data, anthropometric parameters, and biochemical markers were collected and analyzed.Results: Among the 180 inpatients who underwent the MNA, 9% were malnourished (MNA score < 19, 33% were at risk of malnutrition (MNA score 19–23, and 58% were well nourished (MNA score ≥ 24. There was significant correlation between the MNA scores of patients who were malnourished, at risk of malnutrition, and well nourished (P < 0.001, as well as between total MNA score and most MNA questions. The three patient groups with different nutritional statuses differed significantly in their responses to anthropometrics and global, diet, and subjective assessments.Conclusion: Incidence rates of malnutrition prior to surgery are high among elderly Chinese lung cancer inpatients. The revised MNA is a valid and reliable tool that can be used to assess and prevent malnutrition among these inpatients.Keywords: malnutrition, MNA-SF, nutrition, inpatients, diet

  20. The Development and Validation of a Rapid Assessment Tool of Primary Care in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Mei


    Full Text Available Introduction. With Chinese health care reform increasingly emphasizing the importance of primary care, the need for a tool to evaluate primary care performance and service delivery is clear. This study presents a methodology for a rapid assessment of primary care organizations and service delivery in China. Methods. The study translated and adapted the Primary Care Assessment Tool-Adult Edition (PCAT-AE into a Chinese version to measure core dimensions of primary care, namely, first contact, continuity, comprehensiveness, and coordination. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to assess the validity and reliability of the Chinese Rapid Primary Care Assessment Tool (CR-PCAT. Eight community health centers in Guangdong province have been selected to participate in the survey. Results. A total of 1465 effective samples were included for data analysis. Eight items were eliminated following principal component analysis and reliability testing. The principal component analysis extracted five multiple-item scales (first contact utilization, first contact accessibility, ongoing care, comprehensiveness, and coordination. The tests of scaling assumptions were basically met. Conclusion. The standard psychometric evaluation indicates that the scales have achieved relatively good reliability and validity. The CR-PCAT provides a rapid and reliable measure of four core dimensions of primary care, which could be applied in various scenarios.

  1. Validation of the Swedish translation of eating assessment tool (S-EAT-10). (United States)

    Möller, Riitta; Safa, Stephanie; Östberg, Per


    Conclusion The Swedish Eating Assessment Tool (S-EAT-10) is a reliable and valid self-administered tool in assessment of dysphagia in adult Swedish patients with high internal consistency, reliability, and discriminative validity. The normative data show that a score of 3 or more is abnormal. S-EAT-10 is recommended to be used in preliminary diagnostics of dysphagia. Objective To translate and adapt the EAT-10 for use in the Swedish patient population, and to present norms and measures of discriminative validity and reliability of a Swedish version of the Eating Assessment Tool-10 (S-EAT-10). Methods Prospective consecutive clinical study. In total, 134 community-dwelling adult respondents/controls without dysphagia completed the S-EAT-10, as did 119 patients referred for fiberendoscopic evaluation of swallowing at Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. Patient vs control status was used as the criterion for discriminative validity assessment by logistic regression analysis. Results The mean S-EAT-10 score was 0.2 (range = 0-3) for controls and 18 (range = 0-38) for patients. Based on a cut-off score of ≥ 3 which was considered to be reflective of abnormalities, sensitivity was 98.5% and specificity 94.1%. Internal consistency reliability was high (Cronbach's alpha = 0.88), as was test-re-test reliability (ICC = 0.90).

  2. ROBIS: A new tool to assess risk of bias in systematic reviews was developed (United States)

    Whiting, Penny; Savović, Jelena; Higgins, Julian P.T.; Caldwell, Deborah M.; Reeves, Barnaby C.; Shea, Beverley; Davies, Philippa; Kleijnen, Jos; Churchill, Rachel


    Objective To develop ROBIS, a new tool for assessing the risk of bias in systematic reviews (rather than in primary studies). Study Design and Setting We used four-stage approach to develop ROBIS: define the scope, review the evidence base, hold a face-to-face meeting, and refine the tool through piloting. Results ROBIS is currently aimed at four broad categories of reviews mainly within health care settings: interventions, diagnosis, prognosis, and etiology. The target audience of ROBIS is primarily guideline developers, authors of overviews of systematic reviews (“reviews of reviews”), and review authors who might want to assess or avoid risk of bias in their reviews. The tool is completed in three phases: (1) assess relevance (optional), (2) identify concerns with the review process, and (3) judge risk of bias. Phase 2 covers four domains through which bias may be introduced into a systematic review: study eligibility criteria; identification and selection of studies; data collection and study appraisal; and synthesis and findings. Phase 3 assesses the overall risk of bias in the interpretation of review findings and whether this considered limitations identified in any of the phase 2 domains. Signaling questions are included to help judge concerns with the review process (phase 2) and the overall risk of bias in the review (phase 3); these questions flag aspects of review design related to the potential for bias and aim to help assessors judge risk of bias in the review process, results, and conclusions. Conclusions ROBIS is the first rigorously developed tool designed specifically to assess the risk of bias in systematic reviews. PMID:26092286

  3. Assessing Function and Endurance in Adults with Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy: Validity of the Adult Myopathy Assessment Tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael O. Harris-Love


    Full Text Available Purpose. The adult myopathy assessment tool (AMAT is a performance-based battery comprised of functional and endurance subscales that can be completed in approximately 30 minutes without the use of specialized equipment. The purpose of this study was to determine the construct validity and internal consistency of the AMAT with a sample of adults with spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA. Methods. AMAT validity was assessed in 56-male participants with genetically confirmed SBMA (mean age, 53 ± 10 years. The participants completed the AMAT and assessments for disease status, strength, and functional status. Results. Lower AMAT scores were associated with longer disease duration (r=-0.29; P<0.03 and lower serum androgen levels (r=0.49–0.59; P<0.001. The AMAT was significantly correlated with strength and functional status (r=0.82–0.88; P<0.001. The domains of the AMAT exhibited good internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = 0.77–0.89; P<0.001. Conclusions. The AMAT is a standardized, performance-based tool that may be used to assess functional limitations and muscle endurance. The AMAT has good internal consistency, and the construct validity of the AMAT is supported by its significant associations with hormonal, strength, and functional characteristics of adults with SBMA. This trial is registered with identifier NCT00303446.

  4. Curriculum Assessment as a Direct Tool in ABET Outcomes Assessment in a Chemical Engineering Programme (United States)

    Abu-Jdayil, Basim; Al-Attar, Hazim


    The chemical engineering programme at the United Arab Emirates University is designed to fulfil the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) (A-K) EC2000 criteria. The Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering has established a well-defined process for outcomes assessment for the chemical engineering programme in order to…

  5. The Precalculus Concept Assessment: A Tool for Assessing Students' Reasoning Abilities and Understandings (United States)

    Carlson, Marilyn; Oehrtman, Michael; Engelke, Nicole


    This article describes the development of the Precalculus Concept Assessment (PCA) instrument, a 25-item multiple-choice exam. The reasoning abilities and understandings central to precalculus and foundational for beginning calculus were identified and characterized in a series of research studies and are articulated in the PCA Taxonomy. These…

  6. The Career Assessment Diagnostic Inventory: A New Career Indecision Assessment Tool. (United States)

    Vidal-Brown, Sherry A.; Thompson, Bruce


    The Career Assessment Diagnostic Inventory evaluates six career indecision factors: family conflict, emotional independence, decision-making anxiety, identity development, career information, and career self-efficacy. Factor analysis and convergent validity results of scores of 539 students supported the instrument's validity. (SK)

  7. Social Life Cycle Assessment as a Management Tool: Methodology for Application in Tourism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Merli


    Full Text Available As is widely known, sustainability is an important factor in competition, increasing the added value of a company in terms of image and credibility. However, it is important that sustainability assessments are effectively addressed in a global perspective. Therefore, life cycle tools are adopted to evaluate environmental and social impacts. Among these, and of particular significance, appears the Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA, which, although in its early stage of development, seems to have extremely promising methodological features. For this reason, it seemed interesting to propose a first application to the tourism sector, which could be better than other methods, studied in terms of social sustainability data. The particular characteristics of service delivery lend themselves more to the development of data related to social sustainability than other sectors. In this paper the results of a case study carried out using social accounting and business management tools are shown.

  8. Assessing Usefulness. Do Stakeholders Regard the CDM's SD Tool as Practicial?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Karen Holm; Fenhann, Jørgen Villy; Hinostroza, Miriam L.

    One of the objectives of the CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) which is strongly embedded in the Kyoto Protocol, is to contribute to the sustainable development of the host countries in addition to climate protection. However, some non-governmental organisations have signalled the poor...... a tool for voluntary use in order to highlight the contribution of CDM to sustainability. As a result, in late 2012 The Sustainable Development Tool was developed and adopted. The fact that CDM projects should support sustainable development in the host countries is a key element of the CDM, which is why...... contributions, and project developers. Host countries of different size and various levels of experience with CDM and sustainability assessment and project developers with expertise for various types of projects were interviewed in a survey about their experiences. Subjects were the sustainability assessment...

  9. Reliability testing of a portfolio assessment tool for postgraduate family medicine training in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louis Jenkins


    Full Text Available Background: Competency-based education and the validity and reliability of workplace-based assessment of postgraduate trainees have received increasing attention worldwide.Family medicine was recognised as a speciality in South Africa six years ago and a satisfactory portfolio of learning is a prerequisite to sit the national exit exam. A massive scaling up of the number of family physicians is needed in order to meet the health needs of the country.Aim: The aim of this study was to develop a reliable, robust and feasible portfolio assessment tool (PAT for South Africa.Methods: Six raters each rated nine portfolios from the Stellenbosch University programme, using the PAT, to test for inter-rater reliability. This rating was repeated three months later to determine test–retest reliability. Following initial analysis and feedback the PAT was modified and the inter-rater reliability again assessed on nine new portfolios. An acceptable intra-classcorrelation was considered to be > 0.80.Results: The total score was found to be reliable, with a coefficient of 0.92. For test–retest reliability, the difference in mean total score was 1.7%, which was not statistically significant. Amongst the subsections, only assessment of the educational meetings and the logbook showed reliability coefficients > 0.80.Conclusion: This was the first attempt to develop a reliable, robust and feasible national portfolio assessment tool to assess postgraduate family medicine training in the South African context. The tool was reliable for the total score, but the low reliability of several sections in the PAT helped us to develop 12 recommendations regarding the use of the portfolio, the design of the PAT and the training of raters.

  10. The effects of a digital formative assessment tool on mathematics achievement and student motivation: Results of a randomized experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faber, Janke M.; Luyten, Hans; Visscher, Adrie J.


    In this study a randomized experimental design was used to examine the effects of a digital formative assessment tool on mathematics achievement and motivation in grade three primary education (n schools = 79, n students = 1808). Experimental schools used a digital formative assessment tool whereas

  11. Application of Ict and Rubrics to the Assessment Process where Professional Judgement Is Involved: The Features of an Emarking Tool (United States)

    Campbell, Alistair


    This paper describes a new ICT assessment tool that reduces multihandling of marks, comments and scores specifically where professional judgement is involved. Whereas previous ICT applications in most fields of education have focused on student learning, this tool focuses on the lecturer task of the assessment process. Unlike many ICT based…

  12. Determining water sensitive urban design project benefits using a multi-criteria assessment tool. (United States)

    Urrutiaguer, M; Lloyd, S; Lamshed, S


    The integration of urban water cycle management with urban planning and design is referred to as 'Water Sensitive Urban Design' or 'WSUD' in Australia; one of the key elements of WSUD is the management of urban stormwater. In early 2006, the Victorian Government released the Yarra River Action Plan, which allocated $20 million towards tackling urban stormwater pollution. To help ensure this money is allocated in an equitable and transparent manner across all metropolitan local governments a multi-criteria assessment tool has been developed. This paper presents an overview of the multi-criteria assessment tool developed and adopted for selecting WSUD projects that are eligible for funding through Melbourne Water's Stormwater Program. This tool considers three types of indicators: environmental, engagement (engagement with stakeholders and local government capacity building) and financial. Within each category, a series of indicators of different weightings are applied to score a project. Where initial concept designs do not meet the Program criteria, additional work is undertaken to refine and improve the project. The tool and its use are illustrated with a case study.

  13. Examining the CDCynergy Event Assessment Tool: an investigation of the anthrax crisis in Boca Raton, Florida. (United States)

    McIntyre, J J; Venette, Steven


    This paper examines the dependability of the Event Assessment Tool over time. The latter is part of a CD-ROM--Emergency Risk Communication CDCynergy--distributed primarily to public information officers in the United States by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Event Assessment Tool is designed to aid emergency professionals in identifying the magnitude of a crisis event and to suggest appropriate actions to confront such a situation. Applied twice during the 2001 anthrax bioterrorism crisis in Boca Raton, Florida, the tool functioned in a binary manner by first indicating a moderate crisis level (on 4 October) and then four days later (on 8 October) a highly intense crisis, suggesting that it is time sensitive. This anthrax event provides an opportunity for crisis and disaster managers to understand the dynamic nature of crises. Rapid changes during these types of events suggest that any metric used to predict intensity must account for this variability. Additional limitations and implications of the tool are discussed.

  14. Development of the Knowledge of Dementia Competencies Self-Assessment Tool. (United States)

    Curyto, Kimberly J; Vriesman, Deedre K


    Competent dementia care requires caregivers with specialized knowledge and skills. The Knowledge of Dementia Competencies Self-Assessment Tool was developed to help direct care workers (DCWs) assess their knowledge of 7 dementia competencies identified by the Michigan Dementia Coalition. Item selection was guided by literature review and expert panel consultation. It was given to 159 DCWs and readministered to 57 DCWs in a range of long-term care settings and revised based on qualitative feedback and statistical item analyses, resulting in 82 items demonstrating good internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Performance on items assessing competencies rated as most important was significantly related to training in these competencies. The DCWs in day care obtained higher scores than those in home care settings, and their sites reported a greater number of hours of dementia training. Validation in a more diverse group of DCWs and assessing its relationship to other measures of knowledge and skill is needed.

  15. Is Scores Derived from the Most Internationally Applied Patient Safety Culture Assessment Tool Correct?


    Javad Moghri; Ali Akbari Sari; Mehdi Yousefi; Hasan Zahmatkesh; Ranjbar Mohammad Ezzatabadi; Pejman Hamouzadeh; Satar Rezaei; Jamil Sadeghifar


    Abstract Background Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture, known as HSOPS, is an internationally well known and widely used tool for measuring patient safety culture in hospitals. It includes 12 dimensions with positive and negative wording questions. The distribution of these questions in different dimensions is uneven and provides the risk of acquiescence bias. The aim of this study was to assess the questionnaire against this bias. Methods Three hundred nurses were assigned into study ...

  16. Effective risk assessment tools for osteoporosis in the Indian menopausal female

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seema Sharma


    Conclusion: By noting down the risk factors and BMI, we can screen out the women who require further evaluation and management, thus, it is an effective tool, particularly in developing countries like India, where most of the patients cannot afford expensive DEXA scans, although considered as the gold standard for BMD assessment. With the help of such scoring systems, health resources can be judiciously utilized.

  17. Implementation of a competency assessment tool for agency nurses working in an acute paediatric setting.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Hennerby, Cathy


    AIM: This paper reports on the implementation of a competency assessment tool for registered general agency nurses working in an acute paediatric setting, using a change management framework. BACKGROUND: The increased number of registered general agency nurses working in an acute children\\'s hospital alerted concerns around their competency in working with children. These concerns were initially raised via informal complaints about \\'near misses\\

  18. DYNAMO-HIA--a Dynamic Modeling tool for generic Health Impact Assessments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan K Lhachimi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Currently, no standard tool is publicly available that allows researchers or policy-makers to quantify the impact of policies using epidemiological evidence within the causal framework of Health Impact Assessment (HIA. A standard tool should comply with three technical criteria (real-life population, dynamic projection, explicit risk-factor states and three usability criteria (modest data requirements, rich model output, generally accessible to be useful in the applied setting of HIA. With DYNAMO-HIA (Dynamic Modeling for Health Impact Assessment, we introduce such a generic software tool specifically designed to facilitate quantification in the assessment of the health impacts of policies. METHODS AND RESULTS: DYNAMO-HIA quantifies the impact of user-specified risk-factor changes on multiple diseases and in turn on overall population health, comparing one reference scenario with one or more intervention scenarios. The Markov-based modeling approach allows for explicit risk-factor states and simulation of a real-life population. A built-in parameter estimation module ensures that only standard population-level epidemiological evidence is required, i.e. data on incidence, prevalence, relative risks, and mortality. DYNAMO-HIA provides a rich output of summary measures--e.g. life expectancy and disease-free life expectancy--and detailed data--e.g. prevalences and mortality/survival rates--by age, sex, and risk-factor status over time. DYNAMO-HIA is controlled via a graphical user interface and is publicly available from the internet, ensuring general accessibility. We illustrate the use of DYNAMO-HIA with two example applications: a policy causing an overall increase in alcohol consumption and quantifying the disease-burden of smoking. CONCLUSION: By combining modest data needs with general accessibility and user friendliness within the causal framework of HIA, DYNAMO-HIA is a potential standard tool for health impact assessment based

  19. Mobile App Rating Scale: A New Tool for Assessing the Quality of Health Mobile Apps


    Stoyanov, Stoyan R.; Hides, Leanne; Kavanagh, David John; Zelenko, Oksana; Tjondronegoro, Dian; Mani, Madhavan


    Background The use of mobile apps for health and well being promotion has grown exponentially in recent years. Yet, there is currently no app-quality assessment tool beyond “star”-ratings. Objective The objective of this study was to develop a reliable, multidimensional measure for trialling, classifying, and rating the quality of mobile health apps. Methods A literature search was conducted to identify articles containing explicit Web or app quality rating criteria published between January ...

  20. Pro Et Con Analysis Of Occupational Exposure Assessement Tools And Concepts For nanomaterials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liguori, Biase; Hansen, Steffen Foss; Alstrup Jensen, Keld

    There is an urgent need for simple and yet robust scientific methods to evaluate the potential of occupational exposure related to the production and application of nanomaterials. A number of alternatives to traditional exposure assessment have recently been explored and proposed for nanomaterial...... be employed depending on available data and user background. See figure 1 for an illustration of how this could be envisioned in regard to the on-going development of the Danish NanoSafer tool....

  1. Introducing Stereology as a Tool to Assess the Severity of Psoriasis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kamp, Søren; Stenderup, Karin; Rosada, Cecilia


    to histological specimens in order to obtain three-dimensional properties from two-dimensional tissue samples. The psoriasis xenograft model used in this trial is accepted as a leading animal model for psoriasis. Psoriatic skin from psoriatic patients was grafted onto severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice......  The purpose of this study was to introduce stereology as a novel tool in assessing the severity of psoriasis. Psoriasis is a well described chronic inflammatory skin disease affecting approximately 2% of the Caucasian population.   The severity of psoriasis has been assessed by a multitude...

  2. Ecotoxicological assessment of diffuse pollution using biomonitoring tool for sustainable land use in Thailand. (United States)

    Iwai, Chuleemas Boonthai; Noller, Barry


    As a developing country, Thailand has a significant issue with diffuse pollution of the soil ecosystem due to an indiscriminate use of agrichemicals and poorly regulated disposal of a wide variety of hazardous wastes. Practical risk assessment tools based on locally-occurring species are needed to assess the effects of diffuse pollutants on the soil ecosystem in Thailand because reliance on soil criteria developed for overseas conditions may provide inadequate protection. Native soil organisms in Thailand may be more or less sensitive to contaminants compared to overseas test species. This article described a biological indicator approach for ecological risk assessment of diffuse pollution in the soil ecosystem of Thailand from pesticide application with the aim of developing standardized protocols using native species and locally generated data to better evaluate the ecological risks of non-point source soil pollution. It was found that ecotoxicological assessment provided a better understanding of the ecological impacts that diffuse pollution induced on Thai environmental conditions. Thai soil biota species were more sensitive to soil contaminants than similar species overseas. Soil series also had an influence on the ecotoxicology of contaminants to soil biota. Collembolan, Cyphoderus sp., was demonstrated as a useful alternative test species to Folsomia candida (international test species) for terrestrial ecotoxicological testing of Thai soils. In addition, the soil biota activities such as soil respiration and earthworm avoidance including soil biodiversity and the litter bag decomposition technique are also good tools to assess the effects of diffuse pollution by pesticides on the soil ecosystem of Thailand.

  3. Assessment of the Assessment Tool: Analysis of Items in a Non-MCQ Mathematics Exam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heba Bakr Khoshaim


    Full Text Available Assessment is one of the vital steps in the teaching and learning process. The reported action research examines the effectiveness of an assessment process and inspects the validity of exam questions used for the assessment purpose. The instructors of a college-level mathematics course studied questions used in the final exams during the academic years 2013–2014 and 2014−2015. Using the data from 206 students, the researchers analyzed 54 exam questions with regard to the complexity level, the difficulty coefficient and the discrimination coefficient. Findings indicated that the complexity level correlated with the difficulty coefficient for only one of three semesters. In addition, the correlation between the discrimination coefficient and the difficulty coefficient was found to be statistically significant in all three semesters. The results suggest that all three exams were acceptable; however, further attention should be given to the complexity level of questions used in mathematical tests and that moderate difficulty level questions are better classifying students’ performance.

  4. Bayesian Reliability Modeling and Assessment Solution for NC Machine Tools under Small-sample Data

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YANG Zhaojun; KAN Yingnan; CHEN Fei; XU Binbin; CHEN Chuanhai; YANG Chuangui


    Although Markov chain Monte Carlo(MCMC) algorithms are accurate, many factors may cause instability when they are utilized in reliability analysis; such instability makes these algorithms unsuitable for widespread engineering applications. Thus, a reliability modeling and assessment solution aimed at small-sample data of numerical control(NC) machine tools is proposed on the basis of Bayes theories. An expert-judgment process of fusing multi-source prior information is developed to obtain the Weibull parameters’ prior distributions and reduce the subjective bias of usual expert-judgment methods. The grid approximation method is applied to two-parameter Weibull distribution to derive the formulas for the parameters’ posterior distributions and solve the calculation difficulty of high-dimensional integration. The method is then applied to the real data of a type of NC machine tool to implement a reliability assessment and obtain the mean time between failures(MTBF). The relative error of the proposed method is 5.8020×10-4 compared with the MTBF obtained by the MCMC algorithm. This result indicates that the proposed method is as accurate as MCMC. The newly developed solution for reliability modeling and assessment of NC machine tools under small-sample data is easy, practical, and highly suitable for widespread application in the engineering field; in addition, the solution does not reduce accuracy.

  5. Standardized patient and standardized interdisciplinary team meeting: validation of a new performance-based assessment tool. (United States)

    Yuasa, Misuzu; Nagoshi, Michael; Oshiro-Wong, Celeste; Tin, Maung; Wen, Aida; Masaki, Kamal


    The interdisciplinary team (IDT) approach is critical in the care of elderly adults. Performance-based tools to assess IDT skills have not been well validated. A novel assessment tool, the standardized patient (SP) and standardized interdisciplinary team meeting (SIDTM), consisting of two stations, was developed. First, trainees evaluate a SP hospitalized after a fall. Second, trainees play the role of the physician in a standardized IDT meeting with a standardized registered nurse (SRN) and standardized medical social worker (SMSW) for discharge planning. The SP-SIDTM was administered to 52 fourth-year medical students (MS4s) and six geriatric medicine fellows (GMFs) in 2011/12. The SP, SRN, and SMSW scored trainee performance on dichotomous checklists of clinical tasks and Likert scales of communication skills, which were compared according to level of training using t-tests. Trainees rated the SP-SIDTM experience as moderately difficult, length of time about right, and believability moderate to high. Reliability was high for both cases (Cronbach α = 0.73-0.87). Interobserver correlation between SRN and SMSW checklist scores (correlation coefficient (r) = 0.82, P < .001) and total scores (r = 0.69, P < .001) were high. The overall score on the SP-SIDTM case was significantly higher for GMF (75) than for MS4 (65, P = .002). These observations support the validity of this novel assessment tool.

  6. Integration of QbD risk assessment tools and overall risk management. (United States)

    Kelley, Brian; Cromwell, Mary; Jerkins, Joe


    Quality by design (QbD) is a global regulatory initiative with the goal of enhancing pharmaceutical development through the proactive design of pharmaceutical manufacturing process and controls to consistently deliver the intended performance of the product. The principles of pharmaceutical development relevant to QbD are described in the ICH guidance documents (ICHQ8-11). An integrated set of risk assessments and related elements developed at Roche/Genentech were designed to provide an overview of product and process knowledge for the production of a recombinant monoclonal antibody. This chapter describes how the risk assessments, logic and interactions of the tools are designed to connect the set of QbD tools and elements into an overarching risk management system. The tools allow comparisons of options based on elective decisions that the sponsor could take and reflect relative values of these options. The overall risk management strategy assures product quality from this enhanced set of assessments and employs a science and risk based approach resulting in a consistent and transparent set of process and product controls and a rational monitoring system.

  7. Safe use of antithrombotics for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation: consideration of risk assessment tools to support decision-making. (United States)

    Wang, Yishen; Bajorek, Beata


    Clinical guidelines advocate stroke prevention therapy in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients, specifically anticoagulation. However, the decision to initiate treatment is based on the risk (bleeding) versus benefit (prevention of stroke) of therapy, which is often difficult to assess. This review identifies available risk assessment tools to facilitate the safe and optimal use of antithrombotic therapy for stroke prevention in AF. Using key databases and online clinical resources to search the literature (1992-2012), 19 tools have been identified and published to date: 11 addressing stroke risk, 7 addressing bleeding risk and 1 integrating both risk assessments. The stroke risk assessment tools (e.g. CHADS2, CHA2DS2-VASc) share common risk factors: age, hypertension, previous cerebrovascular attack. The bleeding risk assessment tools (e.g. HEMORR2HAGES, HAS-BLED) share common risk factors: age, previous bleeding, renal and liver impairment. In terms of their development, six of the stroke risk assessment tools have been derived from clinical studies, whilst five are based on refinement of existing tools or expert consensus. Many have been evaluated by prospective application to data from real patient cohorts. Bleeding risk assessment tools have been derived from trials, or generated from patient data and then validated via further studies. One identified tool (i.e. Computerised Antithrombotic Risk Assessment Tool [CARAT]) integrates both stroke and bleeding, and specifically considers other key factors in decision-making regarding antithrombotic therapy, particularly those increasing the risk of medication misadventure with treatment (e.g. function, drug interactions, medication adherence). This highlights that whilst separate tools are available to assess stroke and bleeding risk, they do not estimate the relative risk versus benefit of treatment in an individual patient nor consider key medication safety aspects. More effort is needed to synthesize these separate

  8. Assessing children’s competence to consent in research by a standardized tool: a validity study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hein Irma M


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Currently over 50% of drugs prescribed to children have not been evaluated properly for use in their age group. One key reason why children have been excluded from clinical trials is that they are not considered able to exercise meaningful autonomy over the decision to participate. Dutch law states that competence to consent can be presumed present at the age of 12 and above; however, in pediatric practice children’s competence is not that clearly presented and the transition from assent to active consent is gradual. A gold standard for competence assessment in children does not exist. In this article we describe a study protocol on the development of a standardized tool for assessing competence to consent in research in children and adolescents. Methods/design In this study we modified the MacCAT-CR, the best evaluated competence assessment tool for adults, for use in children and adolescents. We will administer the tool prospectively to a cohort of pediatric patients from 6 to18 years during the selection stages of ongoing clinical trials. The outcomes of the MacCAT-CR interviews will be compared to a reference standard, established by the judgments of clinical investigators, and an expert panel consisting of child psychiatrists, child psychologists and medical ethicists. The reliability, criterion-related validity and reproducibility of the tool will be determined. As MacCAT-CR is a multi-item scale consisting of 13 items, power was justified at 130–190 subjects, providing a minimum of 10–15 observations per item. MacCAT-CR outcomes will be correlated with age, life experience, IQ, ethnicity, socio-economic status and competence judgment of the parent(s. It is anticipated that 160 participants will be recruited over 2 years to complete enrollment. Discussion A validity study on an assessment tool of competence to consent is strongly needed in research practice, particularly in the child and adolescent population. In


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Clark Connery


    Full Text Available The SGA is a clinical tool used to assess protein energy wasting. Although well validated, it is still not widely incorporated into clinical practice. A barrier to use may be the physical assessment section. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to develop a free and effective tool to train clinicians on performing the SGA. Second Life (SL is a free virtual reality program accessed through the internet using human-like “avatars.” A museum environment was created with panels presenting SGA background information through text, images, and videos of SGA being performed. Users are able to navigate the information by logging onto a provided avatar. After the initial panels, this avatar is able to interact with avatar bots and perform animations which mimic each body assessment within the SGA. Two trial periods were conducted to assess the efficacy of this training tool. The alpha trial consisted of 3 hospital dietitians and 3 nutrition students. These subjects came to the investigators’ facility to test the program. Subjective responses were collected and used to improve the training tool. Feedback was positive regarding the information, delivery, and direction of the project; however, they did complain of difficulty with controlling the avatar. The beta trial consists of users accessing the module remotely. These users include academic and clinical dietitians. Responses are being collected via 5 surveys covering each portion of the module. While 16 dietitians responded to the beta trial, only 4 have completed the training. Current survey responses state: the use of SL is easy and enjoyable; all SGA information was clear and in a desirable format; tactile comparison objects were beneficial for understanding; the in depth description of each assessment is beneficial; the animations that the avatars perform on the bots needs improvement; a patient avatar on which users could perform the full SGA is desirable; the use of SL in the learning

  10. Medical student web-based formative assessment tool for renal pathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanesa Bijol


    Full Text Available Background: Web-based formative assessment tools have become widely recognized in medical education as valuable resources for self-directed learning. Objectives: To explore the educational value of formative assessment using online quizzes for kidney pathology learning in our renal pathophysiology course. Methods: Students were given unrestricted and optional access to quizzes. Performance on quizzed and non-quizzed materials of those who used (‘quizzers’ and did not use the tool (‘non-quizzers’ was compared. Frequency of tool usage was analyzed and satisfaction surveys were utilized at the end of the course. Results: In total, 82.6% of the students used quizzes. The greatest usage was observed on the day before the final exam. Students repeated interactive and more challenging quizzes more often. Average means between final exam scores for quizzed and unrelated materials were almost equal for ‘quizzers’ and ‘non-quizzers’, but ‘quizzers’ performed statistically better than ‘non-quizzers’ on both, quizzed (p=0.001 and non-quizzed (p=0.024 topics. In total, 89% of surveyed students thought quizzes improved their learning experience in this course. Conclusions: Our new computer-assisted learning tool is popular, and although its use can predict the final exam outcome, it does not provide strong evidence for direct improvement in academic performance. Students who chose to use quizzes did well on all aspects of the final exam and most commonly used quizzes to practice for final exam. Our efforts to revitalize the course material and promote learning by adding interactive online formative assessments improved students’ learning experience overall.

  11. Fall Risk Assessment Tools for Elderly Living in the Community: Can We Do Better?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierpaolo Palumbo

    Full Text Available Falls are a common, serious threat to the health and self-confidence of the elderly. Assessment of fall risk is an important aspect of effective fall prevention programs.In order to test whether it is possible to outperform current prognostic tools for falls, we analyzed 1010 variables pertaining to mobility collected from 976 elderly subjects (InCHIANTI study. We trained and validated a data-driven model that issues probabilistic predictions about future falls. We benchmarked the model against other fall risk indicators: history of falls, gait speed, Short Physical Performance Battery (Guralnik et al. 1994, and the literature-based fall risk assessment tool FRAT-up (Cattelani et al. 2015. Parsimony in the number of variables included in a tool is often considered a proxy for ease of administration. We studied how constraints on the number of variables affect predictive accuracy.The proposed model and FRAT-up both attained the same discriminative ability; the area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC curve (AUC for multiple falls was 0.71. They outperformed the other risk scores, which reported AUCs for multiple falls between 0.64 and 0.65. Thus, it appears that both data-driven and literature-based approaches are better at estimating fall risk than commonly used fall risk indicators. The accuracy-parsimony analysis revealed that tools with a small number of predictors (~1-5 were suboptimal. Increasing the number of variables improved the predictive accuracy, reaching a plateau at ~20-30, which we can consider as the best trade-off between accuracy and parsimony. Obtaining the values of these ~20-30 variables does not compromise usability, since they are usually available in comprehensive geriatric assessments.

  12. A GIS based European Hydro Power Atlas: a tool for technical and economical feasibility assessment (United States)

    Bagli, Stefano; Mazzoli, Paolo


    The service consists of a tool for quick technical and economic feasibility assessment of small hydropower sites, based on topography, hydrology, environmental flows and other constraints such as distance from existing electric grids. The system works in a web-mapping wrap and allows analysis at a scale comparable to common geo-browsing tools (such Google Earth ©), just like e.g. popular JRC's PVGIS for the estimation of photovoltaic potential. The system provides basically two levels of operation: (1) mapping of the hydropower potential at Europe or regional scale, and (2) preliminary assessment of hydropower production at a site specific level. In the first level, a map of the potential production is provided taking into account a predefined length of the diversion of water (derivation channel and penstock) and calculating related Hydraulic jump; the system combines then topographic information together with flow duration curve information for the whole European/regional stream network and operative hypothesis on maximum derivable flow and other relevant derivation parameters. In the second level user defines in detail project parameters (amount of withdrawal, length of derivation, distance from connection grid, type of turbine, local feed in tariff) and the system evaluates preliminary feasibility check (size of the plat, maximum allowed investment for a fixed for a payback time). Interface via Google Map/Earth © or similar geo-browsing tools will be provided. This tool is expected to play a role in promoting investment in pico-to micro-hydropower plants by making preliminary feasibility assessment much quicker and affordable, and providing reliable estimation of potential available resource, which may be a critical aspect in the development of small plants and for site scouting activity The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme under Grant Agreement No. 603587 (SWITCH-ON).

  13. HEPS Inventory Tool: An Inventory Tool Including Quality Assessment of School Interventions on Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (United States)

    Dadaczynski, Kevin; Paulus, Peter; de Vries, Nanne; de Ruiter, Silvia; Buijs, Goof


    The HEPS Inventory Tool aims to support stakeholders working in school health promotion to promote high quality interventions on healthy eating and physical activity. As a tool it provides a step-by-step approach on how to develop a national or regional inventory of existing school based interventions on healthy eating and physical activity. It…

  14. Assessing the format of the presentation of text in developing a Reading Strategy Assessment Tool (R-SAT). (United States)

    Gilliam, Sara; Magliano, Joseph P; Millis, Keith K; Levinstein, Irwin; Boonthum, Chutima


    We are constructing a new computerized test of reading comprehension called the Reading Strategy Assessment Tool (R-SAT). R-SAT elicits and analyzes verbal protocols that readers generate in response to questions as they read texts. We examined whether the amount of information available to the reader when reading and answering questions influenced the extent to which R-SAT accounts for comprehension. We found that R-SAT was most predictive of comprehension when the readers did not have access to the text as they answered questions.

  15. Framework tool for a rapid cumulative effects assessment: case of a prominent wetland in Myanmar. (United States)

    Pradhan, N; Habib, H; Venkatappa, M; Ebbers, T; Duboz, R; Shipin, O


    The wetland of focus, Inle Lake, located in central Myanmar, is well known for its unique biodiversity and culture, as well as for ingenious floating garden agriculture. During the last decades, the lake area has seen extensive degradation in terms of water quality, erosion, deforestation, and biodiversity concomitant with a major shift to unsustainable land use. The study was conducted, with an emphasis on water quality, to analyze environmental impacts (effects) changing the ecosystem and to comprehensively evaluate the environmental state of the ecosystem through an innovative Rapid Cumulative Effects Assessment framework tool. The assessment started with a framework-forming Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), which quantified and prioritized impacts over space and time. Critically important impacts were assessed for "intra-inter interactions" using the loop analysis simulation. Water samples were analyzed while geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing were used to identify water pollution hotspots. It was concluded that out of a plethora of impacts, pollution from municipal sources, sedimentation, and effects exerted by floating gardens had the most detrimental impacts, which cumulatively affected the entire ecosystem. The framework tool was designed in a broad sense with a reference to highly needed assessments of poorly studied wetlands where degradation is evident, but scarcely quantified, and where long-term field studies are fraught with security issues and resource unavailability (post-conflict, poor and remote regions, e.g., Afghanistan, Laos, Sudan, etc.).

  16. Testing a Scandinavian Biodiversity Assessment Tool in an African Desert Environment (United States)

    Burke, Antje; Kyläkorpi, Lasse; Rydgren, Bernt; Schneeweiss, Rainer


    Life cycle assessment-based environmental product declarations (EPDs) require the inclusion of biodiversity impacts across the entire supply chain. The objective of this study is to test the applicability of a Scandinavian biodiversity assessment tool, developed specifically for use with EPD applications, in an African desert environment, linking the industry types power generation and mining. For this purpose, a GIS-based spatial analysis tool—the biotope method—was adapted to a framework approach which allowed the selection of more suitable, site-specific biodiversity indicators. The biotope method provides a step-by-step process of defining system boundaries, mapping biotopes, categorizing biotopes based on site-specific indicators, and evaluating change in biotope status “before” and “after” the impact. The development of site-specific indicators was piloted in this study and determined by the affected ecosystem and the status of knowledge on biodiversity in this geographic area. Thus plants were used as indicators for biodiversity, and red-list status and endemism constituted the prime criteria for conservation value of plants. This in turn represented the key criterion for classifying biotopes. The tested biodiversity assessment tool has potential for application in different environments and operational settings but leaves room for improvement by including secondary impacts in the assessment and using a wider range of taxa for indicators of biodiversity.

  17. A pilot trial of dermoscopy as a rapid assessment tool in pediatric dermatoses. (United States)

    Silverberg, Nanette B


    Dermoscopy is a noninvasive technique to assess skin architecture. A pilot study was conducted using polarized dermoscopy as a tool to monitor the pediatric skin barrier. Ten pediatric patients (age range, 1-14 years) with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis (AD), ichthyosis vulgaris (IV), and/or keratosis pilaris (KP) participated in a 4-week clinical trial. After a week of emollient usage alone, a mid-potency topical corticosteroid cream was added twice daily if necessary to treat erythema, dermatitis, or pruritus. The participants were assessed at weeks 0, 1, and 4 using the eczema area and severity index (EASI) for atopic dermatitis, investigator global assessment for atopic dermatitis, children dermatology life quality index (CDLQI), and clinical and dermoscopic photography. Dermoscopic appearance demonstrated dermal vascular ectasia in AD and KP, hyperkeratosis and prominence of the interkeratinocyte space in AD and IV and widening of the follicular orifice in KP. Improvements in these dermoscopic abnormalities were noted after emollient usage, mirroring improvements in clinical appearance, EASI, and CDLQI. Dermoscopy is a promising tool to assess localized improvement in skin architecture in pediatric dermatoses. Further studies and development of scoring systems will be needed to apply this technology to clinical practice.

  18. Fibrosis assessment: impact on current management of chronic liver disease and application of quantitative invasive tools. (United States)

    Wang, Yan; Hou, Jin-Lin


    Fibrosis, a common pathogenic pathway of chronic liver disease (CLD), has long been indicated to be significantly and most importantly associated with severe prognosis. Nowadays, with remarkable advances in understanding and/or treatment of major CLDs such as hepatitis C, B, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, there is an unprecedented requirement for the diagnosis and assessment of liver fibrosis or cirrhosis in various clinical settings. Among the available approaches, liver biopsy remains the one which possibly provides the most direct and reliable information regarding fibrosis patterns and changes in the parenchyma at different clinical stages and with different etiologies. Thus, many endeavors have been undertaken for developing methodologies based on the strategy of quantitation for the invasive assessment. Here, we analyze the impact of fibrosis assessment on the CLD patient care based on the data of recent clinical studies. We discuss and update the current invasive tools regarding their technological features and potentials for the particular clinical applications. Furthermore, we propose the potential resolutions with application of quantitative invasive tools for some major issues in fibrosis assessment, which appear to be obstacles against the nowadays rapid progress in CLD medicine.

  19. The Integrated Medical Model: A Risk Assessment and Decision Support Tool for Space Flight Medical Systems (United States)

    Kerstman, Eric; Minard, Charles; Saile, Lynn; deCarvalho, Mary Freire; Myers, Jerry; Walton, Marlei; Butler, Douglas; Iyengar, Sriram; Johnson-Throop, Kathy; Baumann, David


    The Integrated Medical Model (IMM) is a decision support tool that is useful to mission planners and medical system designers in assessing risks and designing medical systems for space flight missions. The IMM provides an evidence based approach for optimizing medical resources and minimizing risks within space flight operational constraints. The mathematical relationships among mission and crew profiles, medical condition incidence data, in-flight medical resources, potential crew functional impairments, and clinical end-states are established to determine probable mission outcomes. Stochastic computational methods are used to forecast probability distributions of crew health and medical resource utilization, as well as estimates of medical evacuation and loss of crew life. The IMM has been used in support of the International Space Station (ISS) medical kit redesign, the medical component of the ISS Probabilistic Risk Assessment, and the development of the Constellation Medical Conditions List. The IMM also will be used to refine medical requirements for the Constellation program. The IMM outputs for ISS and Constellation design reference missions will be presented to demonstrate the potential of the IMM in assessing risks, planning missions, and designing medical systems. The implementation of the IMM verification and validation plan will be reviewed. Additional planned capabilities of the IMM, including optimization techniques and the inclusion of a mission timeline, will be discussed. Given the space flight constraints of mass, volume, and crew medical training, the IMM is a valuable risk assessment and decision support tool for medical system design and mission planning.

  20. Sustainable development in the building industry: an analysis and assessment tool for design of disassembly (United States)

    Graubner, Carl-Alexander; Reiche, Katja


    Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) has been embraced by governments worldwide and as building plays a key role in development, it is implicated in this movement. Consideration of the whole life cycle of a building is a major aspect, when assessing its sustainability. While the reduction of operating energy and the optimization of building material selection has been a main focus of research in Europe, the consideration of maintenance during operation or the demolition of a building at the end of its life has usually been neglected. Aiming for sustainability the conversation of materials and energy by applying a closed system approach on a long term time scale must be realized. Therefore building materials are to be recycled, building elements are to be reused and buildings are to be more flexible. Designing to facilitate the disassembly of building elements is expected to be an improvement for sustainable buildings. A tool for the assessment of building elements has been developed that focuses on connection selection, its influence on material and energy flow, as well as the quality of building waste materials. The assessment of material production and erection processes, using Life Cycle Assessment is completed with a qualitative/quantitative classification of demolition processes, and disposal scenarios, considering environmental, economic and technical aspects. An analysis of floor elements has confirmed, that Design for Disassembly is very promising for the improvement of sustainable buildings but that improvement potentials can differ considerably. Details of the analysis tool developed and an analysis of building elements will be shown in this article

  1. Q-SEA – a tool for quality assessment of ethics analyses conducted as part of health technology assessments (United States)

    Scott, Anna Mae; Hofmann, Björn; Gutiérrez-Ibarluzea, Iñaki; Bakke Lysdahl, Kristin; Sandman, Lars; Bombard, Yvonne


    Introduction: Assessment of ethics issues is an important part of health technology assessments (HTA). However, in terms of existence of quality assessment tools, ethics for HTA is methodologically underdeveloped in comparison to other areas of HTA, such as clinical or cost effectiveness. Objective: To methodologically advance ethics for HTA by: (1) proposing and elaborating Q-SEA, the first instrument for quality assessment of ethics analyses, and (2) applying Q-SEA to a sample systematic review of ethics for HTA, in order to illustrate and facilitate its use. Methods: To develop a list of items for the Q-SEA instrument, we systematically reviewed the literature on methodology in ethics for HTA, reviewed HTA organizations’ websites, and solicited views from 32 experts in the field of ethics for HTA at two 2-day workshops. We subsequently refined Q-SEA through its application to an ethics analysis conducted for HTA. Results: Q-SEA instrument consists of two domains – the process domain and the output domain. The process domain consists of 5 elements: research question, literature search, inclusion/exclusion criteria, perspective, and ethics framework. The output domain consists of 5 elements: completeness, bias, implications, conceptual clarification, and conflicting values. Conclusion: Q-SEA is the first instrument for quality assessment of ethics analyses in HTA. Further refinements to the instrument to enhance its usability continue.

  2. Critical review of decision support tools for sustainability assessment of site remediation options. (United States)

    Huysegoms, Lies; Cappuyns, Valérie


    In Europe alone, there are more than 2,5 million potentially contaminated sites of which 14% are expected to require remediation. Contaminated soil and groundwater can cause damage to human health as well as to valuable ecosystems. Globally more attention has been paid to this problem of soil contamination in the past decades. For example, more than 58 000 sites have been remediated in Europe between 2006 and 2011. Together with this increase in remediation projects there has been a surge in the development of new remediation technologies and decision support tools to be able to match every site and its specific characteristics to the best possible remediation alternative. In the past years the development of decision support tools (DST) has evolved in a more sustainable direction. Several DSTs added the claim not only to denote effective or technologically and economically feasible remediation alternatives but also to point out the more or most sustainable remediation alternatives. These trends in the evaluation of site remediation options left users with a confusing clew of possibly applicable tools to assist them in decision making for contaminated site remediation. This review provides a structured overview on the extent decision support tools for contaminated site remediation, that claim to assist in choosing the most sustainable remediation alternative, actually include the different elements of sustainability proposed in our assessment framework. The review contains an in-depth analysis of thirteen tools specifically developed to assess the sustainability of site remediation alternatives. This analysis is based on six criteria derived from the definition of sustainable development of the Brundtland report. The six criteria were concretized by using the three pillars of sustainability, applied to site remediation according to the SuRF-UK framework, two criteria derived from Life Cycle Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis, and an 'User friendly' criterion

  3. [Reliability and validity of the pain assessment tool in confused older adults--IADIC]. (United States)

    Saurin, Gislaine; Crossetti, Maria da Graça Oliveira


    This is a methodological study, the objective was to conduct the pre-test and validate the psychometric properties of the Pain Assessment Tool in Confused Elderly (IADIC) in the immediate postoperative period. The sample consisted of 104 patients aged 60 years and over in the immediate postoperative perio4 admitted to the recovery room after surgery in a general hospital of Rio Grande do Sul Brasil. Data were collected from April to August 2012. Patients included in the study were diagnosed as confused after application of the Confusion Assessment Method-CAM and possessed age of 71.51 +/- 8.81 years. In the pre-test did not require modifications of the instrument. Upon validation the psychometric properties and internal consistency showed a Cronbach's alpha of 0.88 and reproducibility assessed by the intmraclass coefficient was 0.838. Internal consistency and reproducibility gave IADIC the validity and reliability for use in Brazil.

  4. Energy efficiency assessment methods and tools evaluation. Bolling Air Force Base. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McMordie, K.L.; Richman, E.E.; Keller, J.M.; Dixon, D.R.


    The goal of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) is to facilitate energy-efficiency improvements at federal facilities. This is accomplished by a balanced program of technology development, facility assessment, and use of cost-sharing procurement mechanisms. Technology development focuses upon the tools, software, and procedures used to identify and evaluate energy-efficiency technologies and improvements. For facility assessment, FEMP provides metering equipment and trained analysts to federal agencies exhibiting a commitment to improve energy use efficiency. To assist in procurement of energy-efficiency measures, FEMP helps federal agencies devise and implement performance contracting and utility demand-side management strategies. Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) supports the FEMP mission of energy systems modernization. Under this charter, the Laboratory and its contractors work with federal facility energy managers to assess and implement energy-efficiency improvements at federal facilities nationwide.

  5. Floristic Quality Index: An assessment tool for restoration projects and monitoring sites in coastal Louisiana (United States)

    Cretini, K.F.; Steyer, G.D.


    The Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS) program was established to assess the effectiveness of individual coastal restoration projects and the cumulative effects of multiple projects at regional and coastwide scales. In order to make these assessments, analytical teams have been assembled for each of the primary data types sampled under the CRMS program, including vegetation, hydrology, landscape, and soils. These teams consist of scientists and support staff from the U.S. Geological Survey and other Federal agencies, the Louisiana Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration, and university academics. Each team is responsible for developing or identifying parameters, indices, or tools that can be used to assess coastal wetlands at various scales. The CRMS Vegetation Analytical Team has developed a Floristic Quality Index for coastal Louisiana to determine the quality of a wetland based on its plant species composition and abundance.

  6. A new tool for risk analysis and assessment in petrochemical plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    El-Arkam Mechhoud


    Full Text Available The aim of our work was the implementation of a new automated tool dedicated to risk analysis and assessment in petrochemical plants, based on a combination of two analysis methods: HAZOP (HAZard and OPerability and FMEA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis. Assessment of accident scenarios is also considered. The principal advantage of the two analysis methods is to speed-up hazard identification and risk assessment and forecast the nature and impact of such accidents. Plant parameters are analyzed under a graphical interface to facilitate the exploitation of our developed approach. This automated analysis brings out the different deviations of the operating parameters of any system in the plant. Possible causes of these deviations, their consequences and preventive actions are identified. The result is risk minimization and dependability enhancement of the considered system.

  7. Development of a skill assessment tool for the Korea operational oceanographic system

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHO Kyoung-Ho; CHOI Jin-Yong; JEONG Sang-Hun; CHOI Jung-Woon; KWON Jae-Il; PARK Kwang-Soon


    A standard skill assessment (SA) tool was developed and implemented to evaluate the performance of op-erational forecast models in the Korea operational oceanographic system. The SA tool provided a robust way to assess model skill in the system by comparing predictions and observations, and involved the com-putation of multiple skill metrics including correlation and error skills. User-and system-based acceptance criteria of skill metrics were applied to determine whether predictions were acceptable for the system. To achieve this, the tool produced a time series comparison plot, a skill score table, and an advanced sum-marized diagram to effectively demonstrate the multiple skill scores. Moreover, the SA was conducted to evaluate both atmospheric and hydrodynamic forecast variables. For the atmospheric variables, acceptable error criteria were preferable to acceptable correlation criteria over short timescales, since the mean square error overwhelmed the observation variance. Conversely, for the hydrodynamic variables, acceptable root mean square percentage error (e.g.,perms) criteria were preferable to acceptable error (e.g.,erms) criteria owing to the spatially variable tidal intensity around the Korean Peninsula. Furthermore, the SA indicated that predetermined acceptance error criteria were appropriate to satisfy a target central frequency ( fc ) for which errors fell within the specified limits (i.e. the fc equals 70%).

  8. Computer Assisted Objective Structured Clinical Examination: A useful tool for dermatology undergraduate assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chander Grover


    Full Text Available Background: Dermatology is a minor subject in undergraduate medical curriculum in India. The dermatology clinical postings are generally poorly attended, and the clinical acumen of an average medical graduate in this specialty is quite low. Aims: To develop and implement Computer Assisted Objective Structured Clinical Examination (CA-OSCE as a means of end of dermatology posting evaluation. Also, to assess its effectiveness in improving the motivation, attendance and learning of undergraduate students with respect to their visual recognition skills and problem solving ability. Methods: We designed and introduced CA-OSCE as a means of end of posting assessment. The average attendance and assessment scores of students undergoing CA-OSCE were compiled and compared using ′independent t test′ with the scores of previous year′s students who had undergone assessment with essay type questions. Results: The average attendance and average assessment scores for the candidates undergoing CA-OSCE were found to 83.36% and 77.47%, respectively as compared to 64.09% and 52.07%, respectively for previous years′ students. The difference between the two groups was found to be statistically significant. Student acceptability of the technique was also high, and their subjective feedback was encouraging. Conclusion: CA-OSCE is a useful tool for assessment of dermatology undergraduates. It has the potential to drive them to attend regularly as well as to test their higher cognitive skills of analysis and problem solving.

  9. RESRAD for Radiological Risk Assessment. Comparison with EPA CERCLA Tools - PRG and DCC Calculators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yu, C. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Cheng, J. -J. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Kamboj, S. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)


    The purpose of this report is two-fold. First, the risk assessment methodology for both RESRAD and the EPA’s tools is reviewed. This includes a review of the EPA’s justification for 2 using a dose-to-risk conversion factor to reduce the dose-based protective ARAR from 15 to 12 mrem/yr. Second, the models and parameters used in RESRAD and the EPA PRG and DCC Calculators are compared in detail, and the results are summarized and discussed. Although there are suites of software tools in the RESRAD family of codes and the EPA Calculators, the scope of this report is limited to the RESRAD (onsite) code for soil contamination and the EPA’s PRG and DCC Calculators also for soil contamination.

  10. Tools for Integrated Assessment in Agriculture. State of the Art and Challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang Britz


    Full Text Available The increased interest in Integrated Assessment (IA of agricultural systems reflects the growing complexity of policy objectives and corresponding impacts related to this sector. The paper contemplates on the status of quantitative tools for IA in agriculture, drawing on recent European experiences from the development and application of large-scale integrated modelling systems which are both multi-dimensional/disciplinary and covering multiple spatial scales. Specific challenges arise from the numerous roles of agriculture with societal relevance, the heterogeneity of farms and farming systems across a geographical region and the multitude of environmental impacts of interest associated with agricultural production. Conceptual differences between typical bio-physical and economic models as well as deficiencies regarding validation and uncertainty analysis require continued efforts to improve the tools.

  11. A Firm-Level Innovation Management Framework and Assessment Tool for Increasing Competitiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sorin Cohn


    Full Text Available Innovation depends on much more than just technology and R&D. It is a means to an end – competitive success and higher market value – and it needs to be managed strategically and methodically for tangible corporate performance where it matters: in the market. This article introduces a comprehensive corporate innovation management framework (v-CIM and a targeted competitiveness assessment tool (i-TCA. Properly used by corporate leaders, this framework and its associated tool enable innovation managers to decide on priorities for competitive development, adopt appropriate innovation strategies to meet corporate goals, monitor progress, make adjustments, and help create and maintain a culture of innovation that is aligned with business goals.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yavuz SAMUR


    Full Text Available In computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL environments, there are many researches done on collaborative learning activities; however, in game-based learning environments, more research and literature on collaborative learning activities are required. Actually, both game-based learning environments and wikis enable us to use new chances for learning, especially in collaborative learning activities. Therefore, in this paper, related literature on wikis and how game & instructional designers can leverage from wikis in game-based learning settings for enhancing students’ collaborative learning activities are examined. Based on the reviewed literature, two main suggestions are given in this paper with their underlying reasons. First, using wikis as a support tool for enhancing collaboration in digital game-based learning (DGBL environments, and second using wikis as an assessment tool in DGBL are suggested.

  13. A Survey Tool for Assessing Student Expectations Early in a Semester

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl R.B. Schmitt


    Full Text Available Quality learning is fostered when faculty members are aware of and address student expectations for course learning activities and assessments. However, faculty often have difficulty identifying and addressing student expectations given variations in students’ backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs about education. Prior research has described significant discrepancies between student and faculty expectations that result from cultural backgrounds (1, technological expertise (2, and ‘teaching dimensions’ as described by Trudeau and Barnes (4. Such studies illustrate the need for tools to identify and index student expectations, which can be used to facilitate a dialogue between instructor and students. Here we present the results of our work to develop, refine, and deploy such a tool.

  14. Nurse Practitioner Perceptions of a Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool in the Retail Clinic Setting. (United States)

    Marjama, Kristen L; Oliver, JoAnn S; Hayes, Jennifer


    IN BRIEF This article describes a study to gain insight into the utility and perceived feasibility of the American Diabetes Association's Diabetes Risk Test (DRT) implemented by nurse practitioners (NPs) in the retail clinic setting. The DRT is intended for those without a known risk for diabetes. Researchers invited 1,097 NPs working in the retail clinics of a nationwide company to participate voluntarily in an online questionnaire. Of the 248 NPs who sent in complete responses, 114 (46%) indicated that they used the DRT in the clinic. Overall mean responses from these NPs indicated that they perceive the DRT as a feasible tool in the retail clinic setting. Use of the DRT or similar risk assessment tools in the retail clinic setting can aid in the identification of people at risk for type 2 diabetes.

  15. Decisional tool to assess current and future process robustness in an antibody purification facility. (United States)

    Stonier, Adam; Simaria, Ana Sofia; Smith, Martin; Farid, Suzanne S


    Increases in cell culture titers in existing facilities have prompted efforts to identify strategies that alleviate purification bottlenecks while controlling costs. This article describes the application of a database-driven dynamic simulation tool to identify optimal purification sizing strategies and visualize their robustness to future titer increases. The tool harnessed the benefits of MySQL to capture the process, business, and risk features of multiple purification options and better manage the large datasets required for uncertainty analysis and optimization. The database was linked to a discrete-event simulation engine so as to model the dynamic features of biopharmaceutical manufacture and impact of resource constraints. For a given titer, the tool performed brute force optimization so as to identify optimal purification sizing strategies that minimized the batch material cost while maintaining the schedule. The tool was applied to industrial case studies based on a platform monoclonal antibody purification process in a multisuite clinical scale manufacturing facility. The case studies assessed the robustness of optimal strategies to batch-to-batch titer variability and extended this to assess the long-term fit of the platform process as titers increase from 1 to 10 g/L, given a range of equipment sizes available to enable scale intensification efforts. Novel visualization plots consisting of multiple Pareto frontiers with tie-lines connecting the position of optimal configurations over a given titer range were constructed. These enabled rapid identification of robust purification configurations given titer fluctuations and the facility limit that the purification suites could handle in terms of the maximum titer and hence harvest load.

  16. Assessment of a tool for measuring non-profit advocacy efforts in India, Uganda and Yemen. (United States)

    Lalwani, Tanya; Rajaratnam, Julie Knoll; McOwen, Jordan; Gordis, Deborah J; Bowen, Lisa A; Bernson, Jeff


    To improve maternal and child health, the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (WRA) implemented an innovative policy advocacy project in India, Uganda and Yemen from 2009 to 2011. PATH assisted WRA in designing an approach to measure the short- and long-term results of WRA's advocacy efforts.Expert rating instruments have been widely used since 1970s to track country-level program efforts focusing on family planning, maternal and neonatal health, and HIV/AIDS. This article assesses and establishes the strength and applicability of an expert rating tool, the Maternal Health Policy Score (MHPS), in measuring and guiding a non-profit's advocacy efforts.The tool was assessed using five criteria: validity of results, reproducibility of results, acceptability to respondents, internal consistency and cost. The tool proved effective for measuring improvements in the policy environment at both the national and subnational levels that the non-profit intended to effect and useful for identifying strong and weak policy domains. The results are reproducible, though ensuring fidelity in implementation during different rounds of data collection may be difficult. The acceptability of the tool was high among respondents, and also among users of the information.MHPS provides a quick, low-cost method to measure overall changes in the policy environment, giving advocacy organizations and grant makers timely information to gauge the influence of their work and take corrective action. WRA demonstrated the use of MHPS at multiple points in the project: at the onset of a project to identify and strategize around policy domains that need attention, during and at the end of the project to monitor progress made and redirect efforts.

  17. Reliability and Validity of the Turkish Eating Assessment Tool (T-EAT-10). (United States)

    Demir, Numan; Serel Arslan, Selen; İnal, Özgü; Karaduman, A Ayşe


    The purpose of this study was to test the reliability and validity of the Turkish Eating Assessment Tool (T-EAT-10) among patients with swallowing disorders. One hundred and five patients completed the T-EAT-10 and Functional Oral Intake Scale (FOIS). The internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and criterion validity of T-EAT-10 were investigated. The internal consistency was assessed using Cronbach's alpha. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) value with 95 % confidence intervals was calculated for test-retest reliability. The criterion validity of the T-EAT-10 was determined by assessing the correlation between T-EAT-10 and FOIS. All the patients in the study completed the T-EAT-10 without assistance. The mean time to complete the instrument was 1.8 ± 0.9 min. The internal consistency of the T-EAT-10 was found to be high with 0.90 Cronbach's alpha for test and 0.91 Cronbach's alpha for retest reproducibility. No difference between the test and retest scores of the T-EAT-10 was found (p = 0.14). A negative, moderate correlation between T-EAT-10 and FOIS was detected (r = -0.365, p EAT-10 is a reliable and valid symptom-specific outcome tool for dysphagia in adult Turkish patients. It can be used in clinical practice and research.

  18. [Observational Team work Assessment for Surgery as Quality and Safety improvement tool]. (United States)

    Amato, S; Basilico, O; Bevilacqua, L; Burato, E; Levati, A; Molinelli, V; Picchetti, C; Suardi, R; Trucco, P; Lucchina, C


    As in high reliability systems , also in surgery the causes of adverse events are primarily correlated to deficiencies in Non Technical Skills (individual and social skills), that contribute with Technical Skills to a safe surgical procedure. Non Technical Skills are cognitive behavioural and interpersonal abilities, that are not specific to the expertise of one profession, but very important to guarantee the patient safety and to reduce risk of errors and adverse events. The Observational Teamwork Assessment for Surgery (OTAS) is an useful tool to assess teamwork of the whole surgical team (surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses) in real time and through the surgical procedure (pre-intra-postoperative phases). OTAS consists of the two following parts: a) teamwork-related task checklist to fill by a surgeon, b) teamwork-related behaviours rated by a psychologist/human factors expert. Back translation in Italian language of the eight task checklists and of the rating scales of the five behavioural areas was performed by two Italian surgeons with certified English language knowledge. The OTAS model in Italian language was applied in four surgical procedures : the test-retest reliability was found to be acceptable with K- Pearson index. The internal consistency of behavioural scales appeared sound using Cronbach ?. OTAS is an useful tool to assess the risk factors correlated to patient and team and to detect the vulnerability areas where changes to reduce errors and improve surgical outcomes might be introduced.

  19. Prediction of Offending: SARPO—The Czech Tool for Assessment of Offenders' Criminogenic Risk and Needs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vaclav Jiricka


    Full Text Available In the past three decades, developed prison and probation services have paid large attention to risk assessment tools predicting the probability of reoffending. This not only resulted in a more accurate classification of offenders, but also in a more informed choice of effective intervention helping to reduce relapse in offending behaviour. In terms of reducing the risk of reoffending intervention programmes considering the principle of criminogenic risks, needs, and responsivity proved successful, while imprisonment on its own, where intervention methods were not applied, showed only limited effectiveness. For historical reasons, the Czech Prison Service underwent a different development, although its objectives were similar. It was not until the beginning of a new millennium when the Czech prison system together with a newly created probation service decided to seek new methods of assessing offenders based on criminogenic risks. This paper presents development and results of the first Czech tool used for assessment of offenders’ risks and needs, called SARPO (from the Czech abbreviation of Complex Analysis of Offenders’ Risk and Needs.

  20. The use of meta-analytical tools in risk assessment for food safety. (United States)

    Gonzales-Barron, Ursula; Butler, Francis


    This communication deals with the use of meta-analysis as a valuable tool for the synthesis of food safety research, and in quantitative risk assessment modelling. A common methodology for the conduction of meta-analysis (i.e., systematic review and data extraction, parameterisation of effect size, estimation of overall effect size, assessment of heterogeneity, and presentation of results) is explained by reviewing two meta-analyses derived from separate sets of primary studies of Salmonella in pork. Integrating different primary studies, the first meta-analysis elucidated for the first time a relationship between the proportion of Salmonella-carrier slaughter pigs entering the slaughter lines and the resulting proportion of contaminated carcasses at the point of evisceration; finding that the individual studies on their own could not reveal. On the other hand, the second application showed that meta-analysis can be used to estimate the overall effect of a critical process stage (chilling) on the incidence of the pathogen under study. The derivation of a relationship between variables and a probabilistic distribution is illustrations of the valuable quantitative information synthesised by the meta-analytical tools, which can be incorporated in risk assessment modelling. Strengths and weaknesses of meta-analysis within the context of food safety are also discussed.

  1. Reverse discourse completion task as an assessment tool for intercultural competence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehmet Kanik


    Full Text Available This paper proposes a prototypic assessment tool for intercultural communicative competence. Because traditional discourse completion tasks (DCTs focus on illocutionary competence rather than sociolinguistic competence, a modified version of a DCT was created to target sociolinguistic competence. The modified DCT employs speech acts as prompts and asks respondents to write about a situation in which a given speech act would be appropriate. This new tool is named a reverse discourse completion task (R-DCT. The task was given to learners of Turkish as a second language. Data from 12 participants were analyzed for their provision of sociopragmatic factors such as power, distance and imposition and also with respect to whether the situation was relevant to a given speech act. Responses from the participants show that R-DCTs can be used to assess intercultural competence as they help reveal respondents’ knowledge of sociolinguistic context in which a given speech act may be appropriate. By removing the need for comparison with native speaker data and the limitations that emerge from the lack of linguistic formula at respondents’ disposal, R-DCT is a promising elicitation task to assess sociolinguistic competence, an integral part of Byram’s (1997 model of intercultural communicative competence.

  2. Evaluation of selected ergonomic assessment tools for use in providing job accommodation for people with inflammatory arthritis. (United States)

    Village, Judy; Backman, Catherine L; Lacaille, Diane


    Inflammatory arthritis (IA) is a leading cause of work disability, especially for those with jobs involving repetitive, hand-intensive or manual work. Ergonomic interventions may mediate against job loss. Our objective was to identify desirable features of an ergonomic tool for use in providing job accommodation for people with IA, and to evaluate a selection of ergonomic and rehabilitation tools against these features. Eight desirable features were compared across 16 assessment tools. None of the tools met all the pre-determined features. Ergonomic assessment tools should incorporate objective assessment of risk factors together with subjective perceptions of symptom aggravation, and identify risk factors that may not currently be causing problems, but may increase risk of aggravation or injury in the future. To accommodate the needs of people with IA, the tool should allow for evaluation of risks and generation of solutions without a worksite visit in situations where the client does not want to disclose their illness. Finally, an assessment tool needs to be applicable to a wide range of worksites, easy to use, valid, and reliable. Against these criteria, it appears that there is a lack of appropriate ergonomic assessment tools for use in people with IA.

  3. A successful faculty development program for implementing a sociocultural ePortfolio assessment tool. (United States)

    Perlman, Rachel L; Christner, Jennifer; Ross, Paula T; Lypson, Monica L


    Portfolios are emerging as a tool for documenting learning progression and assessing competency. ePortfolios are appealing as a portable and fluid means of documenting both learning and relevant experiences in a large number of students. Competence and learning can be especially difficult to document in important aspects of education and training, such as patient-centeredness, the cultural context of disease, and social determinants of health that do not lend themselves to fact-based assessment methods. Successful implementation of a method such as an ePortfolio requires explicit faculty development, as many faculty members have limited expertise with modern educational assessment technology. As part of the authors' introduction of a Sociocultural ePortfolio Assessment Tool in the undergraduate medical curriculum, three faculty development workshops were held to expand faculty skills in using this technology. In addition to gaining comfort using a new Web-based technology, faculty members also needed to develop skills with providing mentored feedback and stimulating student reflection. Workshops were modeled after other successful programs reported in the literature and allowed faculty to develop a structured format for evaluating student content. Faculty members were given multiple opportunities to practice their newly developed skills providing mentored reflections using an ePortfolio. The workshop evaluations were positive, suggesting that faculty participation in the workshops were a necessary component for them to develop sufficient assessment skills for providing mentored reflection. Faculty members who participated in this program-whether or not they had content expertise in sociocultural medicine-valued the hands-on faculty development program.

  4. Development and Validation of an Assessment Tool for Competency in Critical Care Ultrasound (United States)

    Patrawalla, Paru; Eisen, Lewis Ari; Shiloh, Ariel; Shah, Brijen J.; Savenkov, Oleksandr; Wise, Wendy; Evans, Laura; Mayo, Paul; Szyld, Demian


    Background Point-of-care ultrasound is an emerging technology in critical care medicine. Despite requirements for critical care medicine fellowship programs to demonstrate knowledge and competency in point-of-care ultrasound, tools to guide competency-based training are lacking. Objective We describe the development and validity arguments of a competency assessment tool for critical care ultrasound. Methods A modified Delphi method was used to develop behaviorally anchored checklists for 2 ultrasound applications: “Perform deep venous thrombosis study (DVT)” and “Qualify left ventricular function using parasternal long axis and parasternal short axis views (Echo).” One live rater and 1 video rater evaluated performance of 28 fellows. A second video rater evaluated a subset of 10 fellows. Validity evidence for content, response process, and internal consistency was assessed. Results An expert panel finalized checklists after 2 rounds of a modified Delphi method. The DVT checklist consisted of 13 items, including 1.00 global rating step (GRS). The Echo checklist consisted of 14 items, and included 1.00 GRS for each of 2 views. Interrater reliability evaluated with a Cohen kappa between the live and video rater was 1.00 for the DVT GRS, 0.44 for the PSLA GRS, and 0.58 for the PSSA GRS. Cronbach α was 0.85 for DVT and 0.92 for Echo. Conclusions The findings offer preliminary evidence for the validity of competency assessment tools for 2 applications of critical care ultrasound and data on live versus video raters. PMID:26692968

  5. A novel tool for the assessment of pain: validation in low back pain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joachim Scholz


    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Adequate pain assessment is critical for evaluating the efficacy of analgesic treatment in clinical practice and during the development of new therapies. Yet the currently used scores of global pain intensity fail to reflect the diversity of pain manifestations and the complexity of underlying biological mechanisms. We have developed a tool for a standardized assessment of pain-related symptoms and signs that differentiates pain phenotypes independent of etiology. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Using a structured interview (16 questions and a standardized bedside examination (23 tests, we prospectively assessed symptoms and signs in 130 patients with peripheral neuropathic pain caused by diabetic polyneuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia, or radicular low back pain (LBP, and in 57 patients with non-neuropathic (axial LBP. A hierarchical cluster analysis revealed distinct association patterns of symptoms and signs (pain subtypes that characterized six subgroups of patients with neuropathic pain and two subgroups of patients with non-neuropathic pain. Using a classification tree analysis, we identified the most discriminatory assessment items for the identification of pain subtypes. We combined these six interview questions and ten physical tests in a pain assessment tool that we named Standardized Evaluation of Pain (StEP. We validated StEP for the distinction between radicular and axial LBP in an independent group of 137 patients. StEP identified patients with radicular pain with high sensitivity (92%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 83%-97% and specificity (97%; 95% CI 89%-100%. The diagnostic accuracy of StEP exceeded that of a dedicated screening tool for neuropathic pain and spinal magnetic resonance imaging. In addition, we were able to reproduce subtypes of radicular and axial LBP, underscoring the utility of StEP for discerning distinct constellations of symptoms and signs. CONCLUSIONS: We present a novel method of identifying pain subtypes

  6. A new tool for assessing sediment quality based on the Weight of Evidence approach and grey TOPSIS. (United States)

    Jiang, Yu-Xia; Liu, You-Sheng; Ying, Guang-Guo; Wang, Hong-Wei; Liang, Yan-Qiu; Chen, Xiao-Wen


    Sediment is an important part of an aquatic ecosystem, so it is essential to develop an effective sediment quality assessment tool. This study aims to develop a new sediment quality assessment tool using a Weight of Evidence approach in combination with the grey TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity, a mathematical calculation of multi-criteria decision analysis). This tool can analyze data from chemical analyses, laboratory toxicity tests and benthic community structure analyses to generate individual results from each line of evidence, and integrate data from these three lines of evidence to obtain an overall assessment through an Excel Visual Basic for Application program. The tool can compare the relative magnitude of risks among sites and rate each site with high, moderate, or low ecological risk, thus guiding us to take pertinent measures toward polluted sediment. A case study of the sediment of Dongjiang River basin, south China, demonstrated the successful application of this tool. It proved that this assessment tool can provide a comprehensive and accurate assessment of sediment quality and efficiently discriminate risks among different sites, suggesting it is a powerful tool for environment risk assessment.

  7. A Tool for Assessing a Community’s Capacity for Substance Abuse Care (United States)

    Lyerla, Rob; Stroup, Donna F.; Azofeifa, Alejandro; High, Patrick M.


    Evidence-based programs for prevention and intervention in substance abuse are increasing. Community needs assessments and health rankings provide descriptions of local behavioral health needs but do not provide public health practitioners and policy makers with guidelines on the number of programs, health care practitioners, or interventions needed in the local substance abuse care system. This article presents a new framework for measuring and assessing the substance abuse care system in a community. The assessment can inform resource allocation across the continuum of care to more equitably and efficiently distribute interventions and care. We conducted 2 literature reviews and synthesized our findings to create a community assessment methodology and needs calculator, CAST (calculating for an adequate system tool). We reviewed 212 articles to produce an inventory of community and social correlates of behavioral health, components of a substance abuse care system, and numerical values for guidelines for estimating community needs. CAST produces community-specific assessments of the capacity of the components of a community substance abuse care system. CAST generates recommendations by the application of social and community determinants of health as risk coefficients to each estimate of component need. CAST can assist public health practitioners in evaluation and improvement of the capacity of community-based, substance abuse care systems. By using recommendations for component needs across the continuum of care, community leaders can use CAST to prioritize resource allocation more effectively and efficiently. PMID:27657505

  8. Establishing Normative Values for the Barnett Balance Assessment Tool: A Preliminary Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica L. Cercone MSOTS


    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to establish normative data for the Barnett Balance Assessment (BBA for individuals ages 18-70+ years. The BBA is a newly developed assessment tool that may address limitations present in other assessments currently used to detect balance deficits. The BBA was administered to 141 participants who had no history of medical issues that could impact balance. A review of the normative data collected indicated little variation in total assessment scores in the age categories of 18-29, 30-39, and 40-49, due to the presence of a ceiling effect. Variations existed in scores among participants in the remaining age categories (50-59, 60-69, and 70+. These findings may imply that the BBA has its greatest discriminative power in assessing individuals with impaired balance, and/or that the BBA is not sensitive enough to detect differences in individuals with mild balance impairments. The researchers suggest future studies be conducted with the BBA to establish norms with populations with known orthopedic or neurological conditions that may impair balance. Results of these studies could then be compared with the baseline data gathered in this study to determine the BBA’s usefulness in detecting balance impairments with clinical populations.

  9. Evaluation of an online Diabetes Needs Assessment Tool (DNAT for health professionals: a randomised controlled trial

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    Kellner Thomas


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Continuous medical education is traditionally reliant to a large extent on self-directed learning based on individuals' perceived learning priorities. Evidence suggests that this ability to self-assess is limited, and more so in the least competent. Therefore, it may be of benefit to utilise some form of external assessment for this purpose. Many diabetes educational programmes have been introduced, but few have been assessed for their benefit in a systematic manner. As diabetes is an increasingly prevalent disease, methods for the dissemination and understanding of clinical guidelines need to be explored for their effectiveness. This paper describes the study design of a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of using an interactive online Diabetes Needs Assessment Tool (DNAT, that builds a learning curriculum based on identified knowledge gaps, compared with conventional self-directed learning. The study assesses the effect of these interventions on health professionals' knowledge of diabetes management, evaluates the acceptability of this process of learning and self-reported changes in clinical practice as a result of this novel educational process. Methods Following a baseline assessment, participants will be randomised to undergo a 4-month learning period where they will either be given access to the diabetes learning modules alone (control group or a Diabetes Needs Assessment Tool (DNAT plus the diabetes learning modules (intervention group. On completion of the DNAT, a personalised learning report will be created for each participant identifying needs alongside individualised recommendations of the most appropriate learning modules to meet those requirements. All participants will complete a Diabetes Knowledge Test before and immediately after the allocated learning and the primary outcome will be the state of knowledge at 4 months. Learners will also be surveyed immediately after the learning

  10. OMNIITOX - operational life-cycle impact assessment models and information tools for practitioners

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Molander, S; Lidholm, Peter; Schowanek, Diederik


    This article is the preamble to a set of articles describing initial results from an on-going European Commission funded, 5th Framework project called OMNIITOX, Operational Models aNd Information tools for Industrial applications of eco/TOXicological impact assessments. The different parts...... of this case study-driven project are briefly presented and put in relation to the aims of contributing to an operational life cycle-impact assessment (LCIA) model for impacts of toxicants. The present situation has been characterised by methodological difficulties, both regarding choice...... of the characterisation model(s) and limited input data on chemical properties, which often has resulted in the omission of toxicants from the LCIA, or at best focus on well characterised chemicals. The project addresses both problems and integrates models, as well as data, in an information system – the OMNIITOX IS...

  11. Tool for assessing the intervention effect on milk production in an evolutionary operation setup

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stygar, Anna Helena; Krogh, Mogens Agerbo; Østergaard, Søren;


    Modern dairy herds resemble factories. Cows, organized in production units, are manufacturing milk from many components (e.g. concentrates, silage). However, both production units and components can greatly differ between each other. Therefore, production optimization based on general...... of a tool which would allow a farmer to assess how small changes, for example in feeding, influence productivity. The objective of this study was to construct a multivariate dynamic linear model (DLM) to assess the intervention effect on milk production.The DLM was built to account for intervention...... recommendations might be inefficient. Instead, as in manufacturing industry, decision support could be based on systematic experimentation within ongoing production system. This concept, known as Evolutionary Operations (EVOP), is based on small changes to the production system. However, a challenge here is lack...

  12. Does the Risk Assessment and Prediction Tool Predict Discharge Disposition After Joint Replacement?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Viktor J.; Gromov, Kirill; Lebrun, Lauren M


    therefore be of use. The Risk Assessment and Prediction Tool (RAPT) is a preoperative survey constructed to predict discharge disposition after total joint arthroplasty (TJA). The RAPT was developed and tested on a population of Australian patients undergoing joint replacement, but its validity in other...... populations is unknown. A low RAPT score is reported to indicate a high risk of needing any form of inpatient rehabilitation after TJA, including short-term nursing facilities. QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: This study attempts (1) to assess predictive accuracy of the RAPT on US patients undergoing total hip and knee...... or to rehabilitation, which may facilitate preoperative planning of postoperative care. Additionally, it identifies intermediate-risk patients and could be used to implement targeted interventions to facilitate discharge home in this group of patients. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III, diagnostic study. See the Guidelines...

  13. Evaluation of a behavioral assessment tool for dogs relinquished to shelters. (United States)

    Duffy, Deborah L; Kruger, Katherine A; Serpell, James A


    The goal of the present study was to evaluate a shortened, 42-item version of the Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ((S))) as a behavioral screening tool for dogs relinquished to animal shelters. In contrast to a previous finding, the current study found no consistent evidence that relinquishing owners gave unreliable or biased responses to the questionnaire depending on whether or not they believed that this information would be shared with shelter staff or used to evaluate dogs for adoption. Relinquishing owners' C-BARQ((S)) responses for items related to aggression and fear directed toward humans and other dogs correlated with independent subjective assessments of aggressiveness made by shelter staff (generalized linear mixed models, Pdogs, N=156 non-aggressive dogs). In addition, C-BARQ((S)) scores successfully discriminated between dogs based on their eventual outcomes (i.e., adoption or euthanasia; Generalized Linear Mixed Models, Pdogs for the presence of behavior problems.

  14. Accuracy of quick and easy undernutrition screening tools--Short Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire, Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool, and modified Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool--in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. (United States)

    van Venrooij, Lenny M W; van Leeuwen, Paul A M; Hopmans, Wendy; Borgmeijer-Hoelen, Mieke M M J; de Vos, Rien; De Mol, Bas A J M


    The objective of this study was to compare the quick-and-easy undernutrition screening tools, ie, Short Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire and Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool, in patients undergoing cardiac surgery with respect to their accuracy in detecting undernutrition measured by a low-fat free mass index (FFMI; calculated as kg/m(2)), and secondly, to assess their association with postoperative adverse outcomes. Between February 2008 and December 2009, a single-center observational cohort study was performed (n=325). A low FFMI was set at ≤14.6 in women and ≤16.7 in men measured using bioelectrical impedance spectroscopy. To compare the accuracy of the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool and Short Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire in detecting low FFMI sensitivity, specificity, and other accuracy test characteristics were calculated. The associations between the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool and Short Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire and adverse outcomes were analyzed using logistic regression analyses with odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) presented. Sensitivity and receiver operator characteristic-based area under the curve to detect low FFMI were 59% and 19%, and 0.71 (95% CI: 0.60 to 0.82) and 0.56 (95% CI: 0.44 to 0.68) for the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool and Short Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire, respectively. Accuracy of the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool improved when age and sex were added to the nutritional screening process (sensitivity 74%, area under the curve: 0.72 [95% CI: 0.62 to 0.82]). This modified version of the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool, but not the original Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool or Short Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire, was associated with prolonged intensive care unit and hospital stay (odds ratio: 2.1, 95% CI: 1.3 to 3.4; odds ratio: 1.6, 95% CI: 1.0 to 2.7). The accuracy to detect a low FFMI was considerably higher for the Malnutrition

  15. Stepwise Information-Filtering Tool (SIFT): A method for using risk assessment metadata in a nontraditional way. (United States)

    Beasley, Amy; Belanger, Scott E; Otter, Ryan R


    Tools exist to evaluate large ecotoxicity databases for risk assessment purposes, but these tools are less useful for alternative analytical purposes. In the present study, the authors developed the Stepwise Information-Filtering Tool (SIFT), a strategic method to select relevant, reliable data from a large ecotoxicity database; demonstrated utility in a case study of chronic toxicity data for statistical endpoint comparison purposes; and evaluated SIFT by comparison with 2 existing data evaluation methods.

  16. Ecological assessment of divided attention: What about the current tools and the relevancy of virtual reality. (United States)

    Lopez Maïté, C; Gaétane, D; Axel, C


    The ability to perform two tasks simultaneously has become increasingly important as attention-demanding technologies have become more common in daily life. This type of attentional resources allocation is commonly called "divided attention". Because of the importance of divided attention in natural world settings, substantial efforts have been made recently so as to promote an integrated, realistic assessment of functional abilities in dual-task paradigms. In this context, virtual reality methods appear to be a good solution. However to date, there has been little discussion on validity of such methods. Here, we offer a comparative review of conventional tools used to assess divided attention and of the first virtual reality studies (mostly from the field of road and pedestrian safety). The ecological character of virtual environments leads to a better understanding of the influence of dual-task settings and also makes it possible to clarify issues such as the utility of hands-free phones. After discussing the theoretical and clinical contributions of these studies, we discuss the limits of virtual reality assessment, focusing in particular: (i) on the challenges associated with lack of familiarity with new technological devices; (ii) on the validity of the ecological character of virtual environments; and (iii) on the question of whether the results obtained in a specific context can be generalized to all dual-task situations typical of daily life. To overcome the limitations associated with virtual reality, we propose: (i) to include a standardized familiarization phase in assessment protocols so as to limit the interference caused by the use of new technologies; (ii) to systematically compare virtual reality performance with conventional tests or real-life tests; and (iii) to design dual-task scenarios that are independent from the patient's expertise on one of the two tasks. We conclude that virtual reality appears to constitute a useful tool when used in

  17. Socio-economic analysis: a tool for assessing the potential of nanotechnologies (United States)

    Brignon, Jean-Marc


    Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) has a long history, especially in the USA, of being used for the assessment of new regulation, new infrastructure and more recently for new technologies. Under the denomination of Socio-Economic Analysis (SEA), this concept is used in EU safety and environmental regulation, especially for the placing of chemicals on the market (REACh regulation) and the operation of industrial installations (Industrial Emissions Directive). As far as REACh and other EU legislation apply specifically to nanomaterials in the future, SEA might become an important assessment tool for nanotechnologies. The most important asset of SEA regarding nanomaterials, is the comparison with alternatives in socio-economic scenarios, which is key for the understanding of how a nanomaterial "socially" performs in comparison with its alternatives. "Industrial economics" methods should be introduced in SEAs to make industry and the regulator share common concepts and visions about economic competitiveness implications of regulating nanotechnologies, SEA and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) can complement each other : Socio-Economic LCA are increasingly seen as a complete assessment tool for nanotechnologies, but the perspective between Social LCA and SEA are different and the respective merits and limitations of both approaches should be kept in mind. SEA is a "pragmatic regulatory impact analysis", that uses a cost/benefit framework analysis but remains open to other disciplines than economy, and open to the participation of stakeholders for the construction of scenarios of the deployment of technologies and the identification of alternatives. SEA is "pragmatic" in the sense that it is driven by the purpose to assess "what happens" with the introduction of nanotechnology, and uses methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis only as far as they really contribute to that goal. We think that, being pragmatic, SEA is also adaptative, which is a key quality to handle the novelty of

  18. The Vitiligo Impact Patient Scale (VIPs): Development and Validation of a Vitiligo Burden Assessment Tool. (United States)

    Salzes, Camille; Abadie, Sophie; Seneschal, Julien; Whitton, Maxine; Meurant, Jean-Marie; Jouary, Thomas; Ballanger, Fabienne; Boralevi, Franck; Taieb, Alain; Taieb, Charles; Ezzedine, Khaled


    Vitiligo has a major impact on health-related quality of life. Although a few vitiligo-specific quality of life instruments exist, there is no specific vitiligo burden tool. We developed and validated a specific vitiligo burden tool according to skin phototype. In total, 301 patients completed 35 items of the Vitiligo Impact Patient scale, of whom 235 were of skin phototype I to III and 66 of phototype IV to VI. The dimensionality of the items was evaluated using factor analyses, with results suggesting three factors in fair- and dark-skinned patients ("Psychological effects on daily life," "Relationships and Sexuality," and "Economic Constraints, Care & Management of Disease"). Unidimensionality was confirmed by higher order factor analysis. Cronbach's α were high-and intradimensional coherences all demonstrated good reliability (α > 0.8). The final instrument consists of 29 items (19 items common to all patients, 3 specific to fair skin, and 7 to dark skin). The test-retest reliability demonstrated very good reproducibility. The intraclass correlation of each dimension was greater than 0.90 for each population. External validity was confirmed by the correlation coefficients and Bland and Altman plots of the Vitiligo Impact Patient scale-Fair Skin and Vitiligo Impact Patient scale-Dark Skin versus the Short-Form-12, PVC Metra, Body Image States Scale, and Daily Life Quality Index assessment tools.

  19. Harnessing clinical psychiatric data with an electronic assessment tool (OPCRIT+: the utility of symptom dimensions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip James Brittain

    Full Text Available Progress in personalised psychiatry is dependent on researchers having access to systematic and accurately acquired symptom data across clinical diagnoses. We have developed a structured psychiatric assessment tool, OPCRIT+, that is being introduced into the electronic medical records system of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust which can help to achieve this. In this report we examine the utility of the symptom data being collected with the tool. Cross-sectional mental state data from a mixed-diagnostic cohort of 876 inpatients was subjected to a principal components analysis (PCA. Six components, explaining 46% of the variance in recorded symptoms, were extracted. The components represented dimensions of mania, depression, positive symptoms, anxiety, negative symptoms and disorganization. As indicated by component scores, different clinical diagnoses demonstrated distinct symptom profiles characterized by wide-ranging levels of severity. When comparing the predictive value of symptoms against diagnosis for a variety of clinical outcome measures (e.g. 'Overactive, aggressive behaviour', symptoms proved superior in five instances (R(2 range: 0.06-0.28 whereas diagnosis was best just once (R(2:0.25. This report demonstrates that symptom data being routinely gathered in an NHS trust, when documented on the appropriate tool, have considerable potential for onward use in a variety of clinical and research applications via representation as dimensions of psychopathology.

  20. Comparative assessment of CFD Tools and the Eurocode Methodology in describing Externally Venting Flames

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asimakopoulou Eleni K.


    Full Text Available The ability of currently available Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD tools to adequately describe Externally Venting Flames (EVF is assessed, aiming to demonstrate compliance with performance-based fire safety regulations. The Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS CFD tool is used to simulate the EVF characteristics in a corridor-compartment-façade configuration exposed to natural fire conditions. Numerical results of the temporal evolution of gas velocity, gas temperatures and flame shape are obtained for both the interior and the exterior of the compartment. Predictions are compared to respective experimental data, as well as to correlations suggested by the Eurocode methodology. The effects of ventilation conditions are investigated by simulating both Forced Draught (FD and No Forced Draught (NoFD test cases. The obtained results suggest that currently available CFD tools are capable of achieving good qualitative agreement with experimental data and, in certain cases (e.g. FD conditions, adequate quantitative agreement, that generally outperforms the Eurocode prescriptive methodology.

  1. A Survey of GPs Awareness and Use of Risk Assessment Tools and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Guidelines. (United States)

    Byrne, D; O'Connor, L; Jennings, S; Bennett, K; Murphy, A W


    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. This study aimed to benchmark awareness and use of CVD risk assessment (RA) tools and prevention guidelines in Irish general practice. 493 (18%) Irish general practitioners (GPs) were invited to participate in a cross-sectional study in 2011. 213 (43%) GPs responded with most being male (n = 128, 58.2%) and aged ≥ 45 years (n = 124, 56.8%). While 197 (92.5%) GPs were aware of at least one RA tool, only 69 (32.4%) GPs reported frequent use. 187 (87.8%) GPs were aware of one or more CVD prevention guidelines with 115 (54.0%) GPs reporting frequent use of at least one guideline. No age or gender difference observed. Barriers to implementation of CVD prevention guidelines were lack of remuneration, too many CVD guidelines and time constraints. Most Irish GPs were aware of RA tools and CVD prevention guidelines with half reporting frequent use of guidelines.

  2. Development and validation of tools to assess genetic discrimination and genetically based racism. (United States)

    Parrott, Roxanne L; Silk, Kami J; Dillow, Megan R; Krieger, Janice L; Harris, Tina M; Condit, Celeste M


    It is possible that communication from mass media, public health or consumer advertising sources about human genetics and health may reify stereotypes of racialized social groups, perhaps cueing or exacerbating discriminatory and racist attitudes. This research used a multifaceted approach to assess lay perceptions of genetic discrimination and genetically based racism (N = 644). Two tools for use in strategic planning efforts associated with communicating about human genetics and health, the genetic discrimination instrument (GDI) and the genetically based racism instrument (GBRI), were derived. The GDI emerged as having five dimensions associated with lay perceptions of genetic discrimination. The GBRI was found to be unidimensional. Scale validation activities supported the tools' concurrent and discriminant validity characteristics. Significant differences between blacks and whites on the criminal control rights, social reproductive rights and employer rights factors as well as the GBRI were found. We recommend application of these screening tools prior to national dissemination of messages associated with genes and disease susceptibility, including school and university-based curricula.

  3. Falls risk assessment begins with hello: lessons learned from the use of one home health agency's fall risk tool. (United States)

    Flemming, Patricia J; Ramsay, Katherine


    Identifying older adults at risk for falls is a challenge all home healthcare agencies (HHAs) face. The process of assessing for falls risk begins with the initial home visit. One HHA affiliated with an academic medical center describes its experience in development and use of a Falls Risk Assessment (FRA) tool over a 10-year period. The FRA tool has been modified since initial development to clarify elements of the tool based on research and to reflect changes in the Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) document. The primary purpose of this article is to share a validated falls risk assessment tool to facilitate identification of fall-related risk factors in the homebound population. A secondary purpose is to share lessons learned by the HHA during the 10 years using the FRA.

  4. Development of the music therapy assessment Tool for advanced Huntington’s disease: A pilot validation study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    O'Kelly, Julian; Bodak, Rebeka


    Background: Case studies of people with Huntington's disease (HD) report that music therapy provides a range of benefits that may improve quality of life; however, no robust music therapy assessment tools exist for this population. Objective: Develop and conduct preliminary psychometric testing o...... patient responses to music therapy interventions across psychological, physical, social, and communication domains of functioning in patients with advanced HD.......Background: Case studies of people with Huntington's disease (HD) report that music therapy provides a range of benefits that may improve quality of life; however, no robust music therapy assessment tools exist for this population. Objective: Develop and conduct preliminary psychometric testing...... of a music therapy assessment tool for patients with advanced HD. Methods: First, we established content and face validity of the Music Therapy Assessment Tool for Advanced HD (MATA-HD) through focus groups and field testing. Second, we examined psychometric properties of the resulting MATA-HD in terms...

  5. The Development and Validation of the Contextualized Assessment Tool for Risk and Protection Management (CAT-RPM) (United States)

    Bower, Julie M.; Carroll, Annemaree; Ashman, Adrian


    Traditional resources for ascertaining risk and protection for disengaged youth are often unsuitable, due to the stamina and skill required to complete them. Many of these tools assess risk without considering participants' potential for personal growth. The present study outlines the development and initial validation of a tool titled the…

  6. 76 FR 70076 - Technical Revisions To Update Reference to the Required Assessment Tool for State Nursing Homes... (United States)


    ... Tool for State Nursing Homes Receiving Per Diem Payments From VA AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs... diem from VA for providing nursing home care to veterans. The proposed rule would require State nursing... Required Assessment Tool for State Nursing Homes Receiving Per Diem Payments From VA.'' Copies of...

  7. Food Safety Practices Assessment Tool: An Innovative Way to Test Food Safety Skills among Individuals with Special Needs (United States)

    Carbone, Elena T.; Scarpati, Stanley E.; Pivarnik, Lori F.


    This article describes an innovative assessment tool designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a food safety skills curriculum for learners receiving special education services. As schools respond to the increased demand for training students with special needs about food safety, the need for effective curricula and tools is also increasing. A…

  8. Integrating Hazardous Materials Characterization and Assessment Tools to Guide Pollution Prevention in Electronic Products and Manufacturing (United States)

    Lam, Carl

    Due to technology proliferation, the environmental burden attributed to the production, use, and disposal of hazardous materials in electronics have become a worldwide concern. The major theme of this dissertation is to develop and apply hazardous materials assessment tools to systematically guide pollution prevention opportunities in the context of electronic product design, manufacturing and end-of-life waste management. To this extent, a comprehensive review is first provided on describing hazard traits and current assessment methods to evaluate hazardous materials. As a case study at the manufacturing level, life cycle impact assessment (LCIA)-based and risk-based screening methods are used to quantify chemical and geographic environmental impacts in the U.S. printed wiring board (PWB) industry. Results from this industrial assessment clarify priority waste streams and States to most effectively mitigate impact. With further knowledge of PWB manufacturing processes, select alternative chemical processes (e.g., spent copper etchant recovery) and material options (e.g., lead-free etch resist) are discussed. In addition, an investigation on technology transition effects for computers and televisions in the U.S. market is performed by linking dynamic materials flow and environmental assessment models. The analysis forecasts quantities of waste units generated and maps shifts in environmental impact potentials associated with metal composition changes due to product substitutions. This insight is important to understand the timing and waste quantities expected and the emerging toxic elements needed to be addressed as a consequence of technology transition. At the product level, electronic utility meter devices are evaluated to eliminate hazardous materials within product components. Development and application of a component Toxic Potential Indicator (TPI) assessment methodology highlights priority components requiring material alternatives. Alternative

  9. Apps for asthma self-management: a systematic assessment of content and tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huckvale Kit


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Apps have been enthusiastically adopted by the general public. They are increasingly recognized by policy-makers as a potential medium for supporting self-management of long-term conditions. We assessed the degree to which current smartphone and tablet apps for people with asthma offer content and tools of appropriate quality to support asthma self-management. Methods We adapted systematic review methodology to the assessment of apps. We identified English-language asthma apps for all ages through a systematic search of official app stores. We systematically assessed app content using criteria derived from international guidelines and systematic review of strategies for asthma self-management. We covered three domains: comprehensiveness of asthma information, consistency of advice with evidence and compliance with health information best practice principles. Results We identified 103 apps for asthma in English, of which 56 were sources of information about the condition and 47 provided tools for the management of asthma. No apps offered both types of functionality. Only three information apps approached our definition of comprehensiveness of information about asthma. No apps provided advice on lay management of acute asthma that included details of appropriate reliever medication use. In 32 of 72 instances, apps made unequivocal recommendations about strategies for asthma control or prophylaxis that were unsupported by current evidence. Although 90% of apps stated a clear purpose, compliance with other best practice principles for health information was variable. Contact details were located for 55%, funding source for 18% and confidentiality policy for 17%. Conclusions No apps for people with asthma combined reliable, comprehensive information about the condition with supportive tools for self-management. Healthcare professionals considering recommending apps to patients as part of asthma self-management should exercise

  10. Integration of life cycle assessment software with tools for economic and sustainability analyses and process simulation for sustainable process design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kalakul, Sawitree; Malakul, Pomthong; Siemanond, Kitipat


    The sustainable future of the world challenges engineers to develop chemical process designs that are not only technically and economically feasible but also environmental friendly. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a tool for identifying and quantifying environmental impacts of the chemical product....... Although there are several commercial LCA tools, there is still a need for a simple LCA software that can be integrated with process design tools. In this paper, a new LCA software, LCSoft, is developed for evaluation of chemical, petrochemical, and biochemical processes with options for integration...... with other process design tools such as sustainable design (SustainPro), economic analysis (ECON) and process simulation. The software framework contains four main tools: Tool-I is for life cycle inventory (LCI) knowledge management that enables easy maintenance and future expansion of the LCI database; Tool...

  11. Classification tool for the systematic histological assessment of hepatocellular carcinoma, macroregenerative nodules, and dysplastic nodules in cirrhotic liver

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    A Quaglia; MA Jutand; A Dhillon; A Godfrey; R Togni; P Bioulac-Sage; C Balabaud; M Winnock; AP Dhillon


    AIM: To design a classification tool for the histological assessment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), dysplastic nodules (DN), and macroregenerative nodules (MRN) in cirrhotic liver.METHODS: Two hundred and twelve hepatocellular nodules (106 HCC;74 MRN;32 DN) were assessed systematically, quantitatively, and semiquantitatively as appropriate for 10 histological features that have been described as helpful in distinguishing small HCC, DN, and MRN in cirrhotic livers. The data were analyzed by multiple correspondence analysis (MCA).RESULTS: MCA distributed HCC, DN, and MRN as defined by traditional histological evaluation as well as the individual histological variables, in a "malignancy scale".Based on the MCA data representation, we created a classification tool, which categorizes an individual nodular lesion as MRN, DN, or HCC based on the balance of all histological features (i.e., vascular invasion, capsular invasion, tumor necrosis, tumor heterogeneity, reticulin loss,capillarization of sinusoids, trabecular thickness, nuclear atypia, and mitotic activity). The classification tool dassified most (83%) of a validation set of 47 nodules in the same way as the routine histological assessment. No discrepandes were present for DN and MRN between the routine histological assignment and the classification tool. Of 25 HCC assigned by routine assessment in the validation set, 8were assigned to the DN category by the classification tool.CONCLUSION: We have designed a classification tool for the histological assessment of HCC and its putative precursors in cirrhotic liver. Application of this tool systematically records histological features of diagnostic importance in the evaluation of small HCC.

  12. Tools for assessing the quality and accessibility of online health information: initial testing among breast cancer websites. (United States)

    Whitten, Pamela; Nazione, Samantha; Lauckner, Carolyn


    Health websites are used frequently, but there are many concerns about their value as information sources. Additionally, there are numerous personal barriers that prevent individuals from wholly benefitting from them. In order to assess the quality of health websites and their accessibility to users, we created tools based on previous research that examine design aspects, information validity, motivational health content and literacy content. To test these tools, we examined 155 breast cancer websites and created scores for each assessment tool to describe the percent of constructs on the average website. Results demonstrated that websites performed best on the design tool followed by the information validity, motivational health content and literacy assessment tools. The average website contained the majority of the design and information validity constructs, but only about a third of the motivational health or literacy constructs. Multiple items from the motivational health content and literacy assessment tools were not found on any of the websites, and many were only represented on a handful of sites. Overall, the assessment tools were useful in evaluating the quality of websites, and could serve as valuable resources for health website developers in the future.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Fernanda dos Santos Alves


    Full Text Available Estudio metodológico destinado a la traducción y la adaptación del Bates-Jensen Wound Assessment Tool para la cultura brasileña a través de cinco etapas: traducción, síntesis, retro-traducción, revisión por un panel de expertos y las pruebas de la versión traducida. La versión en portugués fue evaluada por 28 enfermeras que verificaron la comprensión de los elementos y la practicidad. El comité de especialistas evaluó la equivalencia entre las versiones originales y traducidas, lo que resulta en una menor concordancia del 80% para siete de los ítems de la guía, que posteriormente fueron modificados. En el instrumento, los 13 ítems obtuvieron una tasa de concordancia superior al 80%, excepto para el ítem de la evaluación de la herida, que obtuvo el 40%. La prueba de la versión pre-final demostró buena factibilidad. El Bates-Jensen Wound Assessment Tool está disponible en Brasil para su uso en la investigación y la práctica clínica. La fiabilidad y la validez de las pruebas deben ser consideradas en futuros estudios.

  14. Tracking Epidermal Nerve Fiber Changes in Asian Macaques: Tools and Techniques for Quantitative Assessment. (United States)

    Mangus, Lisa M; Dorsey, Jamie L; Weinberg, Rachel L; Ebenezer, Gigi J; Hauer, Peter; Laast, Victoria A; Mankowski, Joseph L


    Quantitative assessment of epidermal nerve fibers (ENFs) has become a widely used clinical tool for the diagnosis of small fiber neuropathies such as diabetic neuropathy and human immunodeficiency virus-associated sensory neuropathy (HIV-SN). To model and investigate the pathogenesis of HIV-SN using simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected Asian macaques, we adapted the skin biopsy and immunostaining techniques currently employed in human patients and then developed two unbiased image analysis techniques for quantifying ENF in macaque footpad skin. This report provides detailed descriptions of these tools and techniques for ENF assessment in macaques and outlines important experimental considerations that we have identified in the course of our long-term studies. Although initially developed for studies of HIV-SN in the SIV-infected macaque model, these methods could be readily translated to a range of studies involving peripheral nerve degeneration and neurotoxicity in nonhuman primates as well as preclinical investigations of agents aimed at neuroprotection and regeneration.

  15. Using Online Tools to Assess Public Responses to Climate Change Mitigation Policies in Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nophea Sasaki


    Full Text Available As a member of the Annex 1 countries to the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Japan is committed to reducing 6% of the greenhouse gas emissions. In order to achieve this commitment, Japan has undertaken several major mitigation measures, one of which is the domestic measure that includes ecologically friendly lifestyle programs, utilizing natural energy, participating in local environmental activities, and amending environmental laws. Mitigation policies could be achieved if public responses were strong. As the internet has increasingly become an online platform for sharing environmental information, public responses to the need for reducing greenhouse gas emissions may be assessed using available online tools. We used Google Insights for Search, Google AdWords Keyword Tool, and Google Timeline View to assess public responses in Japan based on the interest shown for five search terms that define global climate change and its mitigation policies. Data on online search interests from January 04, 2004 to July 18, 2010 were analyzed according to locations and categories. Our study suggests that the search interests for the five chosen search terms dramatically increased, especially when new mitigation policies were introduced or when climate change related events were organized. Such a rapid increase indicates that the Japanese public strongly responds to climate change mitigation policies.

  16. Natural language processor as a tool to assess heparin induced thrombocytopenia awareness. (United States)

    Tafur, Alfonso J; McBane, Robert D; Wysokinski, Waldemar E; Gregg, Melissa S; Daniels, Paul R; Mohr, David N


    The life-threatening consequences of heparin induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) may be prevented with early recognition, prompt heparin withdrawal and direct thrombin inhibitor use. To determine the level of HIT awareness, electronic term recognition software can be used to query the electronic medical record (EMR) to assess the thought process and test ordering behavior of health care providers confronted with falling platelet counts. We sought to assess the awareness of HIT in a large teaching institution using these tools. Mayo Clinic databases were queried to identify a cohort of hospitalized adults receiving heparin (06/1/08-06/1/09). Serial platelet counts for each patient were scrutinized for a 50% decrement from baseline. "Clinician awareness" was defined by mention of HIT (determined by electronic term recognition software) within the hospital record by any member of the healthcare team or requisition of platelet factor 4/heparin antibody testing. During this time period, 34,694 adults were hospitalized and 24,956 received heparin. Only 3,239 (13%) patients had more than 1 platelet count during the hospital stay. Of 199 patients (6.1%) with ≥50% platelet count drop, clinician awareness was 36%. The absolute platelet count was the only independent variable associated with HIT awareness (P awareness are low at this large teaching institution. Software tools for monitoring awareness and providing realtime alerts of significant platelet count decrements may be useful.

  17. Strategic Environmental Assessment of Port Plans in Italy: Experiences, Approaches, Tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pasquale De Toro


    Full Text Available Evaluation is increasingly important in decision-making processes for the sustainable planning and design of port plans. It acts as a support for plan preparation, for making values, interests and needs explicit, and for exploring the components of the decision-making process itself. Evaluation can be likened to an “implicit tool” that can integrate approaches, methodologies and models, adapting to the many needs revealed during the decision-making process. New sustainability challenges call for new approaches to creating frameworks for the analysis and evaluation of plans and projects that allow the integration of multidimensional goals and values. Utilizing some selected case studies of port plans in six Italian cities, this paper explores how environmental assessment can become a tool for dialog and interaction among different fields of expertise to support dynamic learning processes, knowledge management and the creation of shared choices, using suitable approaches and tools. In this view, Integrated Spatial Assessment (ISA can be useful in supporting decision-making processes on different scales and institutional levels to stimulate dialog between technical and political evaluations, referring to complex values that are part of conflicting and changing realities in which it has become imperative to operate according to sustainability principles.

  18. Student collaboration in developing an on-line self assessment tool to enhance development for student and newly qualified professionals


    Laxton, Julie; Dagg, Paul; Hargreaves, Janet; Laverick, Duane; Mitchell, Carrie


    A “Competence in Practice” (CiPA) self assessment tool was developed initially as a research instrument as part of the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning; Assessment and Learning in Practice Settings.\\ud \\ud The tool asks a series of questions against which participants self-rate their preparedness for practice. A working group then created software from this that is used as a formative exercise to rate confidence and perceived competence in practice. This freely available package...

  19. Validating a work group climate assessment tool for improving the performance of public health organizations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tracy Allison


    Full Text Available Abstract Background This article describes the validation of an instrument to measure work group climate in public health organizations in developing countries. The instrument, the Work Group Climate Assessment Tool (WCA, was applied in Brazil, Mozambique, and Guinea to assess the intermediate outcomes of a program to develop leadership for performance improvement. Data were collected from 305 individuals in 42 work groups, who completed a self-administered questionnaire. Methods The WCA was initially validated using Cronbach's alpha reliability coefficient and exploratory factor analysis. This article presents the results of a second validation study to refine the initial analyses to account for nested data, to provide item-level psychometrics, and to establish construct validity. Analyses included eigenvalue decomposition analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and validity and reliability analyses. Results This study confirmed the validity and reliability of the WCA across work groups with different demographic characteristics (gender, education, management level, and geographical location. The study showed that there is agreement between the theoretical construct of work climate and the items in the WCA tool across different populations. The WCA captures a single perception of climate rather than individual sub-scales of clarity, support, and challenge. Conclusion The WCA is useful for comparing the climates of different work groups, tracking the changes in climate in a single work group over time, or examining differences among individuals' perceptions of their work group climate. Application of the WCA before and after a leadership development process can help work groups hold a discussion about current climate and select a target for improvement. The WCA provides work groups with a tool to take ownership of their own group climate through a process that is simple and objective and that protects individual confidentiality.

  20. Helium pycnometry as a tool for assessment of sealing efficiency in microencapsulation. (United States)

    Nielsen, Anne Flachs; Bertelsen, Poul; Kristensen, Henning Gjelstrup; Hovgaard, Lars


    There is a need for a fast and reliable method to evaluate the development in coating quality during coating, especially for fast dissolving coatings. In the present study, pycnometric density was evaluated as a tool for assessment of coating quality in terms of sealing efficiency for microspheres coated with polymeric aqueous solutions. Further, it was investigated if the method could be used to study effects of spray variables on the sealing efficiency of coated microspheres. The microcrystalline cellulose particles Ethispheres250 were coated with aqueous solutions of Hypromellose 5 and Povidone K-90F by Wurster bottom-spray technique. End products and samples drawn during coating were analysed in terms of pycnometric helium density and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Experiments constituted a 2(3) factorial design with the following spray related variables: atomisation air flow, polymer type, and solution concentration/viscosity. Helium pycnometric density was seen to lower gradually during coating in all experiments and to follow a common pattern. The quantitative lowering in density was further seen to correlate to sealing of voids by gradual covering of the microsphere surface and thus the sealing efficiency. Hence, the present data suggests helium pycnometry as a tool for assessment of coating quality in terms of sealing efficiency. This goes particularly for testing of products coated with water-soluble coatings, where dissolution testing obviously is compromised. The specific data on sealing efficiency might also add to other analytical methods in the analysis of coating quality, in general. End point densities of coated microspheres were seen to reveal differences in sealing efficiency between polymers. Measured densities of final products were also generally seen to reflect differences in coating permeability caused by variations in spray conditions. Thus, the measurement of density is a potential a tool for evaluation of spray conditions with

  1. Modeling tools for the assessment of microbiological risks during floods: a review (United States)

    Collender, Philip; Yang, Wen; Stieglitz, Marc; Remais, Justin


    Floods are a major, recurring source of harm to global economies and public health. Projected increases in the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events under future climate change, coupled with continued urbanization in areas with high risk of floods, may exacerbate future impacts of flooding. Improved flood risk management is essential to support global development, poverty reduction and public health, and is likely to be a crucial aspect of climate change adaptation. Importantly, floods can facilitate the transmission of waterborne pathogens by changing social conditions (overcrowding among displaced populations, interruption of public health services), imposing physical challenges to infrastructure (sewerage overflow, reduced capacity to treat drinking water), and altering fate and transport of pathogens (transport into waterways from overland flow, resuspension of settled contaminants) during and after flood conditions. Hydrological and hydrodynamic models are capable of generating quantitative characterizations of microbiological risks associated with flooding, while accounting for these diverse and at times competing physical and biological processes. Despite a few applications of such models to the quantification of microbiological risks associated with floods, there exists limited guidance as to the relative capabilities, and limitations, of existing modeling platforms when used for this purpose. Here, we review 17 commonly used flood and water quality modeling tools that have demonstrated or implicit capabilities of mechanistically representing and quantifying microbial risk during flood conditions. We compare models with respect to their capabilities of generating outputs that describe physical and microbial conditions during floods, such as concentration or load of non-cohesive sediments or pathogens, and the dynamics of high flow conditions. Recommendations are presented for the application of specific modeling tools for assessing

  2. A biological tool to assess flow connectivity in reference temporary streams from the Mediterranean Basin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cid, N., E-mail: [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain); Verkaik, I. [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain); García-Roger, E.M. [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain); Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva, Universitat de València (Spain); Rieradevall, M.; Bonada, N. [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain); Sánchez-Montoya, M.M. [Department of Ecology and Hydrology, Regional Campus of International Excellence “Campus Mare Nostrum”—University of Murcia (Spain); Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin (Germany); Gómez, R.; Suárez, M.L.; Vidal-Abarca, M.R. [Department of Ecology and Hydrology, Regional Campus of International Excellence “Campus Mare Nostrum”—University of Murcia (Spain); Demartini, D.; Buffagni, A.; Erba, S. [Instituto di Ricerca Sulle Acque (CNR-IRSA) (Italy); Karaouzas, I.; Skoulikidis, N. [Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR) (Greece); Prat, N. [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain)


    Many streams in the Mediterranean Basin have temporary flow regimes. While timing for seasonal drought is predictable, they undergo strong inter-annual variability in flow intensity. This high hydrological variability and associated ecological responses challenge the ecological status assessment of temporary streams, particularly when setting reference conditions. This study examined the effects of flow connectivity in aquatic macroinvertebrates from seven reference temporary streams across the Mediterranean Basin where hydrological variability and flow conditions are well studied. We tested for the effect of flow cessation on two streamflow indices and on community composition, and, by performing random forest and classification tree analyses we identified important biological predictors for classifying the aquatic state either as flowing or disconnected pools. Flow cessation was critical for one of the streamflow indices studied and for community composition. Macroinvertebrate families found to be important for classifying the aquatic state were Hydrophilidae, Simuliidae, Hydropsychidae, Planorbiidae, Heptageniidae and Gerridae. For biological traits, trait categories associated to feeding habits, food, locomotion and substrate relation were the most important and provided more accurate predictions compared to taxonomy. A combination of selected metrics and associated thresholds based on the most important biological predictors (i.e. Bio-AS Tool) were proposed in order to assess the aquatic state in reference temporary streams, especially in the absence of hydrological data. Although further development is needed, the tool can be of particular interest for monitoring, restoration, and conservation purposes, representing an important step towards an adequate management of temporary rivers not only in the Mediterranean Basin but also in other regions vulnerable to the effects of climate change. - Highlights: • The effect of flow connectivity on macroinvertebrate

  3. Online quizzes in a virtual learning environment as a tool for formative assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donita Cohen


    Full Text Available Assessment in education via web tools, also known as e-assessment, deals with the effective use of technology to support a successful pedagogy. The aim of this study was to investigate learning outcomes and students' attitudes to online Moodle quizzes in order to improve instructional design. The research population included 204 college students enrolled in life sciences who participated in an introductory physics course. A blended learning model was used based on large, traditional face-to-face lectures, practice sessions held with smaller groups of about 25 students and a rich Moodle learning environment. Students' knowledge and understanding were assessed weekly, throughout the semester, using different methods: three ordinary, short, written tests and online quizzes in the Moodle environment. Students' attitudes to the online quizzes compared to the written tests were investigated by a questionnaire. Results indicate a generally positive attitude towards online quizzes with no differences with respect to gender. A positive significant relationship was found between attitudes and scores in online quizzes. Comparing between the first attempt and the last attempt at the last online quiz revealed significant improvements in the time spent solving the online quiz and in the grade. Three variables were found to be significant predictors of the grade in the final exam: science department, average grade in written tests and average grade in online quizzes. Learning outcomes and students' attitudes to online Moodle quizzes were used to improve instructional design demonstrating formative assessment in higher education.

  4. Emergy Evaluation: A Tool for the Assessment of Sustainability in Project Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Andrea Cano Londoño


    Full Text Available This contributiondescribes the basic principles of the emergy accounting method as a technique for quantitativeassessment of sustainability in developing projects. Emergy determines the amount of energy used directly and indirectly for generating resources, services and products. In addition,this analytical method integrates economics, ecology and thermodynamics.This allows a comprehensive assessment of the economic, social and environmental impacts in a theoretical way. Currently, Emergy evaluation is considered as one of the life cycle sustainability assessment methods in areas similar to ecological, economics, and environmental engineering. Furthermore, the entire methodological path for the application and development of the emergy accounting method was well described. In addition, some case studies where emergy has been the key data needed for sustainability decision making were analyzed and discussed. This work further provides the practical connection between theoretical definitions of emergy, data needs, and mathematical definitions of indicators for emergy sustainability assessment. With the accomplishment of this contribution, emergy assessment can be achieved and proposed as a tool for the development of sustainable projects.

  5. Fracture risk assessed by Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX) compared with fracture risk derived from population fracture rates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rubin, Katrine Hass; Abrahamsen, Bo; Hermann, Anne Pernille


    Purpose: To evaluate the performance of the Swedish version of Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX)) without bone mass density (BMD) in a Danish population to examine the possibility of applying this version to Danish women. METHODS: From the Danish National Register of social security numbers, we...... randomly selected 5000 women living in the region of Southern Denmark aged 40-90 years to receive a mailed questionnaire concerning risk factors for osteoporosis based on FRAX. The predicted 10-year probability of hip fractures was calculated for each woman returning a complete questionnaire using...... the Swedish version of FRAX. The observed 10-year hip fracture risk was also calculated for each woman using age-specific hip fracture rates from the National Hospital Discharge Register and National survival tables. RESULTS: A total of 4194 (84%) women responded to the questionnaire and 3636 (73%) gave...

  6. Developing a Generic Risk Assessment Simulation Modelling Software Tool for Assessing the Risk of Foot and Mouth Virus Introduction. (United States)

    Tameru, B; Gebremadhin, B; Habtemariam, T; Nganwa, D; Ayanwale, O; Wilson, S; Robnett, V; Wilson, W


    Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious viral disease that affects all cloven-hoofed animals. Because of its devastating effects on the agricultural industry, many countries take measures to stop the introduction of FMD virus into their countries. Decision makers at multiple levels of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) use Risk Assessments (RAs) (both quantitative and qualitative) to make better and more informed scientifically based decisions to prevent the accidental or intentional introduction of the disease. There is a need for a generic RA that can be applied to any country (whether FMD free or non-FMD free) and for any product (FMD infected animals and animal products). We developed a user-friendly generic RA tool (software) that can be used to conduct and examine different scenarios of quantitative/qualitative risk assessments for the different countries with their varying FMD statuses in relation to reintroduction of FMD virus into the USA. The program was written in Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 (Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, Washington, USA). The @Risk 6.1 Developer Kit (RDK) and @Risk 6.1 Best Fit Kit library (Palisade Corporation, Newfield, NY.USA) was used to build Monte Carlo simulation models. Microsoft Access 2000 (Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, Washington, USA) was used and SQL to query the data. Different input probability distributions can be selected for the nodes in the scenario tree and different output for each end-state of the simulation is given in different graphical formats and statistical values are used in describing the likelihood of FMD virus introduction. Sensitivity Analysis in determining which input factor has more effect on the total risk outputs is also given. The developed generic RA tools can be eventually extended and modified to conduct RAs for other animal diseases and animal products.

  7. Validation of the spiritual distress assessment tool in older hospitalized patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monod Stefanie


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Spiritual Distress Assessment Tool (SDAT is a 5-item instrument developed to assess unmet spiritual needs in hospitalized elderly patients and to determine the presence of spiritual distress. The objective of this study was to investigate the SDAT psychometric properties. Methods This cross-sectional study was performed in a Geriatric Rehabilitation Unit. Patients (N = 203, aged 65 years and over with Mini Mental State Exam score ≥ 20, were consecutively enrolled over a 6-month period. Data on health, functional, cognitive, affective and spiritual status were collected upon admission. Interviews using the SDAT (score from 0 to 15, higher scores indicating higher distress were conducted by a trained chaplain. Factor analysis, measures of internal consistency (inter-item and item-to-total correlations, Cronbach α, and reliability (intra-rater and inter-rater were performed. Criterion-related validity was assessed using the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual well-being (FACIT-Sp and the question "Are you at peace?" as criterion-standard. Concurrent and predictive validity were assessed using the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS, occurrence of a family meeting, hospital length of stay (LOS and destination at discharge. Results SDAT scores ranged from 1 to 11 (mean 5.6 ± 2.4. Overall, 65.0% (132/203 of the patients reported some spiritual distress on SDAT total score and 22.2% (45/203 reported at least one severe unmet spiritual need. A two-factor solution explained 60% of the variance. Inter-item correlations ranged from 0.11 to 0.41 (eight out of ten with P Conclusions SDAT has acceptable psychometrics properties and appears to be a valid and reliable instrument to assess spiritual distress in elderly hospitalized patients.

  8. Binational climate change vulnerability assessment of migratory birds in the Great Lakes Basins: Tools and impediments. (United States)

    Rempel, Robert S; Hornseth, Megan L


    Climate change is a global concern, requiring international strategies to reduce emissions, however, climate change vulnerability assessments are often local in scope with assessment areas restricted to jurisdictional boundaries. In our study we explored tools and impediments to understanding and responding to the effects of climate change on vulnerability of migratory birds from a binational perspective. We apply and assess the utility of a Climate Change Vulnerability Index on 3 focal species using distribution or niche modeling frameworks. We use the distributional forecasts to explore possible changes to jurisdictional conservation responsibilities resulting from shifting distributions for: eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna), wood thrush (Hylocichla mustelina), and hooded warbler (Setophaga citrina). We found the Climate Change Vulnerability Index to be a well-organized approach to integrating numerous lines of evidence concerning effects of climate change, and provided transparency to the final assessment of vulnerability. Under this framework, we identified that eastern meadowlark and wood thrush are highly vulnerable to climate change, but hooded warbler is less vulnerable. Our study revealed impediments to assessing and modeling vulnerability to climate change from a binational perspective, including gaps in data or modeling for climate exposure parameters. We recommend increased cross-border collaboration to enhance the availability and resources needed to improve vulnerability assessments and development of conservation strategies. We did not find evidence to suggest major shifts in jurisdictional responsibility for the 3 focal species, but results do indicate increasing responsibility for these birds in the Canadian Provinces. These Provinces should consider conservation planning to help ensure a future supply of necessary habitat for these species.

  9. Binational climate change vulnerability assessment of migratory birds in the Great Lakes Basins: Tools and impediments (United States)


    Climate change is a global concern, requiring international strategies to reduce emissions, however, climate change vulnerability assessments are often local in scope with assessment areas restricted to jurisdictional boundaries. In our study we explored tools and impediments to understanding and responding to the effects of climate change on vulnerability of migratory birds from a binational perspective. We apply and assess the utility of a Climate Change Vulnerability Index on 3 focal species using distribution or niche modeling frameworks. We use the distributional forecasts to explore possible changes to jurisdictional conservation responsibilities resulting from shifting distributions for: eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna), wood thrush (Hylocichla mustelina), and hooded warbler (Setophaga citrina). We found the Climate Change Vulnerability Index to be a well-organized approach to integrating numerous lines of evidence concerning effects of climate change, and provided transparency to the final assessment of vulnerability. Under this framework, we identified that eastern meadowlark and wood thrush are highly vulnerable to climate change, but hooded warbler is less vulnerable. Our study revealed impediments to assessing and modeling vulnerability to climate change from a binational perspective, including gaps in data or modeling for climate exposure parameters. We recommend increased cross-border collaboration to enhance the availability and resources needed to improve vulnerability assessments and development of conservation strategies. We did not find evidence to suggest major shifts in jurisdictional responsibility for the 3 focal species, but results do indicate increasing responsibility for these birds in the Canadian Provinces. These Provinces should consider conservation planning to help ensure a future supply of necessary habitat for these species. PMID:28225817

  10. On sustainability assessment of technical systems. Experience from systems analysis with the ORWARE and Ecoeffect tools

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Assefa, Getachew [Royal Inst. of Technology, Stockholm (Sweden). Dept. of Chemical Engineering


    alternatives at the same time, and carrying out the assessment of the three dimensions independently. It should give way to transparent system where the level of quality of input data can be comprehended. The assessment approach should focus on a selected number of key input data, tested calculation procedures, and comprehensible result presentation. The challenge in developing and applying this approach is the complexity of method integration and information processing. The different parts to be included in the same platform come in with additional uncertainties hampering result interpretations. The hitherto tendency of promoting disciplinary lines will continue to challenge further developments of such interdisciplinary approaches. The thesis draws on the experience from ORWARE, a Swedish technology assessment tool applied in the assessment of waste management systems and energy systems; and from the EcoEffect tool used in the assessment of building properties; all assessed as components of a larger system. The thesis underlines the importance of sustainability considerations beginning from the research and development phase of technical systems. The core message of this thesis is that technical systems should be researched as indivisible parts of a complex whole that includes society and the natural environment. Results from such researches can then be transformed into design codes and specifications for use in the research and development, planning and structuring, and implementation and management of technical systems.

  11. Translating tools for better parent-based assessment: An exploratory study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shabnam Abdoola


    Full Text Available Background: Current speech language assessment and intervention measures are not always culturally valid, as they are not standardised specifically for the various cultural groups within the South African population; and thus need to be adapted.Objectives: The objective of this study was to examine the appropriateness and utility of translations of the Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ instrument (60 month age group from English to the Hindi language and culture, which is represented in South Africa. Methods: Biographical questionnaires, ASQ and evaluation thereof were translated in Hindi and completed by parents of 15 typically developing South African preschool children of Indian origin, at the 60 month age level (including children between 57 and 66 months. Results: Participants reported that the questions were well phrased, and that illustrations and tips helped them to complete the questionnaires quickly and accurately. They preferred to be questioned in Hindi, which helped them understand the questions and made it easier to provide the necessary information to answer the questions. Conclusions: In conclusion, it is evident that this translation of the ASQ (60 month age group from English to Hindi served as an appropriate tool for use with the middle socioeconomic class Hindi (Indian language and culture. The results of this study would assist to determine the functionality of culturally and linguistically valid assessment tools for different populations, and would contribute to the development of Early Childhood Intervention as a whole in South Africa. It would also contribute to the development of multilingual informal school-readiness screening questionnaires appropriate for the South African context. This is particularly relevant, as school-readiness assessments take place at 60 months to ensure that the child is ready to learn by school age (6–7 years.[PDF to follow

  12. Evaluation of QUADAS, a tool for the quality assessment of diagnostic accuracy studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bossuyt Patrick NM


    Full Text Available Abstract Background A quality assessment tool for diagnostic accuracy studies, named QUADAS, has recently been developed. Although QUADAS has been used in several systematic reviews, it has not been formally validated. The objective was to evaluate the validity and usefulness of QUADAS. Methods Three reviewers independently rated the quality of 30 studies using QUADAS. We assessed the proportion of agreements between each reviewer and the final consensus rating. This was done for all QUADAS items combined and for each individual item. Twenty reviewers who had used QUADAS in their reviews completed a short structured questionnaire on their experience of QUADAS. Results Over all items, the agreements between each reviewer and the final consensus rating were 91%, 90% and 85%. The results for individual QUADAS items varied between 50% and 100% with a median value of 90%. Items related to uninterpretable test results and withdrawals led to the most disagreements. The feedback on the content of the tool was generally positive with only small numbers of reviewers reporting problems with coverage, ease of use, clarity of instructions and validity. Conclusion Major modifications to the content of QUADAS itself are not necessary. The evaluation highlighted particular difficulties in scoring the items on uninterpretable results and withdrawals. Revised guidelines for scoring these items are proposed. It is essential that reviewers tailor guidelines for scoring items to their review, and ensure that all reviewers are clear on how to score studies. Reviewers should consider whether all QUADAS items are relevant to their review, and whether additional quality items should be assessed as part of their review.

  13. Assessing reference evapotranspiration at regional scale based on remote sensing, weather forecast and GIS tools (United States)

    Ramírez-Cuesta, J. M.; Cruz-Blanco, M.; Santos, C.; Lorite, I. J.


    Reference evapotranspiration (ETo) is a key component in efficient water management, especially in arid and semi-arid environments. However, accurate ETo assessment at the regional scale is complicated by the limited number of weather stations and the strict requirements in terms of their location and surrounding physical conditions for the collection of valid weather data. In an attempt to overcome this limitation, new approaches based on the use of remote sensing techniques and weather forecast tools have been proposed. Use of the Land Surface Analysis Satellite Application Facility (LSA SAF) tool and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have allowed the design and development of innovative approaches for ETo assessment, which are especially useful for areas lacking available weather data from weather stations. Thus, by identifying the best-performing interpolation approaches (such as the Thin Plate Splines, TPS) and by developing new approaches (such as the use of data from the most similar weather station, TS, or spatially distributed correction factors, CITS), errors as low as 1.1% were achieved for ETo assessment. Spatial and temporal analyses reveal that the generated errors were smaller during spring and summer as well as in homogenous topographic areas. The proposed approaches not only enabled accurate calculations of seasonal and daily ETo values, but also contributed to the development of a useful methodology for evaluating the optimum number of weather stations to be integrated into a weather station network and the appropriateness of their locations. In addition to ETo, other variables included in weather forecast datasets (such as temperature or rainfall) could be evaluated using the same innovative methodology proposed in this study.

  14. Overview of integrative tools and methods in assessing ecological integrity in estuarine and coastal systems worldwide. (United States)

    Borja, Angel; Bricker, Suzanne B; Dauer, Daniel M; Demetriades, Nicolette T; Ferreira, João G; Forbes, Anthony T; Hutchings, Pat; Jia, Xiaoping; Kenchington, Richard; Carlos Marques, João; Zhu, Changbo


    In recent years, several sets of legislation worldwide (Oceans Act in USA, Australia or Canada; Water Framework Directive or Marine Strategy in Europe, National Water Act in South Africa, etc.) have been developed in order to address ecological quality or integrity, within estuarine and coastal systems. Most such legislation seeks to define quality in an integrative way, by using several biological elements, together with physico-chemical and pollution elements. Such an approach allows assessment of ecological status at the ecosystem level ('ecosystem approach' or 'holistic approach' methodologies), rather than at species level (e.g. mussel biomonitoring or Mussel Watch) or just at chemical level (i.e. quality objectives) alone. Increasing attention has been paid to the development of tools for different physico-chemical or biological (phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthos, algae, phanerogams, fishes) elements of the ecosystems. However, few methodologies integrate all the elements into a single evaluation of a water body. The need for such integrative tools to assess ecosystem quality is very important, both from a scientific and stakeholder point of view. Politicians and managers need information from simple and pragmatic, but scientifically sound methodologies, in order to show to society the evolution of a zone (estuary, coastal area, etc.), taking into account human pressures or recovery processes. These approaches include: (i) multidisciplinarity, inherent in the teams involved in their implementation; (ii) integration of biotic and abiotic factors; (iii) accurate and validated methods in determining ecological integrity; and (iv) adequate indicators to follow the evolution of the monitored ecosystems. While some countries increasingly use the establishment of marine parks to conserve marine biodiversity and ecological integrity, there is awareness (e.g. in Australia) that conservation and management of marine ecosystems cannot be restricted to Marine Protected

  15. Self-Evaluation of Negative Symptoms: A Novel Tool to Assess Negative Symptoms. (United States)

    Dollfus, Sonia; Mach, Cyril; Morello, Rémy


    Many patients with schizophrenia have negative symptoms, but their evaluation is a challenge. Thus, standardized assessments are needed to facilitate identification of these symptoms. Many tools have been developed, but most are based on observer ratings. Self-evaluation can provide an additional outcome measure and allow patients to be more engaged in their treatment. The aim of this study was to present a novel tool, Self-evaluation of Negative Symptoms (SNS), and demonstrate its validity. Forty-nine patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders according to DSM-5 were evaluated. Cronbach's coefficient (α = 0.867) showed good internal consistency. Factor analysis extracted 2 factors (apathy and emotional) that accounted for 75.2% of the variance. The SNS significantly correlated with the Scale of Assessment of Negative Symptoms (r= 0.628) and the Clinician Global Impression on the severity of negative symptoms (r= 0.599), supporting good convergent validity. SNS scores did not correlate with level of insight (r= 0.008), Parkinsonism (r= 0.175) or Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale positive subscores (r= 0.253), which indicates good discriminant validity. The intrasubject reliability of the SNS revealed excellent intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC = 0.942). Taken together, the results show that the SNS has good psychometric properties and satisfactory acceptance by patients. The study also demonstrates the ability of patients with schizophrenia to accurately report their own experiences. Self-assessments of negative symptoms should be more widely employed in clinical practice because they may allow patients with schizophrenia to develop appropriate coping strategies.

  16. Application of a utility analysis to evaluate a novel assessment tool for clinically oriented physiology and pharmacology. (United States)

    Cramer, Nicholas; Asmar, Abdo; Gorman, Laurel; Gros, Bernard; Harris, David; Howard, Thomas; Hussain, Mujtaba; Salazar, Sergio; Kibble, Jonathan D


    Multiple-choice questions are a gold-standard tool in medical school for assessment of knowledge and are the mainstay of licensing examinations. However, multiple-choice questions items can be criticized for lacking the ability to test higher-order learning or integrative thinking across multiple disciplines. Our objective was to develop a novel assessment that would address understanding of pathophysiology and pharmacology, evaluate learning at the levels of application, evaluation and synthesis, and allow students to demonstrate clinical reasoning. The rubric assesses student writeups of clinical case problems. The method is based on the physician's traditional postencounter Subjective, Objective, Assessment and Plan note. Students were required to correctly identify subjective and objective findings in authentic clinical case problems, to ascribe pathophysiological as well as pharmacological mechanisms to these findings, and to justify a list of differential diagnoses. A utility analysis was undertaken to evaluate the new assessment tool by appraising its reliability, validity, feasibility, cost effectiveness, acceptability, and educational impact using a mixed-method approach. The Subjective, Objective, Assessment and Plan assessment tool scored highly in terms of validity and educational impact and had acceptable levels of statistical reliability but was limited in terms of acceptance, feasibility, and cost effectiveness due to high time demands on expert graders and workload concerns from students. We conclude by making suggestions for improving the tool and recommend deployment of the instrument for low-stakes summative assessment or formative assessment.

  17. Inspection of the Math Model Tools for On-Orbit Assessment of Impact Damage Report. Version 1.0 (United States)

    Harris, Charles E.; Raju, Ivatury S.; Piascik, Robert S.; Kramer White, Julie; Labbe, Steve G.; Rotter, Hank A.


    In Spring of 2005, the NASA Engineering Safety Center (NESC) was engaged by the Space Shuttle Program (SSP) to peer review the suite of analytical tools being developed to support the determination of impact and damage tolerance of the Orbiter Thermal Protection Systems (TPS). The NESC formed an independent review team with the core disciplines of materials, flight sciences, structures, mechanical analysis and thermal analysis. The Math Model Tools reviewed included damage prediction and stress analysis, aeroheating analysis, and thermal analysis tools. Some tools are physics-based and other tools are empirically-derived. Each tool was created for a specific use and timeframe, including certification, real-time pre-launch assessments, and real-time on-orbit assessments. The tools are used together in an integrated strategy for assessing the ramifications of impact damage to tile and RCC. The NESC teams conducted a peer review of the engineering data package for each Math Model Tool. This report contains the summary of the team observations and recommendations from these reviews.

  18. Shuttle Debris Impact Tool Assessment Using the Modern Design of Experiments (United States)

    DeLoach, R.; Rayos, E. M.; Campbell, C. H.; Rickman, S. L.


    Computational tools have been developed to estimate thermal and mechanical reentry loads experienced by the Space Shuttle Orbiter as the result of cavities in the Thermal Protection System (TPS). Such cavities can be caused by impact from ice or insulating foam debris shed from the External Tank (ET) on liftoff. The reentry loads depend on cavity geometry and certain Shuttle state variables, among other factors. Certain simplifying assumptions have been made in the tool development about the cavity geometry variables. For example, the cavities are all modeled as shoeboxes , with rectangular cross-sections and planar walls. So an actual cavity is typically approximated with an idealized cavity described in terms of its length, width, and depth, as well as its entry angle, exit angle, and side angles (assumed to be the same for both sides). As part of a comprehensive assessment of the uncertainty in reentry loads estimated by the debris impact assessment tools, an effort has been initiated to quantify the component of the uncertainty that is due to imperfect geometry specifications for the debris impact cavities. The approach is to compute predicted loads for a set of geometry factor combinations sufficient to develop polynomial approximations to the complex, nonparametric underlying computational models. Such polynomial models are continuous and feature estimable, continuous derivatives, conditions that facilitate the propagation of independent variable errors. As an additional benefit, once the polynomial models have been developed, they require fewer computational resources to execute than the underlying finite element and computational fluid dynamics codes, and can generate reentry loads estimates in significantly less time. This provides a practical screening capability, in which a large number of debris impact cavities can be quickly classified either as harmless, or subject to additional analysis with the more comprehensive underlying computational tools. The

  19. Assessment of Tools and Data for System-Level Dynamic Analyses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steven J. Piet; Nick R. Soelberg


    The only fuel cycle for which dynamic analyses and assessments are not needed is the null fuel cycle - no nuclear power. For every other concept, dynamic analyses are needed and can influence relative desirability of options. Dynamic analyses show how a fuel cycle might work during transitions from today's partial fuel cycle to something more complete, impact of technology deployments, location of choke points, the key time lags, when benefits can manifest, and how well parts of fuel cycles work together. This report summarizes the readiness of existing Fuel Cycle Technology (FCT) tools and data for conducting dynamic analyses on the range of options. VISION is the primary dynamic analysis tool. Not only does it model mass flows, as do other dynamic system analysis models, but it allows users to explore various potential constraints. The only fuel cycle for which constraints are not important are those in concept advocates PowerPoint presentations; in contrast, comparative analyses of fuel cycles must address what constraints exist and how they could impact performance. The most immediate tool need is extending VISION to the thorium/U233 fuel cycle. Depending on further clarification of waste management strategies in general and for specific fuel cycle candidates, waste management sub-models in VISION may need enhancement, e.g., more on 'co-flows' of non-fuel materials, constraints in waste streams, or automatic classification of waste streams on the basis of user-specified rules. VISION originally had an economic sub-model. The economic calculations were deemed unnecessary in later versions so it was retired. Eventually, the program will need to restore and improve the economics sub-model of VISION to at least the cash flow stage and possibly to incorporating cost constraints and feedbacks. There are multiple sources of data that dynamic analyses can draw on. In this report, 'data' means experimental data, data from more detailed

  20. [Suicide and evaluation. Review of French tools: Non-dimensional approach and self-assessment]. (United States)

    Ducher, J-L; de Chazeron, I; Llorca, P-M


    Suicide prevention represents a major challenge to public health, and the suicide risk is a permanent concern in psychiatry. But the main difficulty is its diagnosis. What resources are available in French which seem to help therapists in this process? We can distinguish the non-dimensional approach, the use of self-administered questionnaires or interviewer-administrated questionnaires. In this paper, for reasons of editing constraints, we are interested only in a non-dimensional approach and direct assessment measures by self-assessment, analysing the strengths and limitations of each and taking into account scientific studies that have been devoted to them and their clinical relevance. We first considered various aspects of non-dimensional approach through suicidal risk factors research, suicidal emergency and suicidal potential concepts, Shea approach, the model of Mann and some recommended evaluations. This type of approach has a number of advantages, but also limitations. Dimensional approach allows going further. In this article, we also discuss the existing self-assessment tools in French as for example dedicated item for Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) or specific scales such as Reasons for Living Inventory (RFL), Suicidal Probability Scale (SPS), Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS) and self-administered Suicide Risk Assessment Scale of Ducher (aRSD). These last two seem to be used as a priority regarding result of their validation studies. The strong correlation between the self-administered questionnaire aRSD and the interviewer-administered Suicide Risk Assessment Scale of Ducher RSD (r=0.92; P<10(-7)) shows the ability of patients to express their suicidal ideation if we want to invite them to do so.

  1. Quality Assessment of Research Articles in Nuclear Medicine Using STARD and QUADAS-2 Tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krisana Roysri


    Full Text Available Objective(s: Diagnostic nuclear medicine is being increasingly employed in clinical practice with the advent of new technologies and radiopharmaceuticals. The report of the prevalence of a certain disease is important for assessing the quality of that article. Therefore, this study was performed to evaluate the quality of published nuclear medicine articles and determine the frequency of reporting the prevalence of studied diseases. Methods: We used Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy (STARD and Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2 checklists for evaluating the quality of articles published in five nuclear medicine journals with the highest impact factors in 2012. The articles were retrieved from Scopus database and were selected and assessed independently by two nuclear medicine physicians. Decision concerning equivocal data was made by consensus between the reviewers. Results: The average STARD score was approximately 17 points, and the highest score was 17.19±2.38 obtained by the European Journal of Nuclear Medicine. QUADAS-2 tool showed that all journals had low bias regarding study population. The Journal of Nuclear Medicine had the highest score in terms of index test, reference standard, and time interval. Lack of clarity regarding the index test, reference standard, and time interval was frequently observed in all journals including Clinical Nuclear Medicine, in which 64% of the studies were unclear regarding the index test. Journal of Nuclear Cardiology had the highest number of articles with appropriate reference standard (83.3%, though it had the lowest frequency of reporting disease prevalence (zero reports. All five journals had the same STARD score, while index test, reference standard, and time interval were very unclear according to QUADAS-2 tool. Unfortunately, data were too limited to determine which journal had the lowest risk of bias. In fact, it is the author’s responsibility to provide

  2. Modified Whittaker plots as an assessment and monitoring tool for vegetation in a lowland tropical rainforest. (United States)

    Campbell, Patrick; Comiskey, James; Alonso, Alfonso; Dallmeier, Francisco; Nuñez, Percy; Beltran, Hamilton; Baldeon, Severo; Nauray, William; de la Colina, Rafael; Acurio, Lucero; Udvardy, Shana


    Resource exploitation in lowland tropical forests is increasing and causing loss of biodiversity. Effective evaluation and management of the impacts of development on tropical forests requires appropriate assessment and monitoring tools. We propose the use of 0.1-ha multi-scale, modified Whittaker plots (MWPs) to assess and monitor vegetation in lowland tropical rainforests. We established MWPs at 4 sites to: (1) describe and compare composition and structure of the sites using MWPs, (2) compare these results to those of 1-ha permanent vegetation plots (BDPs), and (3) evaluate the ability of MWPs to detect changes in populations (statistical power). We recorded more than 400 species at each site. Species composition among the sites was distinctive, while mean abundance and basal area was similar. Comparisons between MWPs and BDPs show that they record similar species composition and abundance and that both perform equally well at detecting rare species. However, MWPs tend to record more species, and power analysis studies show that MWPs were more effective at detecting changes in the mean number of species of trees > or = 10 cm in diameter at breast height (dbh) and in herbaceous plants. Ten MWPs were sufficient to detect a change of 11% in the mean number of herb species, and they were able to detect a 14% change in the mean number of species of trees > or =10 cm dbh. The value of MWPs for assessment and monitoring is discussed, along with recommendations for improving the sampling design to increase power.

  3. An integrated tool to support engineers for WMSDs risk assessment during the assembly line balancing. (United States)

    Di Benedetto, Raffaele; Fanti, Michele


    This paper wants to present an integrated approach to Line Balancing and Risk Assessment and a Software Tool named ErgoAnalysis that makes it easy to control the whole production process and produces a Risk Index for the actual work tasks in an Assembly Line. Assembly Line Balancing, or simply Line Balancing, is the problem of assigning operations to workstations along an assembly line, in such a way that the assignment be optimal in some sense. Assembly lines are characterized by production constraints and restrictions due to several aspects such as the nature of the product and the flow of orders. To be able to respond effectively to the needs of production, companies need to frequently change the workload and production models. Each manufacturing process might be quite different from another. To optimize very specific operations, assembly line balancing might utilize a number of methods and the Engineer must consider ergonomic constraints, in order to reduce the risk of WMDSs. Risk Assessment may result very expensive because the Engineer must evaluate it at every change. ErgoAnalysis can reduce cost and improve effectiveness in Risk Assessment during the Line Balancing.

  4. [Portfolios: a tool for the training and assessment of residents in dermatology, part 2]. (United States)

    Casanova, J M; Soria, X; Borrego, L; De Argila, D; Ribera, M; Pujol, R M


    A portfolio is a collection of material documenting reflection about practice. It contains documents (eg, case histories and questionnaires the resident has used), images, and video recordings that reveal that an individual has acquired the competencies needed for professional practice. This assessment tool simultaneously supports learning and provides evidence for certifying competence. The adoption of portfolio use by a dermatology department requires the support of both the training supervisor and the chief of department. The learning objectives defined by the National Board for Medical-Surgical Dermatology and Venereology must be taken into consideration so that ways to assess each objective can be included; this approach supports holistic ongoing education as well as the certification of competencies the resident finally achieves. Use of portfolios in medical residency training can improve on current assessment methods, which we believe lack precision. We propose that portfolios gradually begin to replace the resident's training log. We are currently developing an online software application that will facilitate the use of portfolios.

  5. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an integrated toxicological tool to assess water quality and pollution. (United States)

    Clavijo, Araceli; Kronberg, María Florencia; Rossen, Ariana; Moya, Aldana; Calvo, Daniel; Salatino, Santa Esmeralda; Pagano, Eduardo Antonio; Morábito, José Antonio; Munarriz, Eliana Rosa


    Determination of water quality status in rivers is critical to establish a sustainable water management policy. For this reason, over the last decades it has been recommended to perform integrated water assessments that include water quantities and physicochemical, ecological and toxicological tests. However, sometimes resources are limited and it is not possible to perform large-scale chemical determinations of pollutants or conduct numerous ecotoxicological tests. To overcome this problem we use and measure the growth, as a response parameter, of the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to assess water quality in rivers. The C. elegans is a ubiquitous organism that has emerged as an important model organism in aquatic and soil toxicology research. The Tunuyán River Basin (Province of Mendoza, Argentina) has been selected as a representative traditional water monitoring system to test the applicability of the C. elegans toxicological bioassay to generate an integrated water quality evaluation. Jointly with the C. elegans toxic assays, physicochemical and bacteriological parameters were determined for each monitoring site. C. elegans bioassays help to identify different water qualities in the river basin. Multivariate statistical analysis (PCA and linear regression models) has allowed us to confirm that traditional water quality studies do not predict potential toxic effects on living organisms. On the contrary, physicochemical and bacteriological analyzes explain water quality threats. Our results confirm that the C. elegans bioassay is a sensible and suitable tool to assess toxicity and should be implemented in routine water quality monitoring.

  6. Sideline assessment tools for the evaluation of concussion in athletes: a review. (United States)

    Okonkwo, David O; Tempel, Zachary J; Maroon, Joseph


    Sports-related concussions, which have become more prevalent in the past decade, are an extremely common phenomenon in organized athletics and create a substantial economic burden on the health care system. Furthermore, they can have devastating impacts on the athletic careers and long-term health of athletes. However, concussion evaluation remains a controversy with respect to diagnosis, management, and return-to-play guidelines for sports-related concussions. This is especially true of the immediate evaluation of sports-related concussion on the sidelines, where decisions must be made quickly and effectively with limited diagnostic resources. Considerable effort has been directed toward developing reliable and valid sidelines assessment modalities for concussion evaluation with a goal of accurately determining whether an athlete requires rapid removal from or is able to return to competition. This paper discusses the role of the concussion specialist on the sidelines during athletic competition and examines the current tools and resources available for the sidelines assessment of concussion. Additionally, new technologies, including electronic applications for Smartphones and tablets, as well as future directions in sidelines assessment of concussion are examined.

  7. Enabling Wide-Scale Computer Science Education through Improved Automated Assessment Tools (United States)

    Boe, Bryce A.

    There is a proliferating demand for newly trained computer scientists as the number of computer science related jobs continues to increase. University programs will only be able to train enough new computer scientists to meet this demand when two things happen: when there are more primary and secondary school students interested in computer science, and when university departments have the resources to handle the resulting increase in enrollment. To meet these goals, significant effort is being made to both incorporate computational thinking into existing primary school education, and to support larger university computer science class sizes. We contribute to this effort through the creation and use of improved automated assessment tools. To enable wide-scale computer science education we do two things. First, we create a framework called Hairball to support the static analysis of Scratch programs targeted for fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students. Scratch is a popular building-block language utilized to pique interest in and teach the basics of computer science. We observe that Hairball allows for rapid curriculum alterations and thus contributes to wide-scale deployment of computer science curriculum. Second, we create a real-time feedback and assessment system utilized in university computer science classes to provide better feedback to students while reducing assessment time. Insights from our analysis of student submission data show that modifications to the system configuration support the way students learn and progress through course material, making it possible for instructors to tailor assignments to optimize learning in growing computer science classes.

  8. Remote monitoring as a tool in condition assessment of a highway bridge (United States)

    Tantele, Elia A.; Votsis, Renos A.; Onoufriou, Toula; Milis, Marios; Kareklas, George


    The deterioration of civil infrastructure and their subsequent maintenance is a significant problem for the responsible managing authorities. The ideal scenario is to detect deterioration and/or structural problems at early stages so that the maintenance cost is kept low and the safety of the infrastructure remains undisputed. The current inspection regimes implemented mostly via visual inspection are planned at specific intervals but are not always executed on time due to shortcomings in expert personnel and finance. However the introduction of technological advances in the assessment of infrastructures provides the tools to alleviate this problem. This study describes the assessment of a highway RC bridge's structural condition using remote structural health monitoring. A monitoring plan is implemented focusing on strain measurements; as strain is a parameter influenced by the environmental conditions supplementary data are provided from temperature and wind sensors. The data are acquired using wired sensors (deployed at specific locations) which are connected to a wireless sensor unit installed at the bridge. This WSN application enables the transmission of the raw data from the field to the office for processing and evaluation. The processed data are then used to assess the condition of the bridge. This case study, which is part of an undergoing RPF research project, illustrates that remote monitoring can alleviate the problem of missing structural inspections. Additionally, shows its potential to be the main part of a fully automated smart procedure of obtaining structural data, processed them and trigger an alarm when certain undesirable conditions are met.

  9. SALT 2010 Bilingual S/E Version: A Tool for Assessing the Language Production of Bilingual (Spanish/English) Children (United States)

    Miller, Jon F.; Iglesias, Aquiles; Rojas, Raul


    Assessing the language development of bilingual children can be a challenge--too often, children in the complex process of learning both Spanish and English are under- or over-diagnosed with language disorders. SLPs can change that with "SALT 2010 Bilingual S/E Version" for grades K-3, the first tool to comprehensively assess children's language…

  10. An Abbreviated Tool for Assessing Feminine Norm Conformity: Psychometric Properties of the Conformity to Feminine Norms Inventory-45 (United States)

    Parent, Mike C.; Moradi, Bonnie


    The Conformity to Feminine Norms Inventory-45 (CFNI-45; Parent & Moradi, 2010) is an important tool for assessing level of conformity to feminine gender norms and for investigating the implications of such norms for women's functioning. The authors of the present study assessed the factor structure, measurement invariance, reliability, and…

  11. Evaluating a traditional medicine policy in South Africa: phase 1 development of a policy assessment tool

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    Georgios Gavriilidis


    Full Text Available Background: Policies that empower individuals and communities may be appropriate for public health, and more broadly. Simple, transparent and acceptable tools are therefore required to evaluate policies from an empowerment perspective. In 2008, the South African Department of Health (DOHSA drafted a policy to endorse the integration of African Traditional Medicine (ATM into the public health sector, following the World Health Organization's (WHO long-standing directives. Objective: The purpose of this study is to critically analyze this policy using a novel evaluation tool. Design: A 12-point ‘Policy Empowerment Index’ (PEI is introduced, and used to classify and score the policy according to five theoretical policy types. The evaluation was based on a stepwise review and associated publications: policy drafts, policy statements and news announcements. Results: According to the assessment tool, the ATM policy was marginally ‘supportive’ of constituent empowerment, although several ‘directive’ features were also observed. The importance of ATM to SA's communities and the promotion of education, employment, entrepreneurship and peripheral resource mobilization were the main empowering elements. Centralised conception, planning and implementation, the absence of provisions for local adaptations and the authoritative legislation context were sub-optimal features. Conclusions: South Africa's ATM legislation may need to further involve communities in policy design and implementation to capitalise upon the broader benefits of community empowerment. However, the iterative nature of method and evaluation is important. Indeed, they are proposed as points to initiate participatory development, and improve policy evaluation . Such instruments can empower constituents in the political process.

  12. Transition Matrices: A Tool to Assess Student Learning and Improve Instruction (United States)

    Morris, Gary A.; Walter, Paul; Skees, Spencer; Schwartz, Samantha


    This paper introduces a new spreadsheet tool for adoption by high school or college-level physics teachers who use common assessments in a pre-instruction/post-instruction mode to diagnose student learning and teaching effectiveness. The spreadsheet creates a simple matrix that identifies the percentage of students who select each possible pre-/post-test answer combination on each question of the diagnostic exam. Leveraging analysis of the quality of the incorrect answer choices, one can order the answer choices from worst to best (i.e., correct), resulting in "transition matrices" that can provide deeper insight into student learning and the success or failure of the pedagogical approach than traditional analyses that employ dichotomous scoring.

  13. Validation of a Conceptual Assessment Tool in E&M II

    CERN Document Server

    Ryan, Qing X; Baily, Charles; Pollock, Steven J


    As part of an ongoing project to investigate student learning in upper-division electrodynamics (E&M II), the PER research group at the University of Colorado Boulder has developed a tool to assess student conceptual understanding: the CURrENT (Colorado UppeR-division ElectrodyNamics Test). The result is an open-ended post-test diagnostic with 6 multi-part questions, an optional 3-question pretest, and an accompanying grading rubric. This instrument is motivated in part by our faculty-consensus learning goals, and is intended to help measure the effectiveness of transformed pedagogy. In addition, it provides insights into student thinking and student difficulties in the covered topical areas. In this paper, we present preliminary measures of the validity and reliability of the instrument and scoring rubric. These include expert validation and student interviews, inter-rater reliability measures, and classical test statistics.

  14. Tools of an assessment of the budgetary risks of the Udmurt Republic

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    Zhelnova Christina Vladimirovna


    Full Text Available In the present article the essence of the budgetary risk and a problem of management of the budgetary process is investigated. The tools of definition of the budgetary risks on the basis of execution of the income and expenses of the budget are considered. Calculation of the budgetary risks on the example of the consolidated budget of the Udmurt Republic for 2013-2014 is presented., which didn't reveal cases of high risk level of budget performance according to the income and expenses. The received results of an assessment will be important and useful to bodies executive and legislature, including promoting increase of a level of quality of the budgetary management.

  15. Using a Structured Assessment Tool to Evaluate Nontechnical Skills of Nurse Anesthetists

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lyk-Jensen, Helle Teglgaard; Dieckmann, Peter; Konge, Lars


    anesthetists' nontechnical skills in 9 scripted video scenarios. Data were gathered from 2 rating sessions separated by a 2-hour training session. The interrater reliability was high before and after the training. It remained stable for the global rating score in N-ANTS and its category ratings, but improved......Nontechnical skills are critical for good anesthetic practice but are seldom addressed explicitly in clinical training. The purposes of this study were (1) to evaluate the reliability and validity of the observation-based assessment tool Nurse Anaesthetists' Non-Technical Skills system (N......-ANTS) and (2) to evaluate the effect of training nurse anesthetist supervisors in the use of N-ANTS. This system comprises a global rating score, 4 categories, and 15 elements to rate nurse anesthetists' nontechnical skills. A 1-day workshop was conducted for 22 nurse anesthetist supervisors to rate nurse...

  16. Polar bears from space: assessing satellite imagery as a tool to track Arctic wildlife.

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    Seth Stapleton

    Full Text Available Development of efficient techniques for monitoring wildlife is a priority in the Arctic, where the impacts of climate change are acute and remoteness and logistical constraints hinder access. We evaluated high resolution satellite imagery as a tool to track the distribution and abundance of polar bears. We examined satellite images of a small island in Foxe Basin, Canada, occupied by a high density of bears during the summer ice-free season. Bears were distinguished from other light-colored spots by comparing images collected on different dates. A sample of ground-truthed points demonstrated that we accurately classified bears. Independent observers reviewed images and a population estimate was obtained using mark-recapture models. This estimate (N: 94; 95% Confidence Interval: 92-105 was remarkably similar to an abundance estimate derived from a line transect aerial survey conducted a few days earlier (N: 102; 95% CI: 69-152. Our findings suggest that satellite imagery is a promising tool for monitoring polar bears on land, with implications for use with other Arctic wildlife. Large scale applications may require development of automated detection processes to expedite review and analysis. Future research should assess the utility of multi-spectral imagery and examine sites with different environmental characteristics.

  17. Compassionate Care: Can it be Defined and Measured? The Development of the Compassionate Care Assessment Tool

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    Lori Burnell


    Full Text Available Background: Compassion has not been universally defined or understood, nonetheless is recognized as a component of nursing excellence. If compassionate care is routine in health care delivery models, nursing behaviors and actions that exemplify compassion ought to be easily identifiable to patients. However, a standardized scale measuring compassionate care attributes has been notably absent.Objective: To address this gap and ascertain the importance of compassionate care to patients, a Compassionate Care Assessment Tool (CCAT© was formulated. This new tool, derived from a pilot study of two published surveys, combined the constructs of compassion and caring to generate 28 elements of compassionate care.Methodology: The CCAT© was administered to 250 hospitalized patients. Patients were asked to rate (a the importance of these items to compassionate care and (b the extent to which nurses made this type of care apparent to them.Results: Four categorical segments illustrated compassion from the patients’ perspective: the ability to establish meaningful connections, meet expectations, exhibit caring attributes, and function as a capable practitioner.Conclusions: The provision of compassionate care requires a holistic approach. Patients value nurses forming personal connections, serving as their advocates, and responding to their individual needs.

  18. Phase Angle, an Alternative Physiological Tool to Assess Wound Treatment in Chronic Nonhealing Wounds (United States)

    Moore, Michael F.; Dobson, Nanci; Castelllino, Lisa; Kapp, Susan


    Background This exploratory study was conducted in an effort to demonstrate that bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) phase angle measurement is a novel tool for monitoring the effectiveness of a wound care regimen at a regional level and is valuable in comparing that status with the overall metabolic health of the patient. Isolating and measuring the extent to which nutritional supplementation contributes to the healing process is difficult and confounded by the many treatment modalities patients undergo. Objective The authors conducted a limited exploratory study to determine whether regional phase angle measurements accurately reflected the status of chronic nonhealing wounds. This information would potentially provide the ability to quantitatively evaluate of the role of nutritional supplementation in wounds of varying etiologies by comparing regional BIA phase angle measurement with overall BIA phase angle measurement. Methods Eleven patients with wounds of varying etiologies were selected to participate. Each patient underwent a treatment regimen specific to his or her condition, and all patients were given JUVEN® nutritional supplement. Results and Conclusion In all patients, the BIA phase angle measurement mirrored the health of the wound and provided an accurate tool for assessing the regional tissue health, a valuable insight in measuring the effectiveness of a systemic treatment. PMID:24527159

  19. Biochemical assessment of physical training: a tool to sports dietitians-nutritionists

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    Aritz Urdampilleta


    Full Text Available The high demand in athletes creates the need to control the process of adaptation to training. The aim of this review is to analyze the biochemical parameters of utility for biological control of the athlete, and provide tools to sports dietitian-nutritionist in the follow-up of the training.Glucose and lipid profile parameters are widely used but insufficient to control training. The lactic acid level in the plasma is the most common tool to assess training load, where values higher than 4 mmol/l, suggest an intensive training. Other enzymes in high concentrations such as creatine kinase (CK, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH and two transaminases: glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT or aspartate transaminase (AST or aspartate aminotransferase (AAT and glutamic pyruvic transaminase (GPT or alanine transaminase or aminotransferase (ALT suggest that the training load was high producing microscopic tearing of the muscle fibers. Determination of other substrates such as ammonia, glutamine, or testosterone/cortisol ratio, used to detect a possible overtraining syndrome. Likewise the latest research suggest that high cortisol levels decrease the immune system.Moreover, an increase of urea, alanine or ketone bodies are related to muscle glycogen stores depleted. Therefore, the information provided by these parameters is useful for the sports dietitian-nutritionist for dietary and nutritional interventions to achieve more effective in function of the training goals.

  20. A history of deep brain stimulation: Technological innovation and the role of clinical assessment tools (United States)


    Deep brain stimulation involves using a pacemaker-like device to deliver constant electrical stimulation to problematic areas within the brain. It has been used to treat over 40,000 people with Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor worldwide and is currently undergoing clinical trials as a treatment for depression and obsessive–compulsive disorder. This article will provide an historical account of deep brain stimulation in order to illustrate the plurality of interests involved in the development and stabilization of deep brain stimulation technology. Using Latour’s notion of immutable mobiles, this article will illustrate the importance of clinical assessment tools in shaping technological development in the era of medical device regulation. Given that such tools can serve commercial and professional interests, this article suggests that it is necessary to scrutinise their application in research contexts to ensure that they capture clinical changes that are meaningful for patients and their families. This is particularly important in relation to potentially ethically problematic therapies such as deep brain stimulation for psychiatric disorders.