WorldWideScience

Sample records for quality human evidence

  1. Do human parents face a quantity-quality tradeoff?: evidence from a Shuar community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, Edward H; Barrett, H Clark; Price, Michael E

    2006-07-01

    A number of evolutionary theories of human life history assume a quantity-quality tradeoff for offspring production: parents with fewer offspring can have higher biological fitness than those with more. Direct evidence for such a tradeoff, however, is mixed. We tested this assumption in a community of Ecuadorian Shuar hunter-horticulturalists, using child anthropometry as a proxy for fitness. We measured the impact of household consumer/producer (CP) ratio on height, weight, skinfold thicknesses, and arm and calf circumferences of 85 children and young adults. To control for possible "phenotypic" correlates that might mask the effect of CP ratio on anthropometry, we also measured household garden productivity, wealth, and social status. Regression models of the age-standardized variables indicated a significant negative impact of CP ratio on child growth and nutrition. The age-standardized height and weight of children in households with the largest CP ratio (10) were 1.38 and 1.44 standard deviations, respectively, below those of children in households with the smallest CP ratio (2). Surprisingly, garden productivity, wealth, and status had little to no effect on the fitness proxies. There was, however, an interesting and unexpected interaction between status and sex: for females, but not males, higher father status correlated significantly with higher values on the proxies.

  2. Home-based telecommuting and quality of life: further evidence on an employee-oriented human resource practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hornung, Severin; Glaser, Jürgen

    2009-04-01

    Building on previous research, further evidence for the potential of home-based telecommuting as an employee-oriented human resource practice is provided from a study in the German public administration. Survey data from 1,008 public employees were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Mean age of the sample was 43.6 yr. (SD = 8.8 yr.), and 27.5% (277) of the participants were women. Analysis supported the roles of higher Autonomy and lower Work-Family Conflict as psychological mediators between Telecommunication Intensity and both Job Satisfaction and Quality of Life. Implications for the design of flexible working arrangements are discussed.

  3. Quality and human society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoll, W.

    1991-02-01

    Quality of products and services is seen as a necessity in our modern world. Quality also has important cross-links to safety in our society. It is however suggested, that human beings are living in their industrial environment under the stress of a fractured personality with anxieties and frustrations. Some cultural comparisons with other industrial nations are given. Quality control tailored to human nature is recommended.

  4. Quality in Human Resource Practice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kjeld

    Abstract: Quality in Human Resource Practice – a process perspective The purpose of this article is to establish criteria for what quality in human resource practice (HRP) actually means. The general thesis is that quality in human resource practices is shaped within social processes in the HRM...... areas (recruitment, training, work environment etc.). Initially the concept of quality is defined in general on the basis of selections from the HRM literature, and then related to human resource practice. The question posed in the article is then answered using examples from case studies of human...... resource practice in industrial and service-related work processes. The focus in these studies is directed at behavioural processes between managers and employees, especially at individual and group level. The conclusion is that quality in human resource practice can be considered to be a social process...

  5. Quality of evidence-based pediatric guidelines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boluyt, Nicole; Lincke, Carsten R.; Offringa, Martin

    2005-01-01

    Objective. To identify evidence-based pediatric guidelines and to assess their quality. Methods. We searched Medline, Embase, and relevant Web sites of guideline development programs and national pediatric societies to identify evidence-based pediatric guidelines. A list with titles of identified

  6. Measuring earnings quality: Evidence from New Zealand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Nurul Houqe

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available We utilize two basic approaches to measure the quality of earnings which control two different dimensions of earnings management. The research design is structured primary on the basis of calculating two different measures of the quality of earnings on the industry level and on the company level. We calculate earnings quality for New Zealand public firms from the OSIRIS (http://www.osiris.com database for 2004-2007. This research concludes that various stakeholders should apply more than one measure for the quality of earning in order to have strong evidence about the level of quality before taking any corrective action or making any decision related to that company. If one company is having low quality of earning according to one technique and high quality of earnings according to another, the stakeholders cannot have a final conclusion about that company and they need more investigations and analysis to assess the quality of earnings

  7. Automatic evidence quality prediction to support evidence-based decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarker, Abeed; Mollá, Diego; Paris, Cécile

    2015-06-01

    Evidence-based medicine practice requires practitioners to obtain the best available medical evidence, and appraise the quality of the evidence when making clinical decisions. Primarily due to the plethora of electronically available data from the medical literature, the manual appraisal of the quality of evidence is a time-consuming process. We present a fully automatic approach for predicting the quality of medical evidence in order to aid practitioners at point-of-care. Our approach extracts relevant information from medical article abstracts and utilises data from a specialised corpus to apply supervised machine learning for the prediction of the quality grades. Following an in-depth analysis of the usefulness of features (e.g., publication types of articles), they are extracted from the text via rule-based approaches and from the meta-data associated with the articles, and then applied in the supervised classification model. We propose the use of a highly scalable and portable approach using a sequence of high precision classifiers, and introduce a simple evaluation metric called average error distance (AED) that simplifies the comparison of systems. We also perform elaborate human evaluations to compare the performance of our system against human judgments. We test and evaluate our approaches on a publicly available, specialised, annotated corpus containing 1132 evidence-based recommendations. Our rule-based approach performs exceptionally well at the automatic extraction of publication types of articles, with F-scores of up to 0.99 for high-quality publication types. For evidence quality classification, our approach obtains an accuracy of 63.84% and an AED of 0.271. The human evaluations show that the performance of our system, in terms of AED and accuracy, is comparable to the performance of humans on the same data. The experiments suggest that our structured text classification framework achieves evaluation results comparable to those of human performance

  8. Air quality and human welfare

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sundseth K.

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Human welfare is generally referring to allocation of resources to fit the well being of humans. If high standard of well-being is to be maintained, the concerns for a healthy environment must be balanced against requirements of economic growth. In a natural capital system, human welfare is best served by improving the quality and flow of desired services delivered rather than merely increasing the total money flow. An ecosystem based management of living and natural resource use will steer this progress to the best of human welfare while the efficiency of ecosystem based management depends strongly on the availability of integrated assessment tools that will combine environmental models and monitoring data with ecological economic valuation methods. In applied welfare economics, the methodological approach to assess resource allocations towards societal optimality and thereby establish criteria for government intervention is often linked to tools as Cost-ffectiveness Analysis (CEA, Cost-Benefit Assessment (CBA or Multi-criteria Analysis (MCA. By illustrating an assessment on costs and benefits of the implementation of Hg emission reduction measures in the coal sector, it becomes obvious that for a full analysis of societal costs and benefits, several aspects of Hg pollution, sources, impacts and co-benefits need to be considered.

  9. Pharmacists performing quality spirometry testing: an evidence based review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cawley, Michael J; Warning, William J

    2015-10-01

    The scope of pharmacist services for patients with pulmonary disease has primarily focused on drug related outcomes; however pharmacists have the ability to broaden the scope of clinical services by performing diagnostic testing including quality spirometry testing. Studies have demonstrated that pharmacists can perform quality spirometry testing based upon international guidelines. The primary aim of this review was to assess the published evidence of pharmacists performing quality spirometry testing based upon American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society (ATS/ERS) guidelines. In order to accomplish this, the description of evidence and type of outcome from these services were reviewed. A literature search was conducted using five databases [PubMed (1946-January 2015), International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1970 to January 2015), Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews] with search terms including pharmacy, spirometry, pulmonary function, asthma or COPD was conducted. Searches were limited to publications in English and reported in humans. In addition, Uniform Resource Locators and Google Scholar searches were implemented to include any additional supplemental information. Eight studies (six prospective multi-center trials, two retrospective single center studies) were included. Pharmacists in all studies received specialized training in performing spirometry testing. Of the eight studies meeting inclusion and exclusion criteria, 8 (100%) demonstrated acceptable repeatability of spirometry testing based upon standards set by the ATS/ERS guidelines. Acceptable repeatability of seven studies ranged from 70 to 99% consistent with published data. Available evidence suggests that quality spirometry testing can be performed by pharmacists. More prospective studies are needed to add to the current evidence of quality spirometry testing performed by

  10. [Quality assurance in human genetic testing].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuhrmann-Spangenberg, Manfred

    2015-02-01

    Advances in technical developments of genetic diagnostics for more than 50 years, as well as the fact that human genetic testing is usually performed only once in a lifetime, with additional impact for blood relatives, are determining the extraordinary importance of quality assurance in human genetic testing. Abidance of laws, directives, and guidelines plays a major role. This article aims to present the major laws, directives, and guidelines with respect to quality assurance of human genetic testing, paying careful attention to internal and external quality assurance. The information on quality assurance of human genetic testing was obtained through a web-based search of the web pages that are referred to in this article. Further information was retrieved from publications in the German Society of Human Genetics and through a PubMed-search using term quality + assurance + genetic + diagnostics. The most important laws, directives, and guidelines for quality assurance of human genetic testing are the gene diagnostics law (GenDG), the directive of the Federal Medical Council for quality control of clinical laboratory analysis (RiliBÄK), and the S2K guideline for human genetic diagnostics and counselling. In addition, voluntary accreditation under DIN EN ISO 15189:2013 offers a most recommended contribution towards quality assurance of human genetic testing. Legal restraints on quality assurance of human genetic testing as mentioned in § 5 GenDG are fulfilled once RiliBÄK requirements are followed.

  11. Human mutagens: evidence from paternal exposure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Narod, S.A.; Douglas, G.R.; Nestmann, E.R.; Blakey, D.H.

    1988-01-01

    The importance of inherited mutations as a cause of human disease has been established clearly through examples of well-defined genetic anomalies, such as Down syndrome and retinoblastoma. Furthermore, it is suspected that environmental contaminants induce mutations resulting in increased risk for such defects in subsequent generations of persons exposed. The present lack of direct evidence for induced inherited genetic disorders in human beings hampers the development of risk estimation techniques for extrapolation from animal models. The most extensive prospective epidemiologic studies of inherited genetic effects have involved survivors of atomic bomb detonations and patients treated with cancer chemotherapy. In neither case has a significant elevation in inherited genetic effects or cancer been detected in the offspring of exposed individuals. Epidemiologic studies of subjects receiving chronic exposure may be confounded by the effect of maternal exposure during pregnancy. Consideration of only paternal exposure can minimize the confounding influence of teratogenicity, enhancing the resolving power of studies for inherited effects. Using this approach, retrospective (case-control) studies of childhood cancer patients have provided limited but suggestive evidence for inheritance of induced effects. Endpoints, such as congenital malformations and spontaneous abortion following paternal exposure, can also be considered as indicators of heritable mutagenic effects. For example, there is limited evidence suggesting that paternal exposure to anaesthetic gases may cause miscarriage and congenital abnormalities as a result of induced male germ cell mutations. 104 references

  12. Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plant, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe is based on a particular, positivtic model. Other approaches are largely neglected.......Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe is based on a particular, positivtic model. Other approaches are largely neglected....

  13. Factors Affecting Quality of Audit; Empirical Evidence from Iran ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study examines factors affecting quality of audit using empirical evidence from Iran Quality of audit was seen as the degree to which an audit report is free from deficiencies and distortions which show up later on. The quality of an audit was measured in terms of an auditor's ability to report financial distortions willingly ...

  14. The Navigation Guide - evidence-based medicine meets environmental health: integration of animal and human evidence for PFOA effects on fetal growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Juleen; Koustas, Erica; Sutton, Patrice; Johnson, Paula I; Atchley, Dylan S; Sen, Saunak; Robinson, Karen A; Axelrad, Daniel A; Woodruff, Tracey J

    2014-10-01

    The Navigation Guide is a novel systematic review method to synthesize scientific evidence and reach strength of evidence conclusions for environmental health decision making. Our aim was to integrate scientific findings from human and nonhuman studies to determine the overall strength of evidence for the question "Does developmental exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) affect fetal growth in humans?" We developed and applied prespecified criteria to systematically and transparently a) rate the quality of the scientific evidence as "high," "moderate," or "low"; b) rate the strength of the human and nonhuman evidence separately as "sufficient," "limited," "moderate," or "evidence of lack of toxicity"; and c) integrate the strength of the human and nonhuman evidence ratings into a strength of the evidence conclusion. We identified 18 epidemiology studies and 21 animal toxicology studies relevant to our study question. We rated both the human and nonhuman mammalian evidence as "moderate" quality and "sufficient" strength. Integration of these evidence ratings produced a final strength of evidence rating in which review authors concluded that PFOA is "known to be toxic" to human reproduction and development based on sufficient evidence of decreased fetal growth in both human and nonhuman mammalian species. We concluded that developmental exposure to PFOA adversely affects human health based on sufficient evidence of decreased fetal growth in both human and nonhuman mammalian species. The results of this case study demonstrate the application of a systematic and transparent methodology, via the Navigation Guide, for reaching strength of evidence conclusions in environmental health.

  15. Evidence for strategic cooperation in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton-Chellew, Maxwell N; El Mouden, Claire; West, Stuart A

    2017-06-14

    Humans may cooperate strategically, cooperating at higher levels than expected from their short-term interests, to try and stimulate others to cooperate. To test this hypothesis, we experimentally manipulated the extent an individual's behaviour is known to others, and hence whether or not strategic cooperation is possible. In contrast with many previous studies, we avoided confounding factors by preventing individuals from learning during the game about either pay-offs or about how other individuals behave. We found clear evidence for strategic cooperators-just telling some individuals that their groupmates would be informed about their behaviour led to them tripling their initial level of cooperation, from 17 to 50%. We also found that many individuals play as if they do not understand the game, and their presence obscures the detection of strategic cooperation. Identifying such players allowed us to detect and study strategic motives for cooperation in novel, more powerful, ways. © 2017 The Author(s).

  16. Quality Communication For human development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federico Mayor Zaragoza

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available In the digital age, the Media are today, fortunately, affordable instruments that progressively allow all human beings –up to now confined and silent– to know what is happening anywhere in the world, being able, in addition, to express their own views and opinions. This article insists on the value of Communication to achieve the equality of the human being in all the senses. “The same dignity –writes the author– as the foundation of the world we long for.”

  17. An Evidence Base for Human Spaceflight Risks in Wikipedia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundrot, Craig; Steil, Jennifer; Lumpkins, Sarah; Pellis, Neal

    2013-01-01

    NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) is focused on understanding and mitigating thirty two risks to crew health and performance in exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit. The HRP has developed an evidence report for each of the risks. Most evidence reports are a brief review article describing the evidence related to a specified risk, written at a level appropriate for the scientifically educated, non-specialist reader. Each evidence report captured the current state of knowledge from both research and operations. Two limitations of the evidence reports have become apparent: 1) they are updated infrequently and 2) they do not take full advantage of the expertise available in other space agencies and in related fields of terrestrial research. Therefore, the HRP is experimenting with the use of Wikipedia articles as a repository for evidence. Wikipedia's accessibility to the international space flight community and researchers in related terrestrial fields creates the opportunity to generate a more timely and comprehensive evidence base. Initial Wikipedia articles were populated for seven risks using a subset of the information in the HRP-approved evidence reports: Fatigue and Sleep Loss, Treating An Ill or Injured Crew Member, Radiation Carcinogenesis, Visual Impairment and Intracranial Pressure, Renal Stone Formation, Team Cohesion, and Intervertebral Disc Damage. Since the initial articles were created, there have been additions to these Wikipedia articles, including content from sources outside the HRP, and editorial changes to the pages. We will report on the nature of the contributions made after the initial articles were created, the comprehensiveness of the resulting Wikipedia articles, and the effort required to maintain quality control of the content. The Wikipedia approach will also be compared to wiki efforts that exert more traditional editorial control of content prior to posting.

  18. Biodiversity, air quality and human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    David J. Nowak; Sarah Jovan; Christina Branquinho; Sofia Augusto; Manuel C. Ribeiro; Conor E. Kretsch

    2015-01-01

    Air pollution is a significant problem in cities across the world. It affects human health and well-being, ecosystem health, crops, climate, visibility and human-made materials. Health effects related to air pollution include its impact on the pulmonary, cardiac, vascular and neurological systems (Section 2). Trees affect air quality through a number of means (Section...

  19. How Quality Improvement Practice Evidence Can Advance the Knowledge Base.

    Science.gov (United States)

    OʼRourke, Hannah M; Fraser, Kimberly D

    2016-01-01

    Recommendations for the evaluation of quality improvement interventions have been made in order to improve the evidence base of whether, to what extent, and why quality improvement interventions affect chosen outcomes. The purpose of this article is to articulate why these recommendations are appropriate to improve the rigor of quality improvement intervention evaluation as a research endeavor, but inappropriate for the purposes of everyday quality improvement practice. To support our claim, we describe the differences between quality improvement interventions that occur for the purpose of practice as compared to research. We then carefully consider how feasibility, ethics, and the aims of evaluation each impact how quality improvement interventions that occur in practice, as opposed to research, can or should be evaluated. Recommendations that fit the evaluative goals of practice-based quality improvement interventions are needed to support fair appraisal of the distinct evidence they produce. We describe a current debate on the nature of evidence to assist in reenvisioning how quality improvement evidence generated from practice might complement that generated from research, and contribute in a value-added way to the knowledge base.

  20. Characterization of Evidence for Human System Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberg, S. L.; Van Baalen, M.; Rossi, M.; Riccio, G.; Romero, E.; Francisco, D.

    2016-01-01

    environmental data on the astronaut population may create opportunities for advanced analytics and human-environment modeling that goes beyond that achieved in isolated experimental designs; and (7) Translation of relevant research to operations is a complex, transdisciplinary enterprise in which the approach must apply across the physical, biological, behavioral, and social sciences. The approach to synthesizing evidence must address both source and fidelity of data, and reflect the most general attributes of quality of evidence in science and engineering: reliability and validity. The authors are developing a two-factor approach which includes the various kinds of evidence required to understand risks and for the integrated interpretation of all evidence that is essential to develop standards and countermeasures. A unified framework for aggregating and assessing different kinds of evidence provides a consistent, traceable, evidence-based decision-making process to translate research to operations in an environment where engineers, scientists, physicians, and managers all engage in analyzing the trade space of vehicle design, standards, requirements and solutions for spaceflight.

  1. Competition, information, and quality: Evidence from nursing homes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xin

    2016-09-01

    Economic theory suggests that competition and information can both be important for product quality, and yet evidence on how they may interact to affect quality is sparse. This paper estimates the impact of competition between nursing homes on their quality, and how this impact varies when consumers have better access to information. The effect of competition is identified using exogenous variation in the geographical proximity of nursing homes to their potential consumers. The change in information transparency is captured by the launch of the Five-Star Quality Rating System in 2009, which improved access to the quality information of nursing homes. We find that while the effect of competition on nursing home quality is generally rather limited, this effect becomes significantly stronger with increased information transparency. The results suggest that regulations on public quality reporting and on market structure are policy complements, and should be considered jointly to best improve quality. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Corporate Governance Quality and Earnings Management: Evidence from Jordan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sinan S. Abbadi

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates the effect of corporate governance quality on earnings management in Jordan. Using a panel data set of all industrial and service firms listed on Amman Stock Exchange (ASE during the period 2009-2013; this paper provides evidence that earnings management is affected negatively by corporate governance quality. In particular; the results show that earnings management is affected negatively by overall categories of governance index represented by board of director, board meeting, Audit and nomination and compensation committee. Furthermore, results suggest that corporate governance quality has increased over time. Thus, its ability to constrain earnings management has also increased. It is recommended to industrial and service companies to boost their compliance with corporate governance code to improve the integrity and reliability of financial reports. This paper fills a gap in the literature by providing evidence about the effect of corporate governance quality on earnings management in Jordan as an emerging economy.

  3. Quality assurance and human error effects on the structural safety

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertero, R.; Lopez, R.; Sarrate, M.

    1991-01-01

    Statistical surveys show that the frequency of failure of structures is much larger than that expected by the codes. Evidence exists that human errors (especially during the design process) is the main cause for the difference between the failure probability admitted by codes and the reality. In this paper, the attenuation of human error effects using tools of quality assurance is analyzed. In particular, the importance of the independent design review is highlighted, and different approaches are discussed. The experience from the Atucha II project, as well as the USA and German practice on independent design review, are summarized. (Author)

  4. Evident?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plant, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe are often seen as self-evident approaches, but particular interests lie behind......Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe are often seen as self-evident approaches, but particular interests lie behind...

  5. Competition and Educational Quality: Evidence from The Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E. Dijkgraaf (Elbert); R.H.J.M. Gradus (Raymond); M. de Jong (Matthijs)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractAmple evidence is available for the effect of competition on educational quality as only a few countries allow large scale competition. In the Netherlands free parental choice is present since the beginning of the 20th century, which can be characterized as a full voucher program with

  6. Competition and educational quality: evidence from the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E. Dijkgraaf (Elbert); R.H.J.M. Gradus (Raymond); M. de Jong (Matthijs)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractLittle evidence is available for the effect of competition on educational quality as only a few countries allow large-scale competition. In the Netherlands, free parental choice has been present since the beginning of the twentieth century and can be characterized as a full voucher

  7. Do perfluoroalkyl compounds impair human semen quality?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joensen, Ulla Nordström; Bossi, Rossana; Leffers, Henrik

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are found globally in wildlife and humans and are suspected to act as endocrine disruptors. There are no previous reports of PFAA levels in adult men from Denmark or of a possible association between semen quality and PFAA exposure. OBJECTIVES: We investig......BACKGROUND: Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are found globally in wildlife and humans and are suspected to act as endocrine disruptors. There are no previous reports of PFAA levels in adult men from Denmark or of a possible association between semen quality and PFAA exposure. OBJECTIVES: We...... investigated possible associations between PFAAs and testicular function. We hypothesized that higher PFAA levels would be associated with lower semen quality and lower testosterone levels. METHODS: We analyzed serum samples for levels of 10 different PFAAs and reproductive hormones and assessed semen quality......-gonadal hormones among men with high PFOS-PFOA levels. CONCLUSION: High PFAA levels were associated with fewer normal sperm. Thus, high levels of PFAAs may contribute to the otherwise unexplained low semen quality often seen in young men. However, our findings need to be corroborated in larger studies....

  8. Regional programme on quality control of radioimmunoassay: Development of human resources and external quality assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quiroga, S.; Torres, M.; Mendizabal, A.F.; Farinati, Z.; Galanternik, A.

    1986-01-01

    Since 1978 the authors have been concerned with helping to standardize radioimmunoassay (RIA) methodology in Argentina and other Latin American countries by: (1) developing human resources through courses on quality control of RIA and training of fellows, and (2) developing four external quality assessment (EQA) schemes to evaluate the performance of laboratories in determining several analytes by RIA. The number of collaborating laboratories increased between the first and fourth schemes. The average analytical performance achieved by the participants in each scheme was estimated by the average between-laboratory variation. Thyroxine, cortisol and tri-iodothyronine were measured the most accurately. Different problems were evident in the RIAs of thyrotrophin, luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, prolactin, testosterone, progesterone, cortisol, immunoglobulin E and human growth hormone. RIA of oestradiol showed the worst accuracy. Analysis of the results showed an increasing interest in RIA quality control as it was found to improve the reliability of RIA. (author)

  9. Pursuing Quality Evidence: Applying Single-Subject Quality Indicators to Non-Experimental Qualitative Educational Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stodden, Robert A.; Yamamoto, Kathryn K.; Folk, Eric; Kong, Eran; Otsuji, Derek N.

    2013-01-01

    The need for quality evidence in support of strategies used while working with persons with autism and intellectual disability (ID) has been long been recognized by researchers and practitioners. The authors reviewed and applied a number of evidence-based indicators, developed through the "What Works Clearinghouse" (WWC), to the conduct…

  10. Evidence, Quality, and Waste: Solving the Value Equation in Neonatology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dukhovny, Dmitry; Pursley, DeWayne M; Kirpalani, Haresh M; Horbar, Jeffrey H; Zupancic, John A F

    2016-03-01

    Rising health care costs challenge governments, payers, and providers in delivering health care services. Tremendous pressures result to deliver better quality care while simultaneously reducing costs. This has led to a wholesale re-examination of current practice methods, including explicit consideration of efficiency and waste. Traditionally, reductions in the costs of care have been considered as independent, and sometimes even antithetical, to the practice of high-quality, intensive medicine. However, it is evident that provision of evidence-based, locally relevant care can result in improved outcomes, lower resource utilization, and opportunities to reallocate resources. This is particularly relevant to the practice of neonatology. In the United States, 12% of the annual birth cohort is affected by preterm birth, and 3% is affected by congenital anomalies. Both of these conditions are associated with costly health care during, and often long after, the NICU admission. We will discuss how 3 drivers of clinical practice in neonatal care (evidence-based medicine, evidence-based economics, and quality improvement) can together optimize clinical and fiscal outcomes. Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  11. A Comprehensive Review of the Evidence of the Impact of Surface Water Quality on Property Values

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Nicholls

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The desirability of living on or close to water is reflected in sometimes substantial property price premiums. Water quality has an important influence on property prices, since it impacts a water body’s appearance, capacity to support wildlife, and recreational potential. As water quality continues to be altered by human use and activity, and in light of new threats posed by projected climate and associated environmental change, understanding the impact of changing quality on property prices, and the associated property tax base, is paramount. This paper reviews the body of evidence on this topic to date. Of the 43 distinct studies represented in the 48 publications reviewed, the expected, statistically significant relationship between water quality and property price was demonstrated in at least one of the models developed in all but two studies. As a whole, they provide convincing evidence that clean water has a positive effect on property values.

  12. Evidence-based medicine and quality of care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickenson, Donna; Vineis, Paolo

    2002-01-01

    In this paper we set out to examine the arguments for and against the claim that Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) will improve the quality of care. In particular, we examine the following issues: 1. Are there hidden ethical assumptions in the methodology of EBM? 2. Is there a tension between the duty of care and EBM? 3. How can patient preferences be incorporated into quality guidelines and effectiveness studies? 4. Is there a tension between the quality of a particular intervention and overall quality of care? 5. Are certain branches of medicine and patient groups innately or prima facie disadvantaged by a shift to EBM? In addition we consider a case study in the ethics of EBM, on a clinical trial concerning the collection of umbilical cord blood in utero and ex utero, during or after labour in childbirth.

  13. Benefits of donor human milk for preterm infants: current evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertino, Enrico; Giuliani, Francesca; Occhi, Luciana; Coscia, Alessandra; Tonetto, Paola; Marchino, Federica; Fabris, Claudio

    2009-10-01

    It's undoubted that optimum nutrition for term infants is breastfeeding, exclusive for the first six months, then followed by a complementary diet and carried on, if possible, for the first year of life or even more. During the last decades several data confirmed the great advantages of fresh mother's milk use also for feeding very low and extremely low birthweight preterm infants. When mother's milk is unavailable or in short supply, pasteurized donor breast milk is widely used in neonatal intensive care units. Pasteurization partially affects nutritional and immunological properties of breast milk, however it is known that pasteurized milk maintains some biological properties and clinical benefits. The substantial benefits of mother's own milk feeding of preterm infants are supported by strong evidence. However, there is increasing evidence also on specific benefits of donor breast milk. Future research is needed to compare formula vs. nutrient fortified donor breast milk, to compare formula and DM as supplements to maternal milk rather than as sole diet and to compare effects of different methods of heat treatments on donor human milk quality.

  14. Governance and Human Development: Empirical Evidence from ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study empirically investigates the effects of governance on human development in Nigeria. Using annual time series data covering the period 1998 to 2010, obtained from various sources, and employing the classical least squares estimation technique, the study finds that corruption, foreign aid and government ...

  15. Evidence of inbreeding depression on human height

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R. McQuillan (Ruth); N. Eklund (Niina); N. Pirastu (Nicola); M. Kuningas (Maris); B.P. McEvoy (Brian); T. Esko (Tõnu); T. Corre (Tanguy); G. Davies (Gail); M. Kaakinen (Marika); L.-P. Lyytikäinen (Leo-Pekka); K. Kristiansson (Kati); A.S. Havulinna (Aki); M. Gögele (Martin); V. Vitart (Veronique); A. Tenesa (Albert); Y.S. Aulchenko (Yurii); C. Hayward (Caroline); A. Johansson (Åsa); M. Boban (Mladen); S. Ulivi (Shelia); A. Robino (Antonietta); V. Boraska (Vesna); W. Igl (Wilmar); S.H. Wild (Sarah); L. Zgaga (Lina); N. Amin (Najaf); E. Theodoratou (Evropi); O. Polasek (Ozren); S. Girotto; L.M. Lopez (Lorna); C. Sala (Cinzia); J. Lahti (Jari); T. Laatikainen (Tiina); I. Prokopenko (Inga); M. Kals (Mart); J. Viikari (Jorma); J. Yang (Joanna); A. Pouta (Anneli); K. Estrada Gil (Karol); A. Hofman (Albert); N.B. Freimer (Nelson); N.G. Martin (Nicholas); M. Kähönen (Mika); L. Milani (Lili); M. Heliovaara (Markku); E. Vartiainen (Erkki); K. Räikkönen (Katri); C. Masciullo (Corrado); J.M. Starr (John); A.A. Hicks (Andrew); L. Esposito (Laura); I. Kolcic (Ivana); S.M. Farrington (Susan); B.A. Oostra (Ben); T. Zemunik (Tatijana); H. Campbell (Harry); M. Kirin (Mirna); M. Pehlic (Marina); F. Faletra (Flavio); D.J. Porteous (David J.); G. Pistis (Giorgio); E. Widen (Elisabeth); V. Salomaa (Veikko); S. Koskinen (Seppo); K. Fischer (Krista); T. Lehtimäki (Terho); A.C. Heath (Andrew); M.I. McCarthy (Mark); F. Rivadeneira Ramirez (Fernando); G.W. Montgomery (Grant); H.W. Tiemeier (Henning); A.L. Hartikainen; P.A.F. Madden (Pamela); P. d' Adamo (Pio); N. Hastie (Nick); U. Gyllensten (Ulf); A.F. Wright (Alan); C.M. van Duijn (Cornelia); M.G. Dunlop (Malcolm); I. Rudan (Igor); P. Gasparini (Paolo); P.P. Pramstaller (Peter Paul); I.J. Deary (Ian); D. Toniolo (Daniela); K. Hagen (Knut); A. Jula (Antti); O. Raitakari (Olli); A. Metspalu (Andres); M. Perola (Markus); M.-R. Jarvelin (Marjo-Riitta); A.G. Uitterlinden (André); P.M. Visscher (Peter); J.F. Wilson (James)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractStature is a classical and highly heritable complex trait, with 80%-90% of variation explained by genetic factors. In recent years, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have successfully identified many common additive variants influencing human height; however, little attention has

  16. Evidence for Cardiomyocyte Renewal in Humans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bergmann, O; Bhardwaj, R D; Bernard, S; Zdunek, S; Barnabe-Heider, F; Walsh, S; Zupicich, J; Alkass, K; Buchholz, B A; Druid, H; Jovinge, S; Frisen, J

    2008-10-14

    It has been difficult to establish whether we are limited to the heart muscle cells we are born with or if cardiomyocytes are generated also later in life. We have taken advantage of the integration of {sup 14}C, generated by nuclear bomb tests during the Cold War, into DNA to establish the age of cardiomyocytes in humans. We report that cardiomyocytes renew, with a gradual decrease from 1% turning over annually at the age of 20 to 0.3% at the age of 75. Less than 50% of cardiomyocytes are exchanged during a normal lifespan. The capacity to generate cardiomyocytes in the adult human heart suggests that it may be rational to work towards the development of therapeutic strategies aiming to stimulate this process in cardiac pathologies.

  17. Willingness to pay for environmental quality: evidence from survey data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Polinard, J L; Wrinkle, R D

    1980-01-01

    The environmental movement evidenced a period of extremely rapid growth during the 1960's and early 1970's. Some recent studies have indicated a decline in general public concern with environmental problems. In this paper we attempt to provide some new evidence which might be of assistance in ascertaining the relative status of concern for the economy, concern for the environment, and willingness to pay for environmental quality. The study focuses upon a major city in a large energy producing state with a large ethnic (Mexican-American) minority. Our data indicate that concern for the environment is not a highly salient issue for our respondents. Economic concerns far outweigh environmental issues. Additionally, willingness to pay for environmental quality is not a unidimensional trait. Perception of who is responsible for pollution rather than perception of a deteriorating environment is a significant indicator of willingness to pay for environmental quality.

  18. The legal status of evidence obtained through human rights ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995 is silent on the issue of dealing with evidence obtained through human rights violations. This silence dates to the earlier Constitutions of 1962, 1966 and 1967. It is only the Prohibition and Prevention of Torture Act of 2012 that renders evidence obtained through torture and ...

  19. Evidence of inbreeding depression on human height.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth McQuillan

    Full Text Available Stature is a classical and highly heritable complex trait, with 80%-90% of variation explained by genetic factors. In recent years, genome-wide association studies (GWAS have successfully identified many common additive variants influencing human height; however, little attention has been given to the potential role of recessive genetic effects. Here, we investigated genome-wide recessive effects by an analysis of inbreeding depression on adult height in over 35,000 people from 21 different population samples. We found a highly significant inverse association between height and genome-wide homozygosity, equivalent to a height reduction of up to 3 cm in the offspring of first cousins compared with the offspring of unrelated individuals, an effect which remained after controlling for the effects of socio-economic status, an important confounder (χ(2 = 83.89, df = 1; p = 5.2 × 10(-20. There was, however, a high degree of heterogeneity among populations: whereas the direction of the effect was consistent across most population samples, the effect size differed significantly among populations. It is likely that this reflects true biological heterogeneity: whether or not an effect can be observed will depend on both the variance in homozygosity in the population and the chance inheritance of individual recessive genotypes. These results predict that multiple, rare, recessive variants influence human height. Although this exploratory work focuses on height alone, the methodology developed is generally applicable to heritable quantitative traits (QT, paving the way for an investigation into inbreeding effects, and therefore genetic architecture, on a range of QT of biomedical importance.

  20. [Study of the relationship between human quality and reliability].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, S; Wang, C; Wang, L i; Yuan, J; Liu, H; Jiao, X

    1997-02-01

    To clarify the relationship between human quality and reliability, 1925 experiments in 20 subjects were carried out to study the relationship between disposition character, digital memory, graphic memory, multi-reaction time and education level and simulated aircraft operation. Meanwhile, effects of task difficulty and enviromental factor on human reliability were also studied. The results showed that human quality can be predicted and evaluated through experimental methods. The better the human quality, the higher the human reliability.

  1. Law, Economic Growth and Human Development: Evidence from Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Asongu Simplice

    2011-01-01

    This paper cuts adrift the mainstream approach to the legal-origins debate on the law-growth nexus by integrating both overall economic and human components in our understanding of how regulation quality and the rule of law lie at the heart of economic and inequality adjusted human developments. Findings summarily reveal that legal-origin does not explain economic growth and human development beyond the mechanisms of law. Our results support the current consensus that, English common-law coun...

  2. Lifestyle influences human sperm functional quality

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mnica Ferreira; Joana Vieira Silva; Vladimiro Silva; Antnio Barros; Margarida Fardilha

    2012-01-01

    Objective:To investigate the impact of acute lifestyle changes on human sperm functional quality.Methods:In the academic festivities week, young and apparently healthy male students who voluntarily submit themselves to acute lifestyle alterations(among the potentially important variations are increase in alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco consumption and circadian rhythm shifts) were used as a model system.Sperm samples were obtained before and after the academic week and compared by traditional semen analysis(n=54) and also tested for cleavedPolyADP-ribose polymerase(PARP) protein, an apoptotic marker(n=35).Results:Acute lifestyle changes that occurred during the academic week festivities(the study model) resulted both in a significant reduction in sperm quality, assessed by basic semen analysis(decrease in sperm concentration, total number of spermatozoa, progressive and non-progressive motility and increase in sperm morphological abnormalities) and by an increase in the expression of the apoptotic marker, cleavedPARP, in the ejaculate.Conclusions:Acute lifestyle changes have clear deleterious effects on sperm quality.We propose cleavedPARP as a novel molecular marker, valuable for assessing spermquality in parallel with the basic semen analysis method.

  3. Improving the quality of the evidence base of health informatics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talmon, Jan

    2008-11-06

    Evaluation of health informatics technology has had attention from quite a few researchers in health informatics in the last few decades. In the early nineties of the past century several working groups and research projects have discussed evaluation methods and methodologies. Despite these activities, evaluation of health informatics has not received the recognition it deserves. In this presentation we will reiterate the arguments put forward in the Declaration of Innsbruck to consider evaluation an essential element of the evidence base of health informatics. Not only are evaluation studies essential, it is also required that such studies are properly reported. A joint effort of the IMIA, EFMI and AMIA working groups on evaluation has resulted in a guideline for reporting the results of evaluation studies of health informatics applications (STARE-HI). STARE-HI is currently endorsed by EFMI. The general assembly of IMIA has adopted STARE-HI as an official IMIA document. Endorsement from AMIA is being sought. A pilot study in which STARE-HI was applied to assess the quality of current reporting clearly indicates that there is quite some room for improvement. Application of guidelines such as STARE-HI would contribute to a further improvement of the evidence base of health informatics and would open the road for high quality reviews and meta-analyses.

  4. The Navigation Guide—Evidence-Based Medicine Meets Environmental Health: Integration of Animal and Human Evidence for PFOA Effects on Fetal Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koustas, Erica; Sutton, Patrice; Johnson, Paula I.; Atchley, Dylan S.; Sen, Saunak; Robinson, Karen A.; Axelrad, Daniel A.; Woodruff, Tracey J.

    2014-01-01

    Background: The Navigation Guide is a novel systematic review method to synthesize scientific evidence and reach strength of evidence conclusions for environmental health decision making. Objective: Our aim was to integrate scientific findings from human and nonhuman studies to determine the overall strength of evidence for the question “Does developmental exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) affect fetal growth in humans?” Methods: We developed and applied prespecified criteria to systematically and transparently a) rate the quality of the scientific evidence as “high,” “moderate,” or “low”; b) rate the strength of the human and nonhuman evidence separately as “sufficient,” “limited,” “moderate,” or “evidence of lack of toxicity”; and c) integrate the strength of the human and nonhuman evidence ratings into a strength of the evidence conclusion. Results: We identified 18 epidemiology studies and 21 animal toxicology studies relevant to our study question. We rated both the human and nonhuman mammalian evidence as “moderate” quality and “sufficient” strength. Integration of these evidence ratings produced a final strength of evidence rating in which review authors concluded that PFOA is “known to be toxic” to human reproduction and development based on sufficient evidence of decreased fetal growth in both human and nonhuman mammalian species. Conclusion: We concluded that developmental exposure to PFOA adversely affects human health based on sufficient evidence of decreased fetal growth in both human and nonhuman mammalian species. The results of this case study demonstrate the application of a systematic and transparent methodology, via the Navigation Guide, for reaching strength of evidence conclusions in environmental health. Citation: Lam J, Koustas E, Sutton P, Johnson PI, Atchley DS, Sen S, Robinson KA, Axelrad DA, Woodruff TJ. 2014. The Navigation Guide—evidence-based medicine meets environmental health

  5. Evidence of directional and stabilizing selection in contemporary humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanjak, Jaleal S; Sidorenko, Julia; Robinson, Matthew R; Thornton, Kevin R; Visscher, Peter M

    2018-01-02

    Modern molecular genetic datasets, primarily collected to study the biology of human health and disease, can be used to directly measure the action of natural selection and reveal important features of contemporary human evolution. Here we leverage the UK Biobank data to test for the presence of linear and nonlinear natural selection in a contemporary population of the United Kingdom. We obtain phenotypic and genetic evidence consistent with the action of linear/directional selection. Phenotypic evidence suggests that stabilizing selection, which acts to reduce variance in the population without necessarily modifying the population mean, is widespread and relatively weak in comparison with estimates from other species.

  6. Evidence that humans metabolize benzene via two pathways.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rappaport, S.M.; Kim, S.; Lan, Q.; Vermeulen, R.C.H.; Waidyanatha, S.; Zhang, L.; Li, G.; Yin, S.; Hayes, R.B.; Rothman, N.; Smith, M.T.

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Recent evidence has shown that humans metabolize benzene more efficiently at environmental air concentrations than at concentrations > 1 ppm. This led us to speculate that an unidentified metabolic pathway was mainly responsible for benzene metabolism at ambient levels. OBJECTIVE: We

  7. The Navigation Guide—Evidence-Based Medicine Meets Environmental Health: Systematic Review of Human Evidence for PFOA Effects on Fetal Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutton, Patrice; Atchley, Dylan S.; Koustas, Erica; Lam, Juleen; Sen, Saunak; Robinson, Karen A.; Axelrad, Daniel A.; Woodruff, Tracey J.

    2014-01-01

    Background: The Navigation Guide methodology was developed to meet the need for a robust method of systematic and transparent research synthesis in environmental health science. We conducted a case study systematic review to support proof of concept of the method. Objective: We applied the Navigation Guide systematic review methodology to determine whether developmental exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) affects fetal growth in humans. Methods: We applied the first 3 steps of the Navigation Guide methodology to human epidemiological data: 1) specify the study question, 2) select the evidence, and 3) rate the quality and strength of the evidence. We developed a protocol, conducted a comprehensive search of the literature, and identified relevant studies using prespecified criteria. We evaluated each study for risk of bias and conducted meta-analyses on a subset of studies. We rated quality and strength of the entire body of human evidence. Results: We identified 18 human studies that met our inclusion criteria, and 9 of these were combined through meta-analysis. Through meta-analysis, we estimated that a 1-ng/mL increase in serum or plasma PFOA was associated with a –18.9 g (95% CI: –29.8, –7.9) difference in birth weight. We concluded that the risk of bias across studies was low, and we assigned a “moderate” quality rating to the overall body of human evidence. Conclusion: On the basis of this first application of the Navigation Guide systematic review methodology, we concluded that there is “sufficient” human evidence that developmental exposure to PFOA reduces fetal growth. Citation: Johnson PI, Sutton P, Atchley DS, Koustas E, Lam J, Sen S, Robinson KA, Axelrad DA, Woodruff TJ. 2014. The Navigation Guide—evidence-based medicine meets environmental health: systematic review of human evidence for PFOA effects on fetal growth. Environ Health Perspect 122:1028–1039; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1307893 PMID:24968388

  8. Direct evidence of milk consumption from ancient human dental calculus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warinner, C; Hendy, J; Speller, C; Cappellini, E; Fischer, R; Trachsel, C; Arneborg, J; Lynnerup, N; Craig, O E; Swallow, D M; Fotakis, A; Christensen, R J; Olsen, J V; Liebert, A; Montalva, N; Fiddyment, S; Charlton, S; Mackie, M; Canci, A; Bouwman, A; Rühli, F; Gilbert, M T P; Collins, M J

    2014-11-27

    Milk is a major food of global economic importance, and its consumption is regarded as a classic example of gene-culture evolution. Humans have exploited animal milk as a food resource for at least 8500 years, but the origins, spread, and scale of dairying remain poorly understood. Indirect lines of evidence, such as lipid isotopic ratios of pottery residues, faunal mortality profiles, and lactase persistence allele frequencies, provide a partial picture of this process; however, in order to understand how, where, and when humans consumed milk products, it is necessary to link evidence of consumption directly to individuals and their dairy livestock. Here we report the first direct evidence of milk consumption, the whey protein β-lactoglobulin (BLG), preserved in human dental calculus from the Bronze Age (ca. 3000 BCE) to the present day. Using protein tandem mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that BLG is a species-specific biomarker of dairy consumption, and we identify individuals consuming cattle, sheep, and goat milk products in the archaeological record. We then apply this method to human dental calculus from Greenland's medieval Norse colonies, and report a decline of this biomarker leading up to the abandonment of the Norse Greenland colonies in the 15(th) century CE.

  9. Direct evidence of milk consumption from ancient human dental calculus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warinner, C.; Hendy, J.; Speller, C.

    2014-01-01

    directly to individuals and their dairy livestock. Here we report the first direct evidence of milk consumption, the whey protein β-lactoglobulin (BLG), preserved in human dental calculus from the Bronze Age (ca. 3000 BCE) to the present day. Using protein tandem mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that BLG...... is a species-specific biomarker of dairy consumption, and we identify individuals consuming cattle, sheep, and goat milk products in the archaeological record. We then apply this method to human dental calculus from Greenland's medieval Norse colonies, and report a decline of this biomarker leading up...

  10. Toward an evidence-based system for innovation support for implementing innovations with quality: tools, training, technical assistance, and quality assurance/quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wandersman, Abraham; Chien, Victoria H; Katz, Jason

    2012-12-01

    An individual or organization that sets out to implement an innovation (e.g., a new technology, program, or policy) generally requires support. In the Interactive Systems Framework for Dissemination and Implementation, a Support System should work with Delivery Systems (national, state and/or local entities such as health and human service organizations, community-based organizations, schools) to enhance their capacity for quality implementation of innovations. The literature on the Support System [corrected] has been underresearched and under-developedThis article begins to conceptualize theory, research, and action for an evidence-based system for innovation support (EBSIS). EBSIS describes key priorities for strengthening the science and practice of support. The major goal of EBSIS is to enhance the research and practice of support in order to build capacity in the Delivery System for implementing innovations with quality, and thereby, help the Delivery System achieve outcomes. EBSIS is guided by a logic model that includes four key support components: tools, training, technical assistance, and quality assurance/quality improvement. EBSIS uses the Getting To Outcomes approach to accountability to aid the identification and synthesis of concepts, tools, and evidence for support. We conclude with some discussion of the current status of EBSIS and possible next steps, including the development of collaborative researcher-practitioner-funder-consumer partnerships to accelerate accumulation of knowledge on the Support System.

  11. HUMAN CAPITAL GROWTH AND POVERTY: EVIDENCE FROM ETHIOPIA AND PERU.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attanasio, Orazio; Meghir, Costas; Nix, Emily; Salvati, Francesca

    2017-04-01

    In this paper we use high quality data from two developing countries, Ethiopia and Peru, to estimate the production functions of human capital from age 1 to age 15. We characterize the nature of persistence and dynamic complementarities between two components of human capital: health and cognition. We also explore the implications of different functional form assumptions for the production functions. We find that more able and higher income parents invest more, particularly at younger ages when investments have the greatest impacts. These differences in investments by parental income lead to large gaps in inequality by age 8 that persist through age 15.

  12. Quality asurance of iodinated (125 I) human fibrinogen

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vines, E.J.

    1980-05-01

    The radiopharmaceutical iodinated ( 125 I) human fibrinogen is currently used for the detection of deep vein thrombosis in the legs, a fairly common post-surgical complication. A comprehensive quality assurance programme for ( 125 I) - human fibrinogen has been determined for routine use at the Australian Radiation Laboratory, with adaptions necessary for hospital quality control testing

  13. The earliest evidence for anatomically modern humans in northwestern Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higham, Tom; Compton, Tim; Stringer, Chris; Jacobi, Roger; Shapiro, Beth; Trinkaus, Erik; Chandler, Barry; Gröning, Flora; Collins, Chris; Hillson, Simon; O'Higgins, Paul; FitzGerald, Charles; Fagan, Michael

    2011-11-02

    The earliest anatomically modern humans in Europe are thought to have appeared around 43,000-42,000 calendar years before present (43-42 kyr cal BP), by association with Aurignacian sites and lithic assemblages assumed to have been made by modern humans rather than by Neanderthals. However, the actual physical evidence for modern humans is extremely rare, and direct dates reach no farther back than about 41-39 kyr cal BP, leaving a gap. Here we show, using stratigraphic, chronological and archaeological data, that a fragment of human maxilla from the Kent's Cavern site, UK, dates to the earlier period. The maxilla (KC4), which was excavated in 1927, was initially diagnosed as Upper Palaeolithic modern human. In 1989, it was directly radiocarbon dated by accelerator mass spectrometry to 36.4-34.7 kyr cal BP. Using a Bayesian analysis of new ultrafiltered bone collagen dates in an ordered stratigraphic sequence at the site, we show that this date is a considerable underestimate. Instead, KC4 dates to 44.2-41.5 kyr cal BP. This makes it older than any other equivalently dated modern human specimen and directly contemporary with the latest European Neanderthals, thus making its taxonomic attribution crucial. We also show that in 13 dental traits KC4 possesses modern human rather than Neanderthal characteristics; three other traits show Neanderthal affinities and a further seven are ambiguous. KC4 therefore represents the oldest known anatomically modern human fossil in northwestern Europe, fills a key gap between the earliest dated Aurignacian remains and the earliest human skeletal remains, and demonstrates the wide and rapid dispersal of early modern humans across Europe more than 40 kyr ago. ©2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved

  14. Review of NASA's Evidence Reports on Human Health Risks. 2015 Letter Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott-Conner, Carol E. H.; Masys, Daniel R.; Liverman, Catharyn T.

    2016-01-01

    NASA has requested a study from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to provide an independent review of more than 30 evidence reports on human health risks for long duration and exploration spaceflight. The evidence reports, which are publicly available, are categorized into five broad categories: (1) behavioral health and performance; (2) human health countermeasures (with a focus on bone metabolism and orthopedics, nutrition, immunology, and cardiac and pulmonary physiology); (3) radiation; (4) human factors issues; and (5) exploration medical capabilities. The reports are revised on an ongoing basis to incorporate new scientific information. In conducting this study, an IOM ad hoc committee will build on the 2008 IOM report Review of NASA's Human Research Program Evidence Books. That report provided an assessment of the process used for developing the evidence reports and provided an initial review of the evidence reports that had been completed at that time. Each year, NASA staff will identify a set of evidence reports for committee review. Over the course of the study all evidence reports will be reviewed. The committee will hold an annual scientific workshop to receive input on the evidence reports it is reviewing that year and an update on the recent literature. The committee will issue an annual letter report that addresses the following questions relevant to each evidence report: 1. Does the evidence report provide sufficient evidence, as well as sufficient risk context, that the risk is of concern for long-term space missions? 2. Does the evidence report make the case for the research gaps presented? 3. Are there any additional gaps in knowledge or areas of fundamental research that should be considered to enhance the basic understanding of this specific risk? 4. Does the evidence report address relevant interactions among risks? 5. Is input from additional disciplines needed? 6. Is the breadth of the cited literature sufficient? 7. What is the overall

  15. Genetic evidence for a Paleolithic human population expansion in Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reich, David E.; Goldstein, David B.

    1998-01-01

    Human populations have undergone dramatic expansions in size, but other than the growth associated with agriculture, the dates and magnitudes of those expansions have never been resolved. Here, we introduce two new statistical tests for population expansion, which use variation at a number of unlinked genetic markers to study the demographic histories of natural populations. By analyzing genetic variation in various aboriginal populations from throughout the world, we show highly significant evidence for a major human population expansion in Africa, but no evidence of expansion outside of Africa. The inferred African expansion is estimated to have occurred between 49,000 and 640,000 years ago, certainly before the Neolithic expansions, and probably before the splitting of African and non-African populations. In showing a significant difference between African and non-African populations, our analysis supports the unique role of Africa in human evolutionary history, as has been suggested by most other genetic work. In addition, the missing signal in non-African populations may be the result of a population bottleneck associated with the emergence of these populations from Africa, as postulated in the “Out of Africa” model of modern human origins. PMID:9653150

  16. Evidence for expansion of the precuneus in human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruner, Emiliano; Preuss, Todd M; Chen, Xu; Rilling, James K

    2017-03-01

    The evolution of neurocranial morphology in Homo sapiens is characterized by bulging of the parietal region, a feature unique to our species. In modern humans, expansion of the parietal surface occurs during the first year of life, in a morphogenetic stage which is absent in chimpanzees and Neandertals. A similar variation in brain shape among living adult humans is associated with expansion of the precuneus. Using MRI-derived structural brain templates, we compare medial brain morphology between humans and chimpanzees through shape analysis and geometrical modeling. We find that the main spatial difference is a prominent expansion of the precuneus in our species, providing further evidence of evolutionary changes associated with this area. The precuneus is a major hub of brain organization, a central node of the default-mode network, and plays an essential role in visuospatial integration. Together, the comparative neuroanatomical and paleontological evidence suggest that precuneus expansion is a neurological specialization of H. sapiens that evolved in the last 150,000 years that may be associated with recent human cognitive specializations.

  17. Serologic Evidence of Human Monocytic and Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis in Israel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keysary, Avi; Amram, Lili; Keren, Gershon; Sthoeger, Zev; Potasman, Israel; Jacob, Amir; Strenger, Carmella; Dawson, Jacqueline E.

    1999-01-01

    We conducted a retrospective serosurvey of 1,000 persons in Israel who had fever of undetermined cause to look for Ehrlichia chaffeensis antibodies. Four of five cases with antibodies reactive to E. chaffeensis were diagnosed in the summer, when ticks are more active. All patients had influenzalike symptoms with high fever. None of the cases was fatal. Three serum samples were also seroreactive for antibodies to E. canis, and one was also reactive to the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) agent. The titer to the HGE agent in this patient was higher than the serum titer to E. chaffeensis, and the Western blot analysis also indicated that the HGE agent was the primary cause of infection. We present the first serologic evidence that the agents of human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME) and HGE are present in Israel. Therefore, human ehrlichiosis should be included in the differential diagnoses for persons in Israel who have been exposed to ticks and have influenzalike symptoms. PMID:10603210

  18. Improving data retrieval quality: Evidence based medicine perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamalov, M; Dobrynin, V; Balykina, J; Kolbin, A; Verbitskaya, E; Kasimova, M

    2015-01-01

    The actively developing approach in modern medicine is the approach focused on principles of evidence-based medicine. The assessment of quality and reliability of studies is needed. However, in some cases studies corresponding to the first level of evidence may contain errors in randomized control trials (RCTs). Solution of the problem is the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system. Studies both in the fields of medicine and information retrieval are conducted for developing search engines for the MEDLINE database [1]; combined techniques for summarization and information retrieval targeted to solving problems of finding the best medication based on the levels of evidence are being developed [2]. Based on the relevance and demand for studies both in the field of medicine and information retrieval, it was decided to start the development of a search engine for the MEDLINE database search on the basis of the Saint-Petersburg State University with the support of Pavlov First Saint-Petersburg State Medical University and Tashkent Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education. Novelty and value of the proposed system are characterized by the use of ranking method of relevant abstracts. It is suggested that the system will be able to perform ranking based on studies level of evidence and to apply GRADE criteria for system evaluation. The assigned task falls within the domain of information retrieval and machine learning. Based on the results of implementation from previous work [3], in which the main goal was to cluster abstracts from MEDLINE database by subtypes of medical interventions, a set of algorithms for clustering in this study was selected: K-means, K-means ++, EM from the sklearn (http://scikit-learn.org) and WEKA (http://www.cs.waikato.ac.nz/~ml/weka/) libraries, together with the methods of Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) [4] choosing the first 210 facts and the model "bag of words" [5] to represent clustered documents

  19. Evidence for a bimodal distribution in human communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Ye; Zhou, Changsong; Xiao, Jinghua; Kurths, Jürgen; Schellnhuber, Hans Joachim

    2010-11-02

    Interacting human activities underlie the patterns of many social, technological, and economic phenomena. Here we present clear empirical evidence from Short Message correspondence that observed human actions are the result of the interplay of three basic ingredients: Poisson initiation of tasks and decision making for task execution in individual humans as well as interaction among individuals. This interplay leads to new types of interevent time distribution, neither completely Poisson nor power-law, but a bimodal combination of them. We show that the events can be separated into independent bursts which are generated by frequent mutual interactions in short times following random initiations of communications in longer times by the individuals. We introduce a minimal model of two interacting priority queues incorporating the three basic ingredients which fits well the distributions using the parameters extracted from the empirical data. The model can also embrace a range of realistic social interacting systems such as e-mail and letter communications when taking the time scale of processing into account. Our findings provide insight into various human activities both at the individual and network level. Our analysis and modeling of bimodal activity in human communication from the viewpoint of the interplay between processes of different time scales is likely to shed light on bimodal phenomena in other complex systems, such as interevent times in earthquakes, rainfall, forest fire, and economic systems, etc.

  20. Higher prices, higher quality? Evidence from German nursing homes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herr, Annika; Hottenrott, Hanna

    2016-02-01

    This study investigates the relationship between prices and quality of 7400 German nursing homes. We use a cross section of public quality reports for all German nursing homes, which had been evaluated between 2010 and 2013 by external institutions. Our analysis is based on multivariate regressions in a two stage least squares framework, where we instrument prices to explain their effect on quality controlling for income, nursing home density, demographics, labour market characteristics, and infrastructure at the regional level. Descriptive analysis shows that prices and quality do not only vary across nursing homes, but also across counties and federal states and that quality and prices correlate positively. Second, the econometric analysis, which accounts for the endogenous relation between negotiated price and reported quality, shows that quality indeed positively depends on prices. In addition, more places in nursing homes per people in need are correlated with both lower prices and higher quality. Finally, unobserved factors at the federal state level capture some of the variation of reported quality across nursing homes. Our results suggest that higher prices increase quality. Furthermore, since reported quality and prices vary substantially across federal states, we conclude that the quality and prices of long-term care facilities may well be compared within federal states but not across. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Evidence for widespread convergent evolution around human microsatellites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward J Vowles

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available Microsatellites are a major component of the human genome, and their evolution has been much studied. However, the evolution of microsatellite flanking sequences has received less attention, with reports of both high and low mutation rates and of a tendency for microsatellites to cluster. From the human genome we generated a database of many thousands of (AC(n flanking sequences within which we searched for common characteristics. Sequences flanking microsatellites of similar length show remarkable levels of convergent evolution, indicating shared mutational biases. These biases extend 25-50 bases either side of the microsatellite and may therefore affect more than 30% of the entire genome. To explore the extent and absolute strength of these effects, we quantified the observed convergence. We also compared homologous human and chimpanzee loci to look for evidence of changes in mutation rate around microsatellites. Most models of DNA sequence evolution assume that mutations are independent and occur randomly. Allowances may be made for sites mutating at different rates and for general mutation biases such as the faster rate of transitions over transversions. Our analysis suggests that these models may be inadequate, in that proximity to even very short microsatellites may alter the rate and distribution of mutations that occur. The elevated local mutation rate combined with sequence convergence, both of which we find evidence for, also provide a possible resolution for the apparently contradictory inferences of mutation rates in microsatellite flanking sequences.

  2. GRADE: Assessing the quality of evidence in environmental and occupational health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Rebecca L; Thayer, Kristina A; Bero, Lisa; Bruce, Nigel; Falck-Ytter, Yngve; Ghersi, Davina; Guyatt, Gordon; Hooijmans, Carlijn; Langendam, Miranda; Mandrioli, Daniele; Mustafa, Reem A; Rehfuess, Eva A; Rooney, Andrew A; Shea, Beverley; Silbergeld, Ellen K; Sutton, Patrice; Wolfe, Mary S; Woodruff, Tracey J; Verbeek, Jos H; Holloway, Alison C; Santesso, Nancy; Schünemann, Holger J

    2016-01-01

    There is high demand in environmental health for adoption of a structured process that evaluates and integrates evidence while making decisions and recommendations transparent. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) framework holds promise to address this demand. For over a decade, GRADE has been applied successfully to areas of clinical medicine, public health, and health policy, but experience with GRADE in environmental and occupational health is just beginning. Environmental and occupational health questions focus on understanding whether an exposure is a potential health hazard or risk, assessing the exposure to understand the extent and magnitude of risk, and exploring interventions to mitigate exposure or risk. Although GRADE offers many advantages, including its flexibility and methodological rigor, there are features of the different sources of evidence used in environmental and occupational health that will require further consideration to assess the need for method refinement. An issue that requires particular attention is the evaluation and integration of evidence from human, animal, in vitro, and in silico (computer modeling) studies when determining whether an environmental factor represents a potential health hazard or risk. Assessment of the hazard of exposures can produce analyses for use in the GRADE evidence-to-decision (EtD) framework to inform risk-management decisions about removing harmful exposures or mitigating risks. The EtD framework allows for grading the strength of the recommendations based on judgments of the certainty in the evidence (also known as quality of the evidence), as well as other factors that inform recommendations such as social values and preferences, resource implications, and benefits. GRADE represents an untapped opportunity for environmental and occupational health to make evidence-based recommendations in a systematic and transparent manner. The objectives of this article are

  3. Evaluation of Human Prehension Using Grasp Quality Measures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz León

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available One of the main features of the human hand is its grasping ability. Robot grasping has been studied for years and different quality measures have been proposed to evaluate the stability and manipulability of grasps. Although the human hand is obviously more complex than robot hands, the methods used in robotics might be adopted to study the human grasp. The purpose of this work is to propose a set of measures that allow the evaluation of different aspects of the human grasp. The most common robotic grasp quality measures have been adapted to the evaluation of the human hand and a new quality measure – the fatigue index – is proposed in order to incorporate the biomechanical aspect into the evaluation. The minimum set of indices that allows the evaluation of the different aspects of the grasp is obtained from the analysis of a human prehension experiment.

  4. The Navigation Guide - evidence-based medicine meets environmental health: systematic review of human evidence for PFOA effects on fetal growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Paula I; Sutton, Patrice; Atchley, Dylan S; Koustas, Erica; Lam, Juleen; Sen, Saunak; Robinson, Karen A; Axelrad, Daniel A; Woodruff, Tracey J

    2014-10-01

    The Navigation Guide methodology was developed to meet the need for a robust method of systematic and transparent research synthesis in environmental health science. We conducted a case study systematic review to support proof of concept of the method. We applied the Navigation Guide systematic review methodology to determine whether developmental exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) affects fetal growth in humans. We applied the first 3 steps of the Navigation Guide methodology to human epidemiological data: 1) specify the study question, 2) select the evidence, and 3) rate the quality and strength of the evidence. We developed a protocol, conducted a comprehensive search of the literature, and identified relevant studies using prespecified criteria. We evaluated each study for risk of bias and conducted meta-analyses on a subset of studies. We rated quality and strength of the entire body of human evidence. We identified 18 human studies that met our inclusion criteria, and 9 of these were combined through meta-analysis. Through meta-analysis, we estimated that a 1-ng/mL increase in serum or plasma PFOA was associated with a -18.9 g (95% CI: -29.8, -7.9) difference in birth weight. We concluded that the risk of bias across studies was low, and we assigned a "moderate" quality rating to the overall body of human evidence. On the basis of this first application of the Navigation Guide systematic review methodology, we concluded that there is "sufficient" human evidence that developmental exposure to PFOA reduces fetal growth.

  5. Mergers and Product Quality: Evidence from the Airline Industry

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Yongmin; Gayle, Philip

    2013-01-01

    Retrospective studies of horizontal mergers have focused on their price effects, leaving the important question of how mergers affect product quality largely unanswered. This paper empirically investigates this issue for two recent airline mergers: Delta/Northwest and Continental/United. Consistent with the theoretical premise that mergers improve coordination but diminish competitive pressure for quality provision, we find: (i) each merger is associated with a quality increase in markets whe...

  6. The Audit Committee Characteristics and Earnings Quality: Evidence from Jordan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allam Mohammed Mousa Hamdan

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the paper is to investigate the relationship between audit committee characteristics and earnings management. Samples in the study included 50 industrial companies listed on the Amman Stock Exchange ASE. Two models were used to measure earnings quality: one which depends on earnings continuity as an indication of quality, and one which depends on the decrease of discretionary accruals of quality, using pooled data regression for the two tests (Ordinary Least Squares OLS and Binary Logit. The study found that there was an influence of some standard characteristics of the audit committee on earnings quality.

  7. Health-care quality and information failure: Evidence from Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, David K; Welander Tärneberg, Anna

    2018-03-01

    Low-quality health services are a problem across low- and middle-income countries. Information failure may contribute, as patients may have insufficient knowledge to discern the quality of health services. That decreases the likelihood that patients will sort into higher quality facilities, increasing demand for better health services. This paper presents results from a health survey in Nigeria to investigate whether patients can evaluate health service quality effectively. Specifically, this paper demonstrates that although more than 90% of patients agree with any positive statement about the quality of their local health services, satisfaction is significantly associated with the diagnostic ability of health workers at the facility. Satisfaction is not associated with more superficial characteristics such as infrastructure quality or prescriptions of medicines. This suggests that patients may have sufficient information to discern some of the most important elements of quality, but that alternative measures are crucial for gauging the overall quality of care. Copyright © The World Bank Health Economics © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  8. Evidence for Alpha Receptors in the Human Ureter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madeb, Ralph; Knopf, Joy; Golijanin, Dragan; Bourne, Patricia; Erturk, Erdal

    2007-04-01

    An immunohistochemical and western blot expression analysis of human ureters was performed in order to characterize the alpha-1-adrenergic receptor distribution along the length of the human ureteral wall. Mapping the distribution will assist in understanding the potential role alpha -1-adrenergic receptors and their subtype density might have in the pathophysiology of ureteral colic and stone passage. Patients diagnosed with renal cancer or bladder cancer undergoing nephrectomy, nephroureterectomy, or cystectomy had ureteral specimens taken from the proximal, mid, distal and tunneled ureter. Tissues were processed for fresh frozen examination and fixed in formalin. None of the ureteral specimens were involved with cancer. Serial histologic sections and immunohistochemical studies were performed using antibodies specific for alpha-1-adrenergic receptor subtypes (alpha 1a, alpha 1b, alpha 1d). The sections were examined under a light microscope and scored as positive or negative. In order to validate and quantify the alpha receptor subtypes along the human ureter. Western blotting techniques were applied. Human ureter stained positively for alpha -1-adrenergic receptors. Immunostaining appeared red, with intense reaction in the smooth muscle of the ureter and endothelium of the neighboring blood vessels. There was differential expression between all the receptors with the highest staining for alpha-1D subtype. The highest protein expression for all three subtypes was in the renal pelvis and decreased with advancement along the ureter to the distal ureter. At the distal ureter, there was marked increase in expression as one progressed towards the ureteral orifice. The same pattern of protein expression was exhibited for all three alpha -1-adrenergic receptor subtypes. We provide preliminary evidence for the ability to detect and quantify the alpha-1-receptor subtypes along the human ureter which to the best of our knowledge has never been done with

  9. Bank service quality in private sector: Evidence from Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niloufar Asgarian

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Service quality plays an important role in service industries such as banks, insurance firms, etc. The purpose of this paper is to investigate level of service quality in private banking industry in Iran. The proposed model of this paper uses SERVQUAL tool for measuring service quality and population of this study includes customers of three private banks in Tehran. Results show that except efficiency, other variables of SERVQUAL obtained suitable level mean in this study. As a result, with the development of electronic commerce, internet banking has become an alternative for developing, operating and offering bank services.

  10. Local air quality management: some evidence of current practices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beattie, Clare; Newton, Alex; Longhurst, Jim [University of the West of England, Air Quality Research Group, Bristol (United Kingdom)

    1998-12-01

    The recent legislative changes, notably the Environment Act 1995 and resultant National Air Quality Strategy have brought new powers and obligations to local authorities to reach specified air quality standards and objectives. Initially this will involve local authorities carrying out a review and assessment of air quality in their locality by December 1999. This paper will outline a project currently being undertaken within the University of the West of England investigating how this legislation is being put into practice and present the results from a nation-wide questionnaire survey of environmental health officers. The study found that local authorities are still at an early stage of the process. It seems probable that one possible barrier to the implementation of Air Quality Management will be communication and cooperation within local authorities. (Author)

  11. Higher prices, higher quality? Evidence from German nursing homes

    OpenAIRE

    Herr, Annika; Hottenrott, Hanna

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: This study investigates the relationship between prices and quality of 7,400 German nursing homes controlling for income, nursing home density, demographics, labour market characteristics, and infrastructure at the regional level. Method: We use a cross section of public quality reports for all German nursing homes, which had been evaluated between 2010 and 2013 by external institutions. Our analysis is based on multivariate regressions in a two stage least squares framework, wher...

  12. Human impact on the microbiological water quality of the rivers

    OpenAIRE

    P?ll, Em?ke; Niculae, Mihaela; Kiss, Timea; ?andru, Carmen Dana; Sp?nu, Marina

    2013-01-01

    Microbiological contamination is an important water-quality problem worldwide. Human impact on this category of contamination is significant and several human-related activities, and also the population explosion, have affected and are still affecting dramatically the aquatic environment. Extensive industrialization and agriculture have led to increased pollution and hydromorphological changes in many river basins. The Danube river is one of the most affected by these changes where human invo...

  13. Education on human rights and healthcare: evidence from Serbia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vranes, Aleksandra Jovic; Mikanovic, Vesna Bjegovic; Vukovic, Dejana; Djikanovic, Bosiljka; Babic, Momcilo

    2015-03-01

    Ensuring and enforcing human rights in patient care are important to promote health and to provide quality and appropriate healthcare services. Therefore, continued medical education (CME) is essential for healthcare professionals to utilize their sphere of influence to affect change in healthcare practice. A total of 123 participants attended three CME courses. Course topics covered: (i) the areas of human rights and healthcare, (ii) rights, obligations and responsibilities of healthcare professionals in relation to human rights and the rights of patients, (iii) healthcare of vulnerable groups and (iv) access to essential medical services. Evaluation of the CME courses involved two components: evaluation of participants' performance and the participants' evaluation of the teaching process. The participants were assessed at the beginning and end of each course. Each of the courses was evaluated by the participants through a questionnaire distributed at the end of each course. Descriptive statistics was used for data interpretation. Knowledge of the healthcare professionals improved at the end of all the three courses. The participants assessed several aspects of the courses, including the course topics, educational methods, the course methods, organization, duration and dynamics as well as the physical environment and the technical facilities of the course, and rated each very highly. Our results corroborate the importance and necessity of courses to heighten awareness of the state of current healthcare and human rights issues to increase the involvement of healthcare professionals both locally and globally. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Managing service quality: Human resource management strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. K. Govender

    2000-06-01

    Full Text Available This article reports the results of an empirical evaluation of a conceptual service encounter management model (Govender, 1999. The various hypotheses proposed to show a relationship between formal and informal socialisation strategies, and the bank employees' perception of the organisational climate and their role are empirically evaluated. Furthermore, the mediated effects of these socialization tactics on the bank customers perception of the service quality was also ascertained by matching a random sample of 210 bank employees with 1050 customers. Opsomming Hierdie artikel rapporteer die resultate van n empiriese evaluering van n konseptuele dienservaringsbestuursmodel (Govender, 1999. Verskeie hipoteses word voorgehou om n verband tussen formele en informele sosialise- ringstrategiee aan te toon, en die bankwerkers se persepsie van die organisatoriese klimaat en hulle rolle word empirics geevalueer.Verder word die modererende effek van hierdie sosialiseringstrategie op die bankkliente se persepsie van dienskwaliteit bepaal deur 'n ewekansige steekproefvan 210 bankwerkers met 1050 kliente af te paar.

  15. Offshoring and Patterns of Quality Growth: Evidence from Danish Apparel

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Smeets, Valerie Anne Rolande; Traiberman, Sharon; Warzynski, Frederic Michel Patrick

    is generally associated with higher quality, offshoring to China is not. The reductions in trade costs also lead to changes in the distribution of prices and quality-adjusted prices. This has implications for policy as understanding the distribution of prices faced by heterogeneous consumers is key......Recently a small empirical literature has taken off attempting to analyze the role that quality plays in our understanding of trade. In particular, the recent work of Khandelwal (2010) has brought the insights of structural IO models of demand to bear into trade data. Our work builds on this new...... structural literature; we use similar demand estimation techniques on a panel of Danish apparel firms from 1997 to 2010 in order to analyze how firms responded to China’s entry to the WTO and the dismantling of the Multi-Fibre Agreement. We find substantial changes in the aggregate level as the distribution...

  16. Human endogenous retroviruses and cancer prevention: evidence and prospects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cegolon Luca

    2013-01-01

    as other tumors like sarcoma, lymphoma, bladder and breast cancer. An amino acid sequence similar to HERV-K-MEL, recognized to cause a significant protective effect against melanoma, is shared by the antigenic determinants expressed by some vaccines such as BCG, vaccinia virus and the yellow fever virus. HERV-K are also reactivated in the majority of human breast cancers. Monoclonal and single-chain antibodies against the HERV-K Env protein recently proved capable of blocking the proliferation of human breast cancer cells in vitro, inhibiting tumor growth in mice bearing xenograft tumors. Summary A recent epidemiological study provided provisional evidence of how melanoma risk could possibly be reduced if the yellow fever virus vaccine (YFV were received at least 10 years before, possibly preventing tumor initiation rather than culling melanoma cells already compromised. Further research is recommended to confirm the temporal pattern of this protection and eliminate/attenuate the potential role of relevant confounders as socio-economic status and other vaccinations. It appears also appropriate to examine the potential protective effect of YFV against other malignancies expressing high levels of HERV-K antigens, namely breast cancer, sarcoma, lymphoma and bladder cancer. Tumor immune-therapy, as described for the monoclonal antibodies against breast cancer, is indeed considered more complex and less advantageous than immune-prevention. Cellular immunity possibly triggered by vaccines as for YFV might also be involved in anti-cancer response, in addition to humoral immunity.

  17. Human endogenous retroviruses and cancer prevention: evidence and prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cegolon, Luca; Salata, Cristiano; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Vineis, Paolo; Palù, Giorgio; Mastrangelo, Giuseppe

    2013-01-03

    breast cancer. An amino acid sequence similar to HERV-K-MEL, recognized to cause a significant protective effect against melanoma, is shared by the antigenic determinants expressed by some vaccines such as BCG, vaccinia virus and the yellow fever virus.HERV-K are also reactivated in the majority of human breast cancers. Monoclonal and single-chain antibodies against the HERV-K Env protein recently proved capable of blocking the proliferation of human breast cancer cells in vitro, inhibiting tumor growth in mice bearing xenograft tumors. A recent epidemiological study provided provisional evidence of how melanoma risk could possibly be reduced if the yellow fever virus vaccine (YFV) were received at least 10 years before, possibly preventing tumor initiation rather than culling melanoma cells already compromised. Further research is recommended to confirm the temporal pattern of this protection and eliminate/attenuate the potential role of relevant confounders as socio-economic status and other vaccinations.It appears also appropriate to examine the potential protective effect of YFV against other malignancies expressing high levels of HERV-K antigens, namely breast cancer, sarcoma, lymphoma and bladder cancer.Tumor immune-therapy, as described for the monoclonal antibodies against breast cancer, is indeed considered more complex and less advantageous than immune-prevention. Cellular immunity possibly triggered by vaccines as for YFV might also be involved in anti-cancer response, in addition to humoral immunity.

  18. Human endogenous retroviruses and cancer prevention: evidence and prospects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cegolon, Luca; Salata, Cristiano; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Vineis, Paolo; Palù, Giorgio; Mastrangelo, Giuseppe

    2013-01-01

    and breast cancer. An amino acid sequence similar to HERV-K-MEL, recognized to cause a significant protective effect against melanoma, is shared by the antigenic determinants expressed by some vaccines such as BCG, vaccinia virus and the yellow fever virus. HERV-K are also reactivated in the majority of human breast cancers. Monoclonal and single-chain antibodies against the HERV-K Env protein recently proved capable of blocking the proliferation of human breast cancer cells in vitro, inhibiting tumor growth in mice bearing xenograft tumors. A recent epidemiological study provided provisional evidence of how melanoma risk could possibly be reduced if the yellow fever virus vaccine (YFV) were received at least 10 years before, possibly preventing tumor initiation rather than culling melanoma cells already compromised. Further research is recommended to confirm the temporal pattern of this protection and eliminate/attenuate the potential role of relevant confounders as socio-economic status and other vaccinations. It appears also appropriate to examine the potential protective effect of YFV against other malignancies expressing high levels of HERV-K antigens, namely breast cancer, sarcoma, lymphoma and bladder cancer. Tumor immune-therapy, as described for the monoclonal antibodies against breast cancer, is indeed considered more complex and less advantageous than immune-prevention. Cellular immunity possibly triggered by vaccines as for YFV might also be involved in anti-cancer response, in addition to humoral immunity

  19. Quality Disclosure in Sustainability Reporting: Evidence From Universities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto ROMOLINI

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Attention towards sustainability reporting is very high with reference to higher education. The paper aims to assess the maturity level of sus-tainability reporting and to measure its quality by evaluating the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI indicators currently disclosed. The research was carried out using the inductive method. We de-limited the study to universities and we evaluated the quality of sustainability reporting by analyzing the indicators disclosed in 2012 reports accord-ing to GRI guidelines. The research gives an overview of sustainability reporting in universities by evaluating the quality level of their disclosure. The results confrm previous research by high-lighting the necessity to improve sustainability reporting. Moreover, the results show there are differences between universities that are con-nected to the peculiarities of each country. They also enable us to draw up an initial classifcation of universities. The paper provides one of the frst in-depth studies of sustainability reporting quality for universities included in the GRI database.

  20. Feedback Effects of Teaching Quality Assessment: Macro and Micro Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchini, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates the feedback effects of teaching quality assessment. Previous literature looked separately at the evolution of individual and aggregate scores to understand whether instructors and university performance depends on its past evaluation. I propose a new quantitative-based methodology, combining statistical distributions and…

  1. Improving Service Quality by Using Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Iranian Evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nour-Mohammad Yaghoubi

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays, with increasing service industries, service marketing and service quality have become an important challenge to organizations. The attempts of organizations in this situation are witnesses to this matter. In the past years, the organizations tried to reach service quality appropriation and satisfaction of self-external customers by concepts and approaches of external marketing. One of the important features of service is the direct interaction with customers and having customer-oriented behaviors. Furthermore, with introducing the internal marketing and the important roles of it, an internal customer of organizations, on achievement of organizational plans, was noted to internal marketing more and more than before. So, the study researchers are going to argue about internal marketing and the effect of it on organizational citizenship behaviors and service quality and the important role of it on development and improvement of service quality by using organizational citizenship behaviors. For this purpose, first the researchers have studied internal marketing and its important components and then have done the same to the other items and finally have applied a quantitative study on all of them. It should be mentioned that the researchers have employed SPSS 17.0 and Lisrel 8.54 for data analysis. The findings of the present study illustrated that there is an appropriate interaction among all the items, which has been studied here and the structural equations for the conceptual framework of this study are goodness of fit.

  2. Evidence Report: Risk of Inadequate Human-Computer Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holden, Kritina; Ezer, Neta; Vos, Gordon

    2013-01-01

    Human-computer interaction (HCI) encompasses all the methods by which humans and computer-based systems communicate, share information, and accomplish tasks. When HCI is poorly designed, crews have difficulty entering, navigating, accessing, and understanding information. HCI has rarely been studied in an operational spaceflight context, and detailed performance data that would support evaluation of HCI have not been collected; thus, we draw much of our evidence from post-spaceflight crew comments, and from other safety-critical domains like ground-based power plants, and aviation. Additionally, there is a concern that any potential or real issues to date may have been masked by the fact that crews have near constant access to ground controllers, who monitor for errors, correct mistakes, and provide additional information needed to complete tasks. We do not know what types of HCI issues might arise without this "safety net". Exploration missions will test this concern, as crews may be operating autonomously due to communication delays and blackouts. Crew survival will be heavily dependent on available electronic information for just-in-time training, procedure execution, and vehicle or system maintenance; hence, the criticality of the Risk of Inadequate HCI. Future work must focus on identifying the most important contributing risk factors, evaluating their contribution to the overall risk, and developing appropriate mitigations. The Risk of Inadequate HCI includes eight core contributing factors based on the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS): (1) Requirements, policies, and design processes, (2) Information resources and support, (3) Allocation of attention, (4) Cognitive overload, (5) Environmentally induced perceptual changes, (6) Misperception and misinterpretation of displayed information, (7) Spatial disorientation, and (8) Displays and controls.

  3. Impact of climate change on human infectious diseases: Empirical evidence and human adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaoxu; Lu, Yongmei; Zhou, Sen; Chen, Lifan; Xu, Bing

    2016-01-01

    Climate change refers to long-term shifts in weather conditions and patterns of extreme weather events. It may lead to changes in health threat to human beings, multiplying existing health problems. This review examines the scientific evidences on the impact of climate change on human infectious diseases. It identifies research progress and gaps on how human society may respond to, adapt to, and prepare for the related changes. Based on a survey of related publications between 1990 and 2015, the terms used for literature selection reflect three aspects--the components of infectious diseases, climate variables, and selected infectious diseases. Humans' vulnerability to the potential health impacts by climate change is evident in literature. As an active agent, human beings may control the related health effects that may be effectively controlled through adopting proactive measures, including better understanding of the climate change patterns and of the compound disease-specific health effects, and effective allocation of technologies and resources to promote healthy lifestyles and public awareness. The following adaptation measures are recommended: 1) to go beyond empirical observations of the association between climate change and infectious diseases and develop more scientific explanations, 2) to improve the prediction of spatial-temporal process of climate change and the associated shifts in infectious diseases at various spatial and temporal scales, and 3) to establish locally effective early warning systems for the health effects of predicated climate change. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  4. Accounting quality and the adoption of IASB standards: portuguese evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Isabel Morais

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Through rule 1606/2002 by the European Commission, Portuguese listed firms were required to adopt IASB standards in the preparation and presentation of consolidated accounts for the periods beginning on or after 2005. IASB standards are developed in environments where accounting practices are especially directed at the private sector, reporting rules are largely unaffected by taxation requirements and capital is traditionally raised in public markets. However, in Portugal, financial reporting is closely related to tax reporting and banks play a key role in providing finance and inside access to information. We investigate whether adopting IASB standards is associated with higher earnings quality and higher value relevance. We compare the earnings quality and value relevance of accounting data of 34 Portuguese listed firms before (1995-2004 and after (2004-2005 the adoption of IASB standards. We find that firms, during the period when they adopt IASB standards, report less smooth earnings than those firms in periods when they adopted national accounting standards, which seems to suggest an improvement in earnings quality. However, we also find that the value relevance of accounting information decreases with the adoption of IASB standards.

  5. Economics of Quality Education and Paths Leading into and out of Quality Education: Evidence from Debre Markos University, Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molla, Tsegaye

    2017-01-01

    The difference in economic development among nations entirely emanates from difference in human capital development as it is the priority pathway out of poverty, diverse socio-economic and environmental crises. Although, huge investment in human capital development has long been made, mere investment will never lead to quality labor force unless…

  6. Human Variome Project Quality Assessment Criteria for Variation Databases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vihinen, Mauno; Hancock, John M; Maglott, Donna R; Landrum, Melissa J; Schaafsma, Gerard C P; Taschner, Peter

    2016-06-01

    Numerous databases containing information about DNA, RNA, and protein variations are available. Gene-specific variant databases (locus-specific variation databases, LSDBs) are typically curated and maintained for single genes or groups of genes for a certain disease(s). These databases are widely considered as the most reliable information source for a particular gene/protein/disease, but it should also be made clear they may have widely varying contents, infrastructure, and quality. Quality is very important to evaluate because these databases may affect health decision-making, research, and clinical practice. The Human Variome Project (HVP) established a Working Group for Variant Database Quality Assessment. The basic principle was to develop a simple system that nevertheless provides a good overview of the quality of a database. The HVP quality evaluation criteria that resulted are divided into four main components: data quality, technical quality, accessibility, and timeliness. This report elaborates on the developed quality criteria and how implementation of the quality scheme can be achieved. Examples are provided for the current status of the quality items in two different databases, BTKbase, an LSDB, and ClinVar, a central archive of submissions about variants and their clinical significance. © 2016 WILEY PERIODICALS, INC.

  7. Human Factors in Software Development Processes: Measuring System Quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abrahão, Silvia; Baldassarre, Maria Teresa; Caivano, Danilo

    2016-01-01

    Software Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction look at the development process from different perspectives. They apparently use very different approaches, are inspired by different principles and address different needs. But, they definitively have the same goal: develop high quality software...... in the most effective way. The second edition of the workshop puts particular attention on efforts of the two communities in enhancing system quality. The research question discussed is: who, what, where, when, why, and how should we evaluate?...

  8. Sensitive periods in human development: evidence from musical training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penhune, Virginia B

    2011-10-01

    One of the primary goals of cognitive neuroscience is to understand the interaction between genes, development and specific experience. A particularly fascinating example of this interaction is a sensitive period - a time during development when experience has a differential effect on behavior and the brain. Behavioral and brain imaging studies in musicians have provided suggestive evidence for a possible sensitive period for musical training; showing that musicians who began training early show better task performance and greater changes in auditory and motor regions of the brain. However, these studies have not controlled for likely differences between early- (ET) and late-trained (LT) musicians in the number of years of musical experience. This review presents behavioral work from our laboratory comparing the performance of ET (before age seven) and LT musicians who were matched for years of experience on the ability to tap in synchrony with auditory and visual rhythms. The results demonstrate the existence of a possible sensitive period for musical training that has its greatest impact on measures of sensorimotor integration. Work on motor learning in children and how this might relate to the observed sensitive period effect is also reviewed. These studies are described in the context of what is currently known about sensitive periods in animals and humans; drawing on evidence from anatomy and physiology, studies of deafness, as well as structural and functional neuroimaging studies in trained musicians. The possible mechanisms underlying sensitive periods for musical training are discussed based on current theories describing the influence of both low-level features of sensory experience and higher-level cognitive processing. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.

  9. Measuring quality of life in Macedonia - using human development indicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitar Eftimoski

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available By the end of the 1980s, the central issue of development was focused on the growth of income and not on the growth of quality of life. Therefore, the development strategies were oriented towards production and left no significant space for improving the welfare of individuals.In the beginning of the 1990s, the human development concept emerged, stressing that economic development ultimately should result in growth of quality of life of individuals, while the goal of the development process was to expand the capabilities of individuals by placing them in the focus of the efforts for development.This paper if focused on the quality of life of the individuals. Moreover, in addition to the previous practice in Macedonia of calculating the human development index (HDI - as a measure of quality of life, an attempt will be made to calculate the humanpoverty index (HPI-2 - as a measure of non-income poverty, gender development index (GDI - as a measure of inequality between men and women, as well as the human development index at the level of aggregated urban and rural municipalities.We hope that it will contribute to the improvement of the quality of decisions made by the state and local authorities in Macedonia when it comes to issues concerning the human development.

  10. Human impact on the microbiological water quality of the rivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Páll, Emőke; Niculae, Mihaela; Kiss, Timea; Şandru, Carmen Dana; Spînu, Marina

    2013-11-01

    Microbiological contamination is an important water-quality problem worldwide. Human impact on this category of contamination is significant and several human-related activities, and also the population explosion, have affected and are still affecting dramatically the aquatic environment. Extensive industrialization and agriculture have led to increased pollution and hydromorphological changes in many river basins. The Danube river is one of the most affected by these changes where human involvement is undeniable, and subsequently, the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve became one of the most vulnerable ecosystems. This review is an attempt to analyse the microbiological contamination and to identify the major role human activities play in altering the water quality of the rivers.

  11. Evidence of Recent Intricate Adaptation in Human Populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leeyoung Park

    Full Text Available Recent human adaptations have shaped population differentiation in genomic regions containing putative functional variants, mostly located in predicted regulatory elements. However, their actual functionalities and the underlying mechanism of recent adaptation remain poorly understood. In the current study, regions of genes and repeats were investigated for functionality depending on the degree of population differentiation, FST or ΔDAF (a difference in derived allele frequency. The high FST in the 5´ or 3´ untranslated regions (UTRs, in particular, confirmed that population differences arose mainly from differences in regulation. Expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL analyses using lymphoblastoid cell lines indicated that the majority of the highly population-specific regions represented cis- and/or trans-eQTL. However, groups having the highest ΔDAFs did not necessarily have higher proportions of eQTL variants; in these groups, the patterns were complex, indicating recent intricate adaptations. The results indicated that East Asian (EAS and European populations (EUR experienced mutual selection pressures. The mean derived allele frequency of the high ΔDAF groups suggested that EAS and EUR underwent strong adaptation; however, the African population in Africa (AFR experienced slight, yet broad, adaptation. The DAF distributions of variants in the gene regions showed clear selective pressure in each population, which implies the existence of more recent regulatory adaptations in cells other than lymphoblastoid cell lines. In-depth analysis of population-differentiated regions indicated that the coding gene, RNF135, represented a trans-regulation hotspot via cis-regulation by the population-specific variants in the region of selective sweep. Together, the results provide strong evidence of actual intricate adaptation of human populations via regulatory manipulation.

  12. Cooking and the human commitment to a high-quality diet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmody, R N; Wrangham, R W

    2009-01-01

    For our body size, humans exhibit higher energy use yet reduced structures for mastication and digestion of food compared to chimpanzees, our closest living relatives. This suite of features suggests that humans are adapted to a high-quality diet. Although increased consumption of meat during human evolution certainly contributed to dietary quality, meat-eating alone appears to be insufficient to support the evolution of these traits, because modern humans fare poorly on raw diets that include meat. Here, we suggest that cooking confers physical and chemical benefits to food that are consistent with observed human dietary adaptations. We review evidence showing that cooking facilitates mastication, increases digestibility, and otherwise improves the net energy value of plant and animal foods regularly consumed by humans. We also address the likelihood that cooking was adopted more than 250,000 years ago (kya), a period that we believe is sufficient in length for the proposed adaptations to have occurred. Additional experimental work is needed to help discriminate the relative contributions of cooking, meat eating, and other innovations such as nonthermal food processing in supporting the human transition toward dietary quality.

  13. Human DNA quantification and sample quality assessment: Developmental validation of the PowerQuant(®) system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, Margaret M; Thompson, Jonelle M; McLaren, Robert S; Purpero, Vincent M; Thomas, Kelli J; Dobrowski, Patricia A; DeGroot, Gretchen A; Romsos, Erica L; Storts, Douglas R

    2016-07-01

    Quantification of the total amount of human DNA isolated from a forensic evidence item is crucial for DNA normalization prior to short tandem repeat (STR) DNA analysis and a federal quality assurance standard requirement. Previous commercial quantification methods determine the total human DNA and total human male DNA concentrations, but provide limited information about the condition of the DNA sample. The PowerQuant(®) System includes targets for quantification of total human and total human male DNA as well as targets for evaluating whether the human DNA is degraded and/or PCR inhibitors are present in the sample. A developmental validation of the PowerQuant(®) System was completed, following SWGDAM Validation Guidelines, to evaluate the assay's specificity, sensitivity, precision and accuracy, as well as the ability to detect degraded DNA or PCR inhibitors. In addition to the total human DNA and total human male DNA concentrations in a sample, data from the degradation target and internal PCR control (IPC) provide a forensic DNA analyst meaningful information about the quality of the isolated human DNA and the presence of PCR inhibitors in the sample that can be used to determine the most effective workflow and assist downstream interpretation. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  14. Core public health functions for BC : evidence review : air quality-indoor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Copes, R.; Ouellette, V.; Lee, K.S.; Brauer, M. [British Columbia Ministry of Health, Victoria, BC (Canada)

    2006-04-15

    Indoor sources of pollutants can have a major impact on the health of Canadians, as pollutant concentrations are often higher indoors than outdoors. This paper assessed data compiled by public health indoor air interventions. The aim of the study was to identify the current state of evidence on the impacts of indoor pollution in order to develop performance improvement plans for public health programs in British Columbia (BC). The literature review used several databases to review interventions involving humidity control; ventilation; particulate matter; indoor allergens; and environmental tobacco smoke. Results of the review showed that improving inadequate ventilation can significantly decrease the prevalence of sick building syndrome as well as other self-reported symptoms attributed to indoor air pollution. A review of the literature also demonstrated that many building ventilation systems are not functioning to design specifications. The poor quality of studies on the health impacts of particulate matter or dust made it difficult to fully assess the benefits of particle filtration on human health. Studies investigating the impacts of controlling indoor allergens suggested that the avoidance of dust mites may benefit people with allergies. Evidence gained from studies on environmental tobacco smoke showed that banning or restricting smoking will reduce the burden of illness from pollutants in indoor air. 20 refs., 3 tabs.

  15. Core public health functions for BC : evidence review : air quality-indoor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Copes, R.; Ouellette, V.; Lee, K.S.; Brauer, M.

    2006-04-01

    Indoor sources of pollutants can have a major impact on the health of Canadians, as pollutant concentrations are often higher indoors than outdoors. This paper assessed data compiled by public health indoor air interventions. The aim of the study was to identify the current state of evidence on the impacts of indoor pollution in order to develop performance improvement plans for public health programs in British Columbia (BC). The literature review used several databases to review interventions involving humidity control; ventilation; particulate matter; indoor allergens; and environmental tobacco smoke. Results of the review showed that improving inadequate ventilation can significantly decrease the prevalence of sick building syndrome as well as other self-reported symptoms attributed to indoor air pollution. A review of the literature also demonstrated that many building ventilation systems are not functioning to design specifications. The poor quality of studies on the health impacts of particulate matter or dust made it difficult to fully assess the benefits of particle filtration on human health. Studies investigating the impacts of controlling indoor allergens suggested that the avoidance of dust mites may benefit people with allergies. Evidence gained from studies on environmental tobacco smoke showed that banning or restricting smoking will reduce the burden of illness from pollutants in indoor air. 20 refs., 3 tabs

  16. Audit quality and the audit partner effect : Evidence from European listed companies

    OpenAIRE

    Buuren, van, J.P.

    2009-01-01

    The main objective of this study is to provide evidence on the differences in audit quality amongst audit partners. I attribute these dissimilarities to (i) differences in the audit risk perception and the risk appetite of individual audit partners and (ii) to differences in the personal business case of audit partners. As a result, three audit partner archetypes have been identified: liberal, high quality and conservative. This paper will provide evidence that 50% of the audit partners (53% ...

  17. Technical and human considerations in establishing quality of supply objectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fraser, J.C.

    1989-01-01

    The standard adopted for the quality of electrical supply ultimately determines the cost of the supply. Technical considerations prevent the achievement of perfect quality at any cost and high quality is gained usually only at high cost. Customer opinion ultimately determines acceptable quality and cost. However, gaining opinion data which is useful for system design is a task that must account for certain human characteristics which influence the reliability of data obtained from surveys. An overview is given of technical factors which limit the quality of supply and human nature impacts on opinion data. Power generation, generation design criteria, transmission system design criteria and subtransmission and distribution criteria for reliability of supply are discussed. Public opinion of electrical power quality is distorted by several influences. While electricity use is continuous, bills come periodically, and the time discrepancy is likely to inflate the perception of energy cost. Periods with low quality problems become expected as the norm, although to a certain degree memory of poor performance is more persistant than memory of good performance, moderating the effect. Costs customers are willing to bear to provide for improved performance are analyzed. 10 refs., 8 figs., 3 tabs

  18. Bear phalanx traumatically introduced into a living human: Prehistoric evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Gary D; Ojeda, Hillary M; Jabbour, Rebecca S; Ibarra, Caitlin L; Horton, Caroline F

    2013-03-01

    Traumatically induced skeletal injuries are common and can be ascribed to a normal range of events occurring in an individual's lifetime. A subset of these trauma-induced injuries provides enhanced insight into cultural history. Such cases might include those referable to medico-surgical and religious/ritualistic practices. We describe prehistoric evidence and cultural implications of the traumatic insertion of an Ursus manual phalanx into the elbow of a living human. The injury healed and the phalanx remained in situ until death. The individual derives from the Ellis Landing shellmound and dates to a subphase of the Middle Period (≈500BC-300AD) in the California cultural sequence. The remains are of a 30-40 year-old female. Comparative data on arm morphology and pathological conditions present were collected (n=159). Three Ursus subspecies (n=15) were examined to identify the taxon represented by the phalanx. The described individual was probably wearing bear paw ornaments at the time she was crushed by a heavy object. During this event, a bear claw was driven into her cubital fossa, the basal phalangeal tubercle being impressed into the humerus. The wound healed completely. The presence of Ursus body parts indicates an elevated societal role for this female; most likely she was a shaman or healer. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. The spectacular human nose: an amplifier of individual quality?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Åse Kristine Rognmo Mikalsen

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Amplifiers are signals that improve the perception of underlying differences in quality. They are cost free and advantageous to high quality individuals, but disadvantageous to low quality individuals, as poor quality is easier perceived because of the amplifier. For an amplifier to evolve, the average fitness benefit to the high quality individuals should be higher than the average cost for the low quality individuals. The human nose is, compared to the nose of most other primates, extraordinary large, fragile and easily broken—especially in male–male interactions. May it have evolved as an amplifier among high quality individuals, allowing easy assessment of individual quality and influencing the perception of attractiveness? We tested the latter by manipulating the position of the nose tip or, as a control, the mouth in facial pictures and had the pictures rated for attractiveness. Our results show that facial attractiveness failed to be influenced by mouth manipulations. Yet, facial attractiveness increased when the nose tip was artificially centered according to other facial features. Conversely, attractiveness decreased when the nose tip was displaced away from its central position. Our results suggest that our evaluation of attractiveness is clearly sensitive to the centering of the nose tip, possibly because it affects our perception of the face’s symmetry and/or averageness. However, whether such centering is related to individual quality remains unclear.

  20. Managerial ability and earnings quality: Evidence from Tehran Stock Exchange

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid Salehi

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Auditor independence is associated with the independence of the internal/external auditor from various parties who may have some financial interest in the business being audited. Many countries have set up different rules forcing firms to change their auditors every few years. This helps business retain healthy business. This paper presents an empirical investigation to study the effect of change in auditing system on 90 selected firms from Tehran Stock Exchange over the period 2007-2011. Using a regression model developed earlier by Demerjian et al. (2012a [Demerjian, P. R., Lev, B., Lewis, M. F., & McVay, S. E. (2012a. Managerial ability and earnings quality. The Accounting Review, 88(2, 463-498.], the study determines a positive impact of change in auditor system on business development.

  1. The Quality of Evidence in Reading Fluency Intervention for Korean Readers with Reading Difficulties and Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Yujeong; Kim, Min Kyung

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed to provide information about the quality of the evidence on reading fluency instruction for at-risk students and students with reading/learning disabilities as a way to evaluate whether an instructional strategy is evidence-based and has potential for classroom use. An extensive search process with inclusion and exclusion criteria…

  2. Water Quality Criteria for Human Health and Aquatic Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collaborative effort with the Office of Water to provide science in support of the development and implementation of new or revised ambient water quality criteria for microbial and chemical contaminants for human health and aquatic life. The research also addresses implementation...

  3. Improving of the management quality of human resources

    OpenAIRE

    Miceski, Trajko

    2004-01-01

    Improvement of the management quality of human resources is a continuous process, based on multidimensional concept of activities, with special emphasis on increasing the level of competence of the employees both in their working place and in additional activities in the decision making bodies.

  4. Is the readmission rate a valid quality indicator? A review of the evidence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fischer, Claudia; Lingsma, Hester F.; Marang-van de Mheen, Perla J.; Kringos, Dionne S.; Klazinga, Niek S.; Steyerberg, Ewout W.

    2014-01-01

    Hospital readmission rates are increasingly used for both quality improvement and cost control. However, the validity of readmission rates as a measure of quality of hospital care is not evident. We aimed to give an overview of the different methodological aspects in the definition and measurement

  5. Rating the strength of scientific evidence: relevance for quality improvement programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohr, Kathleen N

    2004-02-01

    To summarize an extensive review of systems for grading the quality of research articles and rating the strength of bodies of evidence, and to highlight for health professionals and decision-makers concerned with quality measurement and improvement the available "best practices" tools by which these steps can be accomplished. Drawing on an extensive review of checklists, questionnaires, and other tools in the field of evidence-based practice, this paper discusses clinical, management, and policy rationales for rating strength of evidence in a quality improvement context, and documents best practices methods for these tasks. After review of 121 systems for grading the quality of articles, 19 systems, mostly specific, met a priori scientific standards for grading systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, observational studies, and diagnostic tests; eight systems (of 40 reviewed) met similar standards for rating the overall strength of evidence. All can be used as is or adapted for particular types of evidence reports or systematic reviews. Formally grading study quality and rating overall strength of evidence, using sound instruments and procedures, can produce reasonable levels of confidence about the science base for parts of quality improvement programs. With such information, health care professionals and administrators concerned with quality improvement can understand better the level of science (versus only clinical consensus or opinion) that supports practice guidelines, review criteria, and assessments that feed into quality assurance and improvement programs. New systems are appearing and research is needed to confirm the conceptual and practical underpinnings of these grading and rating systems, but the need for those developing systematic reviews, practice guidelines, and quality or audit criteria to understand and undertake these steps is becoming increasingly clear.

  6. Evidence-informed person-centered healthcare part I: do 'cognitive biases plus' at organizational levels influence quality of evidence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seshia, Shashi S; Makhinson, Michael; Phillips, Dawn F; Young, G Bryan

    2014-12-01

    There is increasing concern about the unreliability of much of health care evidence, especially in its application to individuals. Cognitive biases, financial and non-financial conflicts of interest, and ethical violations (which, together with fallacies, we collectively refer to as 'cognitive biases plus') at the levels of individuals and organizations involved in health care undermine the evidence that informs person-centred care. This study used qualitative review of the pertinent literature from basic, medical and social sciences, ethics, philosophy, law etc. Financial conflicts of interest (primarily industry related) have become systemic in several organizations that influence health care evidence. There is also plausible evidence for non-financial conflicts of interest, especially in academic organizations. Financial and non-financial conflicts of interest frequently result in self-serving bias. Self-serving bias can lead to self-deception and rationalization of actions that entrench self-serving behaviour, both potentially resulting in unethical acts. Individuals and organizations are also susceptible to other cognitive biases. Qualitative evidence suggests that 'cognitive biases plus' can erode the quality of evidence. 'Cognitive biases plus' are hard wired, primarily at the unconscious level, and the resulting behaviours are not easily corrected. Social behavioural researchers advocate multi-pronged measures in similar situations: (i) abolish incentives that spawn self-serving bias; (ii) enforce severe deterrents for breaches of conduct; (iii) value integrity; (iv) strengthen self-awareness; and (v) design curricula especially at the trainee level to promote awareness of consequences to society. Virtuous professionals and organizations are essential to fulfil the vision for high-quality individualized health care globally. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  7. Health Reporting in Print Media in Lebanon: Evidence, Quality and Role in Informing Policymaking

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Jardali, Fadi; Bou Karroum, Lama; Bawab, Lamya; Kdouh, Ola; El-Sayed, Farah; Rachidi, Hala; Makki, Malak

    2015-01-01

    Background Media plays a vital role in shaping public policies and opinions through disseminating health-related information. This study aims at exploring the role of media in informing health policies in Lebanon, identifying the factors influencing health reporting and investigating the role of evidence in health journalism and the quality of health reporting. It also identifies strategies to enhance the use of evidence in health journalism and improve the quality of health reporting. Methods Media analysis was conducted to assess the way media reports on health-related issues and the quality of reporting using a quality assessment tool. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with 27 journalists, researchers and policymakers to explore their perception on the role of media in health policymaking and the factors influencing health reporting. In addition, a validation workshop was conducted. Results Out of 1,279 health-related news articles identified, 318 articles used certain type of evidence to report health issues 39.8% of which relied on experts’ opinions as their source of evidence while only 5.9% referenced peer-reviewed research studies. The quality of health reporting was judged to be low based on a quality assessment tool consisting of a set of ten criteria. Journalists raised concerns about issues impeding them from referring to evidence. Journalists also reported difficulties with the investigative health journalism. Policymakers and researchers viewed media as an important tool for evidence-informed health policies, however, serious concerns were voiced in terms of the current practice and capacities. Conclusion Our study provides a structured reflection on the role of media and the factors that influence health reporting including context-specific strategies that would enhance the quality and promote the use of evidence in health reporting. In the light of the political changes in many Middle Eastern countries, findings from this study can

  8. Indoor air quality for poor families: new evidence from Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasgupta, S; Huq, M; Khaliquzzaman, M; Pandey, K; Wheeler, D

    2006-12-01

    Poor households in Bangladesh depend heavily on wood, dung and other biomass fuels for cooking. This paper provides a detailed analysis of the implications for indoor air pollution (IAP), drawing on new 24-h monitoring data for respirable airborne particulates (PM10). A stratified sample of 236 households was selected in Dhaka and Narayanganj, with a particular focus on fuel use, cooking locations, structural materials, ventilation practices, and other potential determinants of exposure to IAP. At each household, PM10 concentrations in the kitchen and living room were monitored for a 24-h period during December, 2003-February, 2004. Concentrations of 300 microg/m3 or greater are common in our sample, implying widespread exposure to a serious health hazard. A regression analysis for these 236 households was then conducted to explore the relationships between PM10 concentrations, fuel choices and a large set of variables that describe household cooking and ventilation practices, structure characteristics and building materials. As expected, our econometric results indicate that fuel choice significantly affects indoor pollution levels: natural gas and kerosene are significantly cleaner than biomass fuels. However, household-specific factors apparently matter more than fuel choice in determining PM10 concentrations. In some biomass-burning households, concentrations are scarcely higher than in households that use natural gas. Our results suggest that cross-household variation is strongly affected by structural arrangements: cooking locations, construction materials, and ventilation practices. A large variation in PM10 was also found during the 24-h cycle within households. For example, within the 'dirtiest' firewood-using household in our sample, readings over the 24-h cycle vary from 68 to 4864 microg/m3. Such variation occurs because houses can recycle air very quickly in Bangladesh. After the midday meal, when ventilation is common, air quality in many houses goes

  9. Evaluating the state of quality-improvement science through evidence synthesis: insights from the closing the quality gap series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Kathryn M; Schultz, Ellen M; Chang, Christine

    2013-01-01

    The Closing the Quality Gap series from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality summarizes evidence for eight high-priority health care topics: outcomes used in disability research, bundled payment programs, public reporting initiatives, health care disparities, palliative care, the patient-centered medical home, prevention of health care-associated infections, and medication adherence. To distill evidence from this series and provide insight into the "state of the science" of quality improvement (QI). We provided common guidance for topic development and qualitatively synthesized evidence from the series topic reports to identify cross-topic themes, challenges, and evidence gaps as related to QI practice and science. Among topics that examined effectiveness of QI interventions, we found improvement in some outcomes but not others. Implementation context and potential harms from QI activities were not widely evaluated or reported, although market factors appeared important for incentive-based QI strategies. Patient-focused and systems-focused strategies were generally more effective than clinician-focused strategies, although the latter approach improved clinician adherence to infection prevention strategies. Audit and feedback appeared better for targeting professionals and organizations, but not patients. Topic reviewers observed heterogeneity in outcomes used for QI evaluations, weaknesses in study design, and incomplete reporting. Synthesizing evidence across topics provided insight into the state of the QI field for practitioners and researchers. To facilitate future evidence synthesis, consensus is needed around a smaller set of outcomes for use in QI evaluations and a framework and lexicon to describe QI interventions more broadly, in alignment with needs of decision makers responsible for improving quality.

  10. Motivating medical information system performance by system quality, service quality, and job satisfaction for evidence-based practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background No previous studies have addressed the integrated relationships among system quality, service quality, job satisfaction, and system performance; this study attempts to bridge such a gap with evidence-based practice study. Methods The convenience sampling method was applied to the information system users of three hospitals in southern Taiwan. A total of 500 copies of questionnaires were distributed, and 283 returned copies were valid, suggesting a valid response rate of 56.6%. SPSS 17.0 and AMOS 17.0 (structural equation modeling) statistical software packages were used for data analysis and processing. Results The findings are as follows: System quality has a positive influence on service quality (γ11= 0.55), job satisfaction (γ21= 0.32), and system performance (γ31= 0.47). Service quality (β31= 0.38) and job satisfaction (β32= 0.46) will positively influence system performance. Conclusions It is thus recommended that the information office of hospitals and developers take enhancement of service quality and user satisfaction into consideration in addition to placing b on system quality and information quality when designing, developing, or purchasing an information system, in order to improve benefits and gain more achievements generated by hospital information systems. PMID:23171394

  11. Validity evidence as a key marker of quality of technical skill assessment in OTL-HNS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labbé, Mathilde; Young, Meredith; Nguyen, Lily H P

    2018-01-13

    Quality monitoring of assessment practices should be a priority in all residency programs. Validity evidence is one of the main hallmarks of assessment quality and should be collected to support the interpretation and use of assessment data. Our objective was to identify, synthesize, and present the validity evidence reported supporting different technical skill assessment tools in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery (OTL-HNS). We performed a secondary analysis of data generated through a systematic review of all published tools for assessing technical skills in OTL-HNS (n = 16). For each tool, we coded validity evidence according to the five types of evidence described by the American Educational Research Association's interpretation of Messick's validity framework. Descriptive statistical analyses were conducted. All 16 tools included in our analysis were supported by internal structure and relationship to variables validity evidence. Eleven articles presented evidence supporting content. Response process was discussed only in one article, and no study reported on evidence exploring consequences. We present the validity evidence reported for 16 rater-based tools that could be used for work-based assessment of OTL-HNS residents in the operating room. The articles included in our review were consistently deficient in evidence for response process and consequences. Rater-based assessment tools that support high-stakes decisions that impact the learner and programs should include several sources of validity evidence. Thus, use of any assessment should be done with careful consideration of the context-specific validity evidence supporting score interpretation, and we encourage deliberate continual assessment quality-monitoring. NA. Laryngoscope, 2018. © 2018 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  12. Household characteristics affecting drinking water quality and human health

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kausar, S.; Maann, A.A.; Zafar, I.; Ali, T.

    2009-01-01

    Pakistan's water crisis, especially serious water shortages have had a great impact on the health of the general population. Today majority of Pakistanis have no access to improved water sources which force people to consume polluted drinking water that results in the shape of waterborne diseases. In addition to this, household characteristics, includes mother's education and family income, also have an impact on drinking water quality and ultimately on human health. This study was conducted in three districts of Province Punjab both in urban and rural areas. The sample size of this study was 600 females of age group 20-60 years. From the data, it was concluded that mother's education and family income were affecting drinking water quality and human health. As the mother's years of education increased, the health issues decreased. Similarly, as the level of income increased, people suffered from water related diseases decreased. (author)

  13. Risk of transmission of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease by surgical procedures: systematic reviews and quality of evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, Fernando J García; Ruiz-Tovar, María; Almazán-Isla, Javier; Alcalde-Cabero, Enrique; Calero, Miguel; de Pedro-Cuesta, Jesús

    2017-10-01

    Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) is potentially transmissible to humans. This study aimed to summarise and rate the quality of the evidence of the association between surgery and sCJD. Firstly, we conducted systematic reviews and meta-analyses of case-control studies with major surgical procedures as exposures under study. To assess quality of evidence, we used the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) approach. Secondly, we conducted a systematic review of sCJD case reports after sharing neurosurgical instruments. Thirteen case-control studies met the inclusion criteria for the systematic review of case-control studies. sCJD was positively associated with heart surgery, heart and vascular surgery and eye surgery, negatively associated with tonsillectomy and appendectomy, and not associated with neurosurgery or unspecified major surgery. The overall quality of evidence was rated as very low. A single case-control study with a low risk of bias found a strong association between surgery conducted more than 20 years before disease onset and sCJD. Seven cases were described as potentially transmitted by reused neurosurgical instruments. The association between surgery and sCJD remains uncertain. Measures currently recommended for preventing sCJD transmission should be strongly maintained. Future studies should focus on the potential association between sCJD and surgery undergone a long time previously.

  14. Bisphenol A and Reproductive Health: Update of Experimental and Human Evidence, 2007–2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peretz, Jackye; Vrooman, Lisa; Ricke, William A.; Hunt, Patricia A.; Ehrlich, Shelley; Hauser, Russ; Padmanabhan, Vasantha; Taylor, Hugh S.; Swan, Shanna H.; VandeVoort, Catherine A.

    2014-01-01

    Background: In 2007, an expert panel reviewed associations between bisphenol A (BPA) exposure and reproductive health outcomes. Since then, new studies have been conducted on the impact of BPA on reproduction. Objective: In this review, we summarize data obtained since 2007, focusing on a) findings from human and animal studies, b) the effects of BPA on a variety of reproductive end points, and c) mechanisms of BPA action. Methods: We reviewed the literature published from 2007 to 2013 using a PubMed search based on keywords related to BPA and male and female reproduction. Discussion: Because BPA has been reported to affect the onset of meiosis in both animal and in vitro models, interfere with germ cell nest breakdown in animal models, accelerate follicle transition in several animal species, alter steroidogenesis in multiple animal models and women, and reduce oocyte quality in animal models and women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), we consider it an ovarian toxicant. In addition, strong evidence suggests that BPA is a uterine toxicant because it impaired uterine endometrial proliferation, decreased uterine receptivity, and increased implantation failure in animal models. BPA exposure may be associated with adverse birth outcomes, hyperandrogenism, sexual dysfunction, and impaired implantation in humans, but additional studies are required to confirm these associations. Studies also suggest that BPA may be a testicular toxicant in animal models, but the data in humans are equivocal. Finally, insufficient evidence exists regarding effects of BPA on the oviduct, the placenta, and pubertal development. Conclusion: Based on reports that BPA impacts female reproduction and has the potential to affect male reproductive systems in humans and animals, we conclude that BPA is a reproductive toxicant. Citation: Peretz J, Vrooman L, Ricke WA, Hunt PA, Ehrlich S, Hauser R, Padmanabhan V, Taylor HS, Swan SH, VandeVoort CA, Flaws JA. 2014. Bisphenol A and reproductive

  15. Birth order and human capital development: evidence from Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Haan, M.; Plug, E.; Rosero, J.

    2012-01-01

    In this paper we examine the effect of birth order on human capital development in Ecuador using a large national database together with self-collected survey data. Using family fixed effects models we find significant positive birth order effects; earlier born children stay behind in their human

  16. Birth order and human capital development: evidence from Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Haan, M.; Plug, E.; Rosero, J.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we examine the effect of birth order on human capital development in Ecuador. Using family fixed effects models we find positive and persistent birth order effects; earlier-born children stay behind in their human capital development from infancy to adolescence. Turning to potential

  17. Lines of evidence for environmentally driven human migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, K. F.; D'Odorico, P.

    2012-12-01

    International human migration is an important mechanism that affects, and is affected by, various human and natural systems. With the number of people living outside their countries of origin currently estimated at 214 million people and projected to potentially reach more than 400 million people by mid-century, the topic of international human movements presents possible advantages and pitfalls for both sending and receiving countries on multiple fronts (e.g. economic, environmental, political and cultural). Understanding how human migration interacts with human and natural systems is therefore essential in realizing a sustainable and balanced future. While the study of international migration has historically been motivated largely by economic and political interests, the issue of environmentally induced migration has become increasingly important in light of a rapidly changing climate in conjunction with increasing population pressure on many important resources. Particularly in terms of theoretical and conceptual discussions, environmentally induced human migration has been receiving increased attention in the literature. To date, few studies - many of which focus on internal (intra-national) or regional migration - have attempted to quantify the interactions of human migration and the environment, with little attention paid to the global scale as a result of varying regional factors and lack of sufficient data. Recently available global bilateral migration datasets have been developed that allow for a more comprehensive understanding of human movements between all countries. With these datasets, we seek to elucidate environmental drivers of human migration over the past half-century using a multi-pronged approach. First, using a recently developed universal radiation model, we examine human movements based solely on global population distribution. Next, by comparison of migration movements with selected economic, environmental and human welfare indicators, we

  18. Quality management in the nuclear industry: the human factor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-01-01

    In the nuclear industry it is vital to understand the 'human factor' with regard to plant performance and plant safety. A proper management system ensures that personnel perform their duties correctly. 'Quality Management in the Nuclear Industry: the Human Factor', was a conference organized by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in October 1990. The conference covered a wide range of topics on an international level including: standards, licensing and regulatory procedures; selection assessment and training of personnel; feedback from experience of good practice and of deviations; management and support of personnel performance; modelling and evaluation of human factors. The papers presented at the conference are contained in this volume. All twenty papers are indexed separately. (author)

  19. Quality system and audit of human skin allografts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Baare, J.

    1999-01-01

    Allograft skin has long been recognised as an important resource in the management of bum wounds. The important issue in skin banking is fust to guarantee safety of human cadaveric donor skin. Second, the quality of the allografts should be assured. The Euro Skin Bank, established in 1976, is located in The Netherlands. Not only in The Netherlands, but in many other (European) countries no specific regulation exists for tissue banking. With respect to skin banking in The Netherlands the Euro Skin Bank requested the government what regulations should be applied on their activities. It was stated in 1994 that human allografl skin should be regarded as a phan-naceutical drug, a magistral preparation. The Euro Skin Bank should therefore be subjected to the guidelines given for the Good Laboraton, Practices and Good Manufacturing Practices to process allogmft skin. Nevertheless, it was in the opinion of the Euro Skin Bank that regulating human tissue as a pharmaceutical drug was not sufficient e.g. no specific regulations for serologic testing of the tissue donor is given, which should be one of the most important issues in tissue banking. Recently the government has published new legislation for tissue banks in The Netherlands: on July I st, 1998, a new legislation was enforced concerning organ and tissue donation and on November I st, 1998, quality requirements for organ and tissue banks are published. The European Community discussed the possibility to bring all animal and human tissues under the Medical Device Directive (MDD). Soon it was proposed not to incorporate viable hw-nan tissue into the MDD. Last year all human tissue was excluded from the MDD. Lack of European regulations has been resulted in national laws, e.g. in The Netherlands, Germany and France. Possibly there might be a more significant role for the European Association of Tissue Banks in the near future for European legislation on tissue banking. In order to have a standard quality system wmch is

  20. Genetic Evidence of Human Adaptation to a Cooked Diet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmody, Rachel N; Dannemann, Michael; Briggs, Adrian W; Nickel, Birgit; Groopman, Emily E; Wrangham, Richard W; Kelso, Janet

    2016-04-13

    Humans have been argued to be biologically adapted to a cooked diet, but this hypothesis has not been tested at the molecular level. Here, we combine controlled feeding experiments in mice with comparative primate genomics to show that consumption of a cooked diet influences gene expression and that affected genes bear signals of positive selection in the human lineage. Liver gene expression profiles in mice fed standardized diets of meat or tuber were affected by food type and cooking, but not by caloric intake or consumer energy balance. Genes affected by cooking were highly correlated with genes known to be differentially expressed in liver between humans and other primates, and more genes in this overlap set show signals of positive selection in humans than would be expected by chance. Sequence changes in the genes under selection appear before the split between modern humans and two archaic human groups, Neandertals and Denisovans, supporting the idea that human adaptation to a cooked diet had begun by at least 275,000 years ago. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  1. Automatic ECG quality scoring methodology: mimicking human annotators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johannesen, Lars; Galeotti, Loriano

    2012-01-01

    An algorithm to determine the quality of electrocardiograms (ECGs) can enable inexperienced nurses and paramedics to record ECGs of sufficient diagnostic quality. Previously, we proposed an algorithm for determining if ECG recordings are of acceptable quality, which was entered in the PhysioNet Challenge 2011. In the present work, we propose an improved two-step algorithm, which first rejects ECGs with macroscopic errors (signal absent, large voltage shifts or saturation) and subsequently quantifies the noise (baseline, powerline or muscular noise) on a continuous scale. The performance of the improved algorithm was evaluated using the PhysioNet Challenge database (1500 ECGs rated by humans for signal quality). We achieved a classification accuracy of 92.3% on the training set and 90.0% on the test set. The improved algorithm is capable of detecting ECGs with macroscopic errors and giving the user a score of the overall quality. This allows the user to assess the degree of noise and decide if it is acceptable depending on the purpose of the recording. (paper)

  2. Body odor quality predicts behavioral attractiveness in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, S Craig; Kralevich, Alexandra; Ferdenzi, Camille; Saxton, Tamsin K; Jones, Benedict C; DeBruine, Lisa M; Little, Anthony C; Havlicek, Jan

    2011-12-01

    Growing effort is being made to understand how different attractive physical traits co-vary within individuals, partly because this might indicate an underlying index of genetic quality. In humans, attention has focused on potential markers of quality such as facial attractiveness, axillary odor quality, the second-to-fourth digit (2D:4D) ratio and body mass index (BMI). Here we extend this approach to include visually-assessed kinesic cues (nonverbal behavior linked to movement) which are statistically independent of structural physical traits. The utility of such kinesic cues in mate assessment is controversial, particularly during everyday conversational contexts, as they could be unreliable and susceptible to deception. However, we show here that the attractiveness of nonverbal behavior, in 20 male participants, is predicted by perceived quality of their axillary body odor. This finding indicates covariation between two desirable traits in different sensory modalities. Depending on two different rating contexts (either a simple attractiveness rating or a rating for long-term partners by 10 female raters not using hormonal contraception), we also found significant relationships between perceived attractiveness of nonverbal behavior and BMI, and between axillary odor ratings and 2D:4D ratio. Axillary odor pleasantness was the single attribute that consistently predicted attractiveness of nonverbal behavior. Our results demonstrate that nonverbal kinesic cues could reliably reveal mate quality, at least in males, and could corroborate and contribute to mate assessment based on other physical traits.

  3. Natural Tendency towards Beauty in Humans: Evidence from Binocular Rivalry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Ce; Xia, Tiansheng; Qin, Kaixin; Mo, Lei

    2016-01-01

    Although human preference for beauty is common and compelling in daily life, it remains unknown whether such preference is essentially subserved by social cognitive demands or natural tendency towards beauty encoded in the human mind intrinsically. Here we demonstrate experimentally that humans automatically exhibit preference for visual and moral beauty without explicit cognitive efforts. Using a binocular rivalry paradigm, we identified enhanced gender-independent perceptual dominance for physically attractive persons, and the results suggested universal preference for visual beauty based on perceivable forms. Moreover, we also identified perceptual dominance enhancement for characters associated with virtuous descriptions after controlling for facial attractiveness and vigilance-related attention effects, which suggested a similar implicit preference for moral beauty conveyed in prosocial behaviours. Our findings show that behavioural preference for beauty is driven by an inherent natural tendency towards beauty in humans rather than explicit social cognitive processes.

  4. Weighing serological evidence of human exposure to animal influenza viruses − A literature review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sikkema, R.S. (Reina S.); G.S. Freidl (Gudrun); E.I. de Bruin (Esther); M.P.G. Koopmans D.V.M. (Marion)

    2016-01-01

    textabstractAssessing influenza A virus strains circulating in animals and their potential to cross the species barrier and cause human infections is important to improve human influenza surveillance and preparedness. We reviewed studies describing serological evidence of human exposure to animal

  5. [GRADE system: classification of quality of evidence and strength of recommendation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguayo-Albasini, José Luis; Flores-Pastor, Benito; Soria-Aledo, Víctor

    2014-02-01

    The acquisition and classification of scientific evidence, and subsequent formulation of recommendations constitute the basis for the development of clinical practice guidelines. There are several systems for the classification of evidence and strength of recommendations; the most commonly used nowadays is the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation system (GRADE). The GRADE system initially classifies the evidence into high or low, coming from experimental or observational studies; subsequently and following a series of considerations, the evidence is classified into high, moderate, low or very low. The strength of recommendations is based not only on the quality of the evidence, but also on a series of factors such as the risk/benefit balance, values and preferences of the patients and professionals, and the use of resources or costs. Copyright © 2013 AEC. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  6. Osteoprotective medicinal plants - Part 1 (a human clinical evidence ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background. Osteoporosis is a bone metabolic disease affecting a large percentage of aging population, which leads to an increased risk of fractures and has a negative impact on life quality. The available treatments for osteoporosis are effective, but are associated with several severe adverse reactions, hence the interest ...

  7. Competition and quality indicators in the health care sector : Empirical evidence from the Dutch hospital sector

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Croes, Ramsis; Krabbe, Yvonne; Mikkers, Misja

    There is much debate about the effect of competition in healthcare and especially the effect of competition on the quality of healthcare, although empirical evidence on this subject is mixed. The Netherlands provides an interesting case in this debate. The Dutch system could be characterized as a

  8. Competition and quality indicators in the health care sector: empirical evidence from the Dutch hospital sector

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Croes, R.R.; Krabbe-Alkemade, Y.J.F.M.; Mikkers, M.C.

    2017-01-01

    textabstractThere is much debate about the effect of competition in healthcare and especially the effect of competition on the quality of healthcare, although empirical evidence on this subject is mixed. The Netherlands provides an interesting case in this debate. The Dutch system could be

  9. New Evidence of the Causal Effect of Family Size on Child Quality in a Developing Country

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponczek, Vladimir; Souza, Andre Portela

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents new evidence of the causal effect of family size on child quality in a developing-country context. We estimate the impact of family size on child labor and educational outcomes among Brazilian children and young adults by exploring the exogenous variation of family size driven by the presence of twins in the family. Using the…

  10. Audit quality and the audit partner effect : Evidence from European listed companies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buuren, van J.P.

    2009-01-01

    The main objective of this study is to provide evidence on the differences in audit quality amongst audit partners. I attribute these dissimilarities to (i) differences in the audit risk perception and the risk appetite of individual audit partners and (ii) to differences in the personal business

  11. University Students' Understanding of Chemistry Processes and the Quality of Evidence in Their Written Arguments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seung, Eulsun; Choi, Aeran; Pestel, Beverly

    2016-01-01

    We have developed a process-oriented chemistry laboratory curriculum for non-science majors. The purpose of this study is both to explore university students' understanding of chemistry processes and to evaluate the quality of evidence students use to support their claims regarding chemistry processes in a process-oriented chemistry laboratory…

  12. Quality of human milk expressed in a human milk bank and at home.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, Mayla S; Oliveira, Angela M de M; Hattori, Wallisen T; Abdallah, Vânia O S

    2017-08-30

    To evaluate the quality of the human milk expressed at home and at a human milk bank. This a retrospective, analytical, and observational study, performed by assessing titratable acidity records and the microbiological culture of 100 human milk samples expressed at home and at a human milk bank, in 2014. For the statistical analysis, generalized estimating equations (GEE) and the chi-squared test were used. When comparing the two sample groups, no significant difference was found, with 98% and 94% of the samples being approved among those collected at the milk bank and at home, respectively. No main interaction effect between local and titratable acidity records (p=0.285) was observed, and there was no statistically significant difference between the expected and observed values for the association between the collection place and the microbiological culture results (p=0.307). The quality of human milk expressed at home and at the milk bank are in agreement with the recommended standards, confirming that the expression of human milk at home is as safe as expression at the human milk bank, provided that the established hygiene, conservation, storage, and transport standards are followed. Copyright © 2017 Sociedade Brasileira de Pediatria. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  13. QUALITY OF HUMAN RESOURCES IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofronov Daniil Sergeevich

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Human resources serve as the basis for development of the national economy, as a whole, and the construction industry, as its constituent part. The problem of inferior labor productivity within the framework of the national economy and its construction industry is considered in the paper. The author has identified the reasons why the productivity of the national economy and its construction industry is low. Low quality manpower is one of the reasons. Analysis of the statistical information has proven that the quality of the manpower in the construction industry is unsatisfactory. The author has also analyzed the relation between the construction industry development pattern and the quality of the manpower. Low manpower quality is a consequence of low personnel training and development expenditures assumed by local construction companies, if compared to the same assumed in the developed economies. Russian businesses do not invest any proceeds into their employees, as any employee may leave the company at any moment, and the employer will lose the investment. Therefore, the performance rate of the Russian construction industry cannot catch up with its western counterpart. The author also provides the analysis of the western personnel development concept. The author also makes his suggestions designated to reverse the unfavourable trend of the construction industry.

  14. Quality of life philosophy II: what is a human being?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ventegodt, Søren; Andersen, Niels Jørgen; Kromann, Maximilian; Merrick, Joav

    2003-12-01

    The human being is a complex matter and many believe that just trying to understand life and what it means to be human is a futile undertaking. We believe that we have to try to understand life and get a grip on the many faces of life, because it can be of great value to us to learn to recognize the fundamental principles of how life is lived to the fullest. Learning to recognize the good and evil forces of life helps us to make use of the good ones. To be human is to balance between hundreds of extremes. Sometimes we have to avoid these extremes, but at other times it seems we should pursue them, to better understand life. With our roots in medicine, we believe in the importance of love for better health. The secret of the heart is when reason and feelings meet and we become whole. Where reason is balanced perfectly by feelings and where mind and body come together in perfect unity, a whole new quality emerges, a quality that is neither feeling nor reason, but something deeper and more complete. In this paper, we outline only enough biology to clarify what the fundamental inner conflicts are about. The insight into these conflicts gives us the key to a great deal of the problems of life. To imagine pleasures greater than sensual pleasures seems impossible to most people. What could such a joy possibly be? But somewhere deep in life exists the finest sweetness, the greatest quality in life, the pure joy of being alive that emerges when we are fully present and life is in balance. This deep joy of life is what we call experiencing the meaning of life.

  15. Quality of Life Philosophy II: What is a Human Being?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Søren Ventegodt

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The human being is a complex matter and many believe that just trying to understand life and what it means to be human is a futile undertaking. We believe that we have to try to understand life and get a grip on the many faces of life, because it can be of great value to us to learn to recognize the fundamental principles of how life is lived to the fullest. Learning to recognize the good and evil forces of life helps us to make use of the good ones.To be human is to balance between hundreds of extremes. Sometimes we have to avoid these extremes, but at other times it seems we should pursue them, to better understand life. With our roots in medicine, we believe in the importance of love for better health. The secret of the heart is when reason and feelings meet and we become whole. Where reason is balanced perfectly by feelings and where mind and body come together in perfect unity, a whole new quality emerges, a quality that is neither feeling nor reason, but something deeper and more complete.In this paper, we outline only enough biology to clarify what the fundamental inner conflicts are about. The insight into these conflicts gives us the key to a great deal of the problems of life. To imagine pleasures greater than sensual pleasures seems impossible to most people. What could such a joy possibly be? But somewhere deep in life exists the finest sweetness, the greatest quality in life, the pure joy of being alive that emerges when we are fully present and life is in balance. This deep joy of life is what we call experiencing the meaning of life.

  16. Teaching mathematical word problem solving: the quality of evidence for strategy instruction priming the problem structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jitendra, Asha K; Petersen-Brown, Shawna; Lein, Amy E; Zaslofsky, Anne F; Kunkel, Amy K; Jung, Pyung-Gang; Egan, Andrea M

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the quality of the research base related to strategy instruction priming the underlying mathematical problem structure for students with learning disabilities and those at risk for mathematics difficulties. We evaluated the quality of methodological rigor of 18 group research studies using the criteria proposed by Gersten et al. and 10 single case design (SCD) research studies using criteria suggested by Horner et al. and the What Works Clearinghouse. Results indicated that 14 group design studies met the criteria for high-quality or acceptable research, whereas SCD studies did not meet the standards for an evidence-based practice. Based on these findings, strategy instruction priming the mathematics problem structure is considered an evidence-based practice using only group design methodological criteria. Implications for future research and for practice are discussed. © Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2013.

  17. Determination of PBDEs in human milk. Analysis and quality control

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paepke, O.; Herrmann, T. [Ergo Research, Hamburg (Germany); Vieth, B.; Ostermann, B. [Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Berlin (Germany)

    2004-09-15

    Polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) are widely used as flame retardants in polymer materials, textiles, electronic boards and various other materials. Technical PBDE preparations are produced as mixtures of mainly penta-, octa- or decabromobiphenyl ethers. PBDEs are structurally similar to other environmental pollutants, such as dioxins and PCBs. They are lipophilic and persistent compounds and widespread in the environment. For certain congeners, bioaccumulation has been observed. Recent findings of increasing levels in humans showed that more detailed investigations of human milk (or other suitable matrices) will be required in order to evaluate the general human exposure to this group of environmental contaminants. Only a few data on PBDE levels in breast milk from Germany had been published. To fill the data gaps, in 2001 a controlled study was started to characterize the PBDE levels in human milk from Germany with special efforts to identify and quantify deca-BDE-209. 103 samples were analyzed in this study so far including 10 hidden pool samples provided by Federal Institute for Risk Assessment to ERGO laboratory (total number of samples finally will be 157 (including 14 hidden pool samples)). This paper describes the analytical procedure applied and emphasizes on the quality control procedure.

  18. Usability Evaluation and Implementation of a Health Information Technology Dashboard of Evidence-Based Quality Indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schall, Mark Christopher; Cullen, Laura; Pennathur, Priyadarshini; Chen, Howard; Burrell, Keith; Matthews, Grace

    2017-06-01

    Health information technology dashboards that integrate evidence-based quality indicators can efficiently and accurately display patient risk information to promote early intervention and improve overall quality of patient care. We describe the process of developing, evaluating, and implementing a dashboard designed to promote quality care through display of evidence-based quality indicators within an electronic health record. Clinician feedback was sought throughout the process. Usability evaluations were provided by three nurse pairs and one physician from medical-surgical areas. Task completion times, error rates, and ratings of system usability were collected to compare the use of quality indicators displayed on the dashboard to the indicators displayed in a conventional electronic health record across eight experimental scenarios. Participants rated the dashboard as "highly usable" following System Usability Scale (mean, 87.5 [SD, 9.6]) and Poststudy System Usability Questionnaire (mean, 1.7 [SD, 0.5]) criteria. Use of the dashboard led to reduced task completion times and error rates in comparison to the conventional electronic health record for quality indicator-related tasks. Clinician responses to the dashboard display capabilities were positive, and a multifaceted implementation plan has been used. Results suggest application of the dashboard in the care environment may lead to improved patient care.

  19. Characterizing the impact of projected changes in climate and air quality on human exposures to ozone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dionisio, Kathie L; Nolte, Christopher G; Spero, Tanya L; Graham, Stephen; Caraway, Nina; Foley, Kristen M; Isaacs, Kristin K

    2017-05-01

    The impact of climate change on human and environmental health is of critical concern. Population exposures to air pollutants both indoors and outdoors are influenced by a wide range of air quality, meteorological, behavioral, and housing-related factors, many of which are also impacted by climate change. An integrated methodology for modeling changes in human exposures to tropospheric ozone (O 3 ) owing to potential future changes in climate and demographics was implemented by linking existing modeling tools for climate, weather, air quality, population distribution, and human exposure. Human exposure results from the Air Pollutants Exposure Model (APEX) for 12 US cities show differences in daily maximum 8-h (DM8H) exposure patterns and levels by sex, age, and city for all scenarios. When climate is held constant and population demographics are varied, minimal difference in O 3 exposures is predicted even with the most extreme demographic change scenario. In contrast, when population is held constant, we see evidence of substantial changes in O 3 exposure for the most extreme change in climate. Similarly, we see increases in the percentage of the population in each city with at least one O 3 exposure exceedance above 60 p.p.b and 70 p.p.b thresholds for future changes in climate. For these climate and population scenarios, the impact of projected changes in climate and air quality on human exposure to O 3 are much larger than the impacts of changing demographics. These results indicate the potential for future changes in O 3 exposure as a result of changes in climate that could impact human health.

  20. What's next? New evidence for prediction in human vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enns, James T; Lleras, Alejandro

    2008-09-01

    Everyday visual experience involves making implicit predictions, as revealed by our surprise when something disturbs our expectations. Many theories of vision have been premised on the central role played by prediction. Yet, implicit prediction in human vision has been difficult to assess in the laboratory, and many results have not distinguished between the indisputably important role of memory and the future-oriented aspect of prediction. Now, a new and unexpected finding - that humans can resume an interrupted visual search much faster than they can start a new search - offers new hope, because the rapid resumption of a search seems to depend on participants forming an implicit prediction of what they will see after the interruption. These findings combined with results of recent neurophysiology studies provide a framework for studying implicit prediction in perception.

  1. The treatment of sex offenders: evidence, ethics, and human rights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birgden, Astrid; Cucolo, Heather

    2011-09-01

    Public policy is necessarily a political process with the law and order issue high on the political agenda. Consequently, working with sex offenders is fraught with legal and ethical minefields, including the mandate that community protection automatically outweighs offender rights. In addressing community protection, contemporary sex offender treatment is based on management rather than rehabilitation. We argue that treatment-as-management violates offender rights because it is ineffective and unethical. The suggested alternative is to deliver treatment-as-rehabilitation underpinned by international human rights law and universal professional ethics. An effective and ethical community-offender balance is more likely when sex offenders are treated with respect and dignity that, as human beings, they have a right to claim.

  2. Pesticides and human chronic diseases: Evidences, mechanisms, and perspectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mostafalou, Sara; Abdollahi, Mohammad

    2013-01-01

    Along with the wide use of pesticides in the world, the concerns over their health impacts are rapidly growing. There is a huge body of evidence on the relation between exposure to pesticides and elevated rate of chronic diseases such as different types of cancers, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson, Alzheimer, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), birth defects, and reproductive disorders. There is also circumstantial evidence on the association of exposure to pesticides with some other chronic diseases like respiratory problems, particularly asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease, chronic nephropathies, autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematous and rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and aging. The common feature of chronic disorders is a disturbance in cellular homeostasis, which can be induced via pesticides' primary action like perturbation of ion channels, enzymes, receptors, etc., or can as well be mediated via pathways other than the main mechanism. In this review, we present the highlighted evidence on the association of pesticide's exposure with the incidence of chronic diseases and introduce genetic damages, epigenetic modifications, endocrine disruption, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress and unfolded protein response (UPR), impairment of ubiquitin proteasome system, and defective autophagy as the effective mechanisms of action. - Highlights: ► There is a link between exposure to pesticides and incidence of chronic diseases. ► Genotoxicity and proteotoxicity are two main involved mechanisms. ► Epigenetic knowledge may help diagnose the relationships. ► Efficient policies on safe use of pesticides should be set up

  3. Pesticides and human chronic diseases: Evidences, mechanisms, and perspectives

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mostafalou, Sara; Abdollahi, Mohammad, E-mail: Mohammad.Abdollahi@UToronto.Ca

    2013-04-15

    Along with the wide use of pesticides in the world, the concerns over their health impacts are rapidly growing. There is a huge body of evidence on the relation between exposure to pesticides and elevated rate of chronic diseases such as different types of cancers, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson, Alzheimer, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), birth defects, and reproductive disorders. There is also circumstantial evidence on the association of exposure to pesticides with some other chronic diseases like respiratory problems, particularly asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease, chronic nephropathies, autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematous and rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and aging. The common feature of chronic disorders is a disturbance in cellular homeostasis, which can be induced via pesticides' primary action like perturbation of ion channels, enzymes, receptors, etc., or can as well be mediated via pathways other than the main mechanism. In this review, we present the highlighted evidence on the association of pesticide's exposure with the incidence of chronic diseases and introduce genetic damages, epigenetic modifications, endocrine disruption, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress and unfolded protein response (UPR), impairment of ubiquitin proteasome system, and defective autophagy as the effective mechanisms of action. - Highlights: ► There is a link between exposure to pesticides and incidence of chronic diseases. ► Genotoxicity and proteotoxicity are two main involved mechanisms. ► Epigenetic knowledge may help diagnose the relationships. ► Efficient policies on safe use of pesticides should be set up.

  4. Longitudinal evidence that fatherhood decreases testosterone in human males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gettler, Lee T; McDade, Thomas W; Feranil, Alan B; Kuzawa, Christopher W

    2011-09-27

    In species in which males care for young, testosterone (T) is often high during mating periods but then declines to allow for caregiving of resulting offspring. This model may apply to human males, but past human studies of T and fatherhood have been cross-sectional, making it unclear whether fatherhood suppresses T or if men with lower T are more likely to become fathers. Here, we use a large representative study in the Philippines (n = 624) to show that among single nonfathers at baseline (2005) (21.5 ± 0.3 y), men with high waking T were more likely to become partnered fathers by the time of follow-up 4.5 y later (P < 0.05). Men who became partnered fathers then experienced large declines in waking (median: -26%) and evening (median: -34%) T, which were significantly greater than declines in single nonfathers (P < 0.001). Consistent with the hypothesis that child interaction suppresses T, fathers reporting 3 h or more of daily childcare had lower T at follow-up compared with fathers not involved in care (P < 0.05). Using longitudinal data, these findings show that T and reproductive strategy have bidirectional relationships in human males, with high T predicting subsequent mating success but then declining rapidly after men become fathers. Our findings suggest that T mediates tradeoffs between mating and parenting in humans, as seen in other species in which fathers care for young. They also highlight one likely explanation for previously observed health disparities between partnered fathers and single men.

  5. Statistical evidence about human influence on the climate system

    OpenAIRE

    Pierre Perron; Francisco Estrada; Benjamín Martínez-López

    2012-01-01

    We use recent methods for the analysis of time series data, in particular related to breaks in trends, to establish that human factors are the main contributors to the secular movements in observed global and hemispheric temperatures series. The most important feature documented is a marked increase in the growth rates of temperatures (purged from the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) and anthropogenic greenhouse gases occurring for all series around 1955, which marks the start of sustained ...

  6. How to support action prediction: Evidence from human coordination tasks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vesper, Cordula

    2014-01-01

    When two or more people perform actions together such as shaking hands, playing ensemble music or carrying an object together, they often naturally adjust the spatial and temporal parameters of their movements to facilitate smooth task performance. This paper reviews recent findings from experime......”) might be a useful approach also for robotic systems to assist human users, thereby reducing cognitive load and flexibly supporting the acquisition of new skills....

  7. In Silico Evidence for Gluconeogenesis from Fatty Acids in Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaleta, Christoph; de Figueiredo, Luís F.; Werner, Sarah; Guthke, Reinhard; Ristow, Michael; Schuster, Stefan

    2011-01-01

    The question whether fatty acids can be converted into glucose in humans has a long standing tradition in biochemistry, and the expected answer is “No”. Using recent advances in Systems Biology in the form of large-scale metabolic reconstructions, we reassessed this question by performing a global investigation of a genome-scale human metabolic network, which had been reconstructed on the basis of experimental results. By elementary flux pattern analysis, we found numerous pathways on which gluconeogenesis from fatty acids is feasible in humans. On these pathways, four moles of acetyl-CoA are converted into one mole of glucose and two moles of CO2. Analyzing the detected pathways in detail we found that their energetic requirements potentially limit their capacity. This study has many other biochemical implications: effect of starvation, sports physiology, practically carbohydrate-free diets of inuit, as well as survival of hibernating animals and embryos of egg-laying animals. Moreover, the energetic loss associated to the usage of gluconeogenesis from fatty acids can help explain the efficiency of carbohydrate reduced and ketogenic diets such as the Atkins diet. PMID:21814506

  8. In silico evidence for gluconeogenesis from fatty acids in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Kaleta

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The question whether fatty acids can be converted into glucose in humans has a long standing tradition in biochemistry, and the expected answer is "No". Using recent advances in Systems Biology in the form of large-scale metabolic reconstructions, we reassessed this question by performing a global investigation of a genome-scale human metabolic network, which had been reconstructed on the basis of experimental results. By elementary flux pattern analysis, we found numerous pathways on which gluconeogenesis from fatty acids is feasible in humans. On these pathways, four moles of acetyl-CoA are converted into one mole of glucose and two moles of CO₂. Analyzing the detected pathways in detail we found that their energetic requirements potentially limit their capacity. This study has many other biochemical implications: effect of starvation, sports physiology, practically carbohydrate-free diets of inuit, as well as survival of hibernating animals and embryos of egg-laying animals. Moreover, the energetic loss associated to the usage of gluconeogenesis from fatty acids can help explain the efficiency of carbohydrate reduced and ketogenic diets such as the Atkins diet.

  9. Evidence for radical-oxidation of plasma proteins in humans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, D.; Davies, M.; Dean, R.; Fu, S.; Taurins, A.; Sullivans, D.

    1998-01-01

    Oxidation of proteins by radicals has been implicated in many pathological processes. The hydroxyl radical is known to generate protein-bound hydroxylated derivatives of amino acids, for example hydroxyvaline (from Val), hydroxyleucine (from Leu), o-tyrosine (from Phe), and DOPA (from Tyr). In this study, we have investigated the occurrence of these oxidised amino acids in human plasma proteins from both normal subjects and dialysis patients. By employing previously established HPLC methods [Fu et al. Biochemical Journal, 330, 233-239, 1998], we have found that oxidised amino acids exist in normal human plasma proteins (n=32). The level of these oxidised amino acids is not correlated to age. Similar levels of oxidised amino acids are found in the plasma proteins of the dialysis patients (n=6), but a more detailed survey is underway. The relative abundance of the oxidised amino acids is similar to that resulting from oxidation of BSA by hydroxy radicals or Fenton systems [Fu et al. Biochemical Journal, 333, 519-525, 1998]. The results suggest that metal-ion catalysed oxyl-radical chemistry may be a key contributor to the oxidative damage in plasma proteins in vivo in humans

  10. Evidence-Based Design Features Improve Sleep Quality Among Psychiatric Inpatients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyrke, Ryan J L; McKinnon, Margaret C; McNeely, Heather E; Ahern, Catherine; Langstaff, Karen L; Bieling, Peter J

    2017-10-01

    The primary aim of the present study was to compare sleep characteristics pre- and post-move into a state-of-the-art mental health facility, which offered private sleeping quarters. Significant evidence points toward sleep disruption among psychiatric inpatients. It is unclear, however, how environmental factors (e.g., dorm-style rooms) impact sleep quality in this population. To assess sleep quality, a novel objective technology, actigraphy, was used before and after a facility move. Subjective daily interviews were also administered, along with the Horne-Ostberg Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Actigraphy revealed significant improvements in objective sleep quality following the facility move. Interestingly, subjective report of sleep quality did not correlate with the objective measures. Circadian sleep type appeared to play a role in influencing subjective attitudes toward sleep quality. Built environment has a significant effect on the sleep quality of psychiatric inpatients. Given well-documented disruptions in sleep quality present among psychiatric patients undergoing hospitalization, design elements like single patient bedrooms are highly desirable.

  11. Competition and quality indicators in the health care sector: empirical evidence from the Dutch hospital sector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croes, R R; Krabbe-Alkemade, Y J F M; Mikkers, M C

    2018-01-01

    There is much debate about the effect of competition in healthcare and especially the effect of competition on the quality of healthcare, although empirical evidence on this subject is mixed. The Netherlands provides an interesting case in this debate. The Dutch system could be characterized as a system involving managed competition and mandatory healthcare insurance. Information about the quality of care provided by hospitals has been publicly available since 2008. In this paper, we evaluate the relationship between quality scores for three diagnosis groups and the market power indicators of hospitals. We estimate the impact of competition on quality in an environment of liberalized pricing. For this research, we used unique price and production data relating to three diagnosis groups (cataract, adenoid and tonsils, bladder tumor) produced by Dutch hospitals in the period 2008-2011. We also used the quality indicators relating to these diagnosis groups. We reveal a negative relationship between market share and quality score for two of the three diagnosis groups studied, meaning that hospitals in competitive markets have better quality scores than those in concentrated markets. We therefore conclude that more competition is associated with higher quality scores.

  12. Does Central Bank Quality Determine Sovereign Ratings and Credit Default Swap Spreads: Evidence from the World?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramlall Indranarain

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This study innovates from prior research which focuses on the determinants of sovereign ratings and credit default swap spreads for a large sample of countries by incorporating the quality of central banks, let alone refined proxies. Findings show that the explanatory power of both sovereign ratings and CDS spreads model improve by a hefty 11 percent in case of sovereign ratings and 6 to 9 percent in the case of CDS spreads when central bank quality is incorporated. Such a finding bolters the notion that institutional quality does play a preponderant role when it comes to assessing country risk, making it a systematic component of institutional quality. The effect of labour participation implies that countries buffeted by stronger effects of an ageing population have greater propensity of increases in CDS spreads. Evidence is also found as to the driving dynamics of CDS spreads and sovereign ratings to be distinct. Our results hold robust post tackling for endogeneity problem.

  13. Evidence of Ice Age humans in Beringia: new insights on the peopling of the Americas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vachula, R. S.; Longo, W. M.; Daniels, W.; Dee, S.; Russell, J. M.; Huang, Y.

    2017-12-01

    The American continents were the final frontier of the global proliferation of Homo sapiens. The Bering Land Bridge that once connected Eurasia and North America, is widely accepted as the corridor for this human migration. However, the timeline, pathway, and environmental impact of human arrival to these previously unpeopled lands remain contentious in part due to a sparsity of physical archaeological or paleoenvironmental evidence. Recent conflicting genetic evidence suggests that humans lived in Beringia for an extended period of time (ca. 15,000 years) and did not diverge from Asian populations prior to 23,000 years before present (BP). The genetic evidence lacks supporting physical data, is prone to uncertainties inherent to molecular clocks, and thus further occludes our understanding of this segment of human history. Using a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating paleoecological and organic geochemical analyses of a lacustrine sediment record, and climate modelling methodologies, we present evidence of prolonged human-caused environmental disturbance in modern-day northern Alaska and show that humans were present in this area as early as 32,000 years ago. We measured fecal biomarkers preserved in the Lake E5 sediment archive to confirm prolonged human presence in the watershed, and find evidence of contemporaneous burning, as inferred from macroscopic charcoal and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Climate simulations show that natural lightning ignitions were suppressed during the period of greatest fire frequency, and so we infer that humans likely played an important role in fire ignitions. We thus present new physical evidence of sustained human presence in eastern Beringia throughout the last Glacial, which reorients our understanding of the human migration to the Americas. Furthermore, our research offers new insight into the ecology of the mammoth steppe and the role of humans in the extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna.

  14. Rifapentine for latent tuberculosis infection treatment in the general population and human immunodeficiency virus-positive patients: summary of evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Júlia Souza Vidal

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available AbstractLatent tuberculosis infection (LTBI and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-coinfection are challenges in the control of tuberculosis transmission. We aimed to assess and summarize evidence available in the literature regarding the treatment of LTBI in both the general and HIV-positive population, in order to support decision making by the Brazilian Tuberculosis Control Program for LTBI chemoprophylaxis. We searched MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, Embase, LILACS, SciELO, Trip database, National Guideline Clearinghouse, and the Brazilian Theses Repository to identify systematic reviews, randomized clinical trials, clinical guidelines, evidence-based synopses, reports of health technology assessment agencies, and theses that investigated rifapentine and isoniazid combination compared to isoniazid monotherapy. We assessed the quality of evidence from randomized clinical trials using the Jadad Scale and recommendations from other evidence sources using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluations approach. The available evidence suggests that there are no differences between rifapentine + isoniazid short-course treatment and the standard 6-month isoniazid therapy in reducing active tuberculosis incidence or death. Adherence was better with directly observed rifapentine therapy compared to self-administered isoniazid. The quality of evidence obtained was moderate, and on the basis of this evidence, rifapentine is recommended by one guideline. Available evidence assessment considering the perspective of higher adherence rates, lower costs, and local peculiarity context might support rifapentine use for LTBI in the general or HIV-positive populations. Since novel trials are ongoing, further studies should include patients on antiretroviral therapy.

  15. A systematic review of serious games in medical education: quality of evidence and pedagogical strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorbanev, Iouri; Agudelo-Londoño, Sandra; González, Rafael A; Cortes, Ariel; Pomares, Alexandra; Delgadillo, Vivian; Yepes, Francisco J; Muñoz, Óscar

    2018-12-01

    The literature shows an optimistic landscape for the effectiveness of games in medical education. Nevertheless, games are not considered mainstream material in medical teaching. Two research questions that arise are the following: What pedagogical strategies do developers use when creating games for medical education? And what is the quality of the evidence on the effectiveness of games? A systematic review was made by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers following the Cochrane Collaboration Guidelines. We included peer-reviewed journal articles which described or assessed the use of serious games or gamified apps in medical education. We used the Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument (MERSQI) to assess the quality of evidence in the use of games. We also evaluated the pedagogical perspectives of such articles. Even though game developers claim that games are useful pedagogical tools, the evidence on their effectiveness is moderate, as assessed by the MERSQI score. Behaviourism and cognitivism continue to be the predominant pedagogical strategies, and games are complementary devices that do not replace traditional medical teaching tools. Medical educators prefer simulations and quizzes focused on knowledge retention and skill development through repetition and do not demand the use of sophisticated games in their classrooms. Moreover, public access to medical games is limited. Our aim was to put the pedagogical strategy into dialogue with the evidence on the effectiveness of the use of medical games. This makes sense since the practical use of games depends on the quality of the evidence about their effectiveness. Moreover, recognition of said pedagogical strategy would allow game developers to design more robust games which would greatly contribute to the learning process.

  16. A systematic review of serious games in medical education: quality of evidence and pedagogical strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorbanev, Iouri; Agudelo-Londoño, Sandra; González, Rafael A.; Cortes, Ariel; Pomares, Alexandra; Delgadillo, Vivian; Yepes, Francisco J.; Muñoz, Óscar

    2018-01-01

    ABSTRACT Introduction: The literature shows an optimistic landscape for the effectiveness of games in medical education. Nevertheless, games are not considered mainstream material in medical teaching. Two research questions that arise are the following: What pedagogical strategies do developers use when creating games for medical education? And what is the quality of the evidence on the effectiveness of games? Methods: A systematic review was made by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers following the Cochrane Collaboration Guidelines. We included peer-reviewed journal articles which described or assessed the use of serious games or gamified apps in medical education. We used the Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument (MERSQI) to assess the quality of evidence in the use of games. We also evaluated the pedagogical perspectives of such articles. Results: Even though game developers claim that games are useful pedagogical tools, the evidence on their effectiveness is moderate, as assessed by the MERSQI score. Behaviourism and cognitivism continue to be the predominant pedagogical strategies, and games are complementary devices that do not replace traditional medical teaching tools. Medical educators prefer simulations and quizzes focused on knowledge retention and skill development through repetition and do not demand the use of sophisticated games in their classrooms. Moreover, public access to medical games is limited. Discussion: Our aim was to put the pedagogical strategy into dialogue with the evidence on the effectiveness of the use of medical games. This makes sense since the practical use of games depends on the quality of the evidence about their effectiveness. Moreover, recognition of said pedagogical strategy would allow game developers to design more robust games which would greatly contribute to the learning process. PMID:29457760

  17. Insulin action in the human brain: evidence from neuroimaging studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kullmann, S; Heni, M; Fritsche, A; Preissl, H

    2015-06-01

    Thus far, little is known about the action of insulin in the human brain. Nonetheless, recent advances in modern neuroimaging techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) or magnetoencephalography (MEG), have made it possible to investigate the action of insulin in the brain in humans, providing new insights into the pathogenesis of brain insulin resistance and obesity. Using MEG, the clinical relevance of the action of insulin in the brain was first identified, linking cerebral insulin resistance with peripheral insulin resistance, genetic predisposition and weight loss success in obese adults. Although MEG is a suitable tool for measuring brain activity mainly in cortical areas, fMRI provides high spatial resolution for cortical as well as subcortical regions. Thus, the action of insulin can be detected within all eating behaviour relevant regions, which include regions deeply located within the brain, such as the hypothalamus, midbrain and brainstem, as well as regions within the striatum. In this review, we outline recent advances in the field of neuroimaging aiming to investigate the action of insulin in the human brain using different routes of insulin administration. fMRI studies have shown a significant insulin-induced attenuation predominantly in the occipital and prefrontal cortical regions and the hypothalamus, successfully localising insulin-sensitive brain regions in healthy, mostly normal-weight individuals. However, further studies are needed to localise brain areas affected by insulin resistance in obese individuals, which is an important prerequisite for selectively targeting brain insulin resistance in obesity. © 2015 British Society for Neuroendocrinology.

  18. Nanotechnology and human health: Scientific evidence and risk governance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nanotechnology, the science and application of objects smaller that 100 nanometres, is evolving rapidly in many fields. Besides the countless beneficial applications, including in health and medicine, concerns exist on adverse health consequences of unintended human exposure to nanomaterials....... In the 2010 Parma Declaration on Environment and Health, ministers of health and of environment of the 53 Member States of the WHO Regional Office for Europe listed the health implications of nanotechnology and nanoparticles among the key environment and health challenges. The WHO Regional Office for Europe...

  19. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, HUMAN DEVELOPMENTAND INSTITUTIONAL QUALITY (CASE OF MIDDLE EASTCOUNTRIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davood Behboudi

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, sustainable development has been accounted as one of the mostimportant policy goals at the global level. Many empirical studies have beencarried out to determine the relationship between economic growth andenvironmental quality. The model so-called Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKCwas in most of empirical studies. The aim of this studyis to estimate a ModifiedEKC (MEKC in which development and sustain was usedinstead of economicgrowth and environment. In the present study, negative value of adjusted netsaving was used as non-sustainability indicator andhuman development indexwas used as development indicator. The statisticalpopulation is the Middle Eastcountries and the period of estimation is 1996-2010. The Panel Data method wasused in order to estimate the models in this groupof countries. Variables such asnatural resource abundant and institutional qualities such as Rule of Law, PoliticalStability, Regulatory Quality and Control of Corruption were used as controlvariable to specify the model. The results show aninverse N-shaped relationbetween human development and non-sustainability ofresources in the MiddleEast countries.

  20. Neural evidence that human emotions share core affective properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson-Mendenhall, Christine D; Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Barsalou, Lawrence W

    2013-06-01

    Research on the "emotional brain" remains centered around the idea that emotions like fear, happiness, and sadness result from specialized and distinct neural circuitry. Accumulating behavioral and physiological evidence suggests, instead, that emotions are grounded in core affect--a person's fluctuating level of pleasant or unpleasant arousal. A neuroimaging study revealed that participants' subjective ratings of valence (i.e., pleasure/displeasure) and of arousal evoked by various fear, happiness, and sadness experiences correlated with neural activity in specific brain regions (orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala, respectively). We observed these correlations across diverse instances within each emotion category, as well as across instances from all three categories. Consistent with a psychological construction approach to emotion, the results suggest that neural circuitry realizes more basic processes across discrete emotions. The implicated brain regions regulate the body to deal with the world, producing the affective changes at the core of emotions and many other psychological phenomena.

  1. Developing evidence-based maternity care in Iran: a quality improvement study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Kazem

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Current Iranian perinatal statistics indicate that maternity care continues to need improvement. In response, we implemented a multi-faceted intervention to improve the quality of maternity care at an Iranian Social Security Hospital. Using a before-and-after design our aim was to improve the uptake of selected evidence based practices and more closely attend to identified women's needs and preferences. Methods The major steps of the study were to (1 identify women's needs, values and preferences via interviews, (2 select through a process of professional consensus the top evidence-based clinical recommendations requiring local implementation (3 redesign care based on the selected evidence-based recommendations and women's views, and (4 implement the new care model. We measured the impact of the new care model on maternal satisfaction and caesarean birth rates utilising maternal surveys and medical record audit before and after implementation of the new care model. Results Twenty women's needs and requirements as well as ten evidence-based clinical recommendations were selected as a basis for improving care. Following the introduction of the new model of care, women's satisfaction levels improved significantly on 16 of 20 items (p Conclusion The introduction of a quality improvement care model improved compliance with evidence-based guidelines and was associated with an improvement in women's satisfaction levels and a reduction in rates of caesarean birth.

  2. Intracerebral evidence of rhythm transform in the human auditory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nozaradan, Sylvie; Mouraux, André; Jonas, Jacques; Colnat-Coulbois, Sophie; Rossion, Bruno; Maillard, Louis

    2017-07-01

    Musical entrainment is shared by all human cultures and the perception of a periodic beat is a cornerstone of this entrainment behavior. Here, we investigated whether beat perception might have its roots in the earliest stages of auditory cortical processing. Local field potentials were recorded from 8 patients implanted with depth-electrodes in Heschl's gyrus and the planum temporale (55 recording sites in total), usually considered as human primary and secondary auditory cortices. Using a frequency-tagging approach, we show that both low-frequency (30 Hz) neural activities in these structures faithfully track auditory rhythms through frequency-locking to the rhythm envelope. A selective gain in amplitude of the response frequency-locked to the beat frequency was observed for the low-frequency activities but not for the high-frequency activities, and was sharper in the planum temporale, especially for the more challenging syncopated rhythm. Hence, this gain process is not systematic in all activities produced in these areas and depends on the complexity of the rhythmic input. Moreover, this gain was disrupted when the rhythm was presented at fast speed, revealing low-pass response properties which could account for the propensity to perceive a beat only within the musical tempo range. Together, these observations show that, even though part of these neural transforms of rhythms could already take place in subcortical auditory processes, the earliest auditory cortical processes shape the neural representation of rhythmic inputs in favor of the emergence of a periodic beat.

  3. Drug interactions at the human placenta: what is the evidence?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam eRubinchik-Stern

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Pregnant women (and their fetuses are treated with a significant number of prescription and nonprescription medications. Interactions among those drugs may affect their efficacy and toxicity in both mother and fetus. Whereas interactions that result in altered drug concentrations in maternal plasma are detectable, those involving modulation of placental transfer mechanisms are rarely reflected by altered drug concentrations in maternal plasma. Therefore, they are often overlooked. Placental-mediated interactions are possible because the placenta is not only a passive diffusional barrier, but also expresses a variety of influx and efflux transporters and drug metabolizing enzymes. Current data on placental-mediated drug interactions are limited. In rodents, pharmacological or genetic manipulations of placental transporters significantly affect fetal drug exposure. In contrast, studies in human placentae suggest that the magnitude of such interactions is modest in most cases. Nevertheless, under certain circumstances, such interactions may be of clinical significance. This review describes currently known mechanisms of placental-mediated drug interactions and the potential implications of such interactions in humans. Better understanding of those mechanisms is important for minimizing fetal toxicity from drugs while improving their efficacy when directed to treat the fetus.

  4. Population level evidence for seasonality of the human microbiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korownyk, Christina; Liu, Fangwei; Garrison, Scott

    2018-04-01

    The objective of this study is to determine whether human body odors undergo seasonal modulation. We utilized google trends search volume from the United States of America from January 1, 2010 to June 24, 2017 for a number of predetermined body odors. Regression modeling of time series data was completed. Our primary outcome was to determine the proportion of the variability in Internet searches for each unpleasant odor (about the mean) that is explained by a seasonal model. We determined that the seasonal (sinusoidal) model provided a significantly better fit than the null model (best straight line fit) for all searches relating to human body odors (P odor, 60% of the variability in search volume for foot odor, and 58% of the variability in search volume for bad breath. Flatulence and bad breath tended to peak in January, foot odor in February, and Axillary odor in July. We conclude that searching by the general public for information on unpleasant body odors undergoes substantial seasonal variation, with the timing of peaks and troughs varying with the body part involved. The symptom burden of such smells may have a similar seasonal variation, as might the composition of the commensal bacterial microflora that play a role in creating them.

  5. Radioimmunological evidence for beta-endorphin in human cerebrospinal fluid

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graf, M.

    1982-01-01

    Both-endomorphin-like immunoreactivity in human cerebrospinal fluid was determined by two different radioimmunoassays. Measurements made using a bought RIA-kit (Immuno Nuclear Corporation) produced results which were too high compared to results from the literature. The procedure for the beta-endophin radioimmunoassay of Hoellt et al. was followed, the various steps studied and in part modified. Here both beta endorphin and beta-lipotropin were labelled with I-125 and a new method introduced for separating I - -125 following labelling. Studies on the specificity of the method revealed that, in addition to beta-endorphin, beta-lipotropin and two further non-identified fluid fractions were also determined but that the specificity of the RIA's could be significantly increased by prior extraction of the fluid with silicic acid. Determinations of beta-endorphin-like immunoreactivity in 28 different human fluids using this RIA gave values from below 20 pg/ml to 70 pg/ml thus confirming literature values. (orig.) [de

  6. Linking clinical quality indicators to research evidence - a case study in asthma management for children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choong, Miew Keen; Tsafnat, Guy; Hibbert, Peter; Runciman, William B; Coiera, Enrico

    2017-07-21

    Clinical quality indicators are used to monitor the performance of healthcare services and should wherever possible be based on research evidence. Little is known however about the extent to which indicators in common use are based on research. The objective of this study is to measure the extent to which clinical quality indicators used in asthma management in children with outcome measurements can be linked to results in randomised controlled clinical trial (RCT) reports. This work is part of a broader research program to trial methods that improve the efficiency and accuracy of indicator development. National-level indicators for asthma management in children were extracted from the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse database and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence quality standards by two independent appraisers. Outcome measures were extracted from all published English language RCT reports for asthma management in children below the age of 12 published between 2005 and 2014. The two sets were then linked by manually mapping both to a common set of Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) concepts. The analysis identified 39 indicators and 562 full text RCTs dealing with asthma management in children. About 95% (37/39) of the indicators could be linked to RCT outcome measures. It is possible to identify relevant RCT reports for the majority of indicators used to assess the quality of asthma management in childhood. The methods reported here could be automated to more generally support assessment of candidate indicators against the research evidence.

  7. How awareness changes the relative weights of evidence during human decision-making

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Lange, F.P.; van Gaal, S.; Lamme, V.A.F.; Dehaene, S.

    2011-01-01

    Human decisions are based on accumulating evidence over time for different options. Here we ask a simple question: How is the accumulation of evidence affected by the level of awareness of the information? We examined the influence of awareness on decision-making using combined behavioral methods

  8. Evidence-based review: Quality of life following head and neck intensity-modulated radiotherapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scott-Brown, Martin; Miah, Aisha; Harrington, Kevin; Nutting, Chris

    2010-01-01

    Inverse planned Intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) can minimize the dose to normal structures and therefore can reduce long-term radiotherapy-related morbidity and may improve patients' long-term quality of life. Despite overwhelming evidence that IMRT can reduce late functional deficits in patients with head and neck cancer, treated with radiotherapy, a review of the published literature produced conflicting results with regard to quality of life outcomes. Following a critical appraisal of the literature, reasons for the discrepant outcomes are proposed.

  9. Evidence for Functional Networks within the Human Brain's White Matter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peer, Michael; Nitzan, Mor; Bick, Atira S; Levin, Netta; Arzy, Shahar

    2017-07-05

    Investigation of the functional macro-scale organization of the human cortex is fundamental in modern neuroscience. Although numerous studies have identified networks of interacting functional modules in the gray-matter, limited research was directed to the functional organization of the white-matter. Recent studies have demonstrated that the white-matter exhibits blood oxygen level-dependent signal fluctuations similar to those of the gray-matter. Here we used these signal fluctuations to investigate whether the white-matter is organized as functional networks by applying a clustering analysis on resting-state functional MRI (RSfMRI) data from white-matter voxels, in 176 subjects (of both sexes). This analysis indicated the existence of 12 symmetrical white-matter functional networks, corresponding to combinations of white-matter tracts identified by diffusion tensor imaging. Six of the networks included interhemispheric commissural bridges traversing the corpus callosum. Signals in white-matter networks correlated with signals from functional gray-matter networks, providing missing knowledge on how these distributed networks communicate across large distances. These findings were replicated in an independent subject group and were corroborated by seed-based analysis in small groups and individual subjects. The identified white-matter functional atlases and analysis codes are available at http://mind.huji.ac.il/white-matter.aspx Our results demonstrate that the white-matter manifests an intrinsic functional organization as interacting networks of functional modules, similarly to the gray-matter, which can be investigated using RSfMRI. The discovery of functional networks within the white-matter may open new avenues of research in cognitive neuroscience and clinical neuropsychiatry. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In recent years, functional MRI (fMRI) has revolutionized all fields of neuroscience, enabling identifications of functional modules and networks in the human

  10. How to support action prediction: Evidence from human coordination tasks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vesper, Cordula

    2014-01-01

    When two or more people perform actions together such as shaking hands, playing ensemble music or carrying an object together, they often naturally adjust the spatial and temporal parameters of their movements to facilitate smooth task performance. This paper reviews recent findings from experime......When two or more people perform actions together such as shaking hands, playing ensemble music or carrying an object together, they often naturally adjust the spatial and temporal parameters of their movements to facilitate smooth task performance. This paper reviews recent findings from......”) might be a useful approach also for robotic systems to assist human users, thereby reducing cognitive load and flexibly supporting the acquisition of new skills....

  11. Short report: serologic evidence of human ehrlichiosis in Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moro, Pedro L; Shah, Jyotsna; Li, Olga; Gilman, Robert H; Harris, Nick; Moro, Manuel H

    2009-02-01

    A serosurvey for human ehrlichiosis caused by Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Anaplasma phagocytophilum was performed in different regions of Peru by using indirect immunofluorescence assays (IFAs). Regions included an urban community in a shantytown in Lima (Pampas) and three rural communities located on the northern coast of Peru (Cura Mori), in the southern Peruvian Andes (Cochapata), and in the Peruvian jungle region (Santo Tomas). An overall E. chaffeensis seroprevalence of 13% (21 of 160) was found by IFA. Seroprevalences in females and males was 15% (16 of 106) and 9% (5 of 53), respectively. Seroprevalences in Cura Mori, Cochapata, Pampas, and Santo Tomas were 25% (10 of 40), 23% (9 of 40), 3% (1 of 40), and 3% (1 of 40), respectively. Seroprevalences in Cura Mori and Cochapata were significantly higher than in Santo Tomas or Pampas (P Peru. Further studies are needed to characterize Ehrlichia species in Peru, their vectors and their clinical significance.

  12. Does the transformation of accounting firms’ organizational form improve audit quality? Evidence from China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunfei Wang

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we examine the effects of the transformation of accounting firms’ organizational form on audit quality. We find that the transformation from limited liability to limited liability partnerships has a significant negative effect on the absolute value of discretionary accruals of audited companies. In particular, the transformation has a significant negative effect on positive discretionary accruals and no effect on negative discretionary accruals. We also find that CPAs are more likely to issue modified audit opinions in the year after the transformation, and that there is no evidence that accounting firm size and listed company ownership influence the relationship between the transformation and audit quality. Our conclusions provide empirical evidence for policy makers and enrich the literature on accounting firms’ organizational forms.

  13. Approaches to improve the quality of maternal and newborn health care: an overview of the evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, Anne; Langer, Ana; Salam, Rehana A; Lassi, Zohra S; Das, Jai K; Bhutta, Zulfiqar A

    2014-09-04

    Despite progress in recent years, an estimated 273,500 women died as a result of maternal causes in 2010. The burden of these deaths is disproportionately bourne by women who reside in low income countries or belong to the poorest sectors of the population of middle or high income ones, and it is particularly acute in regions where access to and utilization of facility-based services for childbirth and newborn care is lowest. Evidence has shown that poor quality of facility-based care for these women and newborns is one of the major contributing factors for their elevated rates of morbidity and mortality. In addition, women who perceive the quality of facilty-based care to be poor,may choose to avoid facility-based deliveries, where life-saving interventions could be availble. In this context, understanding the underlying factors that impact the quality of facility-based services and assessing the effectiveness of interventions to improve the quality of care represent critical inputs for the improvement of maternal and newborn health. This series of five papers assesses and summarizes information from relevant systematic reviews on the impact of various approaches to improve the quality of care for women and newborns. The first paper outlines the conceptual framework that guided this study and the methodology used for selecting the reviews and for the analysis. The results are described in the following three papers, which highlight the evidence of interventions to improve the quality of maternal and newborn care at the community, district, and facility level. In the fifth and final paper of the series, the overall findings of the review are discussed, research gaps are identified, and recommendations proposed to impove the quality of maternal and newborn health care in resource-poor settings.

  14. Fuel poverty and human health: A review of recent evidence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liddell, Christine, E-mail: c.liddell@ulster.ac.u [School of Psychology, University of Ulster, Cromore Road, Coleraine BT53 8BZ (United Kingdom); Morris, Chris [School of Psychology, University of Ulster, Cromore Road, Coleraine BT53 8BZ (United Kingdom)

    2010-06-15

    The health impacts of tackling fuel poverty are reviewed, drawing primarily on large-scale studies completed in the last 10 years. Although physical health effects on adults appear to be modest, caregivers and children perceive significant impacts on children's respiratory health. There also appear to be significant effects on the physical health of infants, particularly on weight gain and susceptibility to illness. Mental health effects on adults emerge as significant in most studies, as do mental health impacts on adolescents. Mental health effects on children have, as yet, never been systematically assessed. Whilst several studies are methodologically rigorous, with some also based on very large samples, methodological problems remain. In future evaluations of health impacts, clinical outcomes could be more comprehensively augmented with measures that extend beyond physical health. These include measures reflecting quality of life, changes in patterns of social engagement and daily routine, and their concomitant impacts on mental wellbeing, Such measures may provide more rounded insights into the potential health impacts of tackling fuel poverty and-equally as important for policy and practice-the processes by which these impacts become manifest.

  15. Fuel poverty and human health A review of recent evidence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liddell, Christine; Morris, Chris [School of Psychology, University of Ulster, Cromore Road, Coleraine BT53 8BZ (United Kingdom)

    2010-06-15

    The health impacts of tackling fuel poverty are reviewed, drawing primarily on large-scale studies completed in the last 10 years. Although physical health effects on adults appear to be modest, caregivers and children perceive significant impacts on children's respiratory health. There also appear to be significant effects on the physical health of infants, particularly on weight gain and susceptibility to illness. Mental health effects on adults emerge as significant in most studies, as do mental health impacts on adolescents. Mental health effects on children have, as yet, never been systematically assessed. Whilst several studies are methodologically rigorous, with some also based on very large samples, methodological problems remain. In future evaluations of health impacts, clinical outcomes could be more comprehensively augmented with measures that extend beyond physical health. These include measures reflecting quality of life, changes in patterns of social engagement and daily routine, and their concomitant impacts on mental wellbeing, Such measures may provide more rounded insights into the potential health impacts of tackling fuel poverty and - equally as important for policy and practice - the processes by which these impacts become manifest. (author)

  16. Fuel poverty and human health: A review of recent evidence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liddell, Christine; Morris, Chris

    2010-01-01

    The health impacts of tackling fuel poverty are reviewed, drawing primarily on large-scale studies completed in the last 10 years. Although physical health effects on adults appear to be modest, caregivers and children perceive significant impacts on children's respiratory health. There also appear to be significant effects on the physical health of infants, particularly on weight gain and susceptibility to illness. Mental health effects on adults emerge as significant in most studies, as do mental health impacts on adolescents. Mental health effects on children have, as yet, never been systematically assessed. Whilst several studies are methodologically rigorous, with some also based on very large samples, methodological problems remain. In future evaluations of health impacts, clinical outcomes could be more comprehensively augmented with measures that extend beyond physical health. These include measures reflecting quality of life, changes in patterns of social engagement and daily routine, and their concomitant impacts on mental wellbeing, Such measures may provide more rounded insights into the potential health impacts of tackling fuel poverty and-equally as important for policy and practice-the processes by which these impacts become manifest.

  17. Evidence of a Flynn Effect in Children's Human Figure Drawings (1902-1968).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genovese, Jeremy E C

    2018-05-25

    The Flynn effect is the long-term trend for scores on tests of cognitive ability to increase across cohorts. Several samples of children's human figure drawings, published in 1902, 1926, 1963, and 1968, are examined for evidence of a Flynn effect. Results show that larger percentages of children draw more complete human figures over the course of the 20th century.

  18. Drugs associated with teratogenic mechanisms. Part II : a literature review of the evidence on human risks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Gelder, Marleen M. H. J.; de Jong-van den Berg, Lolkje T. W.; Roeleveld, Nel

    What is the current state of knowledge on the human risks of drugs suspected to be associated with teratogenic mechanisms? Evidence for the presence or absence of human risks of birth defects is scarce or non-existent for the majority of drugs associated with teratogenic mechanisms. Medical drugs

  19. Drugs associated with teratogenic mechanisms. Part II: a literature review of the evidence on human risks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gelder, M.M.H.J. van; Jong-van den Berg, L.T. de; Roeleveld, N.

    2014-01-01

    STUDY QUESTION: What is the current state of knowledge on the human risks of drugs suspected to be associated with teratogenic mechanisms? SUMMARY ANSWER: Evidence for the presence or absence of human risks of birth defects is scarce or non-existent for the majority of drugs associated with

  20. Evidence for developmental programming of cerebral laterality in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Jones

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Adverse fetal environments are associated with depression, reduced cognitive ability and increased stress responsiveness in later life, but underlying mechanisms are unknown. Environmental pressures on the fetus, resulting from variations in placental function and maternal nutrition, health and stress might alter neurodevelopment, promoting the development of some brain regions over others. As asymmetry of cerebral activity, with greater right hemisphere activity, has been associated with psychopathology, we hypothesized that regional specialization during fetal life might be reflected persistently in the relative activity of the cerebral hemispheres. We tested this hypothesis in 140 healthy 8-9 year-old children, using tympanic membrane temperature to assess relative blood flow to the cerebral hemispheres at rest and following psychosocial stress (Trier Social Stress Test for Children. Their birth weight and placental weight had already been measured when their mothers took part in a previous study of pregnancy outcomes. We found that children who had a smaller weight at birth had evidence of greater blood flow to the right hemisphere than to the left hemisphere (r = -.09, P = .29 at rest; r = -.18, P = .04 following stress. This finding was strengthened if the children had a relatively low birth weight for their placental weight (r = -.17, P = .05 at rest; r = -.31, P = .0005 following stress. Our findings suggest that lateralization of cerebral activity is influenced persistently by early developmental experiences, with possible consequences for long-term neurocognitive function.

  1. Converging Evidence of Ubiquitous Male Bias in Human Sex Perception.

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    Justin Gaetano

    Full Text Available Visually judging the sex of another can be achieved easily in most social encounters. When the signals that inform such judgements are weak (e.g. outdoors at night, observers tend to expect the presence of males-an expectation that may facilitate survival-critical decisions under uncertainty. The present aim was to examine whether this male bias depends on expertise. To that end, Caucasian and Asian observers targeted female and male hand images that were either the same or different to the observers' race (i.e. long term experience was varied while concurrently, the proportion of targets changed across presentation blocks (i.e. short term experience change. It was thus found that: (i observers of own-race stimuli were more likely to report the presence of males and absence of females, however (ii observers of other-race stimuli--while still tending to accept stimuli as male--were not prone to rejecting female cues. Finally, (iii male-biased measures did not track the relative frequency of targets or lures, disputing the notion that male bias derives from prior expectation about the number of male exemplars in a set. Findings are discussed in concert with the pan-stimulus model of human sex perception.

  2. Serological evidence for human cystic echinococcosis in Slovenia

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    Kotar Tadeja

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cystic echinococcosis (CE is caused by the larva of tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus. Dogs and other canids are the primary definitive hosts for this parasite. CE may develop after accidental ingestion of tapeworm eggs, excreted with the feces of these animals. In the intestine, the larvae released from the eggs are nested in the liver, lungs or other organs of livestock as intermediate hosts and humans as aberrant hosts. The aim of this study was to examine serologically whether some of the patients in Slovenia, suspected of CE by imaging findings in the liver or lungs had been infected with the larva of Echinococcus granulosus. Methods Between January 1, 2002 and the end of December 2006, 1323 patients suspected of having echinococcosis were screened serologically by indirect haemagglutination assay (IHA. For confirmation and differentiation of Echinococcus spp. infection, the sera of IHA-positive patients were then retested by western blot (WB. Results Out of 127 IHA-positive sera, 34 sera were confirmed by WB and considered specific for CE. Of 34 sera of CE-positive patients sera, 32 corresponded to the characteristic imaging findings of a liver cysts and 2 to those of lung cysts. The mean age of CE-positive patients was 58.3 years. No significant differences were found between the CE-positive patients in regard to their sex. Conclusion In the study, it was found out that CE was mostly spread in the same area of Slovenia as in the past, but its prevalence decreased from 4.8 per 105 inhabitants in the period 1956–1968 to 1.7 per 105 inhabitants in the period 2002–2006. In spite of the decreased prevalence of CE in the last years, it is suggested that clinicians and public health authorities, especially in the eastern parts of Slovenia where the most CE patients come from, should pay greater attention to this disease in the future.

  3. Evidence that human papillomavirus causes inverted papilloma is sparse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justice, Jeb M; Davis, Kern M; Saenz, Daniel A; Lanza, Donald C

    2014-12-01

    Controversy exists regarding the pathogenesis of inverted papilloma as it relates to the involvement of human papillomavirus (HPV). The purpose of this report is to describe the prevalence of HPV in nondysplastic, "early inverted papilloma" and to summarize HPV detection rates in the general population and in other HPV related neoplasia. This case series report characterizes consecutive inverted papilloma patients from January 2005 to August 2012 with regard to smoking history, dysplasia, and HPV detection rates. Presence or absence of low/high risk HPV was determined by standardized in situ hybridization DNA probes. Medline literature review was performed to determine the prevalence of HPV in inverted papilloma without moderate or severe dysplasia. Thirty-six consecutive patients were identified with an average age of 63.6 (range, 40-84) years; gender: 23 men, 13 women. More than half (55%) were active or former smokers (14% active and 41% former). High/low risk HPV was present in 1 in 36 (2.7%) patients and 1 in 36 (2.7%) had mild dysplasia. In the literature review: (1) HPV was detected in 16.4% of inverted papilloma without dysplasia; (2) oral cavity HPV detection was 4.2% to 11.4% in the normal population; and (3) HPV was normally detected in 85% to 95% of HPV-related neoplasia. Given histological features of inverted papilloma and comparatively low detection rates of HPV in inverted papilloma without dysplasia (2.7%), as well as the summary of the world literature, HPV is not related to the initial pathogenesis of inverted papilloma or inverted papilloma's tendency to persist or recur. It is postulated that since inverted papilloma is more an inflammatory polyp, it is susceptible to secondary HPV infection because of its metaplasia. Tobacco and other causes of respiratory epithelium remodeling are more plausible explanations for the initial tissue transformation to inverted papilloma. © 2014 ARS-AAOA, LLC.

  4. On the evidence for human use and control of fire at Schöningen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahlschmidt, Mareike C; Miller, Christopher E; Ligouis, Bertrand; Hambach, Ulrich; Goldberg, Paul; Berna, Francesco; Richter, Daniel; Urban, Brigitte; Serangeli, Jordi; Conard, Nicholas J

    2015-12-01

    When and how humans began to control fire has been a central debate in Paleolithic archaeology for decades. Fire plays an important role in technology, social organization, subsistence, and manipulation of the environment and is widely seen as a necessary adaptation for the colonization of northern latitudes. Many researchers view purported hearths, burnt wooden implements, and heated flints from Schöningen as providing the best evidence for the control of fire in the Lower Paleolithic of Northern Europe. Here we present results of a multianalytical study of the purported hearths along with a critical examination of other possible evidence of human use or control of fire at Schöningen. We conclude that the analyzed features and artifacts present no convincing evidence for human use or control of fire. Our study also shows that a multianalytical, micro-contextual approach is the best methodology for evaluating claims of early evidence of human-controlled fire. We advise caution with macroscopic, qualitative identification of combustion features, burnt flint, and burnt wood without the application of such techniques as micromorphology, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, organic petrology, luminescence, and analysis of mineral magnetic parameters. The lack of evidence for the human control of fire at Schöningen raises the possibility that fire control was not a necessary adaptation for the human settlement of northern latitudes in the Lower Paleolithic. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Evidence-based practice: a quality indicator analysis of peer-tutoring in adapted physical education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalef, Laura; Reid, Greg; Macdonald, Cathy

    2013-09-01

    The purpose of the research was to conduct a quality indicator analysis of studies investigating peer-tutoring for students with a disability in adapted physical education. An electronic search was conducted among English journals published from 1960 to November 2012. Databases included ERIC, PsycINFO, and SPORTDiscus. Fifteen research studies employing group-experimental (Gersten et al., 2005) or single-subject designs (Horner et al., 2005) met inclusion criteria. Each study was assessed for the presence and clarity of quality indicators. Group designs met an average of 62.5% essential and 69% desirable indicators. An average of 80% of indicators was present for single-subject designs. Results suggest claims of peer-tutoring being an evidence-based practice are premature. Recommendations for clarifying and applying the quality indicators are offered. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Quality of research and level of evidence in foot and ankle publications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barske, Heather L; Baumhauer, Judith

    2012-01-01

    The quality of research and evidence to support medical treatments is under scrutiny from the medical profession and the public. This study examined the current quality of research and level of evidence (LOE) of foot and ankle surgery papers published in orthopedic and podiatric medical journals. Two independent evaluators performed a blinded assessment of all foot and ankle clinical research articles (January 2010 to June 2010) from seven North American orthopedic and podiatric journals. JBJS-A grading system was used for LOE. Articles were assessed for indicators of study quality. The data was stratified by journal and medical credentials. A total of 245 articles were published, 128 were excluded based on study design, leaving 117 clinical research articles. Seven (6%) were Level I, 14 (12%) Level II, 18 (15%) Level III, and 78 (67%) Level IV. The orthopedic journals published 78 studies on foot and ankle topics. Of the podiatric journals, the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association (JAPMA) published 12 clinical studies and the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery (JFAS) published 27, 21 (78%) of which were Level IV studies. When the quality of research was examined, few therapeutic studies used validated outcome measures and only 38 of 96 (40%) gathered data prospectively. Thirty (31%) studies used a comparison group. Eighty-seven articles (74%) were authored by a MD and 22 (19%) by a DPM. Foot & Ankle International (FAI) published higher quality studies with a higher LOE as compared to podiatry journals. Regardless of the journal, MDs produced the majority of published clinical foot and ankle research. Although improvements have been made in the quality of some clinical research, this study highlights the need for continued improvement in methodology within foot and ankle literature.

  7. A framework of quality improvement interventions to implement evidence-based practices for pressure ulcer prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padula, William V; Mishra, Manish K; Makic, Mary Beth F; Valuck, Robert J

    2014-06-01

    To enhance the learner's competence with knowledge about a framework of quality improvement (QI) interventions to implement evidence-based practices for pressure ulcer (PrU) prevention. This continuing education activity is intended for physicians and nurses with an interest in skin and wound care. After participating in this educational activity, the participant should be better able to:1. Summarize the process of creating and initiating the best-practice framework of QI for PrU prevention.2. Identify the domains and QI interventions for the best-practice framework of QI for PrU prevention. Pressure ulcer (PrU) prevention is a priority issue in US hospitals. The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel endorses an evidence-based practice (EBP) protocol to help prevent PrUs. Effective implementation of EBPs requires systematic change of existing care units. Quality improvement interventions offer a mechanism of change to existing structures in order to effectively implement EBPs for PrU prevention. The best-practice framework developed by Nelson et al is a useful model of quality improvement interventions that targets process improvement in 4 domains: leadership, staff, information and information technology, and performance and improvement. At 2 academic medical centers, the best-practice framework was shown to physicians, nurses, and health services researchers. Their insight was used to modify the best-practice framework as a reference tool for quality improvement interventions in PrU prevention. The revised framework includes 25 elements across 4 domains. Many of these elements support EBPs for PrU prevention, such as updates in PrU staging and risk assessment. The best-practice framework offers a reference point to initiating a bundle of quality improvement interventions in support of EBPs. Hospitals and clinicians tasked with quality improvement efforts can use this framework to problem-solve PrU prevention and other critical issues.

  8. Human versus Non-Human Face Processing: Evidence from Williams Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Andreia; Rosset, Delphine; Deruelle, Christine

    2009-01-01

    Increased motivation towards social stimuli in Williams syndrome (WS) led us to hypothesize that a face's human status would have greater impact than face's orientation on WS' face processing abilities. Twenty-nine individuals with WS were asked to categorize facial emotion expressions in real, human cartoon and non-human cartoon faces presented…

  9. Politics drives human functioning, dignity, and quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Brian K; Spellings, Carolyn; McNeely, Clea; Page, Paul D; Giacaman, Rita; Arafat, Cairo; Daher, Mahmoud; El Sarraj, Eyad; Mallouh, Mohammed Abu

    2014-12-01

    Too little is known about human functioning amidst chronic adversity. We addressed that need by studying adult Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt), a population that has experienced longstanding economic and political hardships. Fourteen group interviews were conducted in February, 2010 in Arabic by local fieldworkers with 68 participants representing the main stratifications of Palestinian society: gender, region, refugee status, and political affiliation. Interview tasks included each participant: describing someone doing well and not well, free listing domains of functioning, and prioritizing domains to the three most important. Thematic analyses highlighted the dominating role of the political domain of functioning (e.g., political structures, constraints, effects, identity, and activism) and the degree to which political conditions impacted all other realms of functioning (economic, education, family, psychological, etc.). The discussion links the findings to relevant theory and empirical work that has called attention to the need to include the political in frameworks of quality of life. It also emphasized that values, such as justice, rights, dignity and self-determination, that underlie political structures and policies, are key elements of human functioning. This is the case not only in the oPt, but in any society where power imbalances marginalize segments of the population. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Human resource information systems in health care: a systematic evidence review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tursunbayeva, Aizhan; Bunduchi, Raluca; Franco, Massimo; Pagliari, Claudia

    2017-05-01

    This systematic review aimed to: (1) determine the prevalence and scope of existing research on human resource information systems (HRIS) in health organizations; (2) analyze, classify, and synthesize evidence on the processes and impacts of HRIS development, implementation, and adoption; and (3) generate recommendations for HRIS research, practice, and policy, with reference to the needs of different stakeholders. A structured search strategy was used to interrogate 10 electronic databases indexing research from the health, social, management, technology, and interdisciplinary sciences, alongside gray literature sources and reference lists of qualifying studies. There were no restrictions on language or publication year. Two reviewers screened publications, extracted data, and coded findings according to the innovation stages covered in the studies. The Critical Appraisal Skills Program checklist was adopted to assess study quality. The process of study selection was charted using a Preferred Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) diagram. Of the 6824 publications identified by the search strategy, 68, covering 42 studies, were included for final analysis. Research on HRIS in health was interdisciplinary, often atheoretical, conducted primarily in the hospital sector of high-income economies, and largely focused uncritically on use and realized benefits. While studies of HRIS in health exist, the overall lack of evaluative research raises unanswered questions about their capacity to improve quality and efficiency and enable learning health systems, as well as how sociotechnical complexity influences implementation and effectiveness. We offer this analysis to decision makers and managers considering or currently implementing an HRIS, and make recommendations for further research. International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO): CRD42015023581. http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/display_record.asp?ID=CRD42015023581#.VYu1BPl

  11. The use of Bayesian networks to assess the quality of evidence from research synthesis: 1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gavin B Stewart

    Full Text Available The grades of recommendation, assessment, development and evaluation (GRADE approach is widely implemented in systematic reviews, health technology assessment and guideline development organisations throughout the world. A key advantage to this approach is that it aids transparency regarding judgments on the quality of evidence. However, the intricacies of making judgments about research methodology and evidence make the GRADE system complex and challenging to apply without training.We have developed a semi-automated quality assessment tool (SAQAT l based on GRADE. This is informed by responses by reviewers to checklist questions regarding characteristics that may lead to unreliability. These responses are then entered into the Bayesian network to ascertain the probabilities of risk of bias, inconsistency, indirectness, imprecision and publication bias conditional on review characteristics. The model then combines these probabilities to provide a probability for each of the GRADE overall quality categories. We tested the model using a range of plausible scenarios that guideline developers or review authors could encounter.Overall, the model reproduced GRADE judgements for a range of scenarios. Potential advantages over standard assessment are use of explicit and consistent weightings for different review characteristics, forcing consideration of important but sometimes neglected characteristics and principled downgrading where small but important probabilities of downgrading are accrued across domains.Bayesian networks have considerable potential for use as tools to assess the validity of research evidence. The key strength of such networks lies in the provision of a statistically coherent method for combining probabilities across a complex framework based on both belief and evidence. In addition to providing tools for less experienced users to implement reliability assessment, the potential for sensitivity analyses and automation may be

  12. A quality assessment of systematic reviews on telerehabilitation: what does the evidence tell us?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Rogante

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Aims. To evaluate the quality of systematic reviews on telerehabilitation. Methods. The AMSTAR - Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews - checklist was used to appraise the evidence related to the systematic reviews. Results. Among the 477 records initially identified, 10 systematic reviews matched the inclusion criteria. Fifty percent were of high quality; anyway the majority of them did not report the following aspects: i analysis of the grey literature; ii a list of the excluded studies and their characteristics; iii the identification of possible source of bias and the assessment of its likehood; iv an appropriate method to combine the findings of the included studies addressing the heterogeneity as well. From the main findings of the high-scored systematic reviews telerehabilitation resulted at least as effective as usual care: 1 in the short term treatment of mental health related to people affected by spinal cord injury; 2 in rural communities for treating patients affected by chronic conditions; 3 in treating common pathologies (mainly asthma affecting children and adolescents. As for stroke, evidence is currently insufficient to reach conclusions about its effectiveness. As for costs, there is insufficient evidence to confirm that telerehabilitation is a cost-saving or cost-effective solution. Conclusions. In the authors' knowledge this is the first attempt to evaluate the quality of systematic reviews on telerehabilitation. This work also identified the main findings related to the high-scored systematic reviews; the analysis confirms that there is a mounting evidence concerning the effectiveness of telerehabilitation, at least for some pathologies.

  13. The role of stress as a trigger for epileptic seizures: a narrative review of evidence from human and animal studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novakova, Barbora; Harris, Peter R; Ponnusamy, Athi; Reuber, Markus

    2013-11-01

    Stress is one of the most frequently self-identified seizure triggers in patients with epilepsy; however, most previous publications on stress and epilepsy have focused on the role of stress in the initial development of epilepsy. This narrative review explores the causal role of stress in triggering seizures in patients with existing epilepsy. Findings from human studies of psychological stress, as well as of physiologic stress responses in humans and animals, and evidence from nonpharmacologic interventions for epilepsy are considered. The evidence from human studies for stress as a trigger of epileptic seizures is inconclusive. Although retrospective self-report studies show that stress is the most common patient-perceived seizure precipitant, prospective studies have yielded mixed results and studies of life events suggest that stressful experiences only trigger seizures in certain individuals. There is limited evidence suggesting that autonomic arousal can precede seizures. Interventions designed to improve coping with stress reduce seizures in some individuals. Studies of physiologic stress using animal epilepsy models provide more convincing evidence. Exposure to exogenous and endogenous stress mediators has been found to increase epileptic activity in the brain and trigger overt seizures, especially after repeated exposure. In conclusion, stress is likely to exacerbate the susceptibility to epileptic seizures in a subgroup of individuals with epilepsy and may play a role in triggering "spontaneous" seizures. However, there is currently no strong evidence for a close link between stress and seizures in the majority of people with epilepsy, although animal research suggests that such links are likely. Further research is needed into the relationship between stress and seizures and into interventions designed to reduce perceived stress and improve quality of life with epilepsy. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2013 International League Against Epilepsy.

  14. The Influence of Pseudo Auditor Rotation on Audit Quality: New Evidence

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    Rahmat Febrianto

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The objectives of this research are twofold, to test the audit quality of companies that change their auditors either voluntarily or mandatorily and to test the financial characteristics as a factor for an accounting firm to engage in pseudo mandatory rotation. Since 2002, Indonesia has had legislation mandating companies to rotate their auditor after six years of consecutive engagements (five years prior to 2008. However, auditors sometimes seem to find their own way to deceive the mandatory regulation by a tactic called “pseudo” mandatory rotation. Thus, we divide mandatory rotation into two categories, pure and pseudo mandatory rotation. The results of the data we collected since the Ministerial decree became effective in 2003 indicate companies that rotate their auditors mandatorily have higher audit quality than that of companies voluntarily rotating auditors. However, we cannot find evidence that pseudo and pure mandatory rotation have different audit qualities. The results also indicate that switching among bigger accounting firms have the highest audit quality rather than switching between smaller audit firms which have lower audit quality. Lastly, the motives of an accounting firm to engage in pseudo or pure mandatory rotation are related to the financial size of their clients. Future research must consider the limitation stated in this study.

  15. The EVIDENT diet quality index is associated with cardiovascular risk and arterial stiffness in adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmela Rodríguez-Martin

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We aimed to simplify information from food frequency questionnaires (FFQs in a single parameter that allows for rapid identification of quality of patient diet and its relationship to cardiovascular risk and pulse wave velocity (PWV. Methods The sample from the EVIDENT study, consisting of 1553 subjects (aged 20–80 years with no cardiovascular disease selected by random sampling among those attending primary care clinics, was used. The EVIDENT diet index (range 0–100 was calculated based on the results of a FFQ. Evaluation of dietary habits also included adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD. Cardiovascular risk was estimated, and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity was measured. Results Mean subject age was 54.9 ± 13.8 years, and 60.3% of subjects were female. The mean value of the EVIDENT diet index was 52.1 ± 3.2 points. Subjects in the third tertile (the highest score had the greatest adherence to MD and the highest energy intake, with greater amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. The best cut-off point of the EVIDENT diet index for predicting good adherence to the MD is 52.3 (0.71 sensitivity, 0.61 specificity. In a multiple regression analysis, after a complete adjustment, it was estimated that for each one-point increase in the EVIDENT diet index, cardiovascular risk (CVR, blood-pressure, waist circumference, and PWV decreased by 0.14, 0.43, 0.24, and 0.09 respectively (p < 0.05, all. Conclusions The diet quality index developed is associated to CVR and its components, and also with arterial stiffness, as measured with PWV. This index is also a good predictor of adherence to MD.

  16. Human Capital Questionnaire: Assessment of European nurses' perceptions as indicators of human capital quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yepes-Baldó, Montserrat; Romeo, Marina; Berger, Rita

    2013-06-01

    Healthcare accreditation models generally include indicators related to healthcare employees' perceptions (e.g. satisfaction, career development, and health safety). During the accreditation process, organizations are asked to demonstrate the methods with which assessments are made. However, none of the models provide standardized systems for the assessment of employees. In this study, we analyzed the psychometric properties of an instrument for the assessment of nurses' perceptions as indicators of human capital quality in healthcare organizations. The Human Capital Questionnaire was applied to a sample of 902 nurses in four European countries (Spain, Portugal, Poland, and the UK). Exploratory factor analysis identified six factors: satisfaction with leadership, identification and commitment, satisfaction with participation, staff well-being, career development opportunities, and motivation. The results showed the validity and reliability of the questionnaire, which when applied to healthcare organizations, provide a better understanding of nurses' perceptions, and is a parsimonious instrument for assessment and organizational accreditation. From a practical point of view, improving the quality of human capital, by analyzing nurses and other healthcare employees' perceptions, is related to workforce empowerment. © 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  17. Is the Readmission Rate a Valid Quality Indicator? A Review of the Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Claudia; Lingsma, Hester F.; Marang-van de Mheen, Perla J.; Kringos, Dionne S.; Klazinga, Niek S.; Steyerberg, Ewout W.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Hospital readmission rates are increasingly used for both quality improvement and cost control. However, the validity of readmission rates as a measure of quality of hospital care is not evident. We aimed to give an overview of the different methodological aspects in the definition and measurement of readmission rates that need to be considered when interpreting readmission rates as a reflection of quality of care. Methods We conducted a systematic literature review, using the bibliographic databases Embase, Medline OvidSP, Web-of-Science, Cochrane central and PubMed for the period of January 2001 to May 2013. Results The search resulted in 102 included papers. We found that definition of the context in which readmissions are used as a quality indicator is crucial. This context includes the patient group and the specific aspects of care of which the quality is aimed to be assessed. Methodological flaws like unreliable data and insufficient case-mix correction may confound the comparison of readmission rates between hospitals. Another problem occurs when the basic distinction between planned and unplanned readmissions cannot be made. Finally, the multi-faceted nature of quality of care and the correlation between readmissions and other outcomes limit the indicator's validity. Conclusions Although readmission rates are a promising quality indicator, several methodological concerns identified in this study need to be addressed, especially when the indicator is intended for accountability or pay for performance. We recommend investing resources in accurate data registration, improved indicator description, and bundling outcome measures to provide a more complete picture of hospital care. PMID:25379675

  18. Is the readmission rate a valid quality indicator? A review of the evidence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Fischer

    Full Text Available Hospital readmission rates are increasingly used for both quality improvement and cost control. However, the validity of readmission rates as a measure of quality of hospital care is not evident. We aimed to give an overview of the different methodological aspects in the definition and measurement of readmission rates that need to be considered when interpreting readmission rates as a reflection of quality of care.We conducted a systematic literature review, using the bibliographic databases Embase, Medline OvidSP, Web-of-Science, Cochrane central and PubMed for the period of January 2001 to May 2013.The search resulted in 102 included papers. We found that definition of the context in which readmissions are used as a quality indicator is crucial. This context includes the patient group and the specific aspects of care of which the quality is aimed to be assessed. Methodological flaws like unreliable data and insufficient case-mix correction may confound the comparison of readmission rates between hospitals. Another problem occurs when the basic distinction between planned and unplanned readmissions cannot be made. Finally, the multi-faceted nature of quality of care and the correlation between readmissions and other outcomes limit the indicator's validity.Although readmission rates are a promising quality indicator, several methodological concerns identified in this study need to be addressed, especially when the indicator is intended for accountability or pay for performance. We recommend investing resources in accurate data registration, improved indicator description, and bundling outcome measures to provide a more complete picture of hospital care.

  19. Decreases in Human Semen Quality with Age Among Healthy Men

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eskenazi, B.; Wyrobek, A.J.; Kidd, S.A.; Moore, L.; Young, S.S.; Moore, D.

    2001-12-01

    The objective of this report is to characterize the associations between age and semen quality among healthy active men after controlling for identified covariates. Ninety-seven healthy, nonsmoking men between 22 and 80 years without known fertility problems who worked for or retired from a large research laboratory. There was a gradual decrease in all semen parameters from 22-80 years of age. After adjusting for covariates, volume decreased 0.03 ml per year (p = 0.001); sperm concentration decreased 2.5% per year (p = 0.005); total count decreased 3.6% per year of age (p < 0.001); motility decreased 0.7% per year (P < 0.001); progressive motility decreased 3.1% per year (p < 0.001); and total progressively motile sperm decreased 4.8% per year (p < 0.001). In a group of healthy active men, semen volume, sperm concentration, total sperm count, and sperm motility decrease continuously between 22-80 years of age, with no evidence of a threshold.

  20. Towards web documents quality assessment for digital humanities scholars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ceolin, D.; Noordegraaf, Julia; Aroyo, L.M.; van Son, C.M.; Nejdl, Wolfgang; Hall, Wendy; Parigi, Paolo; Staab, Steffen

    2016-01-01

    We present a framework for assessing the quality of Web documents, and a baseline of three quality dimensions: trustworthiness, objectivity and basic scholarly quality. Assessing Web document quality is a "deep data" problem necessitating approaches to handle both data size and complexity.

  1. Phylogenetic evidence that two distinct Trichuris genotypes infect both humans and non-human primates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damiana F Ravasi

    Full Text Available Although there has been extensive debate about whether Trichuris suis and Trichuris trichiura are separate species, only one species of the whipworm T. trichiura has been considered to infect humans and non-human primates. In order to investigate potential cross infection of Trichuris sp. between baboons and humans in the Cape Peninsula, South Africa, we sequenced the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region of adult Trichuris sp. worms isolated from five baboons from three different troops, namely the Cape Peninsula troop, Groot Olifantsbos troop and Da Gama Park troop. This region was also sequenced from T. trichiura isolated from a human patient from central Africa (Cameroon for comparison. By combining this dataset with Genbank records for Trichuris isolated from other humans, non-human primates and pigs from several different countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa, we confirmed the identification of two distinct Trichuris genotypes that infect primates. Trichuris sp. isolated from the Peninsula baboons fell into two distinct clades that were found to also infect human patients from Cameroon, Uganda and Jamaica (named the CP-GOB clade and China, Thailand, the Czech Republic, and Uganda (named the DG clade, respectively. The divergence of these Trichuris clades is ancient and precedes the diversification of T. suis which clustered closely to the CP-GOB clade. The identification of two distinct Trichuris genotypes infecting both humans and non-human primates is important for the ongoing treatment of Trichuris which is estimated to infect 600 million people worldwide. Currently baboons in the Cape Peninsula, which visit urban areas, provide a constant risk of infection to local communities. A reduction in spatial overlap between humans and baboons is thus an important measure to reduce both cross-transmission and zoonoses of helminthes in Southern Africa.

  2. Vertical Integration of Hospitals and Physicians: Economic Theory and Empirical Evidence on Spending and Quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Post, Brady; Buchmueller, Tom; Ryan, Andrew M

    2017-08-01

    Hospital-physician vertical integration is on the rise. While increased efficiencies may be possible, emerging research raises concerns about anticompetitive behavior, spending increases, and uncertain effects on quality. In this review, we bring together several of the key theories of vertical integration that exist in the neoclassical and institutional economics literatures and apply these theories to the hospital-physician relationship. We also conduct a literature review of the effects of vertical integration on prices, spending, and quality in the growing body of evidence ( n = 15) to evaluate which of these frameworks have the strongest empirical support. We find some support for vertical foreclosure as a framework for explaining the observed results. We suggest a conceptual model and identify directions for future research. Based on our analysis, we conclude that vertical integration poses a threat to the affordability of health services and merits special attention from policymakers and antitrust authorities.

  3. Approaches to improve the quality of maternal and newborn health care: an overview of the evidence

    OpenAIRE

    Austin, Anne; Langer, Ana; Salam, Rehana A; Lassi, Zohra S; Das, Jai K; Bhutta, Zulfiqar A

    2014-01-01

    Despite progress in recent years, an estimated 273,500 women died as a result of maternal causes in 2010. The burden of these deaths is disproportionately bourne by women who reside in low income countries or belong to the poorest sectors of the population of middle or high income ones, and it is particularly acute in regions where access to and utilization of facility-based services for childbirth and newborn care is lowest. Evidence has shown that poor quality of facility-based care for the...

  4. Assessment of human impact on water quality along Manyame River

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tirivashe P. Masere

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Human activities such as urbanization, agriculture, sewage treatment and industrialization are affecting water resources both quantitatively and qualitatively. The impact of these activities were studied by measuring and determining the concentration and values of eight selected water quality parameters namely nitrates, phosphates, copper, iron, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD, dissolved oxygen (DO, pH and turbidity along Manyame River, in the Manyame Catchment. Thirty five sites were sampled from the source of the river which is at Seke Dam, along Manyame River and on the tributaries (Ruwa, Nyatsime, Mukuvisi and Marimba just before they join the river. The 35 sites were categorized into 5 groups (A, B, C, D and E with group A and E being the upstream and downstream of Manyame. The analysis of results was undertaken using a simple one-way ANOVA with group as the only source of variation. Turbidity values, nitrate and phosphate concentrations were found to be higher than the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA maximum permissible standards for surface waters. DO saturation in the downstream groups was less than 75% (ZINWA standard. Agricultural and urban runoff and sewage effluent were responsible of the high nutrient levels and turbidity, which in turn, reduced the dissolved oxygen (DO.

  5. [Job Satisfaction: a quality indicator in nursing human resource management].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siqueira, Vera Thânia Alves; Kurcgant, Paulina

    2012-02-01

    This descriptive study addresses the job satisfaction of nurse managers and clinical nurses working at the Hematology and Hemotherapy Services of a public hospital in São Paulo. The study objectives were to identify the factors that caused job satisfaction among nurse managers and clinical nurses, and support the results in the development of indicators to evaluate the quality of nursing human resource management. The components of the study were: autonomy, interaction, professional status, job requirements, organizational norms and remuneration. Participants were 44 nurses. Data were collected using a Job Satisfaction Index (JSI) questionnaire. In conclusion, this study permitted the identification of the clinical nurse group, which was the most satisfied, with a JSI of 10.5; the managerial group scored 10.0. Regarding the satisfaction levels in regards to the current activity, 88.9% of the nurse managers reported feeling satisfied, as did 90.9% of clinical nurses. For both groups, autonomy was the component with the highest level of professional satisfaction.

  6. Preparation and quality control of MAA human serum albumin kit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yassin, T.; Dadokh, M.; Almalki, R.

    2005-05-01

    MAA Macro aggregate Kit for pulmonary perfusion after labeling with 99m Tc was prepared according to an optimum conditions, where each vial contains 0.8 mg of HSA and 0.17 mg of stannous chloride dehydrate (SnCl 2 2H 2 O),The prepared kit showed high quality satisfying the requirements of international pharmacopoeias from the points of physical, chemical, radiochemical and biological purities, and its validity for human injection. And the labeling yield exceeded 99 % with average value of about 99.74 ± 0.27 % for 2mCi/2ml radioactivity, The bio distribution study in rats showed that an average of 93.87 ± 3.97% of injected dose was located in the lungs after 10 minutes where only about 0.99 ± 0.41 % of it was located in the liver and about 0.41 ± 0.14% in the kidneys and blood clearance 1.235 ± 0.78 %. This study also showed that each vial content can be labeled with maximum activity of 99m Tc of about 50 mCi. (Authors)

  7. Quality assurance and risk management: Perspectives on Human Factors Certification of Advanced Aviation Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Robert M.; Macleod, Iain S.

    1994-01-01

    This paper is based on the experience of engineering psychologists advising the U.K. Ministry of Defense (MoD) on the procurement of advanced aviation systems that conform to good human engineering (HE) practice. Traditional approaches to HE in systems procurement focus on the physical nature of the human-machine interface. Advanced aviation systems present increasingly complex design requirements for human functional integration, information processing, and cognitive task performance effectiveness. These developing requirements present new challenges for HE quality assurance (QA) and risk management, requiring focus on design processes as well as on design content or product. A new approach to the application of HE, recently adopted by NATO, provides more systematic ordering and control of HE processes and activities to meet the challenges of advanced aircrew systems design. This systematic approach to HE has been applied by MoD to the procurement of mission systems for the Royal Navy Merlin helicopter. In MoD procurement, certification is a judicial function, essentially independent of the service customer and industry contractor. Certification decisions are based on advice from MoD's appointed Acceptance Agency. Test and evaluation (T&E) conducted by the contractor and by the Acceptance Agency provide evidence for certification. Certification identifies limitations of systems upon release to the service. Evidence of compliance with HE standards traditionally forms the main basis of HE certification and significant non-compliance could restrict release. The systems HE approach shows concern for the quality of processes as well as for the content of the product. Human factors certification should be concerned with the quality of HE processes as well as products. Certification should require proof of process as well as proof of content and performance. QA criteria such as completeness, consistency, timeliness, and compatibility provide generic guidelines for

  8. Human Capital - A Quality Factor For The Competitiveness Of IT Companies

    OpenAIRE

    Elisei Crăciun

    2015-01-01

    This paper treats quality, human capital and competitiveness concepts in order to determine in which measure the Human Capital quality influences the competitiveness of a firm. The human capital theory is a relatively new approach, the first valuable approach being that of Garry Becker which, subsequent of the modern management theoretical views, puts human capital into scientific frame. This present paper relates deeply on this theoretical frame as it is considered that, besides financial or...

  9. Human cranial diversity and evidence for an ancient lineage of modern humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schillaci, Michael A

    2008-06-01

    This study examines the genetic affinities of various modern human groupings using a multivariate analysis of morphometric data. Phylogenetic relationships among these groupings are also explored using neighbor-joining analysis of the metric data. Results indicate that the terminal Pleistocene/early Holocene fossils from Australasia exhibit a close genetic affinity with early modern humans from the Levant. Furthermore, recent human populations and Upper Paleolithic Europeans share a most recent common ancestor not shared with either the early Australasians or the early Levantine humans. This pattern of genetic and phylogenetic relationships suggests that the early modern humans from the Levant either contributed directly to the ancestry of an early lineage of Australasians, or that they share a recent common ancestor with them. The principal findings of the study, therefore, lend support to the notion of an early dispersal from Africa by a more ancient lineage of modern human prior to 50 ka, perhaps as early as OIS 5 times (76-100 ka).

  10. Does competition between hospitals improve clinical quality?: a review of evidence from two eras of competition in the English NHS

    OpenAIRE

    Gwyn Bevan; Matthew Skellern

    2011-01-01

    Gwyn Bevan and Matthew Skellern review evidence on the effects of hospital competition on quality of care within the English NHS and question whether they support government proposals to extend competition.

  11. Setting targets for human resources for eye health in sub-Saharan Africa: what evidence should be used?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtright, Paul; Mathenge, Wanjiku; Kello, Amir Bedri; Cook, Colin; Kalua, Khumbo; Lewallen, Susan

    2016-03-16

    With a global target set at reducing vision loss by 25% by the year 2019, sub-Saharan Africa with an estimated 4.8 million blind persons will require human resources for eye health (HReH) that need to be available, appropriately skilled, supported, and productive. Targets for HReH are useful for planning, monitoring, and resource mobilization, but they need to be updated and informed by evidence of effectiveness and efficiency. Supporting evidence should take into consideration (1) ever-changing disease-specific issues including the epidemiology, the complexity of diagnosis and treatment, and the technology needed for diagnosis and treatment of each condition; (2) the changing demands for vision-related services of an increasingly urbanized population; and (3) interconnected health system issues that affect productivity and quality. The existing targets for HReH and some of the existing strategies such as task shifting of cataract surgery and trichiasis surgery, as well as the scope of eye care interventions for primary eye care workers, will need to be re-evaluated and re-defined against such evidence or supported by new evidence.

  12. Quality Education for Social Development and Human Well-Being

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moradi Sheykhjan, Tohid

    2015-01-01

    Education as a phenomenon is rather complex which makes it difficult to define its quality. Definitions of quality must be open to change and evolution based on information, changing contexts, and new understandings of the nature of education's challenges. The main objective of the paper is to find out the significance of quality education for…

  13. The origins of human parasites: Exploring the evidence for endoparasitism throughout human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Piers D

    2013-09-01

    It is important to determine the origins of human parasites if we are to understand the health of past populations and the effects of parasitism upon human evolution. It also helps us to understand emerging infectious diseases and the modern clinical epidemiology of parasites. This study aims to distinguish those heirloom parasites that have infected humans and their ancestors throughout their evolution in Africa from those recent souvenir species to which humans have only become exposed following contact with animals during their migration across the globe. Ten such heirloom parasites are proposed, which appear to have been spread across the globe. Six further heirlooms are noted to have limited spread due to the constraints of their life cycle. Twelve souvenir parasites of humans are described, along with their animal reservoirs. While the origins of 28 species of endoparasite have been determined, many more species require further assessment once a more systematic analysis of ancient parasites in other regions of Africa has been undertaken. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Evidence for Human Adaptation and Foodborne Transmission of Livestock-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Jesper; Stegger, Marc; Andersen, Paal S.

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the evolution and epidemiology of a novel live-stock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain, which colonizes and infects urban-dwelling Danes even without a Danish animal reservoir. Genetic evidence suggests both poultry and human adaptation, with poultry meat...

  15. The Beauty of Other Lives: Material Culture as Evidence of Human Ingenuity and Agency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levstik, Linda S.; Henderson, A. Gwynn; Lee, Youngdo

    2014-01-01

    Elementary students are often hampered by a tendency to ascribe innovation to increasing human intelligence or individual agency rather than increased information, better access to information, or collective and institutional agency. As a result, they struggle to build evidence-based interpretations of the distant past. A fifth-grade…

  16. Evidence-based human resource management: a study of nurse leaders' resource allocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagerström, Lisbeth

    2009-05-01

    The aims were to illustrate how the RAFAELA system can be used to facilitate evidence-based human resource management. The theoretical framework of the RAFAELA system is based on a holistic view of humankind and a view of leadership founded on human resource management. Nine wards from three central hospitals in Finland participated in the study. The data, stemming from 2006-2007, were taken from the critical indicators (ward-related and nursing intensity information) for national benchmarking used in the RAFAELA system. The data were analysed descriptively. The daily nursing resources per classified patient ratio is a more specific method of measurement than the nurse-to-patient ratio. For four wards, the nursing intensity per nurse surpassed the optimal level 34% to 62.2% of days. Resource allocation was clearly improved in that a better balance between patients' care needs and available nursing resources was maintained. The RAFAELA system provides a rational, systematic and objective foundation for evidence-based human resource management. Data from a systematic use of the RAFAELA system offer objective facts and motives for evidence-based decision making in human resource management, and will therefore enhance the nurse leaders' evidence and scientific based way of working.

  17. Meta-Review of the Quantity and Quality of Evidence for Knee Arthroplasty Devices.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna R Gagliardi

    Full Text Available Some cardiovascular devices are licensed based on limited evidence, potentially exposing patients to devices that are not safe or effective. Research is needed to ascertain if the same is true of other types of medical devices. Knee arthroplasty is a widely-used surgical procedure yet implant failures are not uncommon. The purpose of this study was to characterize available evidence on the safety and effectiveness of knee implants.A review of primary studies included in health technology assessments (HTA on total (TKA and unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA was conducted. MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane Library and Biotechnology & BioEngineering Abstracts were searched from 2005 to 2014, plus journal tables of contents and 32 HTA web sites. Patients were aged 18 and older who underwent primary TKA or UKA assessed in cohort or randomized controlled studies. Summary statistics were used to report study characteristics.A total of 265 eligible primary studies published between 1986 and 2014 involving 59,217 patients were identified in 10 HTAs (2 low, 7 moderate, 1 high risk of bias. Most evaluated TKA (198, 74.5%. The quality of evidence in primary studies was limited. Most studies were industry-funded (23.8% or offered no declaration of funding or conflict of interest (44.9%; based on uncontrolled single cohorts (58.5%, enrolled fewer than 100 patients (66.4%, and followed patients for 2 years or less (UKA: single cohort 29.8%, comparative cohort 16.7%, randomized trial 25.0%; TKA: single cohort 25.0%, comparative cohort 31.4%, randomized trial 48.6%. Furthermore, most devices were evaluated in only one study (55.3% TKA implants, 61.1% UKA implants.Patients, physicians, hospitals and payers rely on poor-quality evidence to support decisions about knee implants. Further research is needed to explore how decisions about the use of devices are currently made, and how the evidence base for device safety and effectiveness can be strengthened.

  18. Possibilities of collecting evidences about crime act of sexual exploitation in human beings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mijalković Saša

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Collecting evidences about organized crime act of sexual exploitation in human begins often is very difficult because of high level of organization, secrecy ant precaution taken during committing prostitution, pornography, sex tourism and human trafficking. On the other side, high illegal profit enable criminals to engage "expensive" and experienced lawyers, whose often make values and reliability of collected evidences questionable, appealing to irregularities during police collecting procedure. Among traditional criminalities methods and proofing activities, in the study, modern tendencies in special investigative measures and techniques are considered. After that, there is pointing at specificity, meaning and value of material tracks and objects, which are essential for proofing crime act or perpetrator’s guiltiness. On the end, there is pointing at importance of victims’ cooperation in collecting evidences about their sexual exploitation.

  19. Evidence Accumulation and Choice Maintenance Are Dissociated in Human Perceptual Decision Making.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mads Lund Pedersen

    Full Text Available Perceptual decision making in monkeys relies on decision neurons, which accumulate evidence and maintain choices until a response is given. In humans, several brain regions have been proposed to accumulate evidence, but it is unknown if these regions also maintain choices. To test if accumulator regions in humans also maintain decisions we compared delayed and self-paced responses during a face/house discrimination decision making task. Computational modeling and fMRI results revealed dissociated processes of evidence accumulation and decision maintenance, with potential accumulator activations found in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, right inferior frontal gyrus and bilateral insula. Potential maintenance activation spanned the frontal pole, temporal gyri, precuneus and the lateral occipital and frontal orbital cortices. Results of a quantitative reverse inference meta-analysis performed to differentiate the functions associated with the identified regions did not narrow down potential accumulation regions, but suggested that response-maintenance might rely on a verbalization of the response.

  20. Building an evidence base for community health: a review of the quality of program evaluations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jolley, Gwyn M; Lawless, Angela P; Baum, Fran E; Hurley, Catherine J; Fry, Denise

    2007-11-01

    An assessment of the quality of program evaluations conducted in South Australian community health services investigated how effective evaluation reporting is in producing an evidence base for community health. Evaluation reports were assessed by a team of reviewers. Practitioner workshops allowed an understanding of the uses of evaluation and what promotes or acts as a barrier to undertaking evaluations. Community health services do undertake a good deal of evaluation. However, reports were not generally explicit in dealing with the principles that underpin community health. Few engaged with program theory or rationale. Typically, reports were of short-term projects with uncertain futures so there may seem little point in considering issues of long-term health outcomes and transferability to other settings. The most important issue from our study is the lack of investment in applied health services research of the sort that will be required to produce the evidence for practice that policy makers desire. The current lack of evidence for community health reflects failure of the system to invest in research and evaluation that is adequately resourced and designed for complex community settings.

  1. Evidence of connections between cerebrospinal fluid and nasal lymphatic vessels in humans, non-human primates and other mammalian species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armstrong Dianna

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The parenchyma of the brain does not contain lymphatics. Consequently, it has been assumed that arachnoid projections into the cranial venous system are responsible for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF absorption. However, recent quantitative and qualitative evidence in sheep suggest that nasal lymphatics have the major role in CSF transport. Nonetheless, the applicability of this concept to other species, especially to humans has never been clarified. The purpose of this study was to compare the CSF and nasal lymph associations in human and non-human primates with those observed in other mammalian species. Methods Studies were performed in sheep, pigs, rabbits, rats, mice, monkeys and humans. Immediately after sacrifice (or up to 7 hours after death in humans, yellow Microfil was injected into the CSF compartment. The heads were cut in a sagittal plane. Results In the seven species examined, Microfil was observed primarily in the subarachnoid space around the olfactory bulbs and cribriform plate. The contrast agent followed the olfactory nerves and entered extensive lymphatic networks in the submucosa associated with the olfactory and respiratory epithelium. This is the first direct evidence of the association between the CSF and nasal lymph compartments in humans. Conclusions The fact that the pattern of Microfil distribution was similar in all species tested, suggested that CSF absorption into nasal lymphatics is a characteristic feature of all mammals including humans. It is tempting to speculate that some disorders of the CSF system (hydrocephalus and idiopathic intracranial hypertension for example may relate either directly or indirectly to a lymphatic CSF absorption deficit.

  2. Indoor Air Quality Assessment Based on Human Physiology - Part 1. New Criteria Proposal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. V. Jokl

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Human physiology research makes evident that the Weber-Fechner law applies not only to noise perception but also to the perception of other environmental components. Based on this fact, new decibel units for dor component representing indoor air quality in majority locations have been proposed: decicarbdiox dCd (for carbon dioxide CO2 and decitvoc dTv (for total volatile organic compound TVOC. Equations of these new units have been proved by application of a experimental relationships between odor intensity (representing odor perception by the human body and odor concentrations of CO2 and TVOC, b individually  measured CO2 and TVOC levels (concentrations – from these new decibel units can be calculated and their values compared with decibel units of noise measured in the same locations. The undoubted benefit of using the decibel scale is that it gives much better approximation to human perception of odor intensity compared to the CO2 and TVOC concentration scales.

  3. Weighing serological evidence of human exposure to animal influenza viruses - a literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sikkema, Reina Saapke; Freidl, Gudrun Stephanie; de Bruin, Erwin; Koopmans, Marion

    2016-11-03

    Assessing influenza A virus strains circulating in animals and their potential to cross the species barrier and cause human infections is important to improve human influenza surveillance and preparedness. We reviewed studies describing serological evidence of human exposure to animal influenza viruses. Comparing serological data is difficult due to a lack of standardisation in study designs and in laboratory methods used in published reports. Therefore, we designed a scoring system to assess and weigh specificity of obtained serology results in the selected articles. Many studies report reliable evidence of antibodies to swine influenza viruses among persons occupationally exposed to pigs. Most avian influenza studies target H5, H7 and H9 subtypes and most serological evidence of human exposure to avian influenza viruses is reported for these subtypes. Avian influenza studies receiving a low grade in this review often reported higher seroprevalences in humans compared with studies with a high grade. Official surveillance systems mainly focus on avian H5 and H7 viruses. Swine influenza viruses and avian subtypes other than H5 and H7 (emphasising H9) should be additionally included in official surveillance systems. Surveillance efforts should also be directed towards understudied geographical areas, such as Africa and South America. This article is copyright of The Authors, 2016.

  4. Weighing serological evidence of human exposure to animal influenza viruses − a literature review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sikkema, Reina Saapke; Freidl, Gudrun Stephanie; de Bruin, Erwin; Koopmans, Marion

    2016-01-01

    Assessing influenza A virus strains circulating in animals and their potential to cross the species barrier and cause human infections is important to improve human influenza surveillance and preparedness. We reviewed studies describing serological evidence of human exposure to animal influenza viruses. Comparing serological data is difficult due to a lack of standardisation in study designs and in laboratory methods used in published reports. Therefore, we designed a scoring system to assess and weigh specificity of obtained serology results in the selected articles. Many studies report reliable evidence of antibodies to swine influenza viruses among persons occupationally exposed to pigs. Most avian influenza studies target H5, H7 and H9 subtypes and most serological evidence of human exposure to avian influenza viruses is reported for these subtypes. Avian influenza studies receiving a low grade in this review often reported higher seroprevalences in humans compared with studies with a high grade. Official surveillance systems mainly focus on avian H5 and H7 viruses. Swine influenza viruses and avian subtypes other than H5 and H7 (emphasising H9) should be additionally included in official surveillance systems. Surveillance efforts should also be directed towards understudied geographical areas, such as Africa and South America. PMID:27874827

  5. Exposure to perfluorinated compounds and human semen quality in Arctic and European populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Toft, G; Jönsson, B A G; Lindh, C H

    2012-01-01

    Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have been suspected to adversely affect human reproductive health. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between PFC exposure and male semen quality.......Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have been suspected to adversely affect human reproductive health. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between PFC exposure and male semen quality....

  6. How awareness changes the relative weights of evidence during human decision-making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Lange, Floris P; van Gaal, Simon; Lamme, Victor A F; Dehaene, Stanislas

    2011-11-01

    Human decisions are based on accumulating evidence over time for different options. Here we ask a simple question: How is the accumulation of evidence affected by the level of awareness of the information? We examined the influence of awareness on decision-making using combined behavioral methods and magneto-encephalography (MEG). Participants were required to make decisions by accumulating evidence over a series of visually presented arrow stimuli whose visibility was modulated by masking. Behavioral results showed that participants could accumulate evidence under both high and low visibility. However, a top-down strategic modulation of the flow of incoming evidence was only present for stimuli with high visibility: once enough evidence had been accrued, participants strategically reduced the impact of new incoming stimuli. Also, decision-making speed and confidence were strongly modulated by the strength of the evidence for high-visible but not low-visible evidence, even though direct priming effects were identical for both types of stimuli. Neural recordings revealed that, while initial perceptual processing was independent of visibility, there was stronger top-down amplification for stimuli with high visibility than low visibility. Furthermore, neural markers of evidence accumulation over occipito-parietal cortex showed a strategic bias only for highly visible sensory information, speeding up processing and reducing neural computations related to the decision process. Our results indicate that the level of awareness of information changes decision-making: while accumulation of evidence already exists under low visibility conditions, high visibility allows evidence to be accumulated up to a higher level, leading to important strategical top-down changes in decision-making. Our results therefore suggest a potential role of awareness in deploying flexible strategies for biasing information acquisition in line with one's expectations and goals.

  7. How awareness changes the relative weights of evidence during human decision-making.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Floris P de Lange

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Human decisions are based on accumulating evidence over time for different options. Here we ask a simple question: How is the accumulation of evidence affected by the level of awareness of the information? We examined the influence of awareness on decision-making using combined behavioral methods and magneto-encephalography (MEG. Participants were required to make decisions by accumulating evidence over a series of visually presented arrow stimuli whose visibility was modulated by masking. Behavioral results showed that participants could accumulate evidence under both high and low visibility. However, a top-down strategic modulation of the flow of incoming evidence was only present for stimuli with high visibility: once enough evidence had been accrued, participants strategically reduced the impact of new incoming stimuli. Also, decision-making speed and confidence were strongly modulated by the strength of the evidence for high-visible but not low-visible evidence, even though direct priming effects were identical for both types of stimuli. Neural recordings revealed that, while initial perceptual processing was independent of visibility, there was stronger top-down amplification for stimuli with high visibility than low visibility. Furthermore, neural markers of evidence accumulation over occipito-parietal cortex showed a strategic bias only for highly visible sensory information, speeding up processing and reducing neural computations related to the decision process. Our results indicate that the level of awareness of information changes decision-making: while accumulation of evidence already exists under low visibility conditions, high visibility allows evidence to be accumulated up to a higher level, leading to important strategical top-down changes in decision-making. Our results therefore suggest a potential role of awareness in deploying flexible strategies for biasing information acquisition in line with one's expectations and goals.

  8. Evidence of infection with avian, human, and swine influenza viruses in pigs in Cairo, Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomaa, Mokhtar R; Kandeil, Ahmed; El-Shesheny, Rabeh; Shehata, Mahmoud M; McKenzie, Pamela P; Webby, Richard J; Ali, Mohamed A; Kayali, Ghazi

    2018-02-01

    The majority of the Egyptian swine population was culled in the aftermath of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, but small-scale growing remains. We sampled pigs from piggeries and an abattoir in Cairo. We found virological evidence of infection with avian H9N2 and H5N1 viruses as well as human pandemic H1N1 influenza virus. Serological evidence suggested previous exposure to avian H5N1 and H9N2, human pandemic H1N1, and swine avian-like and human-like viruses. This raises concern about potential reassortment of influenza viruses in pigs and highlights the need for better control and prevention of influenza virus infection in pigs.

  9. Human Capital Quality and Development: An Employers' and Employees' Comparative Insight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neagu Olimpia

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the paper is to compare the employers' and employees' insights on human capital quality defining and human capital development at organisational level, based on a survey carried out in the county of Satu Mare, Romania. Our findings show that as human capital buyers, employers understand by human capital quality professional background and skills, professional behaviour and efficiency and productivity for the organisation. As human capital sellers, for employees human capital quality means health and the ability to learn and to be suitable to the job requirements. Regarding the opportunities to develop the organisational human capital, the views of employers and employees are very different when the level of discussion is international (macro-level. Employees consider that the international environment has a greater impact on human capital development in their organisation as the employers.

  10. Physiological evidence for a human-induced landscape of fear in brown bears (Ursus arctos).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Ordiz, Andres; Evans, Alina L; Laske, Timothy G; Kindberg, Jonas; Fröbert, Ole; Swenson, Jon E; Arnemo, Jon M

    2015-12-01

    Human persecution is a major cause of mortality for large carnivores. Consequently, large carnivores avoid humans, but may use human-dominated landscapes by being nocturnal and elusive. Behavioral studies indicate that certain ecological systems are "landscapes of fear", driven by antipredator behavior. Because behavior and physiology are closely interrelated, physiological assessments may provide insight into the behavioral response of large carnivores to human activity. To elucidate changes in brown bears' (Ursus arctos) behavior associated with human activity, we evaluated stress as changes in heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) in 12 GPS-collared, free-ranging bears, 7 males and 5 females, 3-11 years old, using cardiac-monitoring devices. We applied generalized linear regression models with HR and HRV as response variables and chest activity, time of day, season, distance traveled, and distance to human settlements from GPS positions recorded every 30 min as potential explanatory variables. Bears exhibited lower HRV, an indication of stress, when they were close to human settlements and especially during the berry season, when humans were more often in the forest, picking berries and hunting. Our findings provide evidence of a human-induced landscape of fear in this hunted population of brown bears. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. LOAD-ENHANCED MOVEMENT QUALITY SCREENING AND TACTICAL ATHLETICISM: AN EXTENSION OF EVIDENCE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Stephen M; Schmitz, Randy J; Rhea, Christopher K; Ross, Scott E

    2017-06-01

    Military organizations use movement quality screening for prediction of injury risk and performance potential. Currently, evidence of an association between movement quality and performance is limited. Recent work has demonstrated that external loading strengthens the relationship between movement screens and performance outcomes. Such loading may therefore steer us toward robust implementations of movement quality screens while maintaining their appeal as cost effective, field-expedient tools. The purpose of the current study was to quantify the effect of external load-bearing on the relationship between clinically rated movement quality and tactical performance outcomes while addressing the noted limitations. Crossover Trial. Fifty young adults (25 male, 25 female, 22.98 ± 3.09 years, 171.95 ± 11.46 cm, 71.77 ± 14.03 kg) completed the Functional Movement Screen™ with (FMS™W) and without (FMS™C) a weight vest in randomized order. Following FMS™ testing, criterion measures of tactical performance were administered, including agility T-Tests, sprints, a 400-meter run, the Mobility for Battle (MOB) course, and a simulated casualty rescue. For each performance outcome, regression models were selected via group lasso with smoothed FMS™ item scores as candidate predictor variables. For all outcomes, proportion of variance accounted for was greater in FMS™W (R 2 = ;0.22 [T-Test], 0.29 [Sprint], 0.17 [400 meter], 0.29 [MOB], and 0.11 [casualty rescue]) than in FMS™C (R 2 = ;0.00 [T-Test], 0.11 [Sprint], 0.00 [400 meter], 0.19 [MOB], and 0.00 [casualty rescue]). From the FMS™W condition, beneficial performance effects (ptactical performance ability. Future designs should seek to identify mechanisms explaining this effect. 3.

  12. Health-related quality of life outcomes and level of evidence in pediatric neurosurgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Daniel; Vedantam, Aditya; Briceño, Valentina; Lam, Sandi K; Luerssen, Thomas G; Jea, Andrew

    2016-10-01

    OBJECTIVE The emphasis on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) outcomes is increasing, along with an emphasis on evidence-based medicine. However, there is a notable paucity of validated HRQOL instruments for the pediatric population. Furthermore, no standardization or consensus currently exists concerning which HRQOL outcome measures ought to be used in pediatric neurosurgery. The authors wished to identify HRQOL outcomes used in pediatric neurosurgery research over the past 10 years, their frequency, and usage trends. METHODS Three top pediatric neurosurgical journals were reviewed for the decade from 2005 to 2014 for clinical studies of pediatric neurosurgical procedures that report HRQOL outcomes. Similar studies in the peer-reviewed journal Pediatrics were also used as a benchmark. Publication year, level of evidence, and HRQOL outcomes were collected for each article. RESULTS A total of 31 HRQOL studies were published in the pediatric neurosurgical literature over the study period. By comparison, there were 55 such articles in Pediatrics. The number of publications using HRQOL instruments showed a significant positive trend over time for Pediatrics (B = 0.62, p = 0.02) but did not increase significantly over time for the 3 neurosurgical journals (B = 0.12, p = 0.5). The authors identified a total of 46 different HRQOL instruments used across all journals. Within the neurosurgical journals, the Hydrocephalus Outcome Questionnaire (HOQ) (24%) was the most frequently used, followed by the Health Utilities Index (HUI) (16%), the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) (12%), and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) (12%). Of the 55 articles identified in Pediatrics, 22 (40%) used a version of the PedsQL. No neurosurgical study reached above Level 4 on the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (OCEBM) system. However, multiple studies from Pediatrics achieved OCEBM Level 3, several were categorized as Level 2, and one reached Level 1

  13. Human Research Program Human Health Countermeasures Element: Evidence Report - Artificial Gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clement, Gilles

    2015-01-01

    The most serious risks of long-duration flight involve radiation, behavioral stresses, and physiological deconditioning. Artificial gravity (AG), by substituting for the missing gravitational cues and loading in space, has the potential to mitigate the last of these risks by preventing the adaptive responses from occurring. The rotation of a Mars-bound spacecraft or an embarked human centrifuge offers significant promise as an effective, efficient multi-system countermeasure against the physiological deconditioning associated with prolonged weightlessness. Virtually all of the identified risks associated with bone loss, muscle weakening, cardiovascular deconditioning, and sensorimotor disturbances might be alleviated by the appropriate application of AG. However, experience with AG in space has been limited and a human-rated centrifuge is currently not available on board the ISS. A complete R&D program aimed at determining the requirements for gravity level, gravity gradient, rotation rate, frequency, and duration of AG exposure is warranted before making a decision for implementing AG in a human spacecraft.

  14. Fostering evidence-based quality improvement for patient-centered medical homes: Initiating local quality councils to transform primary care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockdale, Susan E; Zuchowski, Jessica; Rubenstein, Lisa V; Sapir, Negar; Yano, Elizabeth M; Altman, Lisa; Fickel, Jacqueline J; McDougall, Skye; Dresselhaus, Timothy; Hamilton, Alison B

    Although the patient-centered medical home endorses quality improvement principles, methods for supporting ongoing, systematic primary care quality improvement have not been evaluated. We introduced primary care quality councils at six Veterans Health Administration sites as an organizational intervention with three key design elements: (a) fostering interdisciplinary quality improvement leadership, (b) establishing a structured quality improvement process, and (c) facilitating organizationally aligned frontline quality improvement innovation. Our evaluation objectives were to (a) assess design element implementation, (b) describe implementation barriers and facilitators, and (c) assess successful quality improvement project completion and spread. We analyzed administrative records and conducted interviews with 85 organizational leaders. We developed and applied criteria for assessing design element implementation using hybrid deductive/inductive analytic techniques. All quality councils implemented interdisciplinary leadership and a structured quality improvement process, and all but one completed at least one quality improvement project and a toolkit for spreading improvements. Quality councils were perceived as most effective when service line leaders had well-functioning interdisciplinary communication. Matching positions within leadership hierarchies with appropriate supportive roles facilitated frontline quality improvement efforts. Two key resources were (a) a dedicated internal facilitator with project management, data collection, and presentation skills and (b) support for preparing customized data reports for identifying and addressing practice level quality issues. Overall, quality councils successfully cultivated interdisciplinary, multilevel primary care quality improvement leadership with accountability mechanisms and generated frontline innovations suitable for spread. Practice level performance data and quality improvement project management support

  15. Perceived neighborhood quality, sleep quality, and health status: evidence from the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hale, Lauren; Hill, Terrence D; Friedman, Elliot; Nieto, F Javier; Galvao, Loren W; Engelman, Corinne D; Malecki, Kristen M C; Peppard, Paul E

    2013-02-01

    Why does living in a disadvantaged neighborhood predict poorer mental and physical health? Recent research focusing on the Southwestern United States suggests that disadvantaged neighborhoods favor poor health, in part, because they undermine sleep quality. Building on previous research, we test whether this process extends to the Midwestern United States. Specifically, we use cross-sectional data from the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW), a statewide probability sample of Wisconsin adults, to examine whether associations among perceived neighborhood quality (e.g., perceptions of crime, litter, and pleasantness in the neighborhood) and health status (overall self-rated health and depression) are mediated by overall sleep quality (measured as self-rated sleep quality and physician diagnosis of sleep apnea). We find that perceptions of low neighborhood quality are associated with poorer self-rated sleep quality, poorer self-rated health, and more depressive symptoms. We also observe that poorer self-rated sleep quality is associated with poorer self-rated health and more depressive symptoms. Our mediation analyses indicate that self-rated sleep quality partially mediates the link between perceived neighborhood quality and health status. Specifically, self-rated sleep quality explains approximately 20% of the association between neighborhood quality and self-rated health and nearly 19% of the association between neighborhood quality and depression. Taken together, these results confirm previous research and extend the generalizability of the indirect effect of perceived neighborhood context on health status through sleep quality. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Role of Trace Elements for Oxidative Status and Quality of Human Sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nenkova, Galina; Petrov, Lubomir; Alexandrova, Albena

    2017-08-04

    Oxidative stress affects sperm quality negatively. To maintain the pro/antioxidant balance, some metal ions (e.g. copper, zink, iron, selenium), which are co-factors of the antioxidant enzymes, are essential. However, iron and copper could act as prooxidants inducing oxidative damage of spermatozoa. To reveal a possible correlation between the concentrations of some metal ions (iron, copper, zinc, and selenium) in human seminal plasma, oxidative stress, assessed by malondialdehyde and total glutathione levels, and semen quality, assessed by the parameters count, motility, and morphology. Descriptive study. The semen analysis for volume, count, and motility was performed according to World Health Organization (2010) guidelines, using computer-assisted semen analysis. For the determination of spermatozoa morphology, a SpermBlue staining method was applied. Depending on their parameters, the sperm samples were categorized into normozoospermic, teratozoospermic, asthenoteratozoospermic, and oligoteratozoospermic. The seminal plasma content of iron, copper, zinc, and selenium was estimated by atomic absorption spectroscopy. The malondialdehyde and total glutathione levels were quantified spectrophotometrically. In the groups with poor sperm quality, the levels of Fe were higher, whereas those of Zn and Se were significantly lower than in the normozoospermic group. In all groups with poor sperm quality, increased levels of malondialdehyde and decreased glutathione levels were detected as evidence of oxidative stress occurrence. All these differences are most pronounced in the asthenoteratozoospermic group where values differ nearly twice as much compared to the normozoospermic group. The Fe concentration correlated positively with the malondialdehyde (r=0.666, p=0.018), whereas it showed a negative correlation with the level of total glutathione (r=-0.689, p=0.013). The total glutathione level correlated positively with the sperm motility (r=0.589, p=0.044). The elevated

  17. Role of Trace Elements for Oxidative Status and Quality of Human Sperm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Galina Nenkova

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Oxidative stress affects sperm quality negatively. To maintain the pro/antioxidant balance, some metal ions (e.g. copper, zink, iron, selenium, which are co-factors of the antioxidant enzymes, are essential. However, iron and copper could act as prooxidants inducing oxidative damage of spermatozoa. Aims: To reveal a possible correlation between the concentrations of some metal ions (iron, copper, zinc, and selenium in human seminal plasma, oxidative stress, assessed by malondialdehyde and total glutathione levels, and semen quality, assessed by the parameters count, motility, and morphology. Study Design: Descriptive study. Methods: The semen analysis for volume, count, and motility was performed according to World Health Organization (2010 guidelines, using computer-assisted semen analysis. For the determination of spermatozoa morphology, a SpermBlue staining method was applied. Depending on their parameters, the sperm samples were categorized into normozoospermic, teratozoospermic, asthenoteratozoospermic, and oligoteratozoospermic. The seminal plasma content of iron, copper, zinc, and selenium was estimated by atomic absorption spectroscopy. The malondialdehyde and total glutathione levels were quantified spectrophotometrically. Results: In the groups with poor sperm quality, the levels of Fe were higher, whereas those of Zn and Se were significantly lower than in the normozoospermic group. In all groups with poor sperm quality, increased levels of malondialdehyde and decreased glutathione levels were detected as evidence of oxidative stress occurrence. All these differences are most pronounced in the asthenoteratozoospermic group where values differ nearly twice as much compared to the normozoospermic group. The Fe concentration correlated positively with the malondialdehyde (r=0.666, p=0.018, whereas it showed a negative correlation with the level of total glutathione (r=-0.689, p=0.013. The total glutathione level correlated

  18. Average effect estimates remain similar as evidence evolves from single trials to high-quality bodies of evidence: a meta-epidemiologic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gartlehner, Gerald; Dobrescu, Andreea; Evans, Tammeka Swinson; Thaler, Kylie; Nussbaumer, Barbara; Sommer, Isolde; Lohr, Kathleen N

    2016-01-01

    The objective of our study was to use a diverse sample of medical interventions to assess empirically whether first trials rendered substantially different treatment effect estimates than reliable, high-quality bodies of evidence. We used a meta-epidemiologic study design using 100 randomly selected bodies of evidence from Cochrane reports that had been graded as high quality of evidence. To determine the concordance of effect estimates between first and subsequent trials, we applied both quantitative and qualitative approaches. For quantitative assessment, we used Lin's concordance correlation and calculated z-scores; to determine the magnitude of differences of treatment effects, we calculated standardized mean differences (SMDs) and ratios of relative risks. We determined qualitative concordance based on a two-tiered approach incorporating changes in statistical significance and magnitude of effect. First trials both overestimated and underestimated the true treatment effects in no discernible pattern. Nevertheless, depending on the definition of concordance, effect estimates of first trials were concordant with pooled subsequent studies in at least 33% but up to 50% of comparisons. The pooled magnitude of change as bodies of evidence advanced from single trials to high-quality bodies of evidence was 0.16 SMD [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.12, 0.21]. In 80% of comparisons, the difference in effect estimates was smaller than 0.5 SMDs. In first trials with large treatment effects (>0.5 SMD), however, estimates of effect substantially changed as new evidence accrued (mean change 0.68 SMD; 95% CI: 0.50, 0.86). Results of first trials often change, but the magnitude of change, on average, is small. Exceptions are first trials that present large treatment effects, which often dissipate as new evidence accrues. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Quality of life and myelomeningocele: an ethical and evidence-based analysis of the Groningen Protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barry, Sean

    2010-01-01

    In 2005, a group of pediatricians at the University Medical Center in Groningen, The Netherlands, published the Groningen Protocol (GP) for Euthanasia in Newborns. This protocol is a set of guidelines devised in 2001 to clarify and facilitate the assessment of clinically stable neonates deemed to be in unbearable suffering for whom the prognosis is felt to be hopeless. At the time of publication, the GP had been in use for 7 years, and 22 patients, all with diagnosed myelomeningocele (MMC), had met the selection criteria for euthanasia by lethal injection. MMC is the most common neurological congenital anomaly, affecting approximately 300,000 newborns yearly worldwide. Neurosurgeons have a unique perspective on this disease and therefore an important voice, given the significant role they have in caring for these patients at all stages of their lives. This paper reviews the principal ethical arguments presented to date in the literature regarding the GP. It also provides an evidence-based critique of the GP in light of quality-of-life studies addressing adults with MMC, and ascertains whether or not the GP meets the criteria for an evidence-based guideline. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  20. Improving Access to Quality Care in Family Planning: WHO's Four Cornerstones of Evidence-based Guidance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shang-chun WU; Yan ZOU; K Church; O Meirik

    2007-01-01

    The four cornerstones of guidance in technique service of family planning are established by WHO based on high quality evidences. They have been updated according to the appearing new evidences, and the consensuses were reached by the international experts in this field. The four documents include Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use, Decision-making Tool for Family Planning Clients and Providers and The Global Handbook for Family Planning Providers. The first two documents mainlyface to the policy-makers and programme managers and were treated as the important references for creating the local guideline. The other two documents were developed for the front-line health-care and family planning providers at different levels, which include plenty of essential technical information to help providers improve their ability in service delivery and counselling. China paid great attention to the introduction and application of WHO guidelines. As soon as the newer editions of these documents were available, the Chinese version would be followed. WHO guidelines have been primarily adapted with the newly issued national guideline, The Clinical Practical Skill Guidelines- Family Planning Part, which was established by China Medical Association. At the same time, the WHO guidelines have been introduced to some of the linicians and family planning providers at different levels. In the future, more special training courses will be introduced to the township level based on the needs of grassroot providers.

  1. An Organizational Model for Excellence in Healthcare Delivery: Evidence From Winners of the Baldrige Quality Award.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffith, John R

    Winners of the Baldrige National Quality Award in healthcare have documented top quartile clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction across a variety of American communities and a full spectrum of care. Their results also show high levels of satisfaction among physicians, nurses, and other workers, as well as effective financial performance. The managerial methods they use-collectively, the Baldrige model-are consistent with organizational theory literature and are found across all winners. The winners have sustained excellence after winning and expanded it by acquisition of other healthcare organizations.The model differs substantially from traditional management approaches in healthcare delivery. It is a comprehensive program that emphasizes a shared focus on excellence, systematically responsive management, evidence-based medicine, multidimensional measures and negotiated goals, improvement of work processes, thorough training, and extensive rewards. The model could be expanded on a much larger scale. Doing so successfully would substantially improve the quality and cost of healthcare, as well as the satisfaction and commitment of care providers and other staff. The opportunity deserves further study and trial by large healthcare delivery systems, insurers, and consulting companies.

  2. Evidence for preferential flux flow at the grain boundaries of superconducting RF-quality niobium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sung, Z.-H.; Lee, P. J.; Gurevich, A.; Larbalestier, D. C.

    2018-04-01

    The question of whether grain boundaries (GBs) in niobium can be responsible for lowered operating field (B RF) or quality factor (Q 0) in superconducting radio frequency (SRF) cavities is still controversial. Here, we show by direct DC transport across planar GBs isolated from a slice of very large-grain SRF-quality Nb that vortices can preferentially flow along the grain boundary when the external magnetic field lies in the GB plane. However, increasing the misalignment between the GB plane and the external magnetic field vector markedly reduces preferential flux flow along the GB. Importantly, we find that preferential GB flux flow is more prominent for a buffered chemical polished than for an electropolished bi-crystal. The voltage-current characteristics of GBs are similar to those seen in low angle grain boundaries of high temperature superconductors where there is clear evidence of suppression of the superconducting order parameter at the GB. While local weakening of superconductivity at GBs in cuprates and pnictides is intrinsic, deterioration of current transparency of GBs in Nb appears to be extrinsic, since the polishing method clearly affect the local GB degradation. The dependence of preferential GB flux flow on important cavity preparation and experimental variables, particularly the final chemical treatment and the angle between the magnetic field and the GB plane, suggests two more reasons why real cavity performance can be so variable.

  3. Quality of Life Theory II. Quality of Life as the Realization of Life Potential: A Biological Theory of Human Being

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soren Ventegodt

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available This review presents one of the eight theories of the quality of life (QOL used for making the SEQOL (self-evaluation of quality of life questionnaire or the quality of life as realizing life potential. This theory is strongly inspired by Maslow and the review furthermore serves as an example on how to fulfill the demand for an overall theory of life (or philosophy of life, which we believe is necessary for global and generic quality-of-life research.Whereas traditional medical science has often been inspired by mechanical models in its attempts to understand human beings, this theory takes an explicitly biological starting point. The purpose is to take a close view of life as a unique entity, which mechanical models are unable to do. This means that things considered to be beyond the individual's purely biological nature, notably the quality of life, meaning in life, and aspirations in life, are included under this wider, biological treatise. Our interpretation of the nature of all living matter is intended as an alternative to medical mechanism, which dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. New ideas such as the notions of the human being as nestled in an evolutionary and ecological context, the spontaneous tendency of self-organizing systems for realization and concord, and the central role of consciousness in interpreting, planning, and expressing human reality are unavoidable today in attempts to scientifically understand all living matter, including human life.

  4. Effects of interface pressure distribution on human sleep quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zongyong Chen

    Full Text Available High sleep quality promotes efficient performance in the following day. Sleep quality is influenced by environmental factors, such as temperature, light, sound and smell. Here, we investigated whether differences in the interface pressure distribution on healthy individuals during sleep influenced sleep quality. We defined four types of pressure models by differences in the area distribution and the subjective feelings that occurred when participants slept on the mattresses. One type of model was showed "over-concentrated" distribution of pressure; one was displayed "over-evenly" distributed interface pressure while the other two models were displayed intermediate distribution of pressure. A polysomnography analysis demonstrated an increase in duration and proportion of non-rapid-eye-movement sleep stages 3 and 4, as well as decreased number of micro-arousals, in subjects sleeping on models with pressure intermediately distributed compared to models with over-concentrated or over-even distribution of pressure. Similarly, higher scores of self-reported sleep quality were obtained in subjects sleeping on the two models with intermediate pressure distribution. Thus, pressure distribution, at least to some degree, influences sleep quality and self-reported feelings of sleep-related events, though the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. The regulation of pressure models imposed by external sleep environment may be a new direction for improving sleep quality. Only an appropriate interface pressure distribution is beneficial for improving sleep quality, over-concentrated or -even distribution of pressure do not help for good sleep.

  5. Cost of quality assurance in radiotherapy: human and material requirements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Caudrelier, V.; Garcia, R.; Chauvet, B.; Bourhis, J.

    2005-01-01

    In 2004, three new important laws were passed concerning radiotherapy services. The first two concerns the internal and external quality control of linear accelerators and the last concerns the role of the medical physicist, whose presence was made mandatory during the whole length of the treatments. These laws, which aim to improve the quality and the security of treatments, represent an increase in price that we have calculated, and which prevents them being implemented, as a joint study realised by the SFRO and the SFPM has shown. The cost of quality in radiotherapy requires investment in material and manpower and improvement in availability of the accelerators which entails a complete reorganization of the services. Cost analysis is included. The difficulties in implementing these laws have also been evaluated and this evaluation already enables us to propose certain elements enabling us to go forward to globally improve the quality and security in radiotherapy. (author)

  6. Does immunity regulate ejaculate quality and fertility in humans?

    OpenAIRE

    Philip A. Skau; Ivar Folstad

    2005-01-01

    The production of high-quality ejaculates may represent significant costs during male reproduction. Spermatozoa are perceived as nonself by the immune system and are exposed to immunological attacks in the male reproductive tract. Autoimmunity to spermatozoa results in the production of antisperm antibodies that reduce sperm quality and hence fertility. Thus, males are dependent on the testis being an immunoprivileged site to reduce immunological reactions against their own sperm, and immunop...

  7. Evidence from intrinsic activity that asymmetry of the human brain is controlled by multiple factors

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Hesheng; Stufflebeam, Steven M.; Sepulcre, Jorge; Hedden, Trey; Buckner, Randy L.

    2009-01-01

    Cerebral lateralization is a fundamental property of the human brain and a marker of successful development. Here we provide evidence that multiple mechanisms control asymmetry for distinct brain systems. Using intrinsic activity to measure asymmetry in 300 adults, we mapped the most strongly lateralized brain regions. Both men and women showed strong asymmetries with a significant, but small, group difference. Factor analysis on the asymmetric regions revealed 4 separate factors that each ac...

  8. Dietary Fiber and the Human Gut Microbiota: Application of Evidence Mapping Methodology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caleigh M. Sawicki

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Interest is rapidly growing around the role of the human gut microbiota in facilitating beneficial health effects associated with consumption of dietary fiber. An evidence map of current research activity in this area was created using a newly developed database of dietary fiber intervention studies in humans to identify studies with the following broad outcomes: (1 modulation of colonic microflora; and/or (2 colonic fermentation/short-chain fatty acid concentration. Study design characteristics, fiber exposures, and outcome categories were summarized. A sub-analysis described oligosaccharides and bacterial composition in greater detail. One hundred eighty-eight relevant studies were identified. The fiber categories represented by the most studies were oligosaccharides (20%, resistant starch (16%, and chemically synthesized fibers (15%. Short-chain fatty acid concentration (47% and bacterial composition (88% were the most frequently studied outcomes. Whole-diet interventions, measures of bacterial activity, and studies in metabolically at-risk subjects were identified as potential gaps in the evidence. This evidence map efficiently captured the variability in characteristics of expanding research on dietary fiber, gut microbiota, and physiological health benefits, and identified areas that may benefit from further research. We hope that this evidence map will provide a resource for researchers to direct new intervention studies and meta-analyses.

  9. Causal Evidence from Humans for the Role of Mediodorsal Nucleus of the Thalamus in Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peräkylä, Jari; Sun, Lihua; Lehtimäki, Kai; Peltola, Jukka; Öhman, Juha; Möttönen, Timo; Ogawa, Keith H; Hartikainen, Kaisa M

    2017-12-01

    The mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus (MD), with its extensive connections to the lateral pFC, has been implicated in human working memory and executive functions. However, this understanding is based solely on indirect evidence from human lesion and imaging studies and animal studies. Direct, causal evidence from humans is missing. To obtain direct evidence for MD's role in humans, we studied patients treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS) for refractory epilepsy. This treatment is thought to prevent the generalization of a seizure by disrupting the functioning of the patient's anterior nuclei of the thalamus (ANT) with high-frequency electric stimulation. This structure is located superior and anterior to MD, and when the DBS lead is implanted in ANT, tip contacts of the lead typically penetrate through ANT into the adjoining MD. To study the role of MD in human executive functions and working memory, we periodically disrupted and recovered MD's function with high-frequency electric stimulation using DBS contacts reaching MD while participants performed a cognitive task engaging several aspects of executive functions. We hypothesized that the efficacy of executive functions, specifically working memory, is impaired when the functioning of MD is perturbed by high-frequency stimulation. Eight participants treated with ANT-DBS for refractory epilepsy performed a computer-based test of executive functions while DBS was repeatedly switched ON and OFF at MD and at the control location (ANT). In comparison to stimulation of the control location, when MD was stimulated, participants committed 2.26 times more errors in general (total errors; OR = 2.26, 95% CI [1.69, 3.01]) and 2.86 times more working memory-related errors specifically (incorrect button presses; OR = 2.88, CI [1.95, 4.24]). Similarly, participants committed 1.81 more errors in general ( OR = 1.81, CI [1.45, 2.24]) and 2.08 times more working memory-related errors ( OR = 2.08, CI [1.57, 2.75]) in

  10. Bridging existing governance gaps: five evidence-based actions that boards can take to pursue high quality care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leggat, Sandra G; Balding, Cathy

    2017-11-13

    Objective To explore the impact of the organisational quality systems on quality of care in Victorian health services. Methods During 2015 a total of 55 focus groups were conducted with more than 350 managers, clinical staff and board members in eight Victorian health services to explore the effectiveness of health service quality systems. A review of the quality and safety goals and strategies outlined in the strategic and operating plans of the participating health services was also undertaken. Results This paper focuses on the data related to the leadership role of health service boards in ensuring safe, high-quality care. The findings suggest that health service boards are not fully meeting their governance accountability to ensure consistently high-quality care. The data uncovered major clinical governance gaps between stated board and executive aspirations for quality and safety and the implementation of these expectations at point of care. These gaps were further compounded by quality system confusion, over-reliance on compliance, and inadequate staff engagement. Conclusion Based on the existing evidence we propose five specific actions boards can take to close the gaps, thereby supporting improved care for all consumers. What is known about this topic? Effective governance is essential for high-quality healthcare delivery. Boards are required to play an active role in their organisation's pursuit of high quality care. What does this paper add? Recent government reports suggest that Australian health service boards are not fully meeting their governance requirements for high quality, safe care delivery, and our research pinpoints key governance gaps. What are the implications for practitioners? Based on our research findings we outline five evidence-based actions for boards to improve their governance of quality care delivery. These actions focus on an organisational strategy for high-quality care, with the chief executive officer held accountable for

  11. Managing Air Quality - Human Health, Environmental and Economic Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Human health and environmental assessments characterize health and environmental risks associated with exposure to pollution. Economic assessments evaluate the cost and economic impact of a policy or regulation & can estimate economic benefits.

  12. Lack of evidence for metabolism of p-phenylenediamine by human hepatic cytochrome P450 enzymes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stanley, Lesley A.; Skare, Julie A.; Doyle, Edward; Powrie, Robert; D'Angelo, Diane; Elcombe, Clifford R.

    2005-01-01

    p-Phenylenediamine (PPD) is a widely used ingredient in permanent hair dyes; however, little has been published on its metabolism, especially with respect to hepatic cytochrome P450 (CYP)-mediated oxidation. This is regarded as a key step in the activation of carcinogenic arylamines that ultimately leads to the development of bladder cancer. Most epidemiology studies show no significant association between personal use of hair dyes and bladder cancer, but one recent study reported an increased risk of bladder cancer in women who were frequent users of permanent hair dyes. The aim of the present study was to use intact human hepatocytes, human liver microsomes, and heterologously expressed human CYPs to determine whether PPD is metabolised by hepatic CYPs to form an N-hydroxylamine. p-Phenylenediamine was N-acetylated by human hepatocytes to form N-acetylated metabolites, but there was no evidence for the formation of mono-oxygenated metabolites or for enzyme-mediated covalent binding of 14 C-PPD to microsomal protein. In contrast, 2-aminofluorene underwent CYP-mediated metabolism to ≥4 different hydroxylated metabolites. The lack of evidence for hepatic CYP-mediated metabolism of PPD is inconsistent with the hypothesis that this compound plays a causal role in the development of bladder cancer via a mode of action involving hepatic metabolism to an N-hydroxyarylamine

  13. Impact of policy support on uptake of evidence-based continuous quality improvement activities and the quality of care for Indigenous Australians: a comparative case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailie, Ross; Matthews, Veronica; Larkins, Sarah; Thompson, Sandra; Burgess, Paul; Weeramanthri, Tarun; Bailie, Jodie; Cunningham, Frances; Kwedza, Ru; Clark, Louise

    2017-10-05

    To examine the impact of state/territory policy support on (1) uptake of evidence-based continuous quality improvement (CQI) activities and (2) quality of care for Indigenous Australians. Mixed-method comparative case study methodology, drawing on quality-of-care audit data, documentary evidence of policies and strategies and the experience and insights of stakeholders involved in relevant CQI programmes. We use multilevel linear regression to analyse jurisdictional differences in quality of care. Indigenous primary healthcare services across five states/territories of Australia. 175 Indigenous primary healthcare services. A range of national and state/territory policy and infrastructure initiatives to support CQI, including support for applied research. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: (i) Trends in the consistent uptake of evidence-based CQI tools available through a research-based CQI initiative (the Audit and Best Practice in Chronic Disease programme) and (ii) quality of care (as reflected in adherence to best practice guidelines). Progressive uptake of evidence-based CQI activities and steady improvements or maintenance of high-quality care occurred where there was long-term policy and infrastructure support for CQI. Where support was provided but not sustained there was a rapid rise and subsequent fall in relevant CQI activities. Health authorities should ensure consistent and sustained policy and infrastructure support for CQI to enable wide-scale and ongoing improvement in quality of care and, subsequently, health outcomes. It is not sufficient for improvement initiatives to rely on local service managers and clinicians, as their efforts are strongly mediated by higher system-level influences. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  14. Evidence for presumable feline origin of sporadic G6P[9] rotaviruses in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietsch, Corinna; Liebert, Uwe G

    2018-05-31

    Species A rotaviruses are highly diverse and impose a substantial burden to human and animal health. Interspecies transmission between livestock, domestic animals and humans is commonly observed, but spread of animal-like rotaviruses within the human population is limited. During the continued monitoring of rotavirus strains in Germany, an unusual G6P[9] rotavirus strain was detected in feces of a child. The complete rotavirus coding sequences revealed a unique G6-P[9]-I2-R2-C2-M2-A3-N2-T3-E2-H3 genotype constellation. The virus was phylogenetically related to feline G3P[9] strains and other human G6P[9] rotaviruses of presumable zoonotic origin. Analysis of primer binding sites of G6 specific genotyping revealed further evidence of a G6P[9] feline reservoir. Moreover, substantial deficits of conventional semi-nested PCR genotyping approaches in detecting contemporary G6P[9] were revealed. Rotavirus strain GER29-14 most likely resulted from a direct or recent interspecies transmission from a cat to human. Further studies could assess nucleic acid sequences and genotype constellations of feline rotavirus to confirm the likely feline origin of sporadic human G6P[9] strains. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Urban Surface Water Quality, Flood Water Quality and Human Health Impacts in Chinese Cities. What Do We Know?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuhan Rui

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Climate change and urbanization have led to an increase in the frequency of extreme water related events such as flooding, which has negative impacts on the environment, economy and human health. With respect to the latter, our understanding of the interrelationship between flooding, urban surface water and human health is still very limited. More in-depth research in this area is needed to further strengthen the process of planning and implementation of responses to mitigate the negative health impacts of flooding in urban areas. The objective of this paper is to assess the state of the research on the interrelationship between surface water quality, flood water quality and human health in urban areas based on the published literature. These insights will be instrumental in identifying and prioritizing future research needs in this area. In this study, research publications in the domain of urban flooding, surface water quality and human health were collated using keyword searches. A detailed assessment of these publications substantiated the limited number of publications focusing on the link between flooding and human health. There was also an uneven geographical distribution of the study areas, as most of the studies focused on developed countries. A few studies have focused on developing countries, although the severity of water quality issues is higher in these countries. The study also revealed a disparity of research in this field across regions in China as most of the studies focused on the populous south-eastern region of China. The lack of studies in some regions has been attributed to the absence of flood water quality monitoring systems which allow the collection of real-time water quality monitoring data during flooding in urban areas. The widespread implementation of cost effective real-time water quality monitoring systems which are based on the latest remote or mobile phone based data acquisition techniques is recommended

  16. No evidence of murine leukemia virus-related viruses in live attenuated human vaccines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William M Switzer

    Full Text Available The association of xenotropic murine leukemia virus (MLV-related virus (XMRV in prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome reported in previous studies remains controversial as these results have been questioned by recent data. Nonetheless, concerns have been raised regarding contamination of human vaccines as a possible source of introduction of XMRV and MLV into human populations. To address this possibility, we tested eight live attenuated human vaccines using generic PCR for XMRV and MLV sequences. Viral metagenomics using deep sequencing was also done to identify the possibility of other adventitious agents.All eight live attenuated vaccines, including Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV (SA-14-14-2, varicella (Varivax, measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR-II, measles (Attenuvax, rubella (Meruvax-II, rotavirus (Rotateq and Rotarix, and yellow fever virus were negative for XMRV and highly related MLV sequences. However, residual hamster DNA, but not RNA, containing novel endogenous gammaretrovirus sequences was detected in the JEV vaccine using PCR. Metagenomics analysis did not detect any adventitious viral sequences of public health concern. Intracisternal A particle sequences closest to those present in Syrian hamsters and not mice were also detected in the JEV SA-14-14-2 vaccine. Combined, these results are consistent with the production of the JEV vaccine in Syrian hamster cells.We found no evidence of XMRV and MLV in eight live attenuated human vaccines further supporting the safety of these vaccines. Our findings suggest that vaccines are an unlikely source of XMRV and MLV exposure in humans and are consistent with the mounting evidence on the absence of these viruses in humans.

  17. Quality, language, subdiscipline and promotion were associated with article accesses on Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamato, Tiê P; Arora, Mohit; Stevens, Matthew L; Elkins, Mark R; Moseley, Anne M

    2018-03-01

    To quantify the relationship between the number of times articles are accessed on the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) and the article characteristics. A secondary aim was to examine the relationship between accesses and the number of citations of articles. The study was conducted to derive prediction models for the number of accesses of articles indexed on PEDro from factors that may influence an article's accesses. All articles available on PEDro from August 2014 to January 2015 were included. We extracted variables relating to the algorithm used to present PEDro search results (research design, year of publication, PEDro score, source of systematic review (Cochrane or non-Cochrane)) plus language, subdiscipline of physiotherapy, and whether articles were promoted to PEDro users. Three predictive models were examined using multiple regression analysis. Citation and journal impact factor were downloaded. There were 29,313 articles indexed in this period. We identified seven factors that predicted the number of accesses. More accesses were noted for factors related to the algorithm used to present PEDro search results (synthesis research (i.e., guidelines and reviews), recent articles, Cochrane reviews, and higher PEDro score) plus publication in English and being promoted to PEDro users. The musculoskeletal, neurology, orthopaedics, sports, and paediatrics subdisciplines were associated with more accesses. We also found that there was no association between number of accesses and citations. The number of times an article is accessed on PEDro is partly predicted by how condensed and high quality the evidence it contains is. Copyright © 2017 Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. The human milk project: a quality improvement initiative to increase human milk consumption in very low birth weight infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Laura; Auer, Christine; Smith, Carrie; Schoettker, Pamela J; Pruett, Raymond; Shah, Nilesh Y; Kotagal, Uma R

    2012-08-01

    Human milk has well-established health benefits for preterm infants. We conducted a multidisciplinary quality improvement effort aimed at providing at least 500 mL of human milk/kg in the first 14 days of life to very low birth weight (VLBW) (milk program, and twice-daily physician evaluation of infants' ability to tolerate feedings. The number of infants receiving at least 500 mL of human milk/kg in their first 14 days of life increased from 50% to 80% within 11 months of implementation, and this increase has been sustained for 4 years. Infants who met the feeding goal because they received donor milk increased each year. Since September 2007, infants have received, on average, 1,111 mL of human milk/kg. Approximately 4% of infants did not receive any human milk. Respiratory instability was the most frequent physiological reason given by clinicians for not initiating or advancing feedings in the first 14 days of life. Our quality improvement initiative resulted in a higher consumption of human milk in VLBW infants in the first 14 days of life. Other clinicians can use these described quality improvement methods and techniques to improve their VLBW babies' consumption of human milk.

  19. Factors Determining Quality of Care in Family Planning Services in Africa: A Systematic Review of Mixed Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tessema, Gizachew Assefa; Streak Gomersall, Judith; Mahmood, Mohammad Afzal; Laurence, Caroline O

    2016-01-01

    Improving use of family planning services is key to improving maternal health in Africa, and provision of quality of care in family planning services is critical to support higher levels of contraceptive uptake. The objective of this systematic review was to synthesize the available evidence on factors determining the quality of care in family planning services in Africa. Quantitative and qualitative studies undertaken in Africa, published in English, in grey and commercial literature, between 1990 and 2015 were considered. Methodological quality of included studies was assessed using standardized tools. Findings from the quantitative studies were summarized using narrative and tables. Client satisfaction was used to assess the quality of care in family planning services in the quantitative component of the review. Meta-aggregation was used to synthesize the qualitative study findings. From 4334 records, 11 studies (eight quantitative, three qualitative) met the review eligibility criteria. The review found that quality of care was influenced by client, provider and facility factors, and structural and process aspects of the facilities. Client's waiting time, provider competency, provision/prescription of injectable methods, maintaining privacy and confidentiality were the most commonly identified process factors. The quality of stock inventory was the most commonly identified structural factor. The quality of care was also positively associated with privately-owned facilities. The qualitative synthesis revealed additional factors including access related factors such as 'pre-requisites to be fulfilled by the clients and cost of services, provider workload, and providers' behaviour. There is limited evidence on factors determining quality of care in family planning services in Africa that shows quality of care is influenced by multiple factors. The evidence suggests that lowering access barriers and avoiding unnecessary pre-requisites for taking contraceptive

  20. Factors Determining Quality of Care in Family Planning Services in Africa: A Systematic Review of Mixed Evidence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gizachew Assefa Tessema

    Full Text Available Improving use of family planning services is key to improving maternal health in Africa, and provision of quality of care in family planning services is critical to support higher levels of contraceptive uptake. The objective of this systematic review was to synthesize the available evidence on factors determining the quality of care in family planning services in Africa.Quantitative and qualitative studies undertaken in Africa, published in English, in grey and commercial literature, between 1990 and 2015 were considered. Methodological quality of included studies was assessed using standardized tools. Findings from the quantitative studies were summarized using narrative and tables. Client satisfaction was used to assess the quality of care in family planning services in the quantitative component of the review. Meta-aggregation was used to synthesize the qualitative study findings.From 4334 records, 11 studies (eight quantitative, three qualitative met the review eligibility criteria. The review found that quality of care was influenced by client, provider and facility factors, and structural and process aspects of the facilities. Client's waiting time, provider competency, provision/prescription of injectable methods, maintaining privacy and confidentiality were the most commonly identified process factors. The quality of stock inventory was the most commonly identified structural factor. The quality of care was also positively associated with privately-owned facilities. The qualitative synthesis revealed additional factors including access related factors such as 'pre-requisites to be fulfilled by the clients and cost of services, provider workload, and providers' behaviour.There is limited evidence on factors determining quality of care in family planning services in Africa that shows quality of care is influenced by multiple factors. The evidence suggests that lowering access barriers and avoiding unnecessary pre-requisites for taking

  1. Practice Facilitator Strategies for Addressing Electronic Health Record Data Challenges for Quality Improvement: EvidenceNOW.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemler, Jennifer R; Hall, Jennifer D; Cholan, Raja A; Crabtree, Benjamin F; Damschroder, Laura J; Solberg, Leif I; Ono, Sarah S; Cohen, Deborah J

    2018-01-01

    Practice facilitators ("facilitators") can play an important role in supporting primary care practices in performing quality improvement (QI), but they need complete and accurate clinical performance data from practices' electronic health records (EHR) to help them set improvement priorities, guide clinical change, and monitor progress. Here, we describe the strategies facilitators use to help practices perform QI when complete or accurate performance data are not available. Seven regional cooperatives enrolled approximately 1500 small-to-medium-sized primary care practices and 136 facilitators in EvidenceNOW, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's initiative to improve cardiovascular preventive services. The national evaluation team analyzed qualitative data from online diaries, site visit field notes, and interviews to discover how facilitators worked with practices on EHR data challenges to obtain and use data for QI. We found facilitators faced practice-level EHR data challenges, such as a lack of clinical performance data, partial or incomplete clinical performance data, and inaccurate clinical performance data. We found that facilitators responded to these challenges, respectively, by using other data sources or tools to fill in for missing data, approximating performance reports and generating patient lists, and teaching practices how to document care and confirm performance measures. In addition, facilitators helped practices communicate with EHR vendors or health systems in requesting data they needed. Overall, facilitators tailored strategies to fit the individual practice and helped build data skills and trust. Facilitators can use a range of strategies to help practices perform data-driven QI when performance data are inaccurate, incomplete, or missing. Support is necessary to help practices, particularly those with EHR data challenges, build their capacity for conducting data-driven QI that is required of them for participating in practice

  2. Evidence that masking of synapsis imperfections counterbalances quality control to promote efficient meiosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanna Mlynarczyk-Evans

    Full Text Available Reduction in ploidy to generate haploid gametes during sexual reproduction is accomplished by the specialized cell division program of meiosis. Pairing between homologous chromosomes and assembly of the synaptonemal complex at their interface (synapsis represent intermediate steps in the meiotic program that are essential to form crossover recombination-based linkages between homologs, which in turn enable segregation of the homologs to opposite poles at the meiosis I division. Here, we challenge the mechanisms of pairing and synapsis during C. elegans meiosis by disrupting the normal 1:1 correspondence between homologs through karyotype manipulation. Using a combination of cytological tools, including S-phase labeling to specifically identify X chromosome territories in highly synchronous cohorts of nuclei and 3D rendering to visualize meiotic chromosome structures and organization, our analysis of trisomic (triplo-X and polyploid meiosis provides insight into the principles governing pairing and synapsis and how the meiotic program is "wired" to maximize successful sexual reproduction. We show that chromosomes sort into homologous groups regardless of chromosome number, then preferentially achieve pairwise synapsis during a period of active chromosome mobilization. Further, comparisons of synapsis configurations in triplo-X germ cells that are proficient or defective for initiating recombination suggest a role for recombination in restricting chromosomal interactions to a pairwise state. Increased numbers of homologs prolong markers of the chromosome mobilization phase and/or boost germline apoptosis, consistent with triggering quality control mechanisms that promote resolution of synapsis problems and/or cull meiocytes containing synapsis defects. However, we also uncover evidence for the existence of mechanisms that "mask" defects, thus allowing resumption of prophase progression and survival of germ cells despite some asynapsis. We propose

  3. The information infrastructure that supports evidence-based veterinary medicine: a comparison with human medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toews, Lorraine

    2011-01-01

    In human medicine, the information infrastructure that supports the knowledge translation processes of exchange, synthesis, dissemination, and application of the best clinical intervention research has developed significantly in the past 15 years, facilitating the uptake of research evidence by clinicians as well as the practice of evidence-based medicine. Seven of the key elements of this improved information infrastructure are clinical trial registries, research reporting standards, systematic reviews, organizations that support the production of systematic reviews, the indexing of clinical intervention research in MEDLINE, clinical search filters for MEDLINE, and point-of-care decision support information resources. The objective of this paper is to describe why these elements are important for evidence-based medicine, the key developments and issues related to these seven information infrastructure elements in human medicine, how these 7 elements compare with the corresponding infrastructure elements in veterinary medicine, and how all of these factors affect the translation of clinical intervention research into clinical practice. A focused search of the Ovid MEDLINE database was conducted for English language journal literature published between 2000 and 2010. Two bibliographies were consulted and selected national and international Web sites were searched using Google. The literature reviewed indicates that the information infrastructure supporting evidence-based veterinary medicine practice in all of the 7 elements reviewed is significantly underdeveloped in relation to the corresponding information infrastructure in human medicine. This lack of development creates barriers to the timely translation of veterinary medicine research into clinical practice and also to the conduct of both primary clinical intervention research and synthesis research.

  4. Total Quality Management: A Selective Commentary on Its Human Dimensions, with Special Reference to Its Downside.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, Patrick E.

    1997-01-01

    Although total quality management has potential benefits, its human costs are often substantial, for example, diminished morale of middle management, trivial employee participation, and coercive teamwork. Productivity gains thus come at a price. (SK)

  5. Plasticity resembling spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity: the evidence in human cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Müller-Dahlhaus

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP has been studied extensively in a variety of animal models during the past decade but whether it can be studied at the systems level of the human cortex has been a matter of debate. Only recently newly developed non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS have made it possible to induce and assess timing dependent plasticity in conscious human subjects. This review will present a critical synopsis of these experiments, which suggest that several of the principal characteristics and molecular mechanisms of TMS-induced plasticity correspond to those of STDP as studied at a cellular level. TMS combined with a second phasic stimulation modality can induce bidirectional long-lasting changes in the excitability of the stimulated cortex, whose polarity depends on the order of the associated stimulus-evoked events within a critical time window of tens of milliseconds. Pharmacological evidence suggests an NMDA receptor mediated form of synaptic plasticity. Studies in human motor cortex demonstrated that motor learning significantly modulates TMS-induced timing dependent plasticity, and, conversely, may be modulated bidirectionally by prior TMS-induced plasticity, providing circumstantial evidence that long-term potentiation-like mechanisms may be involved in motor learning. In summary, convergent evidence is being accumulated for the contention that it is now possible to induce STDP-like changes in the intact human central nervous system by means of TMS to study and interfere with synaptic plasticity in neural circuits in the context of behaviour such as learning and memory.

  6. Differences in the quality of school-based assessment: Evidence in Grade 9 mathematics achievement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Surette van Staden

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available This non-experimental, exploratory and descriptive study, using a qualitative case study approach, aims to investigate whether there is evidence of variance in the quality of school-based assessment (SBA in Grade 9 mathematics. Participants were purposefully selected from five schools in a district in the Northern Cape in South Africa. After questionnaires were completed, individual face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants from the participating schools. Documents were collected and analysed to corroborate or contradict data from the questionnaires and interviews. Lack of adherence to policy, variation in classroom practice and inconsistent monitoring and moderation practices were identified as themes of possible sources of variation in SBA. An analysis of the interviews and document analysis revealed that most of the Heads of Department and principals lacked in-depth knowledge and understanding of their roles and functions in making SBA reliable, credible and valid. This was not only due to a lack of capacity to perform such functions, but was also due to a lack of effective induction and training by the district and provincial offices. Findings from the current study point to the necessary role that a periodic evaluation of SBA may play to ensure its effectiveness, credibility and reliability as part of successful assessment practices in a mostly developing context.

  7. Protective effects of tea, red wine and cocoa in diabetes. Evidences from human studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Maria Angeles; Goya, Luis; Ramos, Sonia

    2017-11-01

    Prevention of diabetes through the diet has recently received an increasing interest, and polyphenolic compounds, such as flavanols, have become important potential chemopreventive natural agents due to their proved benefits on health, with low toxicity and cost. Tea, red wine and cocoa are good sources of flavanols and these highly consumed foods might contribute to prevent diabetes. In this regard, there is increasing evidence for a protective effect of tea, red wine and cocoa consumption against this disorder. This review summarizes the available epidemiological and interventional human studies providing evidence for and against this effect. Overall observational data suggest a benefit, but results are still equivocal and likely confounded by lifestyle and background dietary factors. The weight of data indicate favourable effects on diabetes risk factors for tea, red wine and cocoa intake, and a number of plausible mechanisms have been elucidated in human studies. However, despite the growing evidence it remains uncertain whether tea, red wine and cocoa consumption should be recommended to the general population or to patients as a strategy to reduce the risk of diabetes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. The Patient Experience of Hemophilia and Human Immunodeficiency Virus: A Systematic Review of Qualitative Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omura, Kayoko; Tsuchiya, Sayaka

    by plasmapheresis from paid donors, carries a much higher risk of transmission of hepatitis B or C or HIV. Acquired autoimmune disease or AIDS, which is caused by HIV was once an incurable and fatal disease. However the anti-retro virus therapy, from the commencement of protease inhibitor based therapy in 1996, has increased the life expectancy of HIV patients. Nevertheless, adherence to highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) medication by patients with hemophilia (66%-84%) is lower than that of patients with only HIV (98%) in Japan.Although the causes of low adherence of hemophilia therapy or HAART medication are considered to be associated with patient values, qualitative evidence of previous studies have not been synthesized We searched previous reviews and review protocols in the Cochrane Library, Joanna Briggs Institute Library (JBI), MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, JBI COnNECT+ protocols. Regarding hemophilia or HIV, there were 11 systematic reviews, 7 protocols, and 128 other reviews. We excluded the reviews that were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of treatment effects or therapies, and quantitative research of quality of life (QOL). We also excluded children as they are supervised by their parents to maintain high adherence. After the title and abstract review, 15 reviews remained and upon reading the full articles, one protocol and nine narrative reviews were identified.The systematic review protocol of Shaibu et al. investigated HIV positive adult patients on HAART focusing on the experience of HIV positive patients with patients' lifestyles and beliefs about HIV/AIDS and HAART effectiveness, and the role these play in adherence. However, the review differs from this one in terms of classification of HIV positive adults by the route of infection such as iatrogenic and sexually transmitted infection. Taking the deferent rate of adherence of HAART in Japan into consideration, we will focus on the experience of hemophilic patients with HIV.There were

  9. Evidence for a synchronization of hormonal states between humans and dogs during competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buttner, Alicia Phillips; Thompson, Breanna; Strasser, Rosemary; Santo, Jonathan

    2015-08-01

    Social interactions with humans have been shown to influence hormonal processes in dogs, but it is unclear how the hormonal states of humans factor into this relationship. In this study, we explored the associations between changes in the cortisol levels of dogs with humans' hormonal changes, behavior, and perceptions of their performance at an agility competition. A total of 58 dogs and their handlers (44 women, 14 men) provided saliva samples before and after competing. Dogs' saliva samples were later assayed for cortisol and humans' samples for cortisol and testosterone. Following the competition, handler-dog interactions were observed for affiliative and punitive behavior towards their dogs, and handlers completed questionnaires that included personal ratings of their performance. Structural equation modeling revealed that elevations in handlers' cortisol levels were associated with increases in their dogs' cortisol levels. Handlers' affiliative and punitive behaviors towards their dogs following competition were associated with their ratings of their performance, but these variables were unrelated to changes in their own cortisol levels and their dogs', implying their behavior did not mediate the relationship. These findings suggest that changes in the hormonal states were reflected between humans and their dogs, and this relationship was not due to handlers' perceptions of their performance or the behaviors we observed during post-competition social interactions. This study is one of the first to provide evidence for a synchronization of hormonal changes between species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. The quality of Albanian natural waters and the human impact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullaj, Alqiviadh; Hasko, Agim; Miho, Aleko; Schanz, Ferdinand; Brandl, Helmut; Bachofen, Reinhard

    2005-01-01

    Albania possesses a wealth of aquatic ecosystems, many of enormous natural and biological value, such as the Lakes Ohrid, Prespa and Shkodra, glacial lakes, river valleys, and coastal lagoons. Although many habitats are highly polluted by inorganic and organic wastes, detailed knowledge on the water quality is still lacking. For the first time, an environmental assessment of the water quality is presented and the main polluting sources identified. As a consequence, a systematic control and the establishment of routine monitoring of surface and groundwater is proposed, which elucidates the present environmental state and helps to develop new strategies of waste and wastewater management. It would help allow Albania to reach an international standard in environmental protection, as a part of UNECE Convention, the Mediterranean Action Plan, the MAP/UNEP Medpol Program and the Basel Convention.

  11. Using Evidence Credibility Decay Model for dependence assessment in human reliability analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guo, Xingfeng; Zhou, Yanhui; Qian, Jin; Deng, Yong

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • A new computational model is proposed for dependence assessment in HRA. • We combined three factors of “CT”, “TR” and “SP” within Dempster–Shafer theory. • The BBA of “SP” is reconstructed by discounting rate based on the ECDM. • Simulation experiments are illustrated to show the efficiency of the proposed method. - Abstract: Dependence assessment among human errors plays an important role in human reliability analysis. When dependence between two sequent tasks exists in human reliability analysis, if the preceding task fails, the failure probability of the following task is higher than success. Typically, three major factors are considered: “Closeness in Time” (CT), “Task Relatedness” (TR) and “Similarity of Performers” (SP). Assume TR is not changed, both SP and CT influence the degree of dependence level and SP is discounted by the time as the result of combine two factors in this paper. In this paper, a new computational model is proposed based on the Dempster–Shafer Evidence Theory (DSET) and Evidence Credibility Decay Model (ECDM) to assess the dependence between tasks in human reliability analysis. First, the influenced factors among human tasks are identified and the basic belief assignments (BBAs) of each factor are constructed based on expert evaluation. Then, the BBA of SP is discounted as the result of combining two factors and reconstructed by using the ECDM, the factors are integrated into a fused BBA. Finally, the dependence level is calculated based on fused BBA. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed model not only quantitatively describe the fact that the input factors influence the dependence level, but also exactly show how the dependence level regular changes with different situations of input factors.

  12. Perfluorochemicals and human semen quality: the LIFE study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis, Germaine M Buck; Chen, Zhen; Schisterman, Enrique F; Kim, Sungduk; Sweeney, Anne M; Sundaram, Rajeshwari; Lynch, Courtney D; Gore-Langton, Robert E; Barr, Dana Boyd

    2015-01-01

    The relation between persistent environmental chemicals and semen quality is evolving, although limited data exist for men recruited from general populations. We examined the relation between perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) and semen quality among 501 male partners of couples planning pregnancy. Using population-based sampling strategies, we recruited 501 couples discontinuing contraception from two U.S. geographic regions from 2005 through 2009. Baseline interviews and anthropometric assessments were conducted, followed by blood collection for the quantification of seven serum PFCs (perfluorosulfonates, perfluorocarboxylates, and perfluorosulfonamides) using tandem mass spectrometry. Men collected a baseline semen sample and another approximately 1 month later. Semen samples were shipped with freezer packs, and analyses were performed on the day after collection. We used linear regression to estimate the difference in each semen parameter associated with a one unit increase in the natural log-transformed PFC concentration after adjusting for confounders and modeling repeated semen samples. Sensitivity analyses included optimal Box-Cox transformation of semen quality end points. Six PFCs [2-(N-methyl-perfluorooctane sulfonamido) acetate (Me-PFOSA-AcOH), perfluorodecanoate (PFDeA), perfluorononanoate (PFNA), perfluorooctane sulfonamide (PFOSA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)] were associated with 17 semen quality end points before Box-Cox transformation. PFOSA was associated with smaller sperm head area and perimeter, a lower percentage of DNA stainability, and a higher percentage of bicephalic and immature sperm. PFDeA, PFNA, PFOA, and PFOS were associated with a lower percentage of sperm with coiled tails. Select PFCs were associated with certain semen end points, with the most significant associations observed for PFOSA but with results in varying directions.

  13. THE QUALITY OF HUMAN RESOURCES – A REQUEST FOR HOTEL INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT. A THEORETICAL APPROACH

    OpenAIRE

    Arustei Carmen Claudia

    2013-01-01

    In this article we focus on the importance of human resource quality from hotel industry in obtaining quality services and further more in obtaining hotel industry development. We address this issue due to the fact that, usually, when talking about tourism or hotel industry development, the literature in the field offers macro solutions like, infrastructure development, service/product development and/or improving service quality. We consider that a micro approach is also important and from t...

  14. Human perception, productivity and symptoms related to indoor air quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wargocki, P

    1998-08-01

    Three objectives of the present study are formulated: (1) to investigate whether total sensory pollution load on the air in space can be estimated by adding sensory pollution loads from the individual pollution sources; (2) to develop alternative reference exposures which can be used to calibrate sensory evaluations of the air quality indoors made by trained subjects; and (3) to investigate whether decreasing the pollution loads on the air indoors is an effective measure for improving the perceived air quality, reducing the prevalence of health symptoms and increasing people`s productivity. Limited data exist on the addition of families of sensory pollution, sources, i.e., building materials, people and tobacco smoke (research was mainly performed on building materials), and that no field study on addition has been carried out previously. Consequently, laboratory and field experiments on the addition of families of sensory pollution sources were undertaken. Reducing the sensory pollution load on the air indoors proved to be an effective and energy-efficient measure to improve the perceived quality of air, to lower the prevalence of symptoms and to improve productivity. Suggestions for future experiments are made including, i.a., using other sub-populations of subjects stratified for age, sensitivity and type of work, other pollution sources, as well as the independent measures design and repeated exposures to the same environmental conditions. (EG) 209 refs.

  15. Perceptions of sexual harassment by evidence quality, perceiver gender, feminism, and right wing authoritarianism: Debunking popular myths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Gargi; Stockdale, Margaret S

    2016-10-01

    This study examined the critique in public discourse that sexual harassment (SH) victim advocates, particularly women and feminists, ignore the quality of evidence in a SH claim and are reluctant to find evidence of a false accusation. To balance the inquiry, the study also examined whether right wing authoritarians (RWAs) also ignore evidence quality and presume such claims are false accusations. Participants were 961 U.S. adults (51% female) who completed an online experiment in which they read either a gender harassment (GH) or unwanted sexual attention (USA) scenario of hostile work environment SH and rated the scenario on severity, perceived guilt of the accused, belief that the accused should receive negative job consequences, and likelihood that the claimant was making a false accusation. Scenarios varied by the strength of the evidence in support of the SH claim. Participants completed measures of identification with and support for feminism, RWA, and demographic variables. Results found that contrary to expectations, evidence had a stronger effect on women's, feminists', and feminism supporters' perceptions and to a lesser extent RWAs' perceptions of the scenarios. When evidence was weak, women and feminists, compared to others, were less supportive of the prosecution, but when evidence was strong they were more supportive of the prosecution than were others. These findings address criticisms that advocates for gender equity and victim's rights, particularly women and feminists, are unable to reach fair judgments of SH complaints. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. THE QUALITY OF HUMAN RESOURCES – A REQUEST FOR HOTEL INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT. A THEORETICAL APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aruștei Carmen Claudia

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available In this article we focus on the importance of human resource quality from hotel industry in obtaining quality services and further more in obtaining hotel industry development. We address this issue due to the fact that, usually, when talking about tourism or hotel industry development, the literature in the field offers macro solutions like, infrastructure development, service/product development and/or improving service quality. We consider that a micro approach is also important and from this perspective, we emphasis the role of human resource quality for industry development. The quality of human resources, as a dimension of service quality was not detailed extensively by the literature in the field but we found it relevant for hotel industry development, as this industry it is a service industry, and as Ritz-Carlton Company’s motto say “service comes only from people”. In this article we focus on the importance of human resource quality from hotel industry in obtaining quality services and further more in obtaining hotel industry development. We address this issue due to the fact that, usually, when talking about tourism or hotel industry development, the literature in the field offers macro solutions like, infrastructure development, service/product development and/or improving service quality. We consider that a micro approach is also important and from this perspective, we emphasis the role of human resource quality for industry development. The quality of human resources, as a dimension of service quality was not detailed extensively by the literature in the field but we found it relevant for hotel industry development, as this industry it is a service industry, and as Ritz-Carlton Company’s motto say “service comes only from people”. In this article we focus on the importance of human resource quality from hotel industry in obtaining quality services and further more in obtaining hotel industry development. We address this

  17. [Quality of water for human consumption and its association with morbimortality in Colombia, 2008-2012].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán, Blanca Lisseth; Nava, Gerardo; Díaz, Paula

    2015-08-01

    The quality of water for human consumption has been correlated with the occurrence of different diseases. Studying the relationship between these parameters would allow determining the impact of water quality on human health, and to direct preventative measures and promote environmental health. To analyze the quality of water intended for human consumption and its association with morbimortality in Colombia, 2008-2012. The database for surveillance of water quality was analyzed by means of descriptive statistics of the principal indicators (total coliforms, Escherichia coli , turbidity, color, pH, free residual chlorine and water quality risk index). The results were correlated with infant mortality and morbidity due to acute diarrheal diseases, foodborne diseases and hepatitis A. A risk map was prepared to identify those municipalities with the highest risk of water contamination and infant mortality. A high percentage of municipalities did not conform to existing standards for water potability values. Problems were identified that were related to presence of E. coli and total coliforms, as well as absence of free residual chlorine, a situation that was exacerbated in rural areas. Water quality showed a high correlation with infant mortality, highlighting its importance for children's health. Water quality was found to have an important impact on infant mortality. Improving water quality in Colombia will require policies that strengthen water supply systems in this country. Strengthening of environmental health surveillance programs is essential to guide actions aimed at improving water quality and exert a positive impact on health.

  18. Development and oversight of ethical health promotion quality assurance and evaluation activities involving human participants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sainsbury, Peter

    2015-12-01

    This paper considers the role of ethics and ethics review processes in the development of health promotion quality assurance and evaluation activities involving human participants. The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and associated documents provide the framework for the ethical conduct and independent review of research (including quality assurance and evaluation) involving humans in Australia. Identifying the level of risk to which participants may be exposed by participation in quality assurance and evaluation activities is essential for health promotion workers undertaking such activities. Organisations can establish processes other than review by a Human Research Ethics Committee for negligible and low risk research activities. Health promotion quality assurance and evaluation activities often involve negligible and low risk to participants. Seven triggers that indicate the need for ethics review of quality assurance and evaluation activities and a procedural checklist for developing ethical quality assurance and evaluation activities are provided. Health promotion workers should be familiar with the NHMRC's National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. When ethical considerations underpin the planning and conduct of all quality assurance and evaluation from the very beginning, the activity is the better for it, independent 'ethics approval' can mostly be secured without much trouble and workers' frustration levels are reduced. So what? Health promotion quality assurance and evaluation activities must be ethically justified. Health promotion workers should be familiar with the NHMRC's National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and should use it when developing health promotion quality assurance and evaluation activities.

  19. Methodological and reporting quality in laboratory studies of human eating behavior

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Robinson, E.; Bevelander, K.E.; Field, M.; Jones, A.

    2018-01-01

    The methodological quality and reporting practices of laboratory studies of human eating behavior determine the validity and replicability of nutrition science. The aim of this research was to examine basic methodology and reporting practices in recent representative laboratory studies of human

  20. Anatomical correlates of quality of life: evidence from voxel-based morphometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeuchi, Hikaru; Taki, Yasuyuki; Nouchi, Rui; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Sassa, Yuko; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Kotozaki, Yuka; Nakagawa, Seishu; Nagase, Tomomi; Miyauchi, Carlos Makoto; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2014-05-01

    Quality of life (QOL) has been defined in many ways, and these definitions usually emphasize happiness and satisfaction with life. Health-related problems are known to cause lower QOL. However, the neural mechanisms underlying individual differences in QOL measured by questionnaire (QOLMQ) in young healthy subjects are unknown. QOL is essential to our well-being, and investigation of the neural mechanisms underlying QOL in uncompromised subjects is obviously of great scientific and social interest. We used voxel-based morphometry to investigate the association between regional gray matter volume (rGMV) and QOLMQ across the brain in healthy young adults (age, 21.4 ± 1.8 years) men (n = 88) and women (n = 68) in humans. We found significant negative relationships between QOLMQ and rGMV in a region in the left rostrolateral prefrontal cortex and regions in the dorsal part of the anterior cingulate gyrus and contingent cingulate regions. These findings show that structural variations in regions associated with processing of negative emotions such as fear and anger as well as those associated with evaluation of internally generated information are associated with QOLMQ. These findings suggest that these processes might be related to QOLMQ in healthy young adults. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. EXPOSURE TO INTERMITTENT AIR POLLUTION AND CHANGES IN SEMEN QUALITY: EVIDENCE FOR AN ASSOCIATION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR REPRODUCTIVE RISK ASSESSMENT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exposure to Intermittent Air Pollution and Changes in Semen Quality:Evidence for an Association and Implications for Reproductive Risk Assessment. S. D. Perreault1, S.G. Selevan2, J. Rubes3, D. Zudova3, and D.P. Evenson4 1US EPA, ORD/NHEERL, Research Triangle Pa...

  2. Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: summary of the 2016 agency of healthcare research and quality evidence review

    Science.gov (United States)

    We summarize the 2016 update of the 2004 Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality's evidence review of omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The overall findings for the effects of marine oil supplements on intermediate CVD outcomes remain largely unchanged. There is high strength o...

  3. Quality Assurance and Evidence in Career Guidance in Europe: Counting What Is Measured or Measuring What Counts?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plant, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Quality assurance (QA) and Evidence in career guidance are increasingly seen as an indispensable part of explaining and even legitimising career guidance activities and policies. It is no longer sufficient to assume that career guidance or career education has an impact. This has to be demonstrated. This paper provides an overview of how and why…

  4. Prospective Links between Friendship and Early Physical Aggression: Preliminary Evidence Supporting the Role of Friendship Quality through a Dyadic Intervention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salvas, Marie-Claude; Vitaro, Frank; Brendgen, Mara; Cantin, Ste´phane

    2016-01-01

    Positive friendships have been related to decreasing levels of children's physical aggression over time. While this evidence calls for interventions aimed at helping children build good-quality friendships, tests of causality through experimental manipulations are still needed. The goal of this study was to examine whether an intervention aimed to…

  5. Mobile and Web 2.0 interventions for weight management: an overview of review evidence and its methodological quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardus, Marco; Smith, Jane R; Samaha, Laya; Abraham, Charles

    2016-08-01

    The use of Internet and related technologies for promoting weight management (WM), physical activity (PA), or dietary-related behaviours has been examined in many articles and systematic reviews. This overview aims to summarize and assess the quality of the review evidence specifically focusing on mobile and Web 2.0 technologies, which are the most utilized, currently available technologies. Following a registered protocol (CRD42014010323), we searched 16 databases for articles published in English until 31 December 2014 discussing the use of either mobile or Web 2.0 technologies to promote WM or related behaviors, i.e. diet and physical activity (PA). Two reviewers independently selected reviews and assessed their methodological quality using the AMSTAR checklist. Citation matrices were used to determine the overlap among reviews. Forty-four eligible reviews were identified, 39 of which evaluated the effects of interventions using mobile or Web 2.0 technologies. Methodological quality was generally low with only 7 reviews (16%) meeting the highest standards. Suggestive evidence exists for positive effects of mobile technologies on weight-related outcomes and, to a lesser extent, PA. Evidence is inconclusive regarding Web 2.0 technologies. Reviews on mobile and Web 2.0 interventions for WM and related behaviors suggest that these technologies can, under certain circumstances, be effective, but conclusions are limited by poor review quality based on a heterogeneous evidence base. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.

  6. Microbiota dysbiosis in select human cancers: Evidence of association and causality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jie; Domingue, Jada C; Sears, Cynthia L

    2017-08-01

    The human microbiota is a complex ecosystem of diverse microorganisms consisting of bacteria, viruses, and fungi residing predominantly in epidermal and mucosal habitats across the body, such as skin, oral cavity, lung, intestine and vagina. These symbiotic communities in health, or dysbiotic communities in disease, display tremendous interaction with the local environment and systemic responses, playing a critical role in the host's nutrition, immunity, metabolism and diseases including cancers. While the profiling of normal microbiota in healthy populations is useful and necessary, more recent studies have focused on the microbiota associated with disease, particularly cancers. In this paper, we review current evidence on the role of the human microbiota in four cancer types (colorectal cancer, head and neck cancer, pancreatic cancer, and lung cancer) proposed as affected by both the oral and gut microbiota, and provide a perspective on current gaps in the knowledge of the microbiota and cancer. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Effects of Ketogenic Diets on Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Evidence from Animal and Human Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosinski, Christophe; Jornayvaz, François R.

    2017-01-01

    The treatment of obesity and cardiovascular diseases is one of the most difficult and important challenges nowadays. Weight loss is frequently offered as a therapy and is aimed at improving some of the components of the metabolic syndrome. Among various diets, ketogenic diets, which are very low in carbohydrates and usually high in fats and/or proteins, have gained in popularity. Results regarding the impact of such diets on cardiovascular risk factors are controversial, both in animals and humans, but some improvements notably in obesity and type 2 diabetes have been described. Unfortunately, these effects seem to be limited in time. Moreover, these diets are not totally safe and can be associated with some adverse events. Notably, in rodents, development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and insulin resistance have been described. The aim of this review is to discuss the role of ketogenic diets on different cardiovascular risk factors in both animals and humans based on available evidence. PMID:28534852

  8. Using Medical Student Quality Improvement Projects to Promote Evidence-Based Care in the Emergency Department

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael W. Manning

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction The Association of American Medical Colleges’ (AAMC initiative for Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency includes as an element of Entrustable Professional Activity 13 to “identify system failures and contribute to a culture of safety and improvement.” We set out to determine the feasibility of using medical students’ action learning projects (ALPs to expedite implementation of evidence-based pathways for three common patient diagnoses in the emergency department (ED setting (Atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, and pulmonary embolism. Methods These prospective quality improvement (QI initiatives were performed over six months in three Northeastern PA hospitals. Emergency physician mentors were recruited to facilitate a QI experience for third-year medical students for each project. Six students were assigned to each mentor and given class time and network infrastructure support (information technology, consultant experts in lean management to work on their projects. Students had access to background network data that revealed potential for improvement in disposition (home for patients. Results Under the leadership of their mentors, students accomplished standard QI processes such as performing the background literature search and assessing key stakeholders’ positions that were involved in the respective patient’s care. Students effectively developed flow diagrams, computer aids for clinicians and educational programs, and participated in recruiting champions for the new practice standard. They met with other departmental clinicians to determine barriers to implementation and used this feedback to help set specific parameters to make clinicians more comfortable with the changes in practice that were recommended. All three clinical practice guidelines were initiated at consummation of the students’ projects. After implementation, 86% (38/44 of queried ED providers felt comfortable

  9. Using Medical Student Quality Improvement Projects to Promote Evidence-Based Care in the Emergency Department.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manning, Michael W; Bean, Eric W; Miller, Andrew C; Templer, Suzanne J; Mackenzie, Richard S; Richardson, David M; Bresnan, Kristin A; Greenberg, Marna R

    2018-01-01

    The Association of American Medical Colleges' (AAMC) initiative for Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency includes as an element of Entrustable Professional Activity 13 to "identify system failures and contribute to a culture of safety and improvement." We set out to determine the feasibility of using medical students' action learning projects (ALPs) to expedite implementation of evidence-based pathways for three common patient diagnoses in the emergency department (ED) setting (Atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, and pulmonary embolism). These prospective quality improvement (QI) initiatives were performed over six months in three Northeastern PA hospitals. Emergency physician mentors were recruited to facilitate a QI experience for third-year medical students for each project. Six students were assigned to each mentor and given class time and network infrastructure support (information technology, consultant experts in lean management) to work on their projects. Students had access to background network data that revealed potential for improvement in disposition (home) for patients. Under the leadership of their mentors, students accomplished standard QI processes such as performing the background literature search and assessing key stakeholders' positions that were involved in the respective patient's care. Students effectively developed flow diagrams, computer aids for clinicians and educational programs, and participated in recruiting champions for the new practice standard. They met with other departmental clinicians to determine barriers to implementation and used this feedback to help set specific parameters to make clinicians more comfortable with the changes in practice that were recommended. All three clinical practice guidelines were initiated at consummation of the students' projects. After implementation, 86% (38/44) of queried ED providers felt comfortable with medical students being a part of future ED QI

  10. Maturation of the human fetal startle response: Evidence for sex-specific maturation of the human fetus1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buss, Claudia; Davis, Elysia Poggi; Class, Quetzal A.; Gierczak, Matt; Pattillo, Carol; Glynn, Laura M.; Sandman, Curt A.

    2009-01-01

    Despite the evidence for early fetal experience exerting programming influences on later neurological development and health risk, very few prospective studies of human fetal behavior have been reported. In a prospective longitudinal study, fetal nervous system maturation was serially assessed by monitoring fetal heart rate (FHR) responses to vibroacoustic stimulation (VAS) in 191 maternal/fetal dyads. Responses were not detected at 26 weeks gestational age (GA). Sex-specific, age-characteristic changes in the FHR response to VAS were observed by 31 weeks’ GA. Males showed larger responses and continued to exhibit maturational changes until 37 weeks’ GA, females however, presented with a mature FHR startle response by 31 weeks’ GA. The results indicate that there are different rates of maturation in the male and female fetus that may have implications for sex-specific programming influences. PMID:19726143

  11. Maturation of the human fetal startle response: evidence for sex-specific maturation of the human fetus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buss, Claudia; Davis, Elysia Poggi; Class, Quetzal A; Gierczak, Matt; Pattillo, Carol; Glynn, Laura M; Sandman, Curt A

    2009-10-01

    Despite the evidence for early fetal experience exerting programming influences on later neurological development and health risk, very few prospective studies of human fetal behavior have been reported. In a prospective longitudinal study, fetal nervous system maturation was serially assessed by monitoring fetal heart rate (FHR) responses to vibroacoustic stimulation (VAS) in 191 maternal/fetal dyads. Responses were not detected at 26 weeks gestational age (GA). Sex-specific, age-characteristic changes in the FHR response to VAS were observed by 31 weeks' GA. Males showed larger responses and continued to exhibit maturational changes until 37 weeks' GA, females however, presented with a mature FHR startle response by 31 weeks' GA. The results indicate that there are different rates of maturation in the male and female fetuses that may have implications for sex-specific programming influences.

  12. Human semen quality and the secondary sex ratio.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Jisuk; Kim, Sungduk; Chen, Zhen; Eisenberg, Michael L; Buck Louis, Germaine M

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between semen quality and the secondary sex ratio (SSR), defined as the ratio of male to female live births. Our study cohort comprised 227 male partners who were enrolled prior to conception in Michigan and Texas between 2005 and 2009, and prospectively followed through delivery of a singleton birth. The male partners provided a baseline and a follow-up semen sample a month apart. Semen analysis was conducted to assess 27 parameters including five general characteristics, six sperm head measures, 14 morphology measures, and two sperm chromatin stability assay measures. Modified Poisson regression models with a robust error variance were used to estimate the relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) of a male birth for each semen parameter, after adjusting for potential confounders. Of the 27 semen parameters, only the percentage of bicephalic sperm was significantly associated with the SSR (2 nd vs 1 st quartile, RR, 0.65, 95% CI, 0.45-0.95, P = 0.03; 4 th vs 1 st quartile, RR, 0.61, 95% CI, 0.38-1.00, P semen quality is associated with offspring sex determination.

  13. Indicators for Research Performance in the Humanities? The Scholars’ View on Research Quality and Indicators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ochsner, M.; Hug, S.E.

    2016-07-01

    In this paper, we present indicators for research quality in the humanities collected in our previous work (Ochsner, Hug, & Daniel, 2012). We focus on how these indicators are accepted by humanities scholars. We also investigate differences between different subgroups of the humanities scholars we surveyed with regard to their preferences for such indicators. We address the theme of the conference (‘peripheries frontiers and beyond’) regarding two notions of (scientometric) periphery: First, we investigate indicators for research quality in the humanities, a field where there is a lack on knowledge on how to assess or even measure research quality, in fact, there is a quite broad consensus that (evaluative) bibliometrics cannot be readily applied in the humanities (Hicks, 2004; Nederhof, 2006). Second, we fully cover three humanities disciplines at Swiss universities and member universities of the League of European Research Universities (LERU). Scholars are a neglected stakeholder when it comes to the design of research assessment procedures or the selection of research indicators. However, they are directly affected, they know best what research quality in their field is and what impact the use of certain indicators could have on their research practices. The paper is structured as follows: first, we present the background for selecting indicators for research quality. This is followed by a description of our analysis methods and the presentation of the results. We finally discuss the results with regard to their use in research evaluation. (Author)

  14. A general auditory bias for handling speaker variability in speech? Evidence in humans and songbirds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buddhamas eKriengwatana

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Different speakers produce the same speech sound differently, yet listeners are still able to reliably identify the speech sound. How listeners can adjust their perception to compensate for speaker differences in speech, and whether these compensatory processes are unique only to humans, is still not fully understood. In this study we compare the ability of humans and zebra finches to categorize vowels despite speaker variation in speech in order to test the hypothesis that accommodating speaker and gender differences in isolated vowels can be achieved without prior experience with speaker-related variability. Using a behavioural Go/No-go task and identical stimuli, we compared Australian English adults’ (naïve to Dutch and zebra finches’ (naïve to human speech ability to categorize /ɪ/ and /ɛ/ vowels of an novel Dutch speaker after learning to discriminate those vowels from only one other speaker. Experiment 1 and 2 presented vowels of two speakers interspersed or blocked, respectively. Results demonstrate that categorization of vowels is possible without prior exposure to speaker-related variability in speech for zebra finches, and in non-native vowel categories for humans. Therefore, this study is the first to provide evidence for what might be a species-shared auditory bias that may supersede speaker-related information during vowel categorization. It additionally provides behavioural evidence contradicting a prior hypothesis that accommodation of speaker differences is achieved via the use of formant ratios. Therefore, investigations of alternative accounts of vowel normalization that incorporate the possibility of an auditory bias for disregarding inter-speaker variability are warranted.

  15. Evidence for two numerical systems that are similar in humans and guppies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Agrillo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Humans and non-human animals share an approximate non-verbal system for representing and comparing numerosities that has no upper limit and for which accuracy is dependent on the numerical ratio. Current evidence indicates that the mechanism for keeping track of individual objects can also be used for numerical purposes; if so, its accuracy will be independent of numerical ratio, but its capacity is limited to the number of items that can be tracked, about four. There is, however, growing controversy as to whether two separate number systems are present in other vertebrate species. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we compared the ability of undergraduate students and guppies to discriminate the same numerical ratios, both within and beyond the small number range. In both students and fish the performance was ratio-independent for the numbers 1-4, while it steadily increased with numerical distance when larger numbers were presented. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that two distinct systems underlie quantity discrimination in both humans and fish, implying that the building blocks of uniquely human mathematical abilities may be evolutionarily ancient, dating back to before the divergence of bony fish and tetrapod lineages.

  16. Early modern human dispersal from Africa: genomic evidence for multiple waves of migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tassi, Francesca; Ghirotto, Silvia; Mezzavilla, Massimo; Vilaça, Sibelle Torres; De Santi, Lisa; Barbujani, Guido

    2015-01-01

    Anthropological and genetic data agree in indicating the African continent as the main place of origin for anatomically modern humans. However, it is unclear whether early modern humans left Africa through a single, major process, dispersing simultaneously over Asia and Europe, or in two main waves, first through the Arab Peninsula into southern Asia and Oceania, and later through a northern route crossing the Levant. Here, we show that accurate genomic estimates of the divergence times between European and African populations are more recent than those between Australo-Melanesia and Africa and incompatible with the effects of a single dispersal. This difference cannot possibly be accounted for by the effects of either hybridization with archaic human forms in Australo-Melanesia or back migration from Europe into Africa. Furthermore, in several populations of Asia we found evidence for relatively recent genetic admixture events, which could have obscured the signatures of the earliest processes. We conclude that the hypothesis of a single major human dispersal from Africa appears hardly compatible with the observed historical and geographical patterns of genome diversity and that Australo-Melanesian populations seem still to retain a genomic signature of a more ancient divergence from Africa.

  17. Resequencing data provide no evidence for a human bottleneck in Africa during the penultimate glacial period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sjödin, Per; E Sjöstrand, Agnès; Jakobsson, Mattias; Blum, Michael G B

    2012-07-01

    Based on the accumulation of genetic, climatic, and fossil evidence, a central theory in paleoanthropology stipulates that a demographic bottleneck coincided with the origin of our species Homo Sapiens. This theory proposes that anatomically modern humans--which were only present in Africa at the time--experienced a drastic bottleneck during the penultimate glacial age (130-190 kya) when a cold and dry climate prevailed. Two scenarios have been proposed to describe the bottleneck, which involve either a fragmentation of the range occupied by humans or the survival of one small group of humans. Here, we analyze DNA sequence data from 61 nuclear loci sequenced in three African populations using Approximate Bayesian Computation and numerical simulations. In contrast to the bottleneck theory, we show that a simple model without any bottleneck during the penultimate ice age has the greatest statistical support compared with bottleneck models. Although the proposed bottleneck is ancient, occurring at least 130 kya, we can discard the possibility that it did not leave detectable footprints in the DNA sequence data except if the bottleneck involves a less than a 3-fold reduction in population size. Finally, we confirm that a simple model without a bottleneck is able to reproduce the main features of the observed patterns of genetic variation. We conclude that models of Pleistocene refugium for modern human origins now require substantial revision.

  18. Genetic and phenotypic evidence of the Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis human-animal interface in Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricio eRetamal

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis is a worldwide zoonotic agent that has been recognized as a very important food-borne bacterial pathogen, mainly associated with consumption of poultry products. The aim of this work was to determine genotypic and phenotypic evidence of S. Enteritidis transmission among seabirds, poultry and humans in Chile. Genotyping was performed using PCR-based virulotyping, pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST. Pathogenicity-associated phenotypes were determined with survival to free radicals, acidic pH, starvation, antimicrobial resistance, and survival within human dendritic cells. As result of PCR and PFGE assays, some isolates from the three hosts showed identical genotypic patterns, and through MLST it was determined that all of them belong to sequence type 11. Results of phenotypic assays showed diversity of survival capabilities among isolates. When results were analyzed according to bacterial host, statistical differences were identified in starvation and dendritic cells survival assays. In addition, isolates from seabirds showed the highest rates of resistance to gentamycin, tetracycline and ampicillin. Overall, the very close genetic and phenotypic traits shown by isolates from humans, poultry and seabirds suggest the inter-species transmission of S. Enteritidis bacteria between hosts, likely through anthropogenic environmental contamination that determines infection of seabirds with bacteria that are potentially pathogenic for other susceptible organism, including humans.

  19. Trabecular evidence for a human-like gait in Australopithecus africanus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meir M Barak

    Full Text Available Although the earliest known hominins were apparently upright bipeds, there has been mixed evidence whether particular species of hominins including those in the genus Australopithecus walked with relatively extended hips, knees and ankles like modern humans, or with more flexed lower limb joints like apes when bipedal. Here we demonstrate in chimpanzees and humans a highly predictable and sensitive relationship between the orientation of the ankle joint during loading and the principal orientation of trabecular bone struts in the distal tibia that function to withstand compressive forces within the joint. Analyses of the orientation of these struts using microCT scans in a sample of fossil tibiae from the site of Sterkfontein, of which two are assigned to Australopithecus africanus, indicate that these hominins primarily loaded their ankles in a relatively extended posture like modern humans and unlike chimpanzees. In other respects, however, trabecular properties in Au africanus are distinctive, with values that mostly fall between those of chimpanzees and humans. These results indicate that Au. africanus, like Homo, walked with an efficient, extended lower limb.

  20. Strategic human resource management and corporate social responsibility: Evidence from Emerging Markets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Talita Rosolen

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Corporate social responsibility practices are increasingly being adopted and legitimized in business and they impact the strategic and operational levels in various areas. The integration of these criteria and practices in the strategic management involves many factors, and human resource management is an essential aspect for the accomplishment of such initiative. Thus, this paper associates the relationship among corporate social responsibility (CSR various dimensions (strategic, ethical, social and environmental and strategic human resource management (SHRM in companies operating in Brazil. We also aim to identify whether there is impact of other aspects on this relationship, namely: size, industry and company internationalization level (if national or multinational. Results show evidence that ethical CSR can be associated to SHRM. Environmental CSR showed marginal relation, and social and strategic CSR presented no significant association. Those results emphasize the need to further develop strategic actions of CSR into human resource management in emerging markets. Managers can also benefit from those findings, as it is possible to have a broad view of limitations and opportunities regarding the role played by human resource management in CSR.

  1. Human and animal evidence of potential transgenerational inheritance of health effects: An evidence map and state-of-the-science evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Vickie R; Boyles, Abee L; Pelch, Katherine E; Holmgren, Stephanie D; Shapiro, Andrew J; Blystone, Chad R; Devito, Michael J; Newbold, Retha R; Blain, Robyn; Hartman, Pamela; Thayer, Kristina A; Rooney, Andrew A

    2018-06-01

    An increasing number of reports suggest early life exposures result in adverse effects in offspring who were never directly exposed; this phenomenon is termed "transgenerational inheritance." Given concern for public health implications for potential effects of exposures transmitted to subsequent generations, it is critical to determine how widespread and robust this phenomenon is and to identify the range of exposures and possible outcomes. This scoping report examines the evidence for transgenerational inheritance associated with exposure to a wide range of stressors in humans and animals to identify areas of consistency, uncertainty, data gaps, and to evaluate general risk of bias issues for the transgenerational study design. A protocol was developed to collect and categorize the literature into a systematic evidence map for transgenerational inheritance by health effects, exposures, and evidence streams following the Office of Health Assessment and Translation (OHAT) approach for conducting literature-based health assessments. A PubMed search yielded 63,758 unique records from which 257 relevant studies were identified and categorized into a systematic evidence map by evidence streams (46 human and 211 animal), broad health effect categories, and exposures. Data extracted from the individual studies are available in the Health Assessment Workspace Collaborative (HAWC) program. There are relatively few bodies of evidence where multiple studies evaluated the same exposure and the same or similar outcomes. Studies evaluated for risk of bias generally had multiple issues in design or conduct. The evidence mapping illustrated that risk of bias, few studies, and heterogeneity in exposures and endpoints examined present serious limitations to available bodies of evidence for assessing transgenerational effects. Targeted research is suggested to addressed inconsistencies and risk of bias issues identified, and thereby establish more robust bodies of evidence to

  2. Human-model hybrid Korean air quality forecasting system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Lim-Seok; Cho, Ara; Park, Hyunju; Nam, Kipyo; Kim, Deokrae; Hong, Ji-Hyoung; Song, Chang-Keun

    2016-09-01

    The Korean national air quality forecasting system, consisting of the Weather Research and Forecasting, the Sparse Matrix Operator Kernel Emissions, and the Community Modeling and Analysis (CMAQ), commenced from August 31, 2013 with target pollutants of particulate matters (PM) and ozone. Factors contributing to PM forecasting accuracy include CMAQ inputs of meteorological field and emissions, forecasters' capacity, and inherent CMAQ limit. Four numerical experiments were conducted including two global meteorological inputs from the Global Forecast System (GFS) and the Unified Model (UM), two emissions from the Model Intercomparison Study Asia (MICS-Asia) and the Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment (INTEX-B) for the Northeast Asia with Clear Air Policy Support System (CAPSS) for South Korea, and data assimilation of the Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate (MACC). Significant PM underpredictions by using both emissions were found for PM mass and major components (sulfate and organic carbon). CMAQ predicts PM2.5 much better than PM10 (NMB of PM2.5: -20~-25%, PM10: -43~-47%). Forecasters' error usually occurred at the next day of high PM event. Once CMAQ fails to predict high PM event the day before, forecasters are likely to dismiss the model predictions on the next day which turns out to be true. The best combination of CMAQ inputs is the set of UM global meteorological field, MICS-Asia and CAPSS 2010 emissions with the NMB of -12.3%, the RMSE of 16.6μ/m(3) and the R(2) of 0.68. By using MACC data as an initial and boundary condition, the performance skill of CMAQ would be improved, especially in the case of undefined coarse emission. A variety of methods such as ensemble and data assimilation are considered to improve further the accuracy of air quality forecasting, especially for high PM events to be comparable to for all cases. The growing utilization of the air quality forecast induced the public strongly to demand that the accuracy of the

  3. Effect of air quality on assisted human reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legro, Richard S; Sauer, Mark V; Mottla, Gilbert L; Richter, Kevin S; Li, Xian; Dodson, William C; Liao, Duanping

    2010-05-01

    Air pollution has been associated with reproductive complications. We hypothesized that declining air quality during in vitro fertilization (IVF) would adversely affect live birth rates. Data from US Environmental Protection Agency air quality monitors and an established national-scale, log-normal kriging method were used to spatially estimate daily mean concentrations of criteria pollutants at addresses of 7403 females undergoing their first IVF cycle and at the their IVF labs from 2000 to 2007 in the Northeastern USA. These data were related to pregnancy outcomes. Increases in nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)) concentration both at the patient's address and at the IVF lab were significantly associated with a lower chance of pregnancy and live birth during all phases of an IVF cycle from medication start to pregnancy test [most significantly after embryo transfer, odds ratio (OR) 0.76, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.66-0.86, per 0.01 ppm increase]. Increasing ozone (O(3)) concentration at the patient's address was significantly associated with an increased chance of live birth during ovulation induction (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.10-1.44, per 0.02 ppm increase), but with decreased odds of live birth when exposed from embryo transfer to live birth (OR 0.62, 95% CI 0.48-0.81, per 0.02 ppm increase). After modeling for interactions of NO(2) and O(3) at the IVF lab, NO(2) remained negatively and significantly associated with live birth (OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.78-0.96), whereas O(3) was non-significant. Fine particulate matter (PM(2.5)) at the IVF lab during embryo culture was associated with decreased conception rates (OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.82-0.99, per 8 microg/m(3) increase), but not with live birth rates. No associations were noted with sulfur dioxide or larger particulate matter (PM(10)). The effects of declining air quality on reproductive outcomes after IVF are variable, cycle-dependent and complex, though increased NO(2) is consistently associated with lower live birth rates. Our

  4. Edible Mushrooms: Improving Human Health and Promoting Quality Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Elena Valverde

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Mushrooms have been consumed since earliest history; ancient Greeks believed that mushrooms provided strength for warriors in battle, and the Romans perceived them as the “Food of the Gods.” For centuries, the Chinese culture has treasured mushrooms as a health food, an “elixir of life.” They have been part of the human culture for thousands of years and have considerable interest in the most important civilizations in history because of their sensory characteristics; they have been recognized for their attractive culinary attributes. Nowadays, mushrooms are popular valuable foods because they are low in calories, carbohydrates, fat, and sodium: also, they are cholesterol-free. Besides, mushrooms provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D, proteins, and fiber. All together with a long history as food source, mushrooms are important for their healing capacities and properties in traditional medicine. It has reported beneficial effects for health and treatment of some diseases. Many nutraceutical properties are described in mushrooms, such as prevention or treatment of Parkinson, Alzheimer, hypertension, and high risk of stroke. They are also utilized to reduce the likelihood of cancer invasion and metastasis due to antitumoral attributes. Mushrooms act as antibacterial, immune system enhancer and cholesterol lowering agents; additionally, they are important sources of bioactive compounds. As a result of these properties, some mushroom extracts are used to promote human health and are found as dietary supplements.

  5. Whole high-quality light environment for humans and plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharakshane, Anton

    2017-11-01

    Plants sharing a single light environment on a spaceship with a human being and bearing a decorative function should look as natural and attractive as possible. And consequently they can be illuminated only with white light with a high color rendering index. Can lighting optimized for a human eye be effective and appropriate for plants? Spectrum-based effects have been compared under artificial lighting of plants by high-pressure sodium lamps and general-purpose white LEDs. It has been shown that for the survey sample phytochrome photo-equilibria does not depend significantly on the parameters of white LED light, while the share of phytoactive blue light grows significantly as the color temperature increases. It has been revealed that yield photon flux is proportional to luminous efficacy and increases as the color temperature decreases, general color rendering index Ra and the special color rendering index R14 (green leaf) increase. General-purpose white LED lamps with a color temperature of 2700 K, Ra > 90 and luminous efficacy of 100 lm/W are as efficient as the best high-pressure sodium lamps, and at a higher luminous efficacy their yield photon flux per joule is even bigger in proportion. Here we show that demand for high color rendering white LED light is not contradictory to the agro-technical objectives.

  6. Implementation outcomes of evidence-based quality improvement for depression in VA community based outpatient clinics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fortney John

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Collaborative-care management is an evidence-based practice for improving depression outcomes in primary care. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA has mandated the implementation of collaborative-care management in its satellite clinics, known as Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs. However, the organizational characteristics of CBOCs present added challenges to implementation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of evidence-based quality improvement (EBQI as a strategy to facilitate the adoption of collaborative-care management in CBOCs. Methods This nonrandomized, small-scale, multisite evaluation of EBQI was conducted at three VA Medical Centers and 11 of their affiliated CBOCs. The Plan phase of the EBQI process involved the localized tailoring of the collaborative-care management program to each CBOC. Researchers ensured that the adaptations were evidence based. Clinical and administrative staff were responsible for adapting the collaborative-care management program for local needs, priorities, preferences and resources. Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles were used to refine the program over time. The evaluation was based on the RE-AIM (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance Framework and used data from multiple sources: administrative records, web-based decision-support systems, surveys, and key-informant interviews. Results Adoption: 69.0% (58/84 of primary care providers referred patients to the program. Reach: 9.0% (298/3,296 of primary care patients diagnosed with depression who were not already receiving specialty care were enrolled in the program. Fidelity: During baseline care manager encounters, education/activation was provided to 100% (298/298 of patients, barriers were assessed and addressed for 100% (298/298 of patients, and depression severity was monitored for 100% (298/298 of patients. Less than half (42.5%, 681/1603 of follow-up encounters during the acute

  7. Effect of Previous Chemotherapy on the Quality of Cryopreserved Human Ovarian Tissue In Vitro.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Babak Asadi Azarbaijani

    Full Text Available Cryopreservation of ovarian tissue has been widely accepted as an option for fertility preservation among cancer patients. Some patients are exposed to chemotherapy prior to ovarian tissue cryopreservation. Consequently, assessment of the developmental capacity of human ovarian tissue after chemotherapy is of primary importance.In order to study the impact of previous chemotherapy on in vitro development and viability of ovarian follicles, quality control samples from 34 female cancer patients at median age of 15 years (range 1‒35, cryopreserved for fertility preservation before (n = 14 or after (n = 20 initiation of chemotherapy, were thawed and cultured for 7 days. The morphology and developmental stages of ovarian follicles were studied by light microscopy before and after culture. Possible associations between follicular densities, age and exposure to alkylating agents, expressed as cyclophosphamide equivalent dose (CED were tested.Exposure to chemotherapy significantly impaired the survival and development of ovarian follicles in culture. After seven days, significantly higher densities of intermediary, primary and secondary follicles and lower densities of atretic follicles was detected in the samples collected before chemotherapy. Increasing dose of alkylating agents was identified by multivariate linear regression analysis as an independent predictor of a higher density of atretic follicles, whereas increasing age of the patient predicted a better outcome with less follicle atresia and a higher density of maturing follicles.This study provides quantitative in vitro evidence of the impact of chemotherapy on developmental capacity of cryopreserved human ovarian tissue. The results indicate that fertility preservation should be carried out, if possible, before initiation of alkylating agents in order to guarantee better in vitro survival of ovarian follicles. In addition, ovarian samples from younger girls show lower viability and fewer

  8. Magnetic resonance imaging provides evidence of glymphatic drainage from human brain to cervical lymph nodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eide, Per Kristian; Vatnehol, Svein Are Sirirud; Emblem, Kyrre Eeg; Ringstad, Geir

    2018-05-08

    Pre-clinical research in rodents provides evidence that the central nervous system (CNS) has functional lymphatic vessels. In-vivo observations in humans, however, are not demonstrated. We here show data on CNS lymphatic drainage to cervical lymph nodes in-vivo by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) enhanced with an intrathecal contrast agent as a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tracer. Standardized MRI of the intracranial compartment and the neck were acquired before and up to 24-48 hours following intrathecal contrast agent administration in 19 individuals. Contrast enhancement was radiologically confirmed by signal changes in CSF nearby inferior frontal gyrus, brain parenchyma of inferior frontal gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, thalamus and pons, and parenchyma of cervical lymph node, and with sagittal sinus and neck muscle serving as reference tissue for cranial and neck MRI acquisitions, respectively. Time series of changes in signal intensity shows that contrast enhancement within CSF precedes glymphatic enhancement and peaks at 4-6 hours following intrathecal injection. Cervical lymph node enhancement coincides in time with peak glymphatic enhancement, with peak after 24 hours. Our findings provide in-vivo evidence of CSF tracer drainage to cervical lymph nodes in humans. The time course of lymph node enhancement coincided with brain glymphatic enhancement rather than with CSF enhancement.

  9. The Processing of Human Emotional Faces by Pet and Lab Dogs: Evidence for Lateralization and Experience Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Anjuli L. A.; Randi, Dania; Müller, Corsin A.; Huber, Ludwig

    2016-01-01

    From all non-human animals dogs are very likely the best decoders of human behavior. In addition to a high sensitivity to human attentive status and to ostensive cues, they are able to distinguish between individual human faces and even between human facial expressions. However, so far little is known about how they process human faces and to what extent this is influenced by experience. Here we present an eye-tracking study with dogs emanating from two different living environments and varying experience with humans: pet and lab dogs. The dogs were shown pictures of familiar and unfamiliar human faces expressing four different emotions. The results, extracted from several different eye-tracking measurements, revealed pronounced differences in the face processing of pet and lab dogs, thus indicating an influence of the amount of exposure to humans. In addition, there was some evidence for the influences of both, the familiarity and the emotional expression of the face, and strong evidence for a left gaze bias. These findings, together with recent evidence for the dog's ability to discriminate human facial expressions, indicate that dogs are sensitive to some emotions expressed in human faces. PMID:27074009

  10. Understanding human quality judgment in assessing online forum contents for thread retrieval purpose

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismail, Zuriati; Salim, Naomie; Huspi, Sharin Hazlin

    2017-10-01

    Compared to traditional materials or journals, user-generated contents are not peer-reviewed. Lack of quality control and the explosive growth of web contents make the task of finding quality information on the web especially critical. The existence of new facilities for producing web contents such as forum makes this issue more significant. This study focuses on online forums threads or discussion, where the forums contain valuable human-generated information in a form of discussions. Due to the unique structure of the online forum pages, special techniques are required to organize and search for information in these forums. Quality biased retrieval is a retrieval approach that search for relevant document and prioritized higher quality documents. Despite major concern of quality content and recent development of quality biased retrieval, there is an urgent need to understand how quality content is being judged, for retrieval and performance evaluation purposes. Furthermore, even though there are various studies on the quality of information, there is no standard framework that has been established. The primary aim of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of human quality judgment in assessing online forum contents. The foundation of this study is to compare and evaluate different frameworks (for quality biased retrieval and information quality). This led to the finding that many quality dimensions are redundant and some dimensions are understood differently between different studies. We conducted a survey on crowdsourcing community to measure the importance of each quality dimensions found in various frameworks. Accuracy and ease of understanding are among top important dimensions while threads popularity and contents manipulability are among least important dimensions. This finding is beneficial in evaluating contents of online forum.

  11. What is nature capable of? Evidence, ontology and speculative medical humanities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savransky, Martin; Rosengarten, Marsha

    2016-09-01

    Expanding on the recent call for a 'critical medical humanities' to intervene in questions of the ontology of health, this article develops a what we call a 'speculative' orientation to such interventions in relation to some of the ontological commitments on which contemporary biomedical cultures rest. We argue that crucial to this task is an approach to ontology that treats it not as a question of first principles, but as a matter of the consequences of the images of nature that contemporary biomedical research practices espouse when they make claims to evidence, as well as the possible consequences of imagining different worlds in which health and disease processes partake. By attending to the implicit ontological assumptions involved in the method par excellence of biomedical research, namely the randomised controlled trial (RCT), we argue that the mechanistic ontology that tacitly informs evidence-based biomedical research simultaneously authorises a series of problematic consequences for understanding and intervening practically in the concrete realities of health. As a response, we develop an alternative ontological proposition that regards processes of health and disease as always situated achievements. We show that, without disqualifying RCT-based evidence, such a situated ontology enables one to resist the reduction of the realities of health and disease to biomedicine's current forms of explanation. In so doing, we call for medical humanities scholars to actively engage in the speculative question of what nature may be capable of. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

  12. Evaluating the mechanistic evidence and key data gaps in assessing the potential carcinogenicity of carbon nanotubes and nanofibers in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuempel, Eileen D; Jaurand, Marie-Claude; Møller, Peter; Morimoto, Yasuo; Kobayashi, Norihiro; Pinkerton, Kent E; Sargent, Linda M; Vermeulen, Roel C H; Fubini, Bice; Kane, Agnes B

    2017-01-01

    In an evaluation of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for the IARC Monograph 111, the Mechanisms Subgroup was tasked with assessing the strength of evidence on the potential carcinogenicity of CNTs in humans. The mechanistic evidence was considered to be not strong enough to alter the evaluations based on the

  13. Genetic evidence of paleolithic colonization and neolithic expansion of modern humans on the tibetan plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Xuebin; Cui, Chaoying; Peng, Yi; Zhang, Xiaoming; Yang, Zhaohui; Zhong, Hua; Zhang, Hui; Xiang, Kun; Cao, Xiangyu; Wang, Yi; Ouzhuluobu; Basang; Ciwangsangbu; Bianba; Gonggalanzi; Wu, Tianyi; Chen, Hua; Shi, Hong; Su, Bing

    2013-08-01

    Tibetans live on the highest plateau in the world, their current population size is approximately 5 million, and most of them live at an altitude exceeding 3,500 m. Therefore, the Tibetan Plateau is a remarkable area for cultural and biological studies of human population history. However, the chronological profile of the Tibetan Plateau's colonization remains an unsolved question of human prehistory. To reconstruct the prehistoric colonization and demographic history of modern humans on the Tibetan Plateau, we systematically sampled 6,109 Tibetan individuals from 41 geographic populations across the entire region of the Tibetan Plateau and analyzed the phylogeographic patterns of both paternal (n = 2,354) and maternal (n = 6,109) lineages as well as genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism markers (n = 50) in Tibetan populations. We found that there have been two distinct, major prehistoric migrations of modern humans into the Tibetan Plateau. The first migration was marked by ancient Tibetan genetic signatures dated to approximately 30,000 years ago, indicating that the initial peopling of the Tibetan Plateau by modern humans occurred during the Upper Paleolithic rather than Neolithic. We also found evidences for relatively young (only 7-10 thousand years old) shared Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA haplotypes between Tibetans and Han Chinese, suggesting a second wave of migration during the early Neolithic. Collectively, the genetic data indicate that Tibetans have been adapted to a high altitude environment since initial colonization of the Tibetan Plateau in the early Upper Paleolithic, before the last glacial maximum, followed by a rapid population expansion that coincided with the establishment of farming and yak pastoralism on the Plateau in the early Neolithic.

  14. Water quality degradation effects on freshwater availability: Impacts to human activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, N.E.; Meybeck, Michel

    2000-01-01

    The quality of freshwater at any point on the landscape reflects the combined effects of many processes along water pathways. Human activities on all spatial scales affect both water quality and quantity. Alteration of the landscape and associated vegetation has not only changed the water balance, but typically has altered processes that control water quality. Effects of human activities on a small scale are relevant to an entire drainage basin. Furthermore, local, regional, and global differences in climate and water flow are considerable, causing varying effects of human activities on land and water quality and quantity, depending on location within a watershed, geology, biology, physiographic characteristics, and climate. These natural characteristics also greatly control human activities, which will, in turn, modify (or affect) the natural composition of water. One of the most important issues for effective resource management is recognition of cyclical and cascading effects of human activities on the water quality and quantity along hydrologic pathways. The degradation of water quality in one part of a watershed can have negative effects on users downstream. Everyone lives downstream of the effects of some human activity. An extremely important factor is that substances added to the atmosphere, land, and water generally have relatively long time scales for removal or clean up. The nature of the substance, including its affinity for adhering to soil and its ability to be transformed, affects the mobility and the time scale for removal of the substance. Policy alone will not solve many of the degradation issues, but a combination of policy, education, scientific knowledge, planning, and enforcement of applicable laws can provide mechanisms for slowing the rate of degradation and provide human and environmental protection. Such an integrated approach is needed to effectively manage land and water resources.

  15. Treatments for compulsive buying: A systematic review of the quality, effectiveness and progression of the outcome evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hague, Ben; Hall, Jo; Kellett, Stephen

    2016-09-01

    Background and aims This review appraises the progression and status of the evidence base for the treatment of compulsive buying disorder (CBD), in order to highlight what currently works and to prompt useful future research. Methods Online databases ISI Web of Knowledge, PsycINFO, and PubMed via Ovid were searched at two time points. Two quality checklists and an established model of therapy evaluation (hourglass model) evaluated the quality and progression of both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy treatments for CBD. Uncontrolled effect sizes were calculated and meta-regression analyses were performed regarding treatment duration. Results A total of 29 articles met the inclusion criteria, which were divided into psychotherapy (n = 17) and pharmacotherapy treatments (n = 12). Of the 29 studies, only 5 studies have been tested under conditions of high methodological quality. Both forms of treatment had been evaluated in a haphazard manner across the stages of the hourglass model. Although large effects were demonstrated for group psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy, such evidence of effectiveness was undermined by poor study quality and risk of publication bias. Long-term CBD treatment was associated with improved outcome with pharmacotherapy, but not when delivering psychotherapy. Discussion Group psychotherapy currently appears the most promising treatment option for CBD. Poor methodological control and sporadic evaluation of specific treatments have slowed the generation of a convincing evidence base for CBD treatment. Defining the active ingredients of effective CBD treatment is a key research goal.

  16. Does standardised structured reporting contribute to quality in diagnostic pathology? The importance of evidence-based datasets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, D W; Srigley, J

    2016-01-01

    Key quality parameters in diagnostic pathology include timeliness, accuracy, completeness, conformance with current agreed standards, consistency and clarity in communication. In this review, we argue that with worldwide developments in eHealth and big data, generally, there are two further, often overlooked, parameters if our reports are to be fit for purpose. Firstly, population-level studies have clearly demonstrated the value of providing timely structured reporting data in standardised electronic format as part of system-wide quality improvement programmes. Moreover, when combined with multiple health data sources through eHealth and data linkage, structured pathology reports become central to population-level quality monitoring, benchmarking, interventions and benefit analyses in public health management. Secondly, population-level studies, particularly for benchmarking, require a single agreed international and evidence-based standard to ensure interoperability and comparability. This has been taken for granted in tumour classification and staging for many years, yet international standardisation of cancer datasets is only now underway through the International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting (ICCR). In this review, we present evidence supporting the role of structured pathology reporting in quality improvement for both clinical care and population-level health management. Although this review of available evidence largely relates to structured reporting of cancer, it is clear that the same principles can be applied throughout anatomical pathology generally, as they are elsewhere in the health system.

  17. Resveratrol and Clinical Trials: The Crossroad from In Vitro Studies to Human Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomé-Carneiro, Joao; Larrosa, Mar; González-Sarrías, Antonio; Tomás-Barberán, Francisco A.; García-Conesa, María Teresa; Espín, Juan Carlos

    2013-01-01

    Resveratrol (3,5,4’-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) is a non-flavonoid polyphenol that may be present in a limited number of food-stuffs such as grapes and red wine. Resveratrol has been reported to exert a plethora of health benefits through many different mechanisms of action. This versatility and presence in the human diet have drawn the worldwide attention of many research groups over the past twenty years, which has resulted in a huge output of in vitro and animal (preclinical) studies. In line with this expectation, many resveratrol-based nutraceuticals are consumed all over the world with questionable clinical/scientific support. In fact, the confirmation of these benefits in humans through randomized clinical trials is still very limited. The vast majority of preclinical studies have been performed using assay conditions with a questionable extrapolation to humans, i.e. too high concentrations with potential safety concerns (adverse effects and drug interactions), short-term exposures, in vitro tests carried out with non-physiological metabolites and/or concentrations, etc. Unfortunately, all these hypothesis-generating studies have contributed to increased the number of ‘potential’ benefits and mechanisms of resveratrol but confirmation in humans is very limited. Therefore, there are many issues that should be addressed to avoid an apparent endless loop in resveratrol research. The so-called ‘Resveratrol Paradox’, i.e., low bioavailability but high bioactivity, is a conundrum not yet solved in which the final responsible actor (if any) for the exerted effects has not yet been unequivocally identified. It is becoming evident that resveratrol exerts cardioprotective benefits through the improvement of inflammatory markers, atherogenic profile, glucose metabolism and endothelial function. However, safety concerns remain unsolved regarding chronic consumption of high RES doses, specially in medicated people. This review will focus on the currently

  18. Electronic cigarettes and indoor air quality: a review of studies using human volunteers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zainol Abidin, Najihah; Zainal Abidin, Emilia; Zulkifli, Aziemah; Karuppiah, Karmegam; Syed Ismail, Sharifah Norkhadijah; Amer Nordin, Amer Siddiq

    2017-09-26

    This paper is primarily aimed to review articles on electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) focusing on indoor air quality (IAQ) assessment that were conducted using human volunteers under natural settings that mimic actual vaping scenarios. Such studies may give a better representation of the actual potential exposure towards e-cigarettes emissions in indoor settings. A systematic literature search was conducted using PubMed search engine database. Search terms such as "electronic cigarette", "e-cigarette", "electronic nicotine delivery system", and "indoor air quality" were used to identify the relevant articles to be included in this review. Articles that involved human volunteers who were asked to vape in natural settings or settings that mimic the actual vaping scenario were chosen to be reviewed. The search yielded a total of 15 published articles. Eleven articles were excluded due to 1) unavailability of its full-text (n=1), 2) did not involve human volunteers (n=5) and 3) did not involve an IAQ study (n=5). Four articles were critically reviewed in this paper. From the four selected articles, two of the papers focused on the determination of nicotine level released by e-cigarettes whereas the other two covered IAQ parameters namely; particulate matters (PM), propylene glycols, formaldehyde, metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Only two of the studies involved determination of biomarkers of exposure. The level of chemical contents released varied between studies. The differences in the brands of e-cigarette used, number of vapers recruited and the sensitivity of the methodologies employed in these studies may be the possible causes for such differences. However, studies using human volunteers conducted in a natural setting are more relevant to portray the actual exposure to vapors among e-cigarettes users and non-users compared to studies using a smoking machine/an exposure chamber. This is because such studies take into account the behavior of

  19. Quality of Mobile Phone and Tablet Mobile Apps for Speech Sound Disorders: Protocol for an Evidence-Based Appraisal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furlong, Lisa M; Morris, Meg E; Erickson, Shane; Serry, Tanya A

    2016-11-29

    Although mobile apps are readily available for speech sound disorders (SSD), their validity has not been systematically evaluated. This evidence-based appraisal will critically review and synthesize current evidence on available therapy apps for use by children with SSD. The main aims are to (1) identify the types of apps currently available for Android and iOS mobile phones and tablets, and (2) to critique their design features and content using a structured quality appraisal tool. This protocol paper presents and justifies the methods used for a systematic review of mobile apps that provide intervention for use by children with SSD. The primary outcomes of interest are (1) engagement, (2) functionality, (3) aesthetics, (4) information quality, (5) subjective quality, and (6) perceived impact. Quality will be assessed by 2 certified practicing speech-language pathologists using a structured quality appraisal tool. Two app stores will be searched from the 2 largest operating platforms, Android and iOS. Systematic methods of knowledge synthesis shall include searching the app stores using a defined procedure, data extraction, and quality analysis. This search strategy shall enable us to determine how many SSD apps are available for Android and for iOS compatible mobile phones and tablets. It shall also identify the regions of the world responsible for the apps' development, the content and the quality of offerings. Recommendations will be made for speech-language pathologists seeking to use mobile apps in their clinical practice. This protocol provides a structured process for locating apps and appraising the quality, as the basis for evaluating their use in speech pathology for children in English-speaking nations. ©Lisa M Furlong, Meg E Morris, Shane Erickson, Tanya A Serry. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (http://www.researchprotocols.org), 29.11.2016.

  20. A code of ethics for evidence-based research with ancient human remains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreissl Lonfat, Bettina M; Kaufmann, Ina Maria; Rühli, Frank

    2015-06-01

    As clinical research constantly advances and the concept of evolution becomes a strong and influential part of basic medical research, the absence of a discourse that deals with the use of ancient human remains in evidence-based research is becoming unbearable. While topics such as exhibition and excavation of human remains are established ethical fields of discourse, when faced with instrumentalization of ancient human remains for research (i.e., ancient DNA extractions for disease marker analyses) the answers from traditional ethics or even more practical fields of bio-ethics or more specific biomedical ethics are rare to non-existent. The Centre for Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zurich solved their needs for discursive action through the writing of a self-given code of ethics which was written in dialogue with the researchers at the Institute and was published online in Sept. 2011: http://evolutionäremedizin.ch/coe/. The philosophico-ethical basis for this a code of conduct and ethics and the methods are published in this article. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. TU-EF-BRD-01: Topics in Quality and Safety Research and Level of Evidence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pawlicki, T. [UCSD Medical Center (United States)

    2015-06-15

    Research related to quality and safety has been a staple of medical physics academic activities for a long time. From very early on, medical physicists have developed new radiation measurement equipment and analysis techniques, created ever increasingly accurate dose calculation models, and have vastly improved imaging, planning, and delivery techniques. These and other areas of interest have improved the quality and safety of radiotherapy for our patients. With the advent of TG-100, quality and safety is an area that will garner even more research interest in the future. As medical physicists pursue quality and safety research in greater numbers, it is worthwhile to consider what actually constitutes research on quality and safety. For example, should the development of algorithms for real-time EPID-based in-vivo dosimetry be defined as “quality and safety” research? How about the clinical implementation of such as system? Surely the application of failure modes and effects analysis to a clinical process would be considered quality and safety research, but is this type of research that should be included in the medical physics peer-reviewed literature? The answers to such questions are of critical importance to set researchers in a direction that will provide the greatest benefit to our field and the patients we serve. The purpose of this symposium is to consider what constitutes research in the arena of quality and safety and differentiate it from other research directions. The key distinction here is developing the tool itself (e.g. algorithms for EPID dosimetry) vs. studying the impact of the tool with some quantitative metric. Only the latter would I call quality and safety research. Issues of ‘basic’ versus ‘applied’ quality and safety research will be covered as well as how the research results should be structured to provide increasing levels of support that a quality and safety intervention is effective and sustainable. Examples from existing

  2. Do Restatements Break Bad Habits? Evidence of Earnings Quality Following Restatements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herly, Marie; Bartholdy, Jan; Thinggaard, Frank

    2014-01-01

    This paper investigates if firms consider restatements so severe that they change their financial reporting strategies and subsequently improve their accounting quality. We compare the accruals quality of restating firms during the period 2000-2010 with a matched control group and hypothesize...... to the restatement announcements lead to significant improvement in accruals quality. Thus, while the restatement itself does not lead to improvements in accounting quality, the punishment by the capital markets does. Our findings thus suggest that capital market forces play a larger disciplining role than...... that the costly consequences of restatements documented in prior research incentivize firms to improve their accounting quality. We use a multivariate difference-in-difference research design and contrary to our expectations we find that firms do not improve the quality of their financial statements more than...

  3. Accruals quality, underwriter reputation, and corporate bond underpricing: Evidence from China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Si Xu

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the relationship between accruals quality and the underpricing of corporate bonds in China and how underwriter reputation affects this relationship. We find that (1 accruals quality is negatively associated with the magnitude of bond underpricing and (2 the impact of low accruals quality on underpricing is partially offset by hiring reputable underwriters. A path analysis shows that approximately 11% of the effect of accruals quality on underpricing is attributable to the indirect path through reputable underwriters, suggesting that accruals quality is more effective than reputable underwriters in lowering bond underpricing. These findings are significant for initial bond offerings, but not for secondary bond offerings. We also find that low accruals quality is associated with more restrictive non-price contract terms such as greater collateral requirements and stricter covenants.

  4. How does auditors’ work stress affect audit quality? Empirical evidence from the Chinese stock market

    OpenAIRE

    Huanmin Yan; Shengwen Xie

    2016-01-01

    With reference to the Job Demands–Control Model, we empirically examine the effect of auditors’ work stress on audit quality using a sample of Chinese A-share listed companies and their signature auditors from 2009 to 2013. The results show that (1) there is generally no pervasive deterioration in audit quality resulting from auditors’ work stress; (2) there is a significant negative association between work stress and audit quality in the initial audits of new clients; and (3) the perception...

  5. Eco-Health Linkages: evidence base and socio-economic considerations for linking ecosystem goods and services to human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem goods and services (EGS) are thought to play a role in protecting human health, but the empirical evidence directly linking EGS to human health outcomes is limited, and our ability to detect Eco-Health linkages is confounded by socio-economic factors. These limitations ...

  6. The Early Development of Human Mirror Mechanisms: Evidence from Electromyographic Recordings at 3 and 6 Months

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turati, Chiara; Natale, Elena; Bolognini, Nadia; Senna, Irene; Picozzi, Marta; Longhi, Elena; Cassia, Viola Macchi

    2013-01-01

    In primates and adult humans direct understanding of others' action is provided by mirror mechanisms matching action observation and action execution (e.g. Casile, Caggiano & Ferrari, 2011). Despite the growing body of evidence detailing the existence of these mechanisms in the adult human brain, their origins and early development are…

  7. Video processing for human perceptual visual quality-oriented video coding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Hyungsuk; Kim, Wonha

    2013-04-01

    We have developed a video processing method that achieves human perceptual visual quality-oriented video coding. The patterns of moving objects are modeled by considering the limited human capacity for spatial-temporal resolution and the visual sensory memory together, and an online moving pattern classifier is devised by using the Hedge algorithm. The moving pattern classifier is embedded in the existing visual saliency with the purpose of providing a human perceptual video quality saliency model. In order to apply the developed saliency model to video coding, the conventional foveation filtering method is extended. The proposed foveation filter can smooth and enhance the video signals locally, in conformance with the developed saliency model, without causing any artifacts. The performance evaluation results confirm that the proposed video processing method shows reliable improvements in the perceptual quality for various sequences and at various bandwidths, compared to existing saliency-based video coding methods.

  8. The effect of school quality on black-white health differences: evidence from segregated southern schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frisvold, David; Golberstein, Ezra

    2013-12-01

    This study assesses the effect of black-white differences in school quality on black-white differences in health in later life resulting from the racial convergence in school quality for cohorts born between 1910 and 1950 in southern states with segregated schools. Using data from the 1984-2007 National Health Interview Surveys linked to race-specific data on school quality, we find that reductions in the black-white gap in school quality led to modest reductions in the black-white gap in disability.

  9. Human action quality evaluation based on fuzzy logic with application in underground coal mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ionica, Andreea; Leba, Monica

    2015-01-01

    The work system is defined by its components, their roles and the relationships between them. Any work system gravitates around the human resource and the interdependencies between human factor and the other components of it. Researches in this field agreed that the human factor and its actions are difficult to quantify and predict. The objective of this paper is to apply a method of human actions evaluation in order to estimate possible risks and prevent possible system faults, both at human factor level and at equipment level. In order to point out the importance of the human factor influence on all the elements of the working systems we propose a fuzzy logic based methodology for quality evaluation of human actions. This methodology has a multidisciplinary character, as it gathers ideas and methods from: quality management, ergonomics, work safety and artificial intelligence. The results presented refer to a work system with a high degree of specificity, namely, underground coal mining and are valuable for human resources risk evaluation pattern. The fuzzy logic evaluation of the human actions leads to early detection of possible dangerous evolutions of the work system and alarm the persons in charge.

  10. Evidence for a Role for Nanoporosity and Pyridinoline Content in Human Mild Osteogenesis Imperfecta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paschalis, Eleftherios P; Gamsjaeger, Sonja; Fratzl-Zelman, Nadja; Roschger, Paul; Masic, Admir; Brozek, Wolfgang; Hassler, Norbert; Glorieux, Francis H; Rauch, Frank; Klaushofer, Klaus; Fratzl, Peter

    2016-05-01

    Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous connective tissue disorder characterized by bone fragility that arises from decreased bone mass and abnormalities in bone material quality. OI type I represents the milder form of the disease and according to the original Sillence classification is characterized by minimal skeletal deformities and near-normal stature. Raman microspectroscopy is a vibrational spectroscopic technique that allows the determination of bone material properties in bone biopsy blocks with a spatial resolution of ∼1 µm, as a function of tissue age. In the present study, we used Raman microspectroscopy to evaluate bone material quality in transiliac bone biopsies from children with a mild form of OI, either attributable to collagen haploinsufficiency OI type I (OI-Quant; n = 11) or aberrant collagen structure (OI-Qual; n = 5), as a function of tissue age, and compared it against the previously published values established in a cohort of biopsies from healthy children (n = 54, ages 1 to 23 years). The results indicated significant differences in bone material compositional characteristics between OI-Quant patients and healthy controls, whereas fewer were evident in the OI-Qual patients. Differences in both subgroups of OI compared with healthy children were evident for nanoporosity, mineral maturity/crystallinity as determined by maxima of the v1 PO4 Raman band, and pyridinoline (albeit in different direction) content. These alterations in bone material compositional properties most likely contribute to the bone fragility characterizing this disease. © 2016 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. © 2016 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

  11. Volatility effect and the role of firm quality factor in returns: Evidence from the Indian stock market

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asheesh Pandey

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available In the study, we examine if there are any volatility patterns in stock returns for India. Data are employed for 493 companies that form part of BSE 500 index from March 2000 to November 2013. Unlike previous international evidence, no volatility anomaly is observed. Consistent with theory, high volatility stocks significantly outperform low volatility stocks. Alternative risk models fail to explain the volatility effect. Consistent with prior research, we confirm the role of firm quality factor in explaining these volatility patterns. Cash flow variability seems to be a more appropriate measure of firm quality compared to profitability.

  12. A systematic review of human factors and ergonomics (HFE)-based healthcare system redesign for quality of care and patient safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Anping; Carayon, Pascale

    2015-01-01

    Healthcare systems need to be redesigned to provide care that is safe, effective and efficient, and meets the multiple needs of patients. This systematic review examines how human factors and ergonomics (HFE) is applied to redesign healthcare work systems and processes and improve quality and safety of care. We identified 12 projects representing 23 studies and addressing different physical, cognitive and organisational HFE issues in a variety of healthcare systems and care settings. Some evidence exists for the effectiveness of HFE-based healthcare system redesign in improving process and outcome measures of quality and safety of care. We assessed risk of bias in 16 studies reporting the impact of HFE-based healthcare system redesign and found varying quality across studies. Future research should further assess the impact of HFE on quality and safety of care, and clearly define the mechanisms by which HFE-based system redesign can improve quality and safety of care.

  13. Does quality influence utilization of primary health care? Evidence from Haiti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gage, Anna D; Leslie, Hannah H; Bitton, Asaf; Jerome, J Gregory; Joseph, Jean Paul; Thermidor, Roody; Kruk, Margaret E

    2018-06-20

    Expanding coverage of primary healthcare services such as antenatal care and vaccinations is a global health priority; however, many Haitians do not utilize these services. One reason may be that the population avoids low quality health facilities. We examined how facility infrastructure and the quality of primary health care service delivery were associated with community utilization of primary health care services in Haiti. We constructed two composite measures of quality for all Haitian facilities using the 2013 Service Provision Assessment survey. We geographically linked population clusters from the Demographic and Health Surveys to nearby facilities offering primary health care services. We assessed the cross-sectional association between quality and utilization of four primary care services: antenatal care, postnatal care, vaccinations and sick child care, as well as one more complex service: facility delivery. Facilities performed poorly on both measures of quality, scoring 0.55 and 0.58 out of 1 on infrastructure and service delivery quality respectively. In rural areas, utilization of several primary cares services (antenatal care, postnatal care, and vaccination) was associated with both infrastructure and quality of service delivery, with stronger associations for service delivery. Facility delivery was associated with infrastructure quality, and there was no association for sick child care. In urban areas, care utilization was not associated with either quality measure. Poor quality of care may deter utilization of beneficial primary health care services in rural areas of Haiti. Improving health service quality may offer an opportunity not only to improve health outcomes for patients, but also to expand coverage of key primary health care services.

  14. Cruciferous vegetables and human cancer risk: epidemiologic evidence and mechanistic basis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higdon, Jane V; Delage, Barbara; Williams, David E; Dashwood, Roderick H

    2007-03-01

    Cruciferous vegetables are a rich source of glucosinolates and their hydrolysis products, including indoles and isothiocyanates, and high intake of cruciferous vegetables has been associated with lower risk of lung and colorectal cancer in some epidemiological studies. Glucosinolate hydrolysis products alter the metabolism or activity of sex hormones in ways that could inhibit the development of hormone-sensitive cancers, but evidence of an inverse association between cruciferous vegetable intake and breast or prostate cancer in humans is limited and inconsistent. Organizations such as the National Cancer Institute recommend the consumption of five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily, but separate recommendations for cruciferous vegetables have not been established. Isothiocyanates and indoles derived from the hydrolysis of glucosinolates, such as sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol (I3C), have been implicated in a variety of anticarcinogenic mechanisms, but deleterious effects also have been reported in some experimental protocols, including tumor promotion over prolonged periods of exposure. Epidemiological studies indicate that human exposure to isothiocyanates and indoles through cruciferous vegetable consumption may decrease cancer risk, but the protective effects may be influenced by individual genetic variation (polymorphisms) in the metabolism and elimination of isothiocyanates from the body. Cooking procedures also affect the bioavailability and intake of glucosinolates and their derivatives. Supplementation with I3C or the related dimer 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM) alters urinary estrogen metabolite profiles in women, but the effects of I3C and DIM on breast cancer risk are not known. Small preliminary trials in humans suggest that I3C supplementation may be beneficial in treating conditions related to human papilloma virus infection, such as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, but larger randomized

  15. CREATIVITY – PREQUISITE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND QUALITY OF HUMAN LIFE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ядвіга Дашиновська

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The notion of life quality has been observed in numerous fields of science including pedagogy. This discipline perceives human life in the light of continuous changes that are accompanied by the transformations of the man himself and the creation of various ways of interactions and balance between them and the surrounding world. Their direction depends on human vision of life and the role man accepts to play in it as well as the value that is ascribed by man to his life – here appears the question concerning the quality of life. From pedagogical point of view quality of life is indicated by satisfaction with good life achieved throughout the realization of the values that constitute the basis for any human pursuit and objectives. Nevertheless, in order to influence one’s own life quality man must fulfil a necessary condition that is to be a creator not just a reproducer. In the paper herein there has undertaken an attempt to answer the question concerning the role of creative activity in the development of man and the quality of human life. It turns out that conscious application of one’s own potential and creative activity enables the man to become self-realized and favours the satisfaction with life.

  16. The offspring quantity–quality trade-off and human fertility variation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, David W.; Borgerhoff Mulder, Monique

    2016-01-01

    The idea that trade-offs between offspring quantity and quality shape reproductive behaviour has long been central to economic perspectives on fertility. It also has a parallel and richer theoretical foundation in evolutionary ecology. We review the application of the quantity–quality trade-off concept to human reproduction, emphasizing distinctions between clutch size and lifetime fertility, and the wider set of forces contributing to fertility variation in iteroparous and sexually reproducing species like our own. We then argue that in settings approximating human evolutionary history, several factors limit costly sibling competition. Consequently, while the optimization of quantity–quality trade-offs undoubtedly shaped the evolution of human physiology setting the upper limits of reproduction, we argue it plays a modest role in accounting for socio-ecological and individual variation in fertility. Only upon entering the demographic transition can fertility limitation be clearly interpreted as strategically orientated to advancing offspring quality via increased parental investment per child, with low fertility increasing descendant socio-economic success, although not reproductive success. We conclude that existing economic and evolutionary literature has often overemphasized the centrality of quantity–quality trade-offs to human fertility variation and advocate for the development of more holistic frameworks encompassing alternative life-history trade-offs and the evolved mechanisms guiding their resolution. PMID:27022072

  17. THE QUALITY OF GROWTH: PERAN TEKNOLOGI DAN INVESTASI HUMAN CAPITAL SEBAGAI PEMACU PERTUMBUHAN EKONOMI BERKUALITAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P Eko Prasetyo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In the process of developing economy in a whole and continuously, the macro economy stability of acountry is an essential prerequisite for producing a quality economic growth. For achieving the qualityeconomic growth, there should be a continuous capital human investment and the use of continuousscience and technology (IPTEK. The process of developing economy will be able to transform thesociety condition from vicious circle to virtuous circle condition if the growth of economy is qualified..Keywords: Quality of growth; human capital, technology and virtuous circle.

  18. Quality of Teaching Mathematics and Learning Achievement Gains: Evidence from Primary Schools in Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngware, Moses W.; Ciera, James; Musyoka, Peter K.; Oketch, Moses

    2015-01-01

    This paper examines the contribution of quality mathematics teaching to student achievement gains. Quality of mathematics teaching is assessed through teacher demonstration of the five strands of mathematical proficiency, the level of cognitive task demands, and teacher mathematical knowledge. Data is based on 1907 grade 6 students who sat for the…

  19. Development of quality indicators based on a multidisciplinary, evidence-based guideline on pediatric constipation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stienen, J.J.C.; Tabbers, M.M.; Benninga, M.A.; Harmsen, M.; Ouwens, M.M.T.J.

    2011-01-01

    Several clinical guidelines for childhood functional constipation have been developed, but none of them is accompanied by a set of quality indicators. It is important to gain insight into the quality of care in daily practice in order to improve the implementation of clinical guidelines. This can be

  20. Teaching Mathematical Word Problem Solving: The Quality of Evidence for Strategy Instruction Priming the Problem Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jitendra, Asha K.; Petersen-Brown, Shawna; Lein, Amy E.; Zaslofsky, Anne F.; Kunkel, Amy K.; Jung, Pyung-Gang; Egan, Andrea M.

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the quality of the research base related to strategy instruction priming the underlying mathematical problem structure for students with learning disabilities and those at risk for mathematics difficulties. We evaluated the quality of methodological rigor of 18 group research studies using the criteria proposed by Gersten et…

  1. Influence of quality of life on the state and development of human capital in Latvia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhanna Tsaurkubule

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Currently, the essence and forms of interrelation between human capital and quality of life are still insufficiently studied. Therefore, there is a need for defining general components of these categories and areas, where human capital interacts with quality of life. Today, Latvia has been developing in difficult conditions: the population is decreasing, emigration is growing, possibilities of employment are limited, and the income of residents is decreasing. All these factors reduce quality of life for the population and lead to the loss of human resources in the country. The existence of a problem stemming from the relationship between quality of life and human capital establishes the relevance of the research and determines its aim. The main contradiction is between the external positioning of the state as a country successfully overcoming crisis and the growth of internal crisis in the state, leading to the further impoverishment of the population, leading to an increased emigration of the working population of Latvia. The main research question is as follows: how to preserve human resources in the state? Based on an analysis of post-crisis socio-economic processes taking place in the society, recommendations are made to improve the socio-economic policy in ways that improve the welfare of the population of Latvia.

  2. The Quality of Accounting Earnings and Change in Political Power Map: Evidence from Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harymawan Iman

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the earnings quality of politically connected firms listed in Indonesian Stock Exchange during 2006-2010. This study compare two definition (Soeharto Dependency Index (SDI and Politically Exposed Person (PEP of political connections to capture the effect of the changes of political power map on the earnings quality of politically connected firms in Indonesia. The finding shows that the quality of accounting earnings of politically connected firms which were formerly closely related to President Soeharto in 1998 are not significantly different to other firms. Furthermore, when this study employ politically exposed person as a proxy of political connections, the findings shows that connected firms have significantly lower quality accounting earnings. Consistent with prior findings, this study shows that change in political power map in Indonesia affect the level of earnings quality of politically connected firms.

  3. First serologic evidence of human hantavirus infection in Alagoas State in Northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Alfredo dos Santos-Júnior

    Full Text Available Abstract INTRODUCTION: Hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS is rare in Northeastern Brazil. METHODS: Prospective surveillance was conducted over a two-year period in Alagoas State, Northeastern Brazil. The prevalence of anti-hantavirus N-antigen IgM and IgG in human serum samples was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay testing. RESULTS: High avidity IgG was found in nine of 476 serum samples tested (from 102 patients with clinical manifestations compatible with HCPS, 124 patients with leptospirosis, and 250 healthy rural workers. CONCLUSIONS: Serologic evidence of past hantavirus infection in residents of Alagoas State indicates that hantaviruses are present in northeastern Brazil, even in areas silent for HCPS.

  4. Evidence from intrinsic activity that asymmetry of the human brain is controlled by multiple factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hesheng; Stufflebeam, Steven M; Sepulcre, Jorge; Hedden, Trey; Buckner, Randy L

    2009-12-01

    Cerebral lateralization is a fundamental property of the human brain and a marker of successful development. Here we provide evidence that multiple mechanisms control asymmetry for distinct brain systems. Using intrinsic activity to measure asymmetry in 300 adults, we mapped the most strongly lateralized brain regions. Both men and women showed strong asymmetries with a significant, but small, group difference. Factor analysis on the asymmetric regions revealed 4 separate factors that each accounted for significant variation across subjects. The factors were associated with brain systems involved in vision, internal thought (the default network), attention, and language. An independent sample of right- and left-handed individuals showed that hand dominance affects brain asymmetry but differentially across the 4 factors supporting their independence. These findings show the feasibility of measuring brain asymmetry using intrinsic activity fluctuations and suggest that multiple genetic or environmental mechanisms control cerebral lateralization.

  5. Evidence for an Ancestral Association of Human Coronavirus 229E with Bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corman, Victor Max; Baldwin, Heather J; Tateno, Adriana Fumie; Zerbinati, Rodrigo Melim; Annan, Augustina; Owusu, Michael; Nkrumah, Evans Ewald; Maganga, Gael Darren; Oppong, Samuel; Adu-Sarkodie, Yaw; Vallo, Peter; da Silva Filho, Luiz Vicente Ribeiro Ferreira; Leroy, Eric M; Thiel, Volker; van der Hoek, Lia; Poon, Leo L M; Tschapka, Marco; Drosten, Christian; Drexler, Jan Felix

    2015-12-01

    We previously showed that close relatives of human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E) exist in African bats. The small sample and limited genomic characterizations have prevented further analyses so far. Here, we tested 2,087 fecal specimens from 11 bat species sampled in Ghana for HCoV-229E-related viruses by reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR). Only hipposiderid bats tested positive. To compare the genetic diversity of bat viruses and HCoV-229E, we tested historical isolates and diagnostic specimens sampled globally over 10 years. Bat viruses were 5- and 6-fold more diversified than HCoV-229E in the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) and spike genes. In phylogenetic analyses, HCoV-229E strains were monophyletic and not intermixed with animal viruses. Bat viruses formed three large clades in close and more distant sister relationships. A recently described 229E-related alpaca virus occupied an intermediate phylogenetic position between bat and human viruses. According to taxonomic criteria, human, alpaca, and bat viruses form a single CoV species showing evidence for multiple recombination events. HCoV-229E and the alpaca virus showed a major deletion in the spike S1 region compared to all bat viruses. Analyses of four full genomes from 229E-related bat CoVs revealed an eighth open reading frame (ORF8) located at the genomic 3' end. ORF8 also existed in the 229E-related alpaca virus. Reanalysis of HCoV-229E sequences showed a conserved transcription regulatory sequence preceding remnants of this ORF, suggesting its loss after acquisition of a 229E-related CoV by humans. These data suggested an evolutionary origin of 229E-related CoVs in hipposiderid bats, hypothetically with camelids as intermediate hosts preceding the establishment of HCoV-229E. The ancestral origins of major human coronaviruses (HCoVs) likely involve bat hosts. Here, we provide conclusive genetic evidence for an evolutionary origin of the common cold virus HCoV-229E in hipposiderid bats by analyzing a

  6. Evidence for a stepwise program of extrathymic T cell development within the human tonsil

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClory, Susan; Hughes, Tiffany; Freud, Aharon G.; Briercheck, Edward L.; Martin, Chelsea; Trimboli, Anthony J.; Yu, Jianhua; Zhang, Xiaoli; Leone, Gustavo; Nuovo, Gerard; Caligiuri, Michael A.

    2012-01-01

    The development of a broad repertoire of T cells, which is essential for effective immune function, occurs in the thymus. Although some data suggest that T cell development can occur extrathymically, many researchers remain skeptical that extrathymic T cell development has an important role in generating the T cell repertoire in healthy individuals. However, it may be important in the setting of poor thymic function or congenital deficit and in the context of autoimmunity, cancer, or regenerative medicine. Here, we report evidence that a stepwise program of T cell development occurs within the human tonsil. We identified 5 tonsillar T cell developmental intermediates: (a) CD34+CD38dimLin– cells, which resemble multipotent progenitors in the bone marrow and thymus; (b) more mature CD34+CD38brightLin– cells; (c) CD34+CD1a+CD11c– cells, which resemble committed T cell lineage precursors in the thymus; (d) CD34–CD1a+CD3–CD11c– cells, which resemble CD4+CD8+ double-positive T cells in the thymus; and (e) CD34–CD1a+CD3+CD11c– cells. The phenotype of each subset closely resembled that of its thymic counterpart. The last 4 populations expressed RAG1 and PTCRA, genes required for TCR rearrangement, and all 5 subsets were capable of ex vivo T cell differentiation. TdT+ cells found within the tonsillar fibrous scaffold expressed CD34 and/or CD1a, indicating that this distinct anatomic region contributes to pre–T cell development, as does the subcapsular region of the thymus. Thus, we provide evidence of a role for the human tonsil in a comprehensive program of extrathymic T cell development. PMID:22378041

  7. Do public nursing home care providers deliver higher quality than private providers? Evidence from Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winblad, Ulrika; Blomqvist, Paula; Karlsson, Andreas

    2017-07-14

    Swedish nursing home care has undergone a transformation, where the previous virtual public monopoly on providing such services has been replaced by a system of mixed provision. This has led to a rapidly growing share of private actors, the majority of which are large, for-profit firms. In the wake of this development, concerns have been voiced regarding the implications for care quality. In this article, we investigate the relationship between ownership and care quality in nursing homes for the elderly by comparing quality levels between public, for-profit, and non-profit nursing home care providers. We also look at a special category of for-profit providers; private equity companies. The source of data is a national survey conducted by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare in 2011 at 2710 nursing homes. Data from 14 quality indicators are analyzed, including structure and process measures such as staff levels, staff competence, resident participation, and screening for pressure ulcers, nutrition status, and risk of falling. The main statistical method employed is multiple OLS regression analysis. We differentiate in the analysis between structural and processual quality measures. The results indicate that public nursing homes have higher quality than privately operated homes with regard to two structural quality measures: staffing levels and individual accommodation. Privately operated nursing homes, on the other hand, tend to score higher on process-based quality indicators such as medication review and screening for falls and malnutrition. No significant differences were found between different ownership categories of privately operated nursing homes. Ownership does appear to be related to quality outcomes in Swedish nursing home care, but the results are mixed and inconclusive. That staffing levels, which has been regarded as a key quality indicator in previous research, are higher in publicly operated homes than private is consistent with earlier

  8. Quality management of personnel in the nuclear industry: the human factor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tyror, J.G.

    1990-01-01

    The importance of research into understanding how plant operators can affect plant performance and plant safety is stressed in this general overview of the topic presented as an introduction to the conference. Three main interests are mentioned. The first concerns the relationship between the quality audit and the more specific issue of quality management as addressed by the safety audit. The second is safety and the link between safety, quality management and people which is shown by analysis of accidents in the industry. The third concern is the extent to which human failures are attributable to management systems and procedures rather than individual failings. (UK)

  9. Quality of Goals - a key to the human-oriented technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Begier

    2002-05-01

    Full Text Available A kind of an essay on some social and ethical impact of new technologies has been given in the first five sections. The next two sections bring a study on quality referred to the software process. Then some ethical issues are presented in the context of IT development and computer applications. The need for a quality of goals has been emphasized. Human objectives should gain the top position, especially in a coming post-computer era. Some conceptual research in the topic of quality of goals has been suggested to safe humanistic values.

  10. Impact of Human Resources on Implementing an Evidence-based HIV Prevention Intervention

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Virginia R.; Dolcini, M. Margaret; Catania, Joseph A.

    2016-01-01

    Evidence-based interventions (EBIs) often require competent staff, or human resources (HR), for implementation. The empirical evidence characterizing the influence of HR fluctuations on EBI delivery is limited and conflicting. Using the Interactive Systems Framework, we explored staff fluctuation and the subsequent influence on RESPECT, an HIV prevention EBI. Methods We conducted interviews with staff in two waves (n=53, Wave I; n=37, Wave II) in a national sample of organizations delivering RESPECT (N=29). We analyzed interviews qualitatively to describe changes among RESPECT staff and explore the subsequent influences on RESPECT implementation. Results Organizations reported downsizing, turnover, and expansion of staff positions. Staff changes had multiple influences on RESPECT implementation including clients reached, fidelity to specific RESPECT protocols, and overall sustainability of RESPECT over time. Discussion HR fluctuations are common, and our analyses provide an initial characterization of the relationship between HR fluctuation and EBI implementation. Given the prominent influence of HR on EBI implementation, the Interactive Systems Framework is a useful guiding tool for future examinations. PMID:27150896

  11. Skeletal Indicators of Shark Feeding on Human Remains: Evidence from Florida Forensic Anthropology Cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stock, Michala K; Winburn, Allysha P; Burgess, George H

    2017-11-01

    This research examines a series of six Florida forensic anthropology cases that exhibit taphonomic evidence of marine deposition and shark-feeding activities. In each case, we analyzed patterns of trauma/damage on the skeletal remains (e.g., sharp-force bone gouges and punctures) and possible mechanisms by which they were inflicted during shark predation/scavenging. In some cases, shark teeth were embedded in the remains; in the absence of this evidence, we measured interdental distance from defects in the bone to estimate shark body length, as well as to draw inferences about the potential species responsible. We discuss similarities and differences among the cases and make comparisons to literature documenting diagnostic shark-inflicted damage to human remains from nearby regions. We find that the majority of cases potentially involve bull or tiger sharks scavenging the remains of previously deceased, adult male individuals. This scavenging results in a distinctive taphonomic signature including incised gouges in cortical bone. © 2017 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  12. Effect of Simulated Microgravity on Human Brain Gray Matter and White Matter--Evidence from MRI.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ke Li

    Full Text Available There is limited and inconclusive evidence that space environment, especially microgravity condition, may affect microstructure of human brain. This experiment hypothesized that there would be modifications in gray matter (GM and white matter (WM of the brain due to microgravity.Eighteen male volunteers were recruited and fourteen volunteers underwent -6° head-down bed rest (HDBR for 30 days simulated microgravity. High-resolution brain anatomical imaging data and diffusion tensor imaging images were collected on a 3T MR system before and after HDBR. We applied voxel-based morphometry and tract-based spatial statistics analysis to investigate the structural changes in GM and WM of brain.We observed significant decreases of GM volume in the bilateral frontal lobes, temporal poles, parahippocampal gyrus, insula and right hippocampus, and increases of GM volume in the vermis, bilateral paracentral lobule, right precuneus gyrus, left precentral gyrus and left postcentral gyrus after HDBR. Fractional anisotropy (FA changes were also observed in multiple WM tracts.These regions showing GM changes are closely associated with the functional domains of performance, locomotion, learning, memory and coordination. Regional WM alterations may be related to brain function decline and adaption. Our findings provide the neuroanatomical evidence of brain dysfunction or plasticity in microgravity condition and a deeper insight into the cerebral mechanisms in microgravity condition.

  13. Holistic processing of human body postures: Evidence from the composite effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sam eWillems

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The perception of socially relevant stimuli (e.g., faces and bodies has received considerable attention in the vision science community. It is now widely accepted that human faces are processed holistically and not only analytically. One observation that has been taken as evidence for holistic face processing is the face composite effect: Two identical top halves of a face tend to be perceived as being different when combined with different bottom halves. This supports the hypothesis that face processing proceeds holistically. Indeed, the interference effect disappears when the two face parts are misaligned (blocking holistic perception. In the present study, we investigated whether there is also a composite effect for the perception of body postures: Are two identical body halves perceived as being in different poses when the irrelevant body halves differ from each other? Both a horizontal (i.e., top-bottom body halves; Experiment 1 and a vertical composite effect (i.e., left-right body halves; Experiment 2 were examined by means of a delayed matching-to-sample task. Results of both experiments indicate the existence of a body posture composite effect. This provides evidence for the hypothesis that body postures, as faces, are processed holistically.

  14. Holistic processing of human body postures: evidence from the composite effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willems, Sam; Vrancken, Leia; Germeys, Filip; Verfaillie, Karl

    2014-01-01

    The perception of socially relevant stimuli (e.g., faces and bodies) has received considerable attention in the vision science community. It is now widely accepted that human faces are processed holistically and not only analytically. One observation that has been taken as evidence for holistic face processing is the face composite effect: two identical top halves of a face tend to be perceived as being different when combined with different bottom halves. This supports the hypothesis that face processing proceeds holistically. Indeed, the interference effect disappears when the two face parts are misaligned (blocking holistic perception). In the present study, we investigated whether there is also a composite effect for the perception of body postures: are two identical body halves perceived as being in different poses when the irrelevant body halves differ from each other? Both a horizontal (i.e., top-bottom body halves; Experiment 1) and a vertical composite effect (i.e., left-right body halves; Experiment 2) were examined by means of a delayed matching-to-sample task. Results of both experiments indicate the existence of a body posture composite effect. This provides evidence for the hypothesis that body postures, as faces, are processed holistically.

  15. IN QUEST OF TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES IN ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN SERVICES: EVIDENCE FROM TURKEY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Umut Durmus

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Proposal: Architectural design companies increasingly recognize that time spent on management is not at the expense of their production and there are always better ways to organize business. Although architects have long placed a traditional emphasis on quality, quality management is still a new concept for the majority of architectural design companies, which have to organize relatively more complicated operations nowadays to meet their clients’ expectations. This study aims to understand how architectural design companies define quality and explores the extent to which Total Quality Management (TQM principles like continual improvement, employee involvement, customer satisfaction and others can be pertinent in these companies. Adopting a qualitative research strategy, the authors interviewed with the owner-managers of 10 widely-recognized architectural design companies of different size in Istanbul. The results from the content analysis of semi-structured interview data suggest that i TQM principles cannot be directly applied in architectural design companies without an appropriate translation; ii special characteristics of design services are important to explain quality-related perceptions of owner-managers; iii the owner-managers feel the pressure from the changing internal and external environmental conditions, however few of them adopt a systematic and documented approach to quality management. Architectural design offices which aim to establish a quality management system can benefit from this study to understand potential problem areas on their road.

  16. Does Viewing Pornography Reduce Marital Quality Over Time? Evidence from Longitudinal Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Samuel L

    2017-02-01

    Numerous studies have examined the connection between pornography viewing and marital quality, with findings most often revealing a negative association. Data limitations, however, have precluded establishing directionality with a representative sample. This study is the first to draw on nationally representative, longitudinal data (2006-2012 Portraits of American Life Study) to test whether more frequent pornography use influences marital quality later on and whether this effect is moderated by gender. In general, married persons who more frequently viewed pornography in 2006 reported significantly lower levels of marital quality in 2012, net of controls for earlier marital quality and relevant correlates. Pornography's effect was not simply a proxy for dissatisfaction with sex life or marital decision-making in 2006. In terms of substantive influence, frequency of pornography use in 2006 was the second strongest predictor of marital quality in 2012. Interaction effects revealed, however, that the negative effect of porn use on marital quality applied to husbands, but not wives. In fact, post-estimation predicted values indicated that wives who viewed pornography more frequently reported higher marital quality than those who viewed it less frequently or not at all. The implications and limitations of this study are discussed.

  17. GRADE: Assessing the quality of evidence in environmental and occupational health

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morgan, Rebecca L.; Thayer, Kristina A.; Bero, Lisa; Bruce, Nigel; Falck-Ytter, Yngve; Ghersi, Davina; Guyatt, Gordon; Hooijmans, Carlijn; Langendam, Miranda; Mandrioli, Daniele; Mustafa, Reem A.; Rehfuess, Eva A.; Rooney, Andrew A.; Shea, Beverley; Silbergeld, Ellen K.; Sutton, Patrice; Wolfe, Mary S.; Woodruff, Tracey J.; Verbeek, Jos H.; Holloway, Alison C.; Santesso, Nancy; Schünemann, Holger J.

    2016-01-01

    There is high demand in environmental health for adoption of a structured process that evaluates and integrates evidence while making decisions and recommendations transparent. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) framework holds promise to address this

  18. 'Faceness' and affectivity: evidence for genetic contributions to distinct components of electrocortical response to human faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shannon, Robert W; Patrick, Christopher J; Venables, Noah C; He, Sheng

    2013-12-01

    The ability to recognize a variety of different human faces is undoubtedly one of the most important and impressive functions of the human perceptual system. Neuroimaging studies have revealed multiple brain regions (including the FFA, STS, OFA) and electrophysiological studies have identified differing brain event-related potential (ERP) components (e.g., N170, P200) possibly related to distinct types of face information processing. To evaluate the heritability of ERP components associated with face processing, including N170, P200, and LPP, we examined ERP responses to fearful and neutral face stimuli in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins. Concordance levels for early brain response indices of face processing (N170, P200) were found to be stronger for MZ than DZ twins, providing evidence of a heritable basis to each. These findings support the idea that certain key neural mechanisms for face processing are genetically coded. Implications for understanding individual differences in recognition of facial identity and the emotional content of faces are discussed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Casein Hydrolysate with Glycemic Control Properties: Evidence from Cells, Animal Models, and Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, Elaine; Flynn, Sarah; Whelan, Helena; Nongonierma, Alice B; Holton, Thérèse A; Robinson, Aisling; Egan, Thelma; Cagney, Gerard; Shields, Denis C; Gibney, Eileen R; Newsholme, Philip; Gaudel, Celine; Jacquier, Jean-Christophe; Noronha, Nessa; FitzGerald, Richard J; Brennan, Lorraine

    2018-05-02

    Evidence exists to support the role of dairy derived proteins whey and casein in glycemic management. The objective of the present study was to use a cell screening method to identify a suitable casein hydrolysate and to examine its ability to impact glycemia related parameters in an animal model and in humans. Following screening for the ability to stimulate insulin secretion in pancreatic beta cells, a casein hydrolysate was selected and further studied in the ob/ob mouse model. An acute postprandial study was performed in 62 overweight and obese adults. Acute and long-term supplementation with the casein hydrolysate in in vivo studies in mice revealed a glucose lowering effect and a lipid reducing effect of the hydrolysate (43% reduction in overall liver fat). The postprandial human study revealed a significant increase in insulin secretion ( p = 0.04) concomitant with a reduction in glucose ( p = 0.03). The area under the curve for the change in glucose decreased from 181.84 ± 14.6 to 153.87 ± 13.02 ( p = 0.009). Overall, the data supports further work on the hydrolysate to develop into a functional food product.

  20. Evidence of a middle longitudinal fasciculus in the human brain from fiber dissection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maldonado, Igor Lima; de Champfleur, Nicolas Menjot; Velut, Stéphane; Destrieux, Christophe; Zemmoura, Ilyess; Duffau, Hugues

    2013-01-01

    A rostrocaudal pathway connecting the temporal and parietal lobes was described in monkeys using autoradiography and was named the middle longitudinal fasciculus (MdLF). Recently, the use of diffusion tensor tractography has allowed it to be depicted in human volunteers. In the present study, a technique of fiber dissection was used in 18 cadaveric human brains to investigate the presence of this fasciculus and to detail its anatomical relationships. On the basis of our findings, fiber dissection provides evidence for a long horizontal bundle medial to the arcuate fasciculus and extending to the superior temporal gyrus. Its fibers occupy the lateral-most layer of the upper portion of the stratum sagittale and partially cover the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, which is situated deeper and slightly inferiorly. Whereas MdLF fibers continue on a relatively superficial level to reach the superior temporal gyrus, the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus penetrates the deep temporal white matter and crosses the insular lobe. Although diffusion tensor imaging suggests that the MdLF terminates in the angular gyrus, this was not confirmed by the present study. These long association fibers continue onward posteriorly into upper portions of the occipital lobe. Further studies are needed to understand the role of the MdLF in brain function. PMID:23621438

  1. Exercise, Obesity, and Cutaneous Wound Healing: Evidence from Rodent and Human Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pence, Brandt D; Woods, Jeffrey A

    2014-01-01

    Significance: Impaired cutaneous wound healing is a major health concern. Obesity has been shown in a number of studies to impair wound healing, and chronic nonhealing wounds in obesity and diabetes are a major cause of limb amputations in the United States. Recent Advances: Recent evidence indicates that aberrant wound site inflammation may be an underlying cause for delayed healing. Obesity, diabetes, and other conditions such as stress and aging can result in a chronic low-level inflammatory state, thereby potentially affecting wound healing negatively. Critical Issues: Interventions which can speed the healing rate in individuals with slowly healing or nonhealing wounds are of critical importance. Recently, physical exercise training has been shown to speed healing in both aged and obese mice and in older adults. Exercise is a relatively low-cost intervention strategy which may be able to be used clinically to prevent or treat impairments in the wound-healing process. Future Directions: Little is known about the mechanisms by which exercise speeds healing. Future translational studies should address potential mechanisms for these exercise effects. Additionally, clinical studies in obese humans are necessary to determine if findings in obese rodent models translate to the human population.

  2. Psychometric Evaluation of an Instrument for Measuring Organizational Climate for Quality: Evidence From a National Sample of Infection Preventionists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pogorzelska-Maziarz, Monika; Nembhard, Ingrid M; Schnall, Rebecca; Nelson, Shanelle; Stone, Patricia W

    2016-09-01

    In recent years, there has been increased interest in measuring the climate for infection prevention; however, reliable and valid instruments are lacking. This study tested the psychometric properties of the Leading a Culture of Quality for Infection Prevention (LCQ-IP) instrument measuring the infection prevention climate in a sample of 972 infection preventionists from acute care hospitals. An exploratory principal component analysis showed that the instrument had structural validity and captured 4 factors related to the climate for infection prevention: Psychological Safety, Prioritization of Quality, Supportive Work Environment, and Improvement Orientation. LCQ-IP exhibited excellent internal consistency, with a Cronbach α of .926. Criterion validity was supported with overall LCQ-IP scores, increasing with the number of evidence-based prevention policies in place (P = .047). This psychometrically sound instrument may be helpful to researchers and providers in assessing climate for quality related to infection prevention. © The Author(s) 2015.

  3. Towards an analytical framework linking institutions and quality: theory and evidence from the Beninese Pineapple Sector

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Royer, A.; Bijman, J.

    2012-01-01

    Improving non-traditional agricultural product quality is challenging for smallholder farmers in developing countries since they often lack the resources and an adequate enabling institutional environment. Based on an extensive literature review, this paper develops an analytical framework

  4. A Study on Financial Reporting Standards and Accounting Quality- Evidence from China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liou, Cheng-Hwai

    2013-02-01

    According to institutional theorists, the forms and business models of corporation are mainly shaped by factors such as politics, regulations, social norms and cultures. This paper examines how the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and institutional environment influence the accounting quality, in response to the threat of political extraction in China. We took mainland China as an example instead in our study, following the accounting quality definition of Barth et al. [2], we found that the developments of Chinese government performance audit are conspicuously different by region; to reflect such differences, we elaborated our research by dividing mainland China into 31 categories (provinces or cities). We set 2003-2010 as the time horizon for this study. After testing the Regression model, our empirical research achieved two conclusions: 1) IFRS adoption in China should significantly improve the accounting quality, and 2) IFRS and institutional environment should synthetically influence the quality of accounting as well.

  5. How does auditors’ work stress affect audit quality? Empirical evidence from the Chinese stock market

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huanmin Yan

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available With reference to the Job Demands–Control Model, we empirically examine the effect of auditors’ work stress on audit quality using a sample of Chinese A-share listed companies and their signature auditors from 2009 to 2013. The results show that (1 there is generally no pervasive deterioration in audit quality resulting from auditors’ work stress; (2 there is a significant negative association between work stress and audit quality in the initial audits of new clients; and (3 the perception of work stress depends on auditors’ individual characteristics. Auditors from international audit firms and those in the role of partner respond more strongly to work stress than industry experts. Auditors tend to react more intensively when dealing with state-owned companies. We suggest that audit firms attach more importance to auditors’ work stress and rationalize their allocation of audit resources to ensure high audit quality.

  6. Computer users' ergonomics and quality of life - evidence from a developing country.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Ishfaq; Shaukat, Muhammad Zeeshan

    2018-06-01

    This study is aimed at investigating the quality of workplace ergonomics at various Pakistani organizations and quality of life of computer users working in these organizations. Two hundred and thirty-five computer users (only those employees who have to do most of their job tasks on computer or laptop, and at their office) responded by filling the questionnaire covering questions on workplace ergonomics and quality of life. Findings of the study revealed the ergonomics at those organizations was poor and unfavourable. The quality of life (both physical and mental health of the employees) of respondents was poor for employees who had unfavourable ergonomic environment. The findings thus highlight an important issue prevalent at Pakistani work settings.

  7. Implications of climate change on human comfort in buildings: evidence from Nkontompo community of Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amos-Abanyie, S. [Kwame Nkrumah Univ. of Science and Technology, Kumasi (GH)

    2006-07-01

    Climate change has become the most talked about issue in recent times. The impact of climate change is likely to become more evident in the coming decades. Currently, atmospheric conditions, especially in the dry season, are getting hotter and drier with increased heat waves. Increased demand for air conditioning for space cooling as a result of internal discomfort in buildings is already manifesting. This could put an additional stress on the already over-burdened energy capactiy of the nation. The study on implications of climate change on human comfort in buidlings was conducted in Nkontompo community, a suburb of Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan area of the Shama-Ahanta District of the Western Region of Ghana. The objectives of this study are to assemble and disseminate information about some of the possible impacts of climate change on the built environment. This is to set the platform for building professionals to identify possible adaptive measures to serve as basis for development of standards to maintain and enhance the quality of life in buildings. The results showed that there were significant changes in temperature, precipitation, and relative humidity. A rise in temperature and humidity levels constitutes a potential hazard to health and human comfort and accelerates many degradation processes and material damage. Subsequently, the amount of energy needed to maintain the condition of air in spaces at comfort levels keeps increasing. It is therefore imperative that landlords and other property owners should be effectively guided by qualified professionals within the framework of policy guidelines based on sound research.

  8. Assessing quality and completeness of human transcriptional regulatory pathways on a genome-wide scale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aifantis Iannis

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pathway databases are becoming increasingly important and almost omnipresent in most types of biological and translational research. However, little is known about the quality and completeness of pathways stored in these databases. The present study conducts a comprehensive assessment of transcriptional regulatory pathways in humans for seven well-studied transcription factors: MYC, NOTCH1, BCL6, TP53, AR, STAT1, and RELA. The employed benchmarking methodology first involves integrating genome-wide binding with functional gene expression data to derive direct targets of transcription factors. Then the lists of experimentally obtained direct targets are compared with relevant lists of transcriptional targets from 10 commonly used pathway databases. Results The results of this study show that for the majority of pathway databases, the overlap between experimentally obtained target genes and targets reported in transcriptional regulatory pathway databases is surprisingly small and often is not statistically significant. The only exception is MetaCore pathway database which yields statistically significant intersection with experimental results in 84% cases. Additionally, we suggest that the lists of experimentally derived direct targets obtained in this study can be used to reveal new biological insight in transcriptional regulation and suggest novel putative therapeutic targets in cancer. Conclusions Our study opens a debate on validity of using many popular pathway databases to obtain transcriptional regulatory targets. We conclude that the choice of pathway databases should be informed by solid scientific evidence and rigorous empirical evaluation. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Prof. Wing Hung Wong, Dr. Thiago Motta Venancio (nominated by Dr. L Aravind, and Prof. Geoff J McLachlan.

  9. IMPACT OF SERVICE QUALITY ON CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: EVIDENCES FROM THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY IN PAKISTAN

    OpenAIRE

    Ubedullah Amjad Ali SHAIKH; Naveed Ur Rehman KHAN

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to contribute to the literature of service quality importance in restaurant industry. The study has been based upon the Servqual technique and Dineserv tool of improving the quality by the service providing organizations. The study is undertaken from the perspective of Pakistani Restaurant Industry and the customers' perceptions vis-à-vis restaurant dining. Two variables of Servqual, i.e. Tangibles and Responsiveness, have been examined to demonstrate the signific...

  10. Weak evidence of bright light effects on human LH and FSH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kripke Daniel F

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most mammals are seasonal breeders whose gonads grow to anticipate reproduction in the spring and summer. As day length increases, secretion increases for two gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone (LH and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH. This response is largely controlled by light. Light effects on gonadotropins are mediated through effects on the suprachiasmatic nucleus and responses of the circadian system. There is some evidence that seasonal breeding in humans is regulated by similar mechanisms, and that light stimulates LH secretion, but primate responses seem complex. Methods To gain further information on effects of bright light on LH and FSH secretion in humans, we analyzed urine samples collected in three experiments conducted for other goals. First, volunteers ages 18-30 years and 60-75 commenced an ultra-short 90-min sleep-wake cycle, during which they were exposed to 3000 lux light for 3 hours at balanced times of day, repeated for 3 days. Urine samples were assayed to explore any LH phase response curve. Second, depressed participants 60-79 years of age were treated with bright light or dim placebo light for 28 days, with measurements of urinary LH and FSH before and after treatment. Third, women of ages 20-45 years with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD were treated to one 3-hour exposure of morning light, measuring LH and FSH in urine before and after the treatments. Results Two of the three studies showed significant increases in LH after light treatment, and FSH also tended to increase, but there were no significant contrasts with parallel placebo treatments and no significant time-of-day treatment effects. Conclusions These results gave some support for the hypothesis that bright light may augment LH secretion. Longer-duration studies may be needed to clarify the effects of light on human LH and FSH.

  11. Weak evidence of bright light effects on human LH and FSH.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kripke, Daniel F; Elliott, Jeffrey A; Youngstedt, Shawn D; Parry, Barbara L; Hauger, Richard L; Rex, Katharine M

    2010-05-11

    Most mammals are seasonal breeders whose gonads grow to anticipate reproduction in the spring and summer. As day length increases, secretion increases for two gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This response is largely controlled by light. Light effects on gonadotropins are mediated through effects on the suprachiasmatic nucleus and responses of the circadian system. There is some evidence that seasonal breeding in humans is regulated by similar mechanisms, and that light stimulates LH secretion, but primate responses seem complex. To gain further information on effects of bright light on LH and FSH secretion in humans, we analyzed urine samples collected in three experiments conducted for other goals. First, volunteers ages 18-30 years and 60-75 commenced an ultra-short 90-min sleep-wake cycle, during which they were exposed to 3000 lux light for 3 hours at balanced times of day, repeated for 3 days. Urine samples were assayed to explore any LH phase response curve. Second, depressed participants 60-79 years of age were treated with bright light or dim placebo light for 28 days, with measurements of urinary LH and FSH before and after treatment. Third, women of ages 20-45 years with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) were treated to one 3-hour exposure of morning light, measuring LH and FSH in urine before and after the treatments. Two of the three studies showed significant increases in LH after light treatment, and FSH also tended to increase, but there were no significant contrasts with parallel placebo treatments and no significant time-of-day treatment effects. These results gave some support for the hypothesis that bright light may augment LH secretion. Longer-duration studies may be needed to clarify the effects of light on human LH and FSH.

  12. Service quality in peacekeeping mission as a determinant of customer’s perceived value: Empirical evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azman Bin Ismail

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Previous studies have been employing SERVQUAL by Parasuraman et al. (1985, 1988 to measure service quality in various service sectors due to its generic nature. Understanding the relationship between service quality and customer’s perceived value in non-business organizational settings is equally important with business setting as positive perception leads to favorable outcome. Hence, the aim of this study is to examine the relationship between service quality and perceived value. Design/methodology/approach: The self-administered survey questionnaires were employed to gather data from Malaysian soldiers who involved in peacekeeping mission at a Middle Eastern country. The hypothesized model was analyzed using the SmartPLS 2.0. Findings: The outcomes of SmartPLS path model confirmed that that all service quality dimensions namely tangible, responsiveness, reliability, assurance, empathy did act as important determinants of customer’s perceived value in the organizational sample. Practical implications: The findings of this study may be used as guidelines by practitioners to formulate relevant and appropriate strategies in order to enhance quality of service delivery in agile organizations. Originality/value: The work deals with service quality in non-business setting. Although the scale has been widely used, some modifications are generally needed in order to reflect specific characteristics of service sectors under study. The findings confirmed that in general SERVQUAL five dimensions are important determinants to the various service sectors.

  13. Quality competition in local hospital markets: some econometric evidence from the period 1982-1988.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chirikos, T N

    1992-05-01

    This study examines whether American hospitals continued to engage in non-price or quality competition over the recent past as health care markets underwent fundamental structural changes and the economic incentives facing hospital managers were correspondingly altered. It also investigates the degree to which such rivalrous behavior contributes to losses in economic welfare. An econometric model of quality competition is specified that tests, among other things, for the effect of spending by the hospital to enhance the quality of output on annual changes in its share of the local (inpatient) market as well as the effects of competitive conditions in the local market on the annual sum spent on quality enhancement. The model is estimated with panel data on 195 acute care hospitals in the State of Florida for the years 1982-1988. The results suggest that quality competitive behavior continued unabated over this period and that it was stimulated as much by the growth in physician supply and alternative delivery mechanisms as it was by other competing hospitals in the local market. Furthermore, the results show that quality competition yields some inefficiency or waste, but much of it also meets the test of the market.

  14. Economic growth and the demand for dietary quality: Evidence from Russia during transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burggraf, Christine; Teuber, Ramona; Brosig, Stephan; Glauben, Thomas

    2015-12-01

    The increasing incidence of nutrition-related chronic diseases worldwide has raised people's awareness of dietary quality. Most existing studies on the topic of changing nutrition patterns measure dietary quality by single macronutrient indicators or anthropometric outcomes. However, such an approach is often too narrow to provide a picture of overall dietary quality and is sometimes even misleading. This study contributes to the existing literature by taking into account that the analysis of dietary quality comprises two dimensions: the adequate intake of vitamins and minerals, as well as the moderate intake of nutrients that increase the risk of chronic diseases. Thereby, we apply Grossman's health investment model to the analysis of the demand for dietary quality, explicitly addressing the different dimensions of dietary quality and the intertemporal character of health investments. We apply our approach to Russia using data from the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey from 1996 to 2008. Our results show that intake levels of vitamins and minerals as well as saturated and total fatty acids increased after 1998 along with economic recovery, while the intake of fiber decreased. Our econometric results imply an income elasticity of vitamins and minerals of 0.051, and an income elasticity of fats of 0.073. Overall, our results are in line with an ongoing nutrition transition in the Russian Federation, which is marked by decreasing deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, as well as the increasing consumption of fats with its accompanying negative health consequences. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. The Relationship Between Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction in the Telecommunication Industry: Evidence From Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olu Ojo

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction in the telecommunication industry with a focus on Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN Nigeria. A total of 230 respondents participated in the study. Research questions and objectives were set, alongside the hypotheses that were formulated and tested. Descriptive statistics comprising the simple percentage and tables were used for data presentation and analysis. Regression analysis and Pearson product moment correlation coefficient were employed in testing our hypotheses. The study reveals that service quality has effect on customer satisfaction and that there is a positive relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction. The researcher concluded by recommending that organisations should focus more attention on service quality, because of its effects on customer satisfaction. To ensure that customer satisfaction level is high, organisation must first of all know the expectations of the customers and how they can meet such expectations. Customer satisfaction helps in customer loyalty and retention. It has been discovered that it costs to attract new customer than to retain existing ones. It is also recommended that organisations should welcome suggestions from customers and more programmes should be designed to measure service quality and customer satisfaction.Keywords: Customer, Service, Customer Satisfaction, Service Quality, Customer Loyalty.

  16. The quality, safety and governance of telephone triage and advice services - an overview of evidence from systematic reviews.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lake, Rebecca; Georgiou, Andrew; Li, Julie; Li, Ling; Byrne, Mary; Robinson, Maureen; Westbrook, Johanna I

    2017-08-30

    Telephone triage and advice services (TTAS) are increasingly being implemented around the world. These services allow people to speak to a nurse or general practitioner over the telephone and receive assessment and healthcare advice. There is an existing body of research on the topic of TTAS, however the diffuseness of the evidence base makes it difficult to identify key lessons that are consistent across the literature. Systematic reviews represent the highest level of evidence synthesis. We aimed to undertake an overview of such reviews to determine the scope, consistency and generalisability of findings in relation to the governance, safety and quality of TTAS. We searched PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Web of Science and the Cochrane Library for English language systematic reviews focused on key governance, quality and safety findings related to telephone based triage and advice services, published since 1990. The search was undertaken by three researchers who reached consensus on all included systematic reviews. An appraisal of the methodological quality of the systematic reviews was independently undertaken by two researchers using A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews. Ten systematic reviews from a potential 291 results were selected for inclusion. TTAS was examined either alone, or as part of a primary care service model or intervention designed to improve primary care. Evidence of TTAS performance was reported across nine key indicators - access, appropriateness, compliance, patient satisfaction, cost, safety, health service utilisation, physician workload and clinical outcomes. Patient satisfaction with TTAS was generally high and there is some consistency of evidence of the ability of TTAS to reduce clinical workload. Measures of the safety of TTAS tended to show that there is no major difference between TTAS and traditional care. Taken as a whole, current evidence does not provide definitive answers to questions about the quality of care

  17. Air quality and human health among a low income community in the Highveld Priority Area

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Wright, CY

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Human exposure to poor air quality is linked to adverse health effects. The largest burden of air pollution-related diseases is in developing countries where air pollution levels are also among the highest in the world. In South Africa, two...

  18. Social Capital, Human Capital and Parent-Child Relation Quality: Interacting for Children's Educational Achievement?

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Otter, Cecilia; Stenberg, Sten-Åke

    2015-01-01

    We analyse the utility of social capital for children's achievement, and if this utility interacts with family human capital and the quality of the parent-child relationship. Our focus is on parental activities directly related to children's school work. Our data stem from a Swedish cohort born in 1953 and consist of both survey and register data.…

  19. Tree and forest effects on air quality and human health in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    David J. Nowak; Satoshi Hirabayashi; Allison Bodine; Eric. Greenfield

    2014-01-01

    Trees remove air pollution by the interception of particulate matter on plant surfaces and the absorption of gaseous pollutants through the leaf stomata. However, the magnitude and value of the effects of trees and forests on air quality and human health across the United States remains unknown. Computer simulations with local environmental data reveal that trees and...

  20. Total quality management: managing the human dimension in natural resource agencies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denzil Verardo

    1995-01-01

    Stewardship in an era of dwindling human resources requires new approaches to the way business is conducted in the public sector, and Total Quality Management (TQM) can be the avenue for this transformation. Resource agencies are no exception to this requirement, although modifications to "traditional" private enterprise versions of TQM implementation...

  1. Attitudes of Future Human Service Professionals: The Effects of Victim and Helper Qualities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebkind, Karmela; Eranen, Liisa

    2001-01-01

    Investigates the attitudes of future members in human service professions toward victims, based on the qualities effected by trauma victims and their helpers. Reports that the high-trauma and poorly adapted victims elicited more negative attitudes than did the low-trauma and well-adapted victims. (CMK)

  2. Human Resource Development Practices as Determinant of HRD Climate and Quality Orientation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan, Arif; Hashim, Junaidah; Ismail, Ahmad Zaki Hj

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of the study was to measure employees' perception of human resource development (HRD) practices, to explore whether ISO certification leads to any improvements in HRD system, and to examine the role of HRD practices on employees' development climate and quality orientation in the organization. Design/methodology/approach: A total…

  3. Exposure to perfluorinated compounds and human semen quality in arctic and European populations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Toft, G.; Jönsson, B.A.G.; Lindh, C.H.; Giwercman, A.; Spano, M.; Heederik, D.J.J.; Lenters, V.C.; Vermeulen, R.C.H.; Rylander, L.; Pedersen, H.S.; Ludwicki, J.K.; Zviezdai, V.; Bonde, J.P.

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have been suspected to adversely affect human reproductive health. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between PFC exposure and male semen quality. METHODS PFCs were measured in serum from 588 partners of pregnant women from Greenland,

  4. Comprehensive national database of tree effects on air quality and human health in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoshi Hirabayashi; David J. Nowak

    2016-01-01

    Trees remove air pollutants through dry deposition processes depending upon forest structure, meteorology, and air quality that vary across space and time. Employing nationally available forest, weather, air pollution and human population data for 2010, computer simulations were performed for deciduous and evergreen trees with varying leaf area index for rural and...

  5. Evaluating the Quality of Evidence from a Network Meta-Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salanti, Georgia; Del Giovane, Cinzia; Chaimani, Anna; Caldwell, Deborah M.; Higgins, Julian P. T.

    2014-01-01

    Systematic reviews that collate data about the relative effects of multiple interventions via network meta-analysis are highly informative for decision-making purposes. A network meta-analysis provides two types of findings for a specific outcome: the relative treatment effect for all pairwise comparisons, and a ranking of the treatments. It is important to consider the confidence with which these two types of results can enable clinicians, policy makers and patients to make informed decisions. We propose an approach to determining confidence in the output of a network meta-analysis. Our proposed approach is based on methodology developed by the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) Working Group for pairwise meta-analyses. The suggested framework for evaluating a network meta-analysis acknowledges (i) the key role of indirect comparisons (ii) the contributions of each piece of direct evidence to the network meta-analysis estimates of effect size; (iii) the importance of the transitivity assumption to the validity of network meta-analysis; and (iv) the possibility of disagreement between direct evidence and indirect evidence. We apply our proposed strategy to a systematic review comparing topical antibiotics without steroids for chronically discharging ears with underlying eardrum perforations. The proposed framework can be used to determine confidence in the results from a network meta-analysis. Judgements about evidence from a network meta-analysis can be different from those made about evidence from pairwise meta-analyses. PMID:24992266

  6. Air quality and human health improvements from reduced deforestation in Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddington, C.; Butt, E. W.; Ridley, D. A.; Artaxo, P.; Morgan, W.; Coe, H.; Spracklen, D. V.

    2015-12-01

    Significant areas of the Brazilian Amazon have been deforested over the past few decades, with fire being the dominant method through which forests and vegetation are cleared. Fires emit large quantities of particulate matter into the atmosphere, degrading air quality and negatively impacting human health. Since 2004, Brazil has achieved substantial reductions in deforestation rates and associated deforestation fires. Here we assess the impact of this reduction on air quality and human health. We show that dry season (August - October) aerosol optical depth (AOD) retrieved by satellite over southwest Brazil and Bolivia is positively related to Brazil's annual deforestation rate (r=0.96, Pannually across South America. Future increases in Brazil's deforestation rates and associated fires may threaten the improved air quality reported here.

  7. Impact of human resources on wine supply chain flexibility, quality, and economic performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. L. García-Alcaraz

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This article assesses the impact of human resources skills on production quality, flexibility, and economic performance of La Rioja’s wine supply chain. These four elements were integrated as latent variables composed of 15 observed variables and associated through six hypotheses. Data were gathered from 64 wineries located in La Rioja, Spain, and hypotheses were validated in a structural equation model using WarpPLS v.5 software. Results indicate that human resources skills have a positive direct impact on SC flexibility and quality, but not on economic performance; however, these variables are indirectly associated through SC quality and SC flexibility.

  8. A Call to Digital Health Practitioners: New Guidelines Can Help Improve the Quality of Digital Health Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Smisha; Lefevre, Amnesty E; Labrique, Alain B

    2017-10-06

    Despite the rapid proliferation of health interventions that employ digital tools, the evidence on the effectiveness of such approaches remains insufficient and of variable quality. To address gaps in the comprehensiveness and quality of reporting on the effectiveness of digital programs, the mHealth Technical Evidence Review Group (mTERG), convened by the World Health Organization, proposed the mHealth Evidence Reporting and Assessment (mERA) checklist to address existing gaps in the comprehensiveness and quality of reporting on the effectiveness of digital health programs. We present an overview of the mERA checklist and encourage researchers working in the digital health space to use the mERA checklist for reporting their research. The development of the mERA checklist consisted of convening an expert group to recommend an appropriate approach, convening a global expert review panel for checklist development, and pilot-testing the checklist. The mERA checklist consists of 16 core mHealth items that define what the mHealth intervention is (content), where it is being implemented (context), and how it was implemented (technical features). Additionally, a 29-item methodology checklist guides authors on reporting critical aspects of the research methodology employed in the study. We recommend that the core mERA checklist is used in conjunction with an appropriate study-design specific checklist. The mERA checklist aims to assist authors in reporting on digital health research, guide reviewers and policymakers in synthesizing evidence, and guide journal editors in assessing the completeness in reporting on digital health studies. An increase in transparent and rigorous reporting can help identify gaps in the conduct of research and understand the effects of digital health interventions as a field of inquiry. ©Smisha Agarwal, Amnesty E Lefevre, Alain B Labrique. Originally published in JMIR Mhealth and Uhealth (http://mhealth.jmir.org), 06.10.2017.

  9. Quality of clinical brain tumor MR spectra judged by humans and machine learning tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyathanahally, Sreenath P; Mocioiu, Victor; Pedrosa de Barros, Nuno; Slotboom, Johannes; Wright, Alan J; Julià-Sapé, Margarida; Arús, Carles; Kreis, Roland

    2018-05-01

    To investigate and compare human judgment and machine learning tools for quality assessment of clinical MR spectra of brain tumors. A very large set of 2574 single voxel spectra with short and long echo time from the eTUMOUR and INTERPRET databases were used for this analysis. Original human quality ratings from these studies as well as new human guidelines were used to train different machine learning algorithms for automatic quality control (AQC) based on various feature extraction methods and classification tools. The performance was compared with variance in human judgment. AQC built using the RUSBoost classifier that combats imbalanced training data performed best. When furnished with a large range of spectral and derived features where the most crucial ones had been selected by the TreeBagger algorithm it showed better specificity (98%) in judging spectra from an independent test-set than previously published methods. Optimal performance was reached with a virtual three-class ranking system. Our results suggest that feature space should be relatively large for the case of MR tumor spectra and that three-class labels may be beneficial for AQC. The best AQC algorithm showed a performance in rejecting spectra that was comparable to that of a panel of human expert spectroscopists. Magn Reson Med 79:2500-2510, 2018. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

  10. Human Capital - A Quality Factor For The Competitiveness Of IT Companies

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    Elisei Crăciun

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper treats quality, human capital and competitiveness concepts in order to determine in which measure the Human Capital quality influences the competitiveness of a firm. The human capital theory is a relatively new approach, the first valuable approach being that of Garry Becker which, subsequent of the modern management theoretical views, puts human capital into scientific frame. This present paper relates deeply on this theoretical frame as it is considered that, besides financial or tangible resources that allows and generate long term benefits for an enterprise, there is also another source that consists in an intangible form: the human capital. This resource is based on education and health, indirectly generating additional benefits for the individual as for the organization and is calculated as instruction, education and health insurances costs. That implies that this capital is an asset for the worker itself and that the worker cannot be distinguished from the knowledges, capacities, his health or his values. From this perspective, the worker is actively present in any activity a firm operates: from defining and executing process, operational planning, monitoring and control, research and development, human resources, etc. The hypothesis of this present paper will be explored with the examples of Jeff Bezos ( Amazon or Steve Jobs ( Apple as human capital is considered to be the most important component for the competitive advantage of IT enterprises. The quality level of the human capital represents the main source for long term sustainability of this competitive advantage and, given the best case practices, it’s impact on firm’s effect indicators is obvious. The paper will also emphasize the role of values and health as they are also the main issues on an IT enterprise. The article is structured in two parts. One is the theoretical frame that encompass the influence of the human capital on the competitiveness of the firm. The

  11. Influence of indoor hygrothermal conditions on human quality of life in social housing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Soares

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Modern societies spend most of their time indoors, namely at home, and the indoor environment quality turns out to be a crucial factor to health, quality of life and well-being of the residents. The present study aims to understand how indoor environment relates with quality of life and how improving housing conditions impacts on individuals’ health. Design and Methods: This study case will rely on the following assessments in both rehabilitated and non-rehabilitated social housing: i field measurements, in social dwellings (namely temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide concentration, air velocity, air change rate, level of mould spores and energy consumption; ii residents’ questionnaires on social, demogaphic, behavioural, health characteristics and quality of life. Also, iii qualitative interviews performed with social housing residents from the rehabilitated houses, addressing the self-perception of living conditions and their influence in health status and quality of life. All the collected information will be combined and analysed in order to achieve the main objective. Expected impact: It is expected to define a Predicted Human Life Quality (PHLQ index, that combines physical parameters describing the indoor environment measured through engineering techniques with residents’ and neighbourhood quality of life characteristics assessed by health questionnaires. Improvement in social housing should be related with better health indicators and the new index might be an important tool contributing to enhance quality of life of the residents.

  12. [Evidence-based quality assessment of 10-year orthodontic clinical trials in 4 major dental journals].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yan-nan; Lei, Fei-fei; Cao, Yan-li; Fu, Min-kui

    2010-02-01

    To assess the quality of orthodontic clinical trials published in 4 major dental journals in the past 10 years and establish the reference standard for orthodontic clinical trials and quality control of dental journals. All the clinical trials published in Chinese Journal of Stomatology, West China Journal of Stomatology, Journal of Practice Stomatology and Chinese Journal of Orthodontics from 1999 to 2008 were searched. The demographic information of the papers was extracted and the quality of the clinical trials according to the consolidated standards of reporting trials (CONSORT) was assessed. Four hundred and ninety-four clinical trials were retrieved, and 21.3% (105/494) of them were supported by grants. For the study design, only 26.1% (129/494) were prospective studies, and 3.8% (19/494) were randomized clinical trials. It was hard to evaluate precisely due to the lack of information about the details of the study designs. For the randomized clinical trials, the lack of details for randomization, allocation concealment, blinding and intention to treat compromised the quality. The general quality of clinical trials in orthodontics is poor. It needs to be improved both in the clinical study design and the paper writing.

  13. Do Energy Efficiency Standards Improve Quality? Evidence from a Revealed Preference Approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Houde, Sebastien [Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States); Spurlock, C. Anna [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2015-06-01

    Minimum energy efficiency standards have occupied a central role in U.S. energy policy for more than three decades, but little is known about their welfare effects. In this paper, we employ a revealed preference approach to quantify the impact of past revisions in energy efficiency standards on product quality. The micro-foundation of our approach is a discrete choice model that allows us to compute a price-adjusted index of vertical quality. Focusing on the appliance market, we show that several standard revisions during the period 2001-2011 have led to an increase in quality. We also show that these standards have had a modest effect on prices, and in some cases they even led to decreases in prices. For revision events where overall quality increases and prices decrease, the consumer welfare effect of tightening the standards is unambiguously positive. Finally, we show that after controlling for the effect of improvement in energy efficiency, standards have induced an expansion of quality in the non-energy dimension. We discuss how imperfect competition can rationalize these results.

  14. EFFECTS OF HIGH ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF INDUSTRIAL BRANCHES ON HUMAN LIFE QUALITY AND ENVIRONMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doguş Deniz Özarslan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Importance of industrialization which has a role in determination of the civilization levels of societies is increasing everyday due to meet rapidly increasing demands. However this process has led up to environmental problems with time and thus effects on quality of human life also brought along. In this study, three sectors were selected among different branches of industry according to their economical importance in Turkey. These sectors are paper, metal and construction chemicals industry. Production processes of selected sectors were examined and effects of production stages on the environment and human health as well as their contribution to sustainable development were investigated. Well known Turkish companies from each industrial branch were evaluated in detail. These industrial sectors having economic importance are compared to each other according to their effects on quality of human life and environment and the results are evaluated accordingly.

  15. INVESTIGATING A QUALITY OF SERVICES IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR: EVIDENCE FROM NORTHERN CYPRUS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ovgu Cidar Iyikal

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The current study aims is to investigate the service quality delivered by public enterprises in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC and level of customer satisfaction as well as word of mouth (WOM in return. A convenient sampling method has been employed by using the service quality (SERVQUAL instrument which is used to gather customers’ excellent public service and compared those with their perceptions of the service delivered by Public Sectors which are operating in TRNC. Results of the study revealed that dimensions of reliability and assurance exert positively significant effects on Customer Satisfaction in the public sector. Moreover, the level of Customer Satisfaction from public services exerts positively significant effect on positive word of mouth. Finally, with the light of findings, the current study will also attempt to provide some recommendations about possible quality reforms and rearrangements to the policy makers for the public enterprises in TRNC.

  16. Schedule Control and Nursing Home Quality: Exploratory Evidence of a Psychosocial Predictor of Resident Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurtado, David A; Berkman, Lisa F; Buxton, Orfeu M; Okechukwu, Cassandra A

    2016-02-01

    To examine whether nursing homes' quality of care was predicted by schedule control (workers' ability to decide work hours), independently of other staffing characteristics. Prospective ecological study of 30 nursing homes in New England. Schedule control was self-reported via survey in 2011-2012 (N = 1,045). Quality measures included the prevalence of decline in activities of daily living, residents' weight loss, and pressure ulcers, indicators systematically linked with staffing characteristics. Outcomes data for 2012 were retrieved from Medicare.gov. Robust Linear Regressions showed that higher schedule control predicted lower prevalence of pressure ulcers (β = -0.51, p job satisfaction, and turnover intentions. Higher schedule control might enhance the planning and delivery of strategies to prevent or cure pressure ulcers. Further research is needed to identify potential causal mechanisms by which schedule control could improve quality of care. © The Author(s) 2014.

  17. Accounting for quality in the measurement of hospital performance: evidence from Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arocena, Pablo; García-Prado, Ariadna

    2007-07-01

    This paper provides insights into how Costa Rican public hospitals responded to the pressure for increased efficiency and quality introduced by the reforms carried out over the period 1997-2001. To that purpose we compute a generalized output distance function by means of non-parametric mathematical programming to construct a productivity index, which accounts for productivity changes while controlling for quality of care. Our results show an improvement in hospital performance mainly driven by quality increases. The adoption of management contracts seems to have contributed to such enhancement, more notably for small hospitals. Further, productivity growth is primarily due to technical and scale efficiency change rather than technological change. A number of policy implications are drawn from these results. Copyright (c) 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  18. IMPACT OF SERVICE QUALITY ON CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: EVIDENCES FROM THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY IN PAKISTAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ubedullah Amjad Ali SHAIKH

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to contribute to the literature of service qualityimportance in restaurant industry. The study has been based upon theServqual technique and Dineserv tool of improving the quality by the serviceproviding organizations. The study is undertaken from the perspective ofPakistani Restaurant Industry and the customers' perceptions vis-à-visrestaurant dining. Two variables of Servqual, i.e. Tangibles andResponsiveness, have been examined to demonstrate the significance ofservice quality on customer satisfaction. The results endorse the importanceof enhanced complementary service standards in restaurant industry. Finally,the findings provide an insight for the Pakistani restaurant service providingestablishments and suggestion have been made for the caretakers of theindustry on ways to improve service quality.

  19. IPO underpricing and audit quality: Evidence from the alternative investment market in the UK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Muflih Alhadab

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims to investigate the relationship between audit quality and IPO underpricing for IPO firms that went public on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM of the London Stock Exchange in the UK. Prior research has examined this relationship; however, there has been no work investigates this relation for IPO firms that went public on the AIM market. Based on a sample of 413 IPOs, the findings of the current study reassure prior literature that high quality auditors are associated with a lower level of IPO underpricing. The findings show that high quality audit firms help to reduce the level of information asymmetry around the IPO and, therefore, this leads to reduce the level of IPO underpricing. Further, size, liquidity ratio, and high litigation industries are found to contribute the IPO underpricing on the AIM market.

  20. Hospital competition and patient-perceived quality of care: Evidence from a single-payer system in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chi-Chen; Cheng, Shou-Hsia

    2010-11-01

    To examine the effects of market competition on patient-perceived quality of care under a single-payer system in Taiwan. Data came from two nationwide surveys conducted on discharged patients and National Health Insurance (NHI) hospital claim datasets in 2002 and 2004. Competition was measured by the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI). Quality of care was measured by patient-rated hospital performance including interpersonal skills and clinical competence domains. We used the instrumental variable approach to address the endogeneity between competition and patient-perceived quality of care. The results showed that HHI was significantly associated with a decrease in the perceived interpersonal skills (coefficient of -0.460; pcompetition. A similar association was found for the perceived clinical competence (coefficient of -0.457; p=0.001). Quality of care from the patients' perspective is sensitive to the degree of competition. By using patient-reported data, this study provides new evidence concerning competition and quality of care. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Evidence-Based Healthcare: The Importance of Effective Interprofessional Working for High Quality Veterinary Services, a UK Example

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tierney Kinnison

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To highlight the importance of evidence-based research, not only for the consideration of clinical diseases and individual patient treatment, but also for investigating complex healthcare systems, as demonstrated through a focus on veterinary interprofessional working.Background:Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine (EBVM was developed due to concerns over inconsistent approaches to therapy being delivered by individuals. However, a focus purely on diagnosis and treatment will miss other potential causes of substandard care including the holistic system. Veterinary services are provided by interprofessional teams; research on these teams is growing.Evidentiary value:This paper outlines results from four articles, written by the current authors, which are unique in their focus on interprofessional practice teams in the UK. Through mixed methods, the articles demonstrate an evidence base of the effects of interprofessional working on the quality of service delivery.Results:The articles explored demonstrate facilitators and challenges of the practice system on interprofessional working and the outcomes, including errors. The results encourage consideration of interprofessional relationships and activities in veterinary organisations. Interprofessional working is an example of one area which can affect the quality of veterinary services.Conclusion: The papers presented on veterinary interprofessional working are an example of the opportunities for future research on various topics within evidence-based healthcare.Application:The results are pertinent to members of veterinary teams seeking to improve their service delivery, to educators looking to enhance their students’ understanding of interprofessional working, and to researchers, who will hopefully be encouraged to consider evidence-based healthcare more holistically. 

  2. Is there any scientific evidence for the use of glucosamine in the management of human osteoarthritis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henrotin, Yves; Mobasheri, Ali; Marty, Marc

    2012-01-30

    Glucosamine in its acetylated form is a natural constituent of some glycosaminoglycans (for example, hyaluronic acid and keratan sulfate) in the proteoglycans found in articular cartilage, intervertebral disc and synovial fluid. Glucosamine can be extracted and stabilized by chemical modification and used as a drug or a nutraceutical. It has been approved for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) in Europe to promote cartilage and joint health and is sold over the counter as a dietary supplement in the United States. Various formulations of glucosamine have been tested, including glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride. In vitro and in vivo studies have uncovered glucosamine's mechanisms of action on articular tissues (cartilage, synovial membrane and subchondral bone) and justified its efficacy by demonstrating structure-modifying and anti-inflammatory effects at high concentrations. However, results from clinical trials have raised many concerns. Pharmacokinetic studies have shown that glucosamine is easily absorbed, but the current treatment doses (for example, 1,500 mg/day) barely reach the required therapeutic concentration in plasma and tissue. The symptomatic effect size of glucosamine varies greatly depending on the formulation used and the quality of clinical trials. Importantly, the effect size reduces when evidence is accumulated chronologically and evidence for the structure-modifying effects of glucosamine are sparse. Hence, glucosamine was at first recommended by EULAR and OARSI for the management of knee pain and structure improvement in OA patients, but not in the most recent NICE guidelines. Consequently, the published recommendations for the management of OA require revision. Glucosamine is generally safe and although there are concerns about potential allergic and salt-related side effects of some formulations, no major adverse events have been reported so far. This paper examines all the in vitro and in vivo evidence for the mechanism

  3. Does export product quality matter for CO2 emissions? Evidence from China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gozgor, Giray; Can, Muhlis

    2017-01-01

    This paper re-estimates the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) in China. To this end, it uses the unit root tests with structural breaks and the autoregressive-distributed lag (ARDL) estimations over the period 1971-2010. The special role is given to the impact of export product quality on CO 2 emissions in the empirical models. The paper finds that the EKC hypothesis is applicable in China. It also observes the positive effect from energy consumption to CO 2 emissions. In addition, it finds that the export product quality is negatively associated with CO 2 emissions. The paper also argues potential implications.

  4. A combined evidence Bayesian method for human ancestry inference applied to Afro-Colombians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rishishwar, Lavanya; Conley, Andrew B; Vidakovic, Brani; Jordan, I King

    2015-12-15

    Uniparental genetic markers, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y chromosomal DNA, are widely used for the inference of human ancestry. However, the resolution of ancestral origins based on mtDNA haplotypes is limited by the fact that such haplotypes are often found to be distributed across wide geographical regions. We have addressed this issue here by combining two sources of ancestry information that have typically been considered separately: historical records regarding population origins and genetic information on mtDNA haplotypes. To combine these distinct data sources, we applied a Bayesian approach that considers historical records, in the form of prior probabilities, together with data on the geographical distribution of mtDNA haplotypes, formulated as likelihoods, to yield ancestry assignments from posterior probabilities. This combined evidence Bayesian approach to ancestry assignment was evaluated for its ability to accurately assign sub-continental African ancestral origins to Afro-Colombians based on their mtDNA haplotypes. We demonstrate that the incorporation of historical prior probabilities via this analytical framework can provide for substantially increased resolution in sub-continental African ancestry assignment for members of this population. In addition, a personalized approach to ancestry assignment that involves the tuning of priors to individual mtDNA haplotypes yields even greater resolution for individual ancestry assignment. Despite the fact that Colombia has a large population of Afro-descendants, the ancestry of this community has been understudied relative to populations with primarily European and Native American ancestry. Thus, the application of the kind of combined evidence approach developed here to the study of ancestry in the Afro-Colombian population has the potential to be impactful. The formal Bayesian analytical framework we propose for combining historical and genetic information also has the potential to be widely applied

  5. Convergent evidence for hierarchical prediction networks from human electrocorticography and magnetoencephalography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Holly N; Blenkmann, Alejandro; Hughes, Laura E; Kochen, Silvia; Bekinschtein, Tristan A; Cam-Can; Rowe, James B

    2016-09-01

    We propose that sensory inputs are processed in terms of optimised predictions and prediction error signals within hierarchical neurocognitive models. The combination of non-invasive brain imaging and generative network models has provided support for hierarchical frontotemporal interactions in oddball tasks, including recent identification of a temporal expectancy signal acting on prefrontal cortex. However, these studies are limited by the need to invert magnetoencephalographic or electroencephalographic sensor signals to localise activity from cortical 'nodes' in the network, or to infer neural responses from indirect measures such as the fMRI BOLD signal. To overcome this limitation, we examined frontotemporal interactions estimated from direct cortical recordings from two human participants with cortical electrode grids (electrocorticography - ECoG). Their frontotemporal network dynamics were compared to those identified by magnetoencephalography (MEG) in forty healthy adults. All participants performed the same auditory oddball task with standard tones interspersed with five deviant tone types. We normalised post-operative electrode locations to standardised anatomic space, to compare across modalities, and inverted the MEG to cortical sources using the estimated lead field from subject-specific head models. A mismatch negativity signal in frontal and temporal cortex was identified in all subjects. Generative models of the electrocorticographic and magnetoencephalographic data were separately compared using the free-energy estimate of the model evidence. Model comparison confirmed the same critical features of hierarchical frontotemporal networks in each patient as in the group-wise MEG analysis. These features included bilateral, feedforward and feedback frontotemporal modulated connectivity, in addition to an asymmetric expectancy driving input on left frontal cortex. The invasive ECoG provides an important step in construct validation of the use of neural

  6. School Improvement Plans and Student Achievement: Preliminary Evidence from the Quality and Merit Project in Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caputo, Andrea; Rastelli, Valentina

    2014-01-01

    This study provides preliminary evidence from an Italian in-service training program addressed to lower secondary school teachers which supports school improvement plans (SIPs). It aims at exploring the association between characteristics/contents of SIPs and student improvement in math achievement. Pre-post standardized tests and text analysis of…

  7. The Quality of Evidence in Tablet-Assisted Interventions for Students with Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Min Kyung; Park, Yujeong; Coleman, Mari Beth

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to weigh the evidence of the effectiveness of tablet-assisted instructions (TAIs) at improving academic outcomes of students with disabilities. An extensive search process with inclusion and exclusion criteria yielded a total of 17 studies to be included in the present study: three group design studies and 14…

  8. Challenges and Ideas from a Research Program on High Quality, Evidence-Based Practice in School Mental Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weist, Mark D.; Youngstrom, Eric A.; Stephan, Sharon; Lever, Nancy; Fowler, Johnathan; Taylor, Leslie; McDaniel, Heather; Chappelle, Lori; Paggeot, Samantha; Hoagwood, Kimberly

    2013-01-01

    Objective Reviews the progression of a research program designed to develop, implement and study the implementation of “achievable” evidence-based practices (EBPs) in schools. Reviews challenges encountered and ideas to overcome them to enhance this avenue of research. Method Presents two federally funded randomized controlled trials involving comparison of a four-component targeted intervention (Quality Assessment and Improvement, Family Engagement and Empowerment, Modular Evidence-Based Practice, Implementation Support) versus a comparison intervention focused on Personal Wellness. In both studies primary aims focused on changes in clinician attitudes and behavior, including the delivery of high quality, evidence-based practices and secondary aims focused on student level impacts. Results A number of challenges, many not reported in the literature are reviewed, and ideas for overcoming them are presented. Conclusions Given the reality that the majority of youth mental health services are delivered in schools and the potential of school mental health (SMH) services to provide a continuum of mental health care from promotion to intervention, it is critical that the field consider and address the logistical and methodological challenges associated with implementing and studying EBP implementation by clinicians. PMID:24063310

  9. Evidence supporting oral sensitivity to complex carbohydrates independent of sweet taste sensitivity in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Y Q Low

    Full Text Available Compared to simple sugars, complex carbohydrates have been assumed invisible to taste. However, two recent studies proposed that there may be a perceivable taste quality elicited by complex carbohydrates independent of sweet taste. There is precedent with behavioural studies demonstrating that rats are very attracted to complex carbohydrates, and that complex carbohydrates are preferred to simple sugars at low concentrations. This suggests that rats may have independent taste sensors for simple sugars and complex carbohydrates. The aim of this paper is to investigate oral sensitivities of two different classes of complex carbohydrates (a soluble digestible and a soluble non-digestible complex carbohydrate, and to compare these to other caloric and non-nutritive sweeteners in addition to the prototypical tastes using two commonly used psychophysical measures. There were strong correlations between the detection thresholds and mean intensity ratings for complex carbohydrates (maltodextrin, oligofructose (r = 0.94, P 0.05. However, moderate correlations were observed between perceived intensities of complex carbohydrates and sweeteners (r = 0.48-0.61, P < 0.05. These data provide evidence that complex carbohydrates can be sensed in the oral cavity over a range of concentrations independent of sweet taste sensitivity at low concentrations, but with partial overlap with sweet taste intensity at higher concentrations.

  10. Service Quality Assessment of Hospitals in Asian Context: An Empirical Evidence From Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shafiq, Muhammad; Naeem, Muhammad Azhar; Munawar, Zartasha; Fatima, Iram

    2017-01-01

    Hospitals vary from one another in terms of their specialty, services offered, and resource availability. Their services are widely measured with scales that gauge patients' perspective. Therefore, there is a need for research to develop a scale that measures hospital service quality in Asian hospitals, regardless of their nature or ownership. To address this research need, this study adapted the SERVQUAL instrument to develop a service quality measurement scale. Data were collected from inpatients and outpatients at 9 different hospitals, and the scale was developed using structural equation modeling. The developed scale was then validated by identifying service quality gaps and ranking the areas that require managerial effort. The findings indicated that all 5 dimensions of SERVQUAL are valid in Asian countries such as Pakistan, with 13 items retained. Reliability, tangibility, responsiveness, empathy, and assurance were ranked first, second, third, fourth, and fifth, respectively, in terms of the size of the quality gap. The gaps were statistically significant, with values ≤.05; therefore, hospital administrators must focus on each of these areas. By focusing on the identified areas of improvement, health care authorities, managers, practitioners, and decision makers can bring substantial change within hospitals.

  11. How to Enhance the Impact of Training on Service Quality? Evidence from Malaysian Public Sector Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zumrah, Abdul Rahim

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to highlight the importance role of transfer of training as a mediator in the relationship between training and service quality. Design/methodology/approach: The data of this study were collected from three sources: the employees of public sector organizations in Malaysia who participated in a Basic Financial…

  12. Relational Capital Quality and Client Loyalty: Firm-Level Evidence from Pharmaceuticals, Pakistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mubarik, Shujaat; Chandran, V. G. R.; Devadason, Evelyn S.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: This study aims to examine the influence of relational capital quality on client loyalty, comprising both behavioral and attitudinal, in the pharmaceutical industry of Pakistan. Design/methodology/approach: The partial least squares technique is used to test the relationship using a sample of 111 pharmaceutical firms. We applied a…

  13. Examining Program Quality Disparities between Urban and Rural Kindergartens in China: Evidence from Zhejiang

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Bi Ying; Zhou, Yisu; Li, Kejian; Roberts, Sherron Killingsworth

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, the Chinese government has initiated a national plan to universalize quality kindergartens for all age-eligible Chinese children. Kindergarten is the main form of early childhood education and care (ECEC) service across China. However, the government faces two thorny issues on the journey toward realizing educational equity for…

  14. The Cerebral Palsy Quality of Life for Children (CP QOL-Child): Evidence of Construct Validity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Kuan-Lin; Wang, Hui-Yi; Tseng, Mei-Hui; Shieh, Jeng-Yi; Lu, Lu; Yao, Kai-Ping Grace; Huang, Chien-Yu

    2013-01-01

    The Cerebral Palsy Quality of Life for Children (CP QOL-Child) is the first health condition-specific questionnaire designed for measuring QOL in children with cerebral palsy (CP). However, its construct validity has not yet been confirmed by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Hence, this study assessed the construct validity of the caregiver…

  15. Evidence-Based Quality Improvement: A recipe for improving medication safety and handover of care

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smeulers, M.

    2016-01-01

    In healthcare we strive to provide the highest possible quality of care. Even though healthcare professionals work together with the intention to provide safe care, medical errors still threaten patient safety. Patient safety has received considerable attention since the beginning of this century,

  16. Social Skills Interventions for Students with Challenging Behavior: Evaluating the Quality of the Evidence Base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchins, Nancy S.; Burke, Mack D.; Hatton, Heather; Bowman-Perrott, Lisa

    2017-01-01

    This study provides results on a methodological quality review of the single-case research literature from 1998 to 2014 on the use of social skills interventions for students with challenging behavior. A systematic review of the social skills literature was conducted with the intent of updating the Mathur et al. study of social skills…

  17. Certification as a viable quality assurance mechanism: theory and suggestive evidence

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Svítková, Katarína; Ortmann, Andreas

    -, č. 288 (2006), s. 1-35 ISSN 1211-3298 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z70850503 Keywords : certification * quality assurance * experience goods Subject RIV: AH - Economics http://www.cerge-ei.cz/pdf/wp/Wp288.pdf

  18. Quality of the ECEC Workforce in Romania: Empirical Evidence from Parents' Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matei, Aniela; Ghenta, Mihaela

    2018-01-01

    The quality of the early childhood workforce is central to service provision in this area, being a major factor in determining children's development over the course of their lives. Specific skills and competencies are expected from early childhood education and care (ECEC) workforce. Well-trained staff from ECEC settings are an extremely…

  19. The Role of Geography in the Assessment of Quality: Evidence from the Medicare Advantage Program.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rene Soria-Saucedo

    Full Text Available The Affordable Care Act set in motion a renewed emphasis on quality of care evaluation. However, the evaluation strategies of quality by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services do not consider geography when comparisons are made among plans. Using an overall measure of a plan's quality in the public sector--the Medicare Advantage (MA star ratings--we explored the impact of geography in these ratings. We identified 2,872 U.S counties in 2010. The geographic factor predicted a larger fraction of the MA ratings' compared to socio-demographic factors which explained less. Also, after the risk adjustments, almost half of the U.S. states changed their ranked position in the star ratings. Further, lower MA star ratings were identified in the Southeastern region. These findings suggest that the geographic component effect on the ratings is not trivial and should be considered in future adjustments of the metric, which may enhance the transparency, accountability, and importantly level the playing field more effectively when comparing quality across health plans.

  20. Certification as viable quality assurance mechanism in transition economies: evidence, theory, and open questions

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ortmann, A.; Svítková, Katarína

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 16, č. 2 (2007), s. 99-114 ISSN 1210-0455 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z70850503 Keywords : experience goods * quality assurance * certification Subject RIV: AH - Economics http://www.vse.cz/pep/abstrakt.php3?IDcl=300

  1. Certification as viable quality assurance mechanism in transition economies: evidence, theory, and open questions

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ortmann, Andreas; Svítková, K.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 16, č. 2 (2007), s. 99-114 ISSN 1210-0455 Institutional research plan: CEZ:MSM0021620846 Keywords : experience goods * quality assurance * certification Subject RIV: AH - Economics http://www.vse.cz/pep/abstrakt.php3?IDcl=300

  2. The Role of Geography in the Assessment of Quality: Evidence from the Medicare Advantage Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soria-Saucedo, Rene; Xu, Peng; Newsom, Jack; Cabral, Howard; Kazis, Lewis E

    2016-01-01

    The Affordable Care Act set in motion a renewed emphasis on quality of care evaluation. However, the evaluation strategies of quality by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services do not consider geography when comparisons are made among plans. Using an overall measure of a plan's quality in the public sector--the Medicare Advantage (MA) star ratings--we explored the impact of geography in these ratings. We identified 2,872 U.S counties in 2010. The geographic factor predicted a larger fraction of the MA ratings' compared to socio-demographic factors which explained less. Also, after the risk adjustments, almost half of the U.S. states changed their ranked position in the star ratings. Further, lower MA star ratings were identified in the Southeastern region. These findings suggest that the geographic component effect on the ratings is not trivial and should be considered in future adjustments of the metric, which may enhance the transparency, accountability, and importantly level the playing field more effectively when comparing quality across health plans.

  3. Relationship learning as a dimension of relationship quality : tentative evidence from transnational buyer-supplier relationships

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raškovic, M.; Makovec Brencic, M.; Ferligoj, A.; Fransoo, J.C.

    2013-01-01

    While relationship learning has been addressed in marketing theory, it has not yet been explored as a possible dimension of the second-order construct of relationship quality (RQ). This construct has so far been mostly conceptualized to consist of trust and commitment, sometimes also satisfaction;

  4. Rurality and nursing home quality: evidence from the 2004 National Nursing Home Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Yu; Meng, Hongdao; Miller, Nancy A

    2011-12-01

    To evaluate the impact of rural geographic location on nursing home quality of care in the United States. The study used cross-sectional observational design. We obtained resident- and facility-level data from 12,507 residents in 1,174 nursing homes from the 2004 National Nursing Home Survey. We used multilevel regression models to predict risk-adjusted rates of hospitalization, influenza and pneumococcal vaccination, and moderate to severe pain while controlling for resident and facility characteristics. Adjusting for covariates, residents in rural facilities were more likely to experience hospitalization (odds ratio [OR] = 1.50, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.16-1.94) and moderate to severe pain (OR = 1.68, 95% CI = 1.35-2.09). Significant facility-level predictors of higher quality included higher percentage of Medicaid beneficiaries, accreditation status, and special care programs. Medicare payment findings were mixed. Significant resident-level predictors included dementia diagnosis and being a "long-stay" resident. Rural residents were more likely to reside in facilities without accreditations or special care programs, factors that increased their odds of receiving poorer quality of care. Policy efforts to enhance Medicare payment approaches as well as increase rural facilities' accreditation status and provision of special care programs will likely reduce quality of care disparities in facilities.

  5. Critical evaluation of key evidence on the human health hazards of exposure to bisphenol A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hengstler, JG; Foth, H; Gebel, T; Kramer, P-J; Lilienblum, W; Schweinfurth, H; Völkel, W; Wollin, K-M; Gundert-Remy, U

    2011-01-01

    of BPA-glucuronide and -sulfate may occur. Because of the extremely low quantities, it is only of minor relevance for BPA toxicity. Biomonitoring studies have been used to estimate human BPA exposure and show that the daily intake of BPA is far below the TDI for the general population. Further topics addressed in this article include reasons why some studies on BPA are not reproducible; the relevance of oral versus non-oral exposure routes; the degree to which newborns are at higher systemic BPA exposure; increased BPA exposure by infusions in intensive care units; mechanisms of action other than estrogen receptor activation; and the current regulatory status in Europe, as well as in the USA, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. Overall, the Committee concluded that the current TDI for BPA is adequately justified and that the available evidence indicates that BPA exposure represents no noteworthy risk to the health of the human population, including newborns and babies. PMID:21438738

  6. From Evidence-based Medicine to Human-based Medicine in Psychosomatics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musalek, Michael

    2016-08-23

    Human-based medicine (HbM), a form of psychiatry that focuses not only on fragments and constructs but on the whole person, no longer finds its theoretical basis in the positivism of the modern era, but rather owes its central maxims to the post-modernist ideal that ultimate truths or objectivity in identifying the final cause of illness remain hidden from us for theoretical reasons alone. Evidence-based medicine (EbM) and HbM are thus not mutually exclusive opposites; rather, despite superficial differences in methods of diagnosis and treatment, EbM must be integrated into HbM as an indispensable component of the latter. Probably the most important difference between EbM and HbM lies in the aims and methods of treatment. In HbM the goal is no longer simply to make illnesses disappear but rather to allow the patient to return to a life that is as autonomous and happy as possible. The human being with all his or her potential and limitations once again becomes the measure of all things. This also implies, however, that the multidimensional diagnostics of HbM are oriented not only towards symptoms, pathogenesis, process and understanding but also to a greater degree towards the patient's resources. Treatment options and forms of therapy do not put the disease construct at the centre of the diagnostic and therapeutic interest, but have as their primary aim the reopening of the possibility of a largely autonomous and joyful life for the patient.

  7. Heterogeneity in earnings quality between different classes of companies after IFRS adoption: evidence from Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Black

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT This paper aims to investigate the existence of heterogeneity in earnings quality between different classes of companies after the adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS. IFRS adoption is generally associated with an increase in the quality of financial statements. However, companies within the same country are likely to have different economic incentives regarding the disclosure of information. Thus, treating companies equally, without considering the related economic incentives, could contaminate earnings quality investigations. The case of Brazil is analyzed, which is a country classified as code-law, in which tax laws determined accounting practice and in which IFRS adoption is mandatory. First, Brazilian companies listed on the São Paulo Stock, Commodities, and Futures Exchange (BM&FBOVESPA were separated into two classes: companies issuing American Depositary Receipts (ADRs before IFRS adoption and companies that did not issue ADRs until the adoption of IFRS. Then, this second class of companies was grouped, using cluster analysis, into two different subclasses according to economic incentives. Based on the groups identified, the quality of accounting earnings is tested for each class of the companies before and after IFRS adoption. This paper uses timely recognition of economic events, value relevance of net income, and earnings management as proxies for the quality of accounting earnings. The results indicate that a particular class of companies began showing conditional conservatism, value relevance of net income, and lower earnings management after IFRS adoption. On the other hand, these results were not found for the two other classes of companies.

  8. Gearing service quality into public and private hospitals in small islands: empirical evidence from Cyprus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arasli, Huseyin; Ekiz, Erdogan Haktan; Katircioglu, Salih Turan

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this research is to develop and compare some determinants of service quality in both the public and private hospitals of Northern Cyprus. There is considerable lack of literature with respect to service quality in public and private hospitals. Randomly, 454 respondents, who have recently benefited from hospital services in Famagusta, were selected to answer a modified version of the SERVQUAL Instrument. The instrument contained both service expectations and perceptions questions. This study identifies six factors regarding the service quality as perceived in both public and private Northern Cyprus hospitals. These are: empathy, giving priority to the inpatients needs, relationships between staff and patients, professionalism of staff, food and the physical environment. Research results revealed that the various expectations of inpatients have not been met in either the public or the private hospitals At the micro level, the lack of management commitment to service quality in both hospital settings leads doctors and nurses to expend less effort increasing or improving inpatient satisfaction. Hospital managers should also satisfy their employees, since job satisfaction leads to customer satisfaction and loyalty. Additionally, hospital administrations need to gather systematic feedback from their inpatients, establish visible and transparent complaint procedures so that inpatients' complaints can be addressed effectively and efficiently. The hospitals need to organize training sessions based on the critical importance of service quality and the crucial role of inpatient satisfaction in the health care industry. Future studies should include the remaining regions in Cyprus in order to increase research findings' generalizability. Additionally, including other dimensions such as hospital processes and discharge management and co-ordination may provide further insights into understanding inpatients' perceptions and intentions.

  9. Influence of Indoor Hygrothermal Conditions on Human Quality of Life in Social Housing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, Sara; Fraga, Silvia; Delgado, Joao M P Q; Ramos, Nuno M M

    2015-11-17

    Modern societies spend most of their time indoors, namely at home, and the indoor environment quality turns out to be a crucial factor to health, quality of life and well-being of the residents. The present study aims to understand how indoor environment relates with quality of life and how improving housing conditions impacts on individuals' health. This study case will rely on the following assessments in both rehabilitated and non-rehabilitated social housing: i) field measurements, in social dwellings (namely temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide concentration, air velocity, air change rate, level of mould spores and energy consumption); ii) residents' questionnaires on social, demogaphic, behavioural, health characteristics and quality of life. Also, iii) qualitative interviews performed with social housing residents from the rehabilitated houses, addressing the self-perception of living conditions and their influence in health status and quality of life. All the collected information will be combined and analysed in order to achieve the main objective. It is expected to define a Predicted Human Life Quality (PHLQ) index, that combines physical parameters describing the indoor environment measured through engineering techniques with residents' and neighbourhood quality of life characteristics assessed by health questionnaires. Improvement in social housing should be related with better health indicators and the new index might be an important tool contributing to enhance quality of life of the residents. Significance for public healthThis study will contribute to understand how indoor environment relates with quality of life and how improving housing conditions impacts on individuals' health, in social housing neighbourhoods. As so, it is important to share the undertaken methodology carried out by a multidisciplinary team, in order to allow other researchers following comparable studies to adopt a similar approach. The case study results will allow

  10. Chronic kidney-disease screening service quality: questionnaire survey research evidence from Taichung city

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glen Robert

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chronic kidney disease (CKD is a serious public health problem in Taiwan and the world. The most effective, affordable treatments involve early prevention/detection/intervention, requiring screening. Successfully implementing CKD programs requires good patient participation, affected by patient perceptions of screening service quality. Service quality improvements can help make such programs more successful. Thus, good tools for assessing service quality perceptions are important. Aim: to investigate using a modified SERVQUAL questionnaire in assessing patient expectations, perceptions, and loyalty towards kidney disease screening service quality. Method 1595 kidney disease screening program patients in Taichung City were requested to complete and return a modified kidney disease screening SERVQUAL questionnaire. 1187 returned them. Incomplete ones (102 were culled and 1085 were chosen as effective for use. Paired t-tests, correlation tests, ANOVA, LSD test, and factor analysis identified the characteristics and factors of service quality. The paired t-test tested expectation score and perception score gaps. A structural equation modeling system examined satisfaction-based components' relationships. Results The effective response rate was 91.4%. Several methods verified validity. Cronbach's alpha on internal reliability was above 0.902. On patient satisfaction, expectation scores are high: 6.50 (0.82, but perception scores are significantly lower 6.14 (1.02. Older patients' perception scores are lower than younger patients'. Expectation and perception scores for patients with different types of jobs are significantly different. Patients higher on education have lower scores for expectation (r = -0.09 and perception (r = -0.26. Factor analysis identified three factors in the 22 item SERVQUAL form, which account for 80.8% of the total variance for the expectation scores and 86.9% of the total variance for the satisfaction

  11. Chronic kidney-disease screening service quality: questionnaire survey research evidence from Taichung City.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Deng-Juin; Li, Ya-Hsin; Pai, Jar-Yuan; Sheu, Ing-Cheau; Glen, Robert; Chou, Ming-Jen; Lee, Ching-Yi

    2009-12-19

    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a serious public health problem in Taiwan and the world. The most effective, affordable treatments involve early prevention/detection/intervention, requiring screening. Successfully implementing CKD programs requires good patient participation, affected by patient perceptions of screening service quality. Service quality improvements can help make such programs more successful. Thus, good tools for assessing service quality perceptions are important. to investigate using a modified SERVQUAL questionnaire in assessing patient expectations, perceptions, and loyalty towards kidney disease screening service quality. 1595 kidney disease screening program patients in Taichung City were requested to complete and return a modified kidney disease screening SERVQUAL questionnaire. 1187 returned them. Incomplete ones (102) were culled and 1085 were chosen as effective for use. Paired t-tests, correlation tests, ANOVA, LSD test, and factor analysis identified the characteristics and factors of service quality. The paired t-test tested expectation score and perception score gaps. A structural equation modeling system examined satisfaction-based components' relationships. The effective response rate was 91.4%. Several methods verified validity. Cronbach's alpha on internal reliability was above 0.902. On patient satisfaction, expectation scores are high: 6.50 (0.82), but perception scores are significantly lower 6.14 (1.02). Older patients' perception scores are lower than younger patients'. Expectation and perception scores for patients with different types of jobs are significantly different. Patients higher on education have lower scores for expectation (r = -0.09) and perception (r = -0.26). Factor analysis identified three factors in the 22 item SERVQUAL form, which account for 80.8% of the total variance for the expectation scores and 86.9% of the total variance for the satisfaction scores. Expectation and perception score gaps in all 22

  12. Top-Cited Articles in Problem-Based Learning: A Bibliometric Analysis and Quality of Evidence Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azer, Samy A

    2017-04-01

    The aims of this study were to identify characteristics of the top-cited articles in problem-based learning (PBL) and assess the quality of evidence provided by these articles. The most frequently cited articles on PBL were searched in April 2015 in the Science Citation Index Expanded database (List A) and Google Scholar database (List B). Eligible articles identified were reviewed for key characteristics. The Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine guidelines were used in assessing the level of evidence. The number of citations varied (62 to 923 on List A and 218 to 2,859 on List B). Countries that contributed the majority of articles in both lists were the United States, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Canada. No significant correlations were found between number of citations and number of years since published (p=0.451), number of authors (p=0.144), females in authorship (p=0.189), non-medical authors (p=0.869), number of institutions (p=0.452), and number of grants (p=0.143), but a strong correlation was found with number of countries involved (p=0.007). Application of the Oxford hierarchy of evidence showed that 36 articles were at levels 4 and 5 of evidence. This study found that research articles represented approximately one-third of PBL articles assessed and reported mainly on questionnaire-based studies. The most highly cited articles occupied top-ranking positions in the journals in which they were published. The lower level of evidence observed in most top-cited articles may reflect the significance of innovative ideas or content of these articles. These findings have implications for dental educators and dental researchers.

  13. One-trial overshadowing: Evidence for fast specific fear learning in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haesen, Kim; Beckers, Tom; Baeyens, Frank; Vervliet, Bram

    2017-03-01

    Adaptive defensive actions necessitate a fear learning system that is both fast and specific. Fast learning serves to minimize the number of threat confrontations, while specific learning ensures that the acquired fears are tied to threat-relevant cues only. In Pavlovian fear conditioning, fear acquisition is typically studied via repetitive pairings of a single cue with an aversive experience, which is not optimal for the examination of fast specific fear learning. In this study, we adopted the one-trial overshadowing procedure from basic learning research, in which a combination of two visual cues is presented once and paired with an aversive electrical stimulation. Using on-line shock expectancy ratings, skin conductance reactivity and startle reflex modulation as indices of fear learning, we found evidence of strong fear after a single conditioning trial (fast learning) as well as attenuated fear responding when only half of the trained stimulus combination was presented (specific learning). Moreover, specificity of fear responding tended to correlate with levels of state and trait anxiety. These results suggest that one-trial overshadowing can be used as a model to study fast specific fear learning in humans and individual differences therein. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Dietary options and behavior suggested by plant biomarker evidence in an early human habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magill, Clayton R.; Ashley, Gail M.; Domínguez-Rodrigo, Manuel; Freeman, Katherine H.

    2016-03-01

    The availability of plants and freshwater shapes the diets and social behavior of chimpanzees, our closest living relative. However, limited evidence about the spatial relationships shared between ancestral human (hominin) remains, edible resources, refuge, and freshwater leaves the influence of local resources on our species' evolution open to debate. Exceptionally well-preserved organic geochemical fossils-biomarkers-preserved in a soil horizon resolve different plant communities at meter scales across a contiguous 25,000 m2 archaeological land surface at Olduvai Gorge from about 2 Ma. Biomarkers reveal hominins had access to aquatic plants and protective woods in a patchwork landscape, which included a spring-fed wetland near a woodland that both were surrounded by open grassland. Numerous cut-marked animal bones are located within the wooded area, and within meters of wetland vegetation delineated by biomarkers for ferns and sedges. Taken together, plant biomarkers, clustered bone debris, and hominin remains define a clear spatial pattern that places animal butchery amid the refuge of an isolated forest patch and near freshwater with diverse edible resources.

  15. Genetic evidence for natural selection in humans in the contemporary United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beauchamp, Jonathan P

    2016-07-12

    Recent findings from molecular genetics now make it possible to test directly for natural selection by analyzing whether genetic variants associated with various phenotypes have been under selection. I leverage these findings to construct polygenic scores that use individuals' genotypes to predict their body mass index, educational attainment (EA), glucose concentration, height, schizophrenia, total cholesterol, and (in females) age at menarche. I then examine associations between these scores and fitness to test whether natural selection has been occurring. My study sample includes individuals of European ancestry born between 1931 and 1953 who participated in the Health and Retirement Study, a representative study of the US population. My results imply that natural selection has been slowly favoring lower EA in both females and males, and are suggestive that natural selection may have favored a higher age at menarche in females. For EA, my estimates imply a rate of selection of about -1.5 mo of education per generation (which pales in comparison with the increases in EA observed in contemporary times). Although they cannot be projected over more than one generation, my results provide additional evidence that humans are still evolving-albeit slowly, especially compared with the rapid changes that have occurred over the past few generations due to cultural and environmental factors.

  16. Evidence that the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii may have evolved in Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anastasia P Litvintseva

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Most of the species of fungi that cause disease in mammals, including Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii (serotype A, are exogenous and non-contagious. Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii is associated worldwide with avian and arboreal habitats. This airborne, opportunistic pathogen is profoundly neurotropic and the leading cause of fungal meningitis. Patients with HIV/AIDS have been ravaged by cryptococcosis--an estimated one million new cases occur each year, and mortality approaches 50%. Using phylogenetic and population genetic analyses, we present evidence that C. neoformans var. grubii may have evolved from a diverse population in southern Africa. Our ecological studies support the hypothesis that a few of these strains acquired a new environmental reservoir, the excreta of feral pigeons (Columba livia, and were globally dispersed by the migration of birds and humans. This investigation also discovered a novel arboreal reservoir for highly diverse strains of C. neoformans var. grubii that are restricted to southern Africa, the mopane tree (Colophospermum mopane. This finding may have significant public health implications because these primal strains have optimal potential for evolution and because mopane trees contribute to the local economy as a source of timber, folkloric remedies and the edible mopane worm.

  17. Human intestinal parasites in crusader Acre: Evidence for migration with disease in the medieval period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Piers D; Anastasiou, Evilena; Syon, Danny

    2011-12-01

    The aim of this research is to highlight the role of ancient parasites as evidence for human migration in past populations. The material analysed was soil sediment from the excavation of a medieval cesspool in the city of Acre, in Israel. Archaeological stratigraphy and radiocarbon dating of a fragment of animal bone from the cesspool confirm its use in the 13th century CE, during the crusader period. At that time Acre was located in the Frankish Kingdom of Jerusalem. Soil samples from the cesspool were analysed and eggs of the roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides) and fish tapeworm (Diphyllobothrium latum) were identified. The fish tapeworm has only been found in the mainland Near East once before, in a latrine of the crusader Order of St. John (Knights Hospitaller). It has been absent in all earlier cesspools, latrines and coprolites so far studied in the region. In contrast to its rarity in the Levant, the fish tapeworm was common in northern Europe during the medieval period. The presence of fish tapeworm eggs in a crusader period cesspool in Acre suggests its use by crusaders or pilgrims from northern Europe who travelled to the Levant carrying these parasites in their intestines. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Ab interno trabeculectomy: ultrastructural evidence and early tissue response in a human eye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, Ettore; Ortolani, Fulvia; Petrelli, Lucia; Contin, Magali; Pognuz, Derri Roman; Marchini, Maurizio; Bandello, Francesco

    2007-10-01

    To report the results of ultrastructural analysis of the postoperative effects of ab interno trabeculectomy in a human eye. Department of Ophthalmology, Palmanova Hospital, Palmanova, Udine, Italy. A 60-year-old woman with cataract and glaucoma had enucleation for a choroidal melanoma 10 days after ab interno trabeculectomy combined with phacoemulsification. A second ab interno trabeculectomy was performed after enucleation to evaluate the outcomes of the previous trabeculectomy. Light and transmission electron microscopy analyses were performed on samples excised from areas (1) not subjected to a procedure (control samples), (2) that had ab interno trabeculectomy before enucleation, and (3) that had ab interno trabeculectomy immediately after enucleation. Control samples showed normal trabecular features. Semithin sections of all ab interno trabeculectomy samples showed full-thickness removal of trabeculum segments, with Schlemm's canal lumen opening into the anterior chamber and apparent preservation of the adjacent structures. On ultrathin sections of samples that had ab interno trabeculectomy before enucleation, the endothelium lining the outer wall of Schlemm's canal and other angle components showed intact ultrastructural features. In trabecular beams that were not removed, the extracellular matrix appeared to have maintained its fine texture and was free of activated fibroblasts or leucocyte infiltrates. Observations confirm that ab interno trabeculectomy causes direct communication between Schlemm's canal lumen and the anterior chamber in vivo and immediately after enucleation during the early postoperative period. The absence of an evident inflammatory reaction in the examined case should be considered with caution because of possible tumor-induced immune suppression.

  19. Evidence of disrupted high-risk human papillomavirus DNA in morphologically normal cervices of older women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, Sarah M; Pereira, Merlin; Roberts, Sally; Cuschieri, Kate; Nuovo, Gerard; Athavale, Ramanand; Young, Lawrence; Ganesan, Raji; Woodman, Ciarán B

    2016-02-15

    High-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) causes nearly 100% of cervical carcinoma. However, it remains unclear whether HPV can establish a latent infection, one which may be responsible for the second peak in incidence of cervical carcinoma seen in older women. Therefore, using Ventana in situ hybridisation (ISH), quantitative PCR assays and biomarkers of productive and transforming viral infection, we set out to provide the first robust estimate of the prevalence and characteristics of HPV genomes in FFPE tissue from the cervices of 99 women undergoing hysterectomy for reasons unrelated to epithelial abnormality. Our ISH assay detected HR-HPV in 42% of our study population. The majority of ISH positive samples also tested HPV16 positive using sensitive PCR based assays and were more likely to have a history of preceding cytological abnormality. Analysis of subsets of this population revealed HR-HPV to be transcriptionally inactive as there was no evidence of a productive or transforming infection. Critically, the E2 gene was always disrupted in those HPV16 positive cases which were assessed. These findings point to a reservoir of transcriptionally silent, disrupted HPV16 DNA in morphologically normal cervices, re-expression of which could explain the increase in incidence of cervical cancer observed in later life.

  20. Vitamin E As a Potential Interventional Treatment for Metabolic Syndrome: Evidence from Animal and Human Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sok Kuan Wong

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available A constellation of medical conditions inclusive of central obesity, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and dyslipidemia is known as metabolic syndrome (MetS. The safest option in curtailing the progression of MetS is through maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which by itself, is a long-term commitment entailing much determination. A combination of pharmacological and non-pharmacological approach, as well as lifestyle modification is a more holistic alternative in the management of MetS. Vitamin E has been revealed to possess anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-hypertensive and anti-hypercholesterolemic properties. The pathways regulated by vitamin E are critical in the development of MetS and its components. Therefore, we postulate that vitamin E may exert some health benefits on MetS patients. This review intends to summarize the evidence in animal and human studies on the effects of vitamin E and articulate the contrasting potential of tocopherol (TF and tocotrienol (T3 in preventing the medical conditions associated with MetS. As a conclusion, this review suggests that vitamin E may be a promising agent for attenuating MetS.

  1. No evidence of human papillomaviruses in non-genital seborrheic keratosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naser Tayyebi Meibodi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Seborrheic keratosis (SK is a benign epidermal tumor of unknown etiology. Because of its wart-like morphology, Human papillomaviruses (HPVs have been suggested as a possible causative agent. Viral involvement, however, has not been confirmed yet despite research and the association between HPVs and seborrheic keratosis has not been studied among Iranian population by PCR. Objectives: The aim of this case-control study was to evaluate the presence of HPVs DNA in non-genital SK by PCR. Materials and Methods: Fifty biopsy specimens obtained from patients with non-genital SK and 50 controls were analyzed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR. Results: No HPVs DNA was detected by PCR within the tissue extracts from paraffin-embedded SK samples, while one of the controls was HPVs DNA positive. The age range of the patients was 20 to 82 yrs (mean = 52. Twenty-eight patients (56% were males and 22 patients (44% were females. The most common anatomic site was the face. Histopathologic changes due to viral infection such as koilocytosis (10%, dyskeratosis (66%, mitosis (28%, and parakeratosis (88% were evident within the lesions. The most common histologic type was acanthotic type. Conclusion: Our results showed that there is no association between HPVs and seborrheic keratosis in investigated subjects.

  2. Cortical oscillations in auditory perception and speech: evidence for two temporal windows in human auditory cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huan eLuo

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Natural sounds, including vocal communication sounds, contain critical information at multiple time scales. Two essential temporal modulation rates in speech have been argued to be in the low gamma band (~20-80 ms duration information and the theta band (~150-300 ms, corresponding to segmental and syllabic modulation rates, respectively. On one hypothesis, auditory cortex implements temporal integration using time constants closely related to these values. The neural correlates of a proposed dual temporal window mechanism in human auditory cortex remain poorly understood. We recorded MEG responses from participants listening to non-speech auditory stimuli with different temporal structures, created by concatenating frequency-modulated segments of varied segment durations. We show that these non-speech stimuli with temporal structure matching speech-relevant scales (~25 ms and ~200 ms elicit reliable phase tracking in the corresponding associated oscillatory frequencies (low gamma and theta bands. In contrast, stimuli with non-matching temporal structure do not. Furthermore, the topography of theta band phase tracking shows rightward lateralization while gamma band phase tracking occurs bilaterally. The results support the hypothesis that there exists multi-time resolution processing in cortex on discontinuous scales and provide evidence for an asymmetric organization of temporal analysis (asymmetrical sampling in time, AST. The data argue for a macroscopic-level neural mechanism underlying multi-time resolution processing: the sliding and resetting of intrinsic temporal windows on privileged time scales.

  3. Evidence for intermuscle difference in slack angle in human triceps surae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirata, Kosuke; Kanehisa, Hiroaki; Miyamoto-Mikami, Eri; Miyamoto, Naokazu

    2015-04-13

    This study examined whether the slack angle (i.e., the joint angle corresponding to the slack length) varies among the synergists of the human triceps surae in vivo. By using ultrasound shear wave elastography, shear modulus of each muscle of the triceps surae was measured during passive stretching from 50° of plantar flexion in the knee extended position at an angular velocity of 1°/s in 9 healthy adult subjects. The slack angle of each muscle was determined from the ankle joint angle-shear modulus relationship as the first increase in shear modulus. The slack angle was significantly greater in the medial gastrocnemius (20.7±6.7° plantarflexed position) than in the lateral gastrocnemius (14.9±6.7° plantarflexed position) and soleus (2.0±4.8° dorsiflexed position) and greater in the lateral gastrocnemius than in the soleus. This study provided evidence that the slack angle differs among the triceps surae; the medial gastrocnemius produced passive force at the most plantarflexed position while the slack angle of the soleus was the most dorsiflexed position. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Estrogen-related receptor gamma and hearing function: evidence of a role in humans and mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, Lisa S; Maier, Hannes; Hermans-Borgmeyer, Irm; Girotto, Giorgia; Ecob, Russell; Pirastu, Nicola; Cadge, Barbara A; Hübner, Christian; Gasparini, Paolo; Strachan, David P; Davis, Adrian; Dawson, Sally J

    2013-08-01

    Since estrogen is thought to protect pre-menopausal women from age-related hearing loss, we investigated whether variation in estrogen-signalling genes is linked to hearing status in the 1958 British Birth Cohort. This analysis implicated the estrogen-related receptor gamma (ESRRG) gene in determining adult hearing function and was investigated further in a total of 6134 individuals in 3 independent cohorts: (i) the 1958 British Birth Cohort; (ii) a London ARHL case-control cohort; and (iii) a cohort from isolated populations of Italy and Silk Road countries. Evidence of an association between the minor allele of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2818964 and hearing status was found in females, but not in males in 2 of these cohorts: p = 0.0058 (London ARHL) and p = 0.0065 (Carlantino, Italy). Furthermore, assessment of hearing in Esrrg knock-out mice revealed a mild 25-dB hearing loss at 5 weeks of age. At 12 weeks, average hearing thresholds in female mice((-/-)) were 15 dB worse than in males((-/-)). Together these data indicate ESRRG plays a role in maintenance of hearing in both humans and mice. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. A review of the evidence for a human role in the extinction of Australian megafauna and an alternative interpretation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wroe, Stephen; Field, Judith

    2006-11-01

    Arguments that megafaunal extinctions in Australia were anthropogenically mediated have focused on establishing terminal appearance ages. This approach has been underpinned by three principle tenets: (1) if megafauna disappeared before significant climate change, but after human colonisation, then it can be inferred that extinctions were human mediated; (2) climate change within the last glacial cycle was unremarkable relative to previous cycles; and (3) all or most Pleistocene megafauna were present when people arrived on the continent. We review the evidence for human causation and note mounting evidence suggesting that the last 400-300 ka in Australia has been characterised by escalating aridity and climatic variability, culminating in the breach of a hydrological threshold within the last glacial cycle. Only 21 species (35%) of megafauna whose disappearance has been attributed to human activity are known to have persisted after the Penultimate Glacial Maximum, a time of undoubtedly severe climate change. Thus, 39 species of megafauna (65%) cannot be reliably placed within 85,000 years of firm evidence for human arrival, ca 50-43 ka. At most eight species (13%) were clearly present at this time. Four or more persisted until the onset of full glacial conditions at ca 30 ka. We argue for a falsifiable model of staggered extinction in which most megafaunal extinctions predated human arrival and with the influence of people as a minor superimposition on broader trends in train since middle Pleistocene times.

  6. INFLUENCE OF LABOUR MIGRATION PROCESSES ON THE QUALITY OF HUMAN CAPITAL OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor M. Volodin

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract. Objectives The aim of the study is to identify the impact of labour migration processes on the quality of human capital. Methods For researching the methods and forms of migration capital’s impact on the formation of a new quality of human capital, a systematic approach is applied. In order to identify the imbalance in the distribution of labour resources among the regions of the Russian Federation and to assess migration processes, analytical and synthetic as well as statistical and comparative methods were applied. In order to help to visualise the identified economic and statistical dependencies, graphic images are provided. Results The essence of migration processes in the era of economic turbulence is revealed. The main share of labour migrants in the overall structure of migratory flows to the Russian Federation are labour migrants from the CIS countries; the main reasons for this situation are established. The factors of Russia’s high migration attractiveness are identified and the basic migratory process management tasks are defined. Among the main tasks of migration process management are: ensuring the national security of the Russian Federation; preservation, maintenance and improvement of comfort, well-being and quality of life of the Russian Federation population; solving the problems of stability and growth of the permanent population of the Russian Federation; creating conditions for the full satisfaction of the high-quality labour resource needs of the Russian economy, attracting labour migrants from highly developed countries; formation of conditions for the transition to sustainable development based on the introduction of scientific and technological progress and the creation of competitive industries. Conclusion The paper suggests three scenarios for the development of migration processes in Russia: inertial, realistic and optimistic. Improvements in the quality of migration capital can be achieved through the

  7. A More-than-Social Movement: The Post-Human Condition of Quality in the Early Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arndt, Sonja; Tesar, Marek

    2016-01-01

    This article explores quality in early childhood education by de-elevating the importance of the human subject and experience, and heightening instead a focus on and tensions with the post-human. The argument traces the intricate web of "qualities" woven throughout entanglements of subjects, objects and things that constitute what is…

  8. Evidence for the Adverse Effect of Starvation on Bone Quality: A Review of the Literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janina Kueper

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Malnutrition and starvation’s possible adverse impacts on bone health and bone quality first came into the spotlight after the horrors of the Holocaust and the ghettos of World War II. Famine and food restrictions led to a mean caloric intake of 200–800 calories a day in the ghettos and concentration camps, resulting in catabolysis and starvation of the inhabitants and prisoners. Severely increased risks of fracture, poor bone mineral density, and decreased cortical strength were noted in several case series and descriptive reports addressing the medical issues of these individuals. A severe effect of severely diminished food intake and frequently concomitant calcium- and Vitamin D deficiencies was subsequently proven in both animal models and the most common cause of starvation in developed countries is anorexia nervosa. This review attempts to summarize the literature available on the impact of the metabolic response to Starvation on overall bone health and bone quality.

  9. Evidence for the adverse effect of starvation on bone quality: a review of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kueper, Janina; Beyth, Shaul; Liebergall, Meir; Kaplan, Leon; Schroeder, Josh E

    2015-01-01

    Malnutrition and starvation's possible adverse impacts on bone health and bone quality first came into the spotlight after the horrors of the Holocaust and the ghettos of World War II. Famine and food restrictions led to a mean caloric intake of 200-800 calories a day in the ghettos and concentration camps, resulting in catabolysis and starvation of the inhabitants and prisoners. Severely increased risks of fracture, poor bone mineral density, and decreased cortical strength were noted in several case series and descriptive reports addressing the medical issues of these individuals. A severe effect of severely diminished food intake and frequently concomitant calcium- and Vitamin D deficiencies was subsequently proven in both animal models and the most common cause of starvation in developed countries is anorexia nervosa. This review attempts to summarize the literature available on the impact of the metabolic response to Starvation on overall bone health and bone quality.

  10. Incentive Design and Quality Improvements: Evidence from State Medicaid Nursing Home Pay-for-Performance Programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konetzka, R Tamara; Skira, Meghan M; Werner, Rachel M

    2018-01-01

    Pay-for-performance (P4P) programs have become a popular policy tool aimed at improving health care quality. We analyze how incentive design affects quality improvements in the nursing home setting, where several state Medicaid agencies have implemented P4P programs that vary in incentive structure. Using the Minimum Data Set and the Online Survey, Certification, and Reporting data from 2001 to 2009, we examine how the weights put on various performance measures that are tied to P4P bonuses, such as clinical outcomes, inspection deficiencies, and staffing levels, affect improvements in those measures. We find larger weights on clinical outcomes often lead to larger improvements, but small weights can lead to no improvement or worsening of some clinical outcomes. We find a qualifier for P4P eligibility based on having few or no severe inspection deficiencies is more effective at decreasing inspection deficiencies than using weights, suggesting simple rules for participation may incent larger improvement.

  11. Soybean susceptibility to manufactured nanomaterials with evidence for food quality and soil fertility interruption

    OpenAIRE

    Priester, John H.; Ge, Yuan; Mielke, Randall E.; Horst, Allison M.; Moritz, Shelly Cole; Espinosa, Katherine; Gelb, Jeff; Walker, Sharon L.; Nisbet, Roger M.; An, Youn-Joo; Schimel, Joshua P.; Palmer, Reid G.; Hernandez-Viezcas, Jose A.; Zhao, Lijuan; Gardea-Torresdey, Jorge L.

    2012-01-01

    Based on previously published hydroponic plant, planktonic bacterial, and soil microbial community research, manufactured nanomaterial (MNM) environmental buildup could profoundly alter soil-based food crop quality and yield. However, thus far, no single study has at once examined the full implications, as no studies have involved growing plants to full maturity in MNM-contaminated field soil. We have done so for soybean, a major global commodity crop, using farm soil amended with two high-pr...

  12. Corporate governance and earnings quality : evidence from the Malaysian banking sector

    OpenAIRE

    Siniah, Thangamany

    2017-01-01

    This thesis investigates whether corporate governance conformance by Malaysian banks improves their financial reporting quality. It is motivated by the controversies surrounding corporate governance reforms and the calls for systematic research on its efficacy in the post-reform period. Malaysian banks have been subject to international standards of corporate governance since before and after the 1997–1998 Asian Financial Crisis. Malaysia’s common-law tradition, greater level of financial and...

  13. Evidence for the Adverse Effect of Starvation on Bone Quality: A Review of the Literature

    OpenAIRE

    Kueper, Janina; Beyth, Shaul; Liebergall, Meir; Kaplan, Leon; Schroeder, Josh E.

    2015-01-01

    Malnutrition and starvation's possible adverse impacts on bone health and bone quality first came into the spotlight after the horrors of the Holocaust and the ghettos of World War II. Famine and food restrictions led to a mean caloric intake of 200?800 calories a day in the ghettos and concentration camps, resulting in catabolysis and starvation of the inhabitants and prisoners. Severely increased risks of fracture, poor bone mineral density, and decreased cortical strength were noted in sev...

  14. A reassessment of the indicators of primary education quality in developing countries: Emerging evidence from Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosha, Herme Joseph

    1988-03-01

    This article seeks to identify factors affecting the quality of primary education in five regions of Tanzania by extensively reviewing relevant literature and empirical data. Some of the shortcomings emphasised by the author are: frequent staff turnover, declining financial support for primary education, ineffective curricula, shortage of teachers' guides and textbooks, and unfavourable working conditions for teachers in rural areas. Beyond this, the need for freely available material, efficient school management and regular inspections is stressed by the author.

  15. Community Response to Impaired Drinking Water Quality: Evidence from Bottled Water Sales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allaire, M.; Zheng, S.; Lall, U.

    2017-12-01

    Drinking water contaminants pose a harm to public health. When confronted with elevated contaminate levels, individuals can take averting actions to reduce exposure, such as bottled water purchases. This study addresses a problem of national interest given that 9 to 45 million people have been affected by drinking water quality violations in each of the past 34 years. Moreover, few studies address averting behavior and avoidance costs due to water quality violations. This study assesses how responses might differ across baseline risk of impaired water quality and demographics of service area. We match a panel of weekly supermarket sales data with geocoded violations data for 67 counties in the Southeast from 2006-2015. We estimate the change in bottled water sales due to drinking water violations using a fixed effects model. Observing market behavior also allows us to calculate the cost of these averting actions. Critical findings from this study contribute to understanding how communities respond to water quality violations. We find that violations have considerable effects on bottled water consumption. Sales increase 8.1 percent due to violations related to microorganisms and 31.2 percent due to Tier 1 violations, which pose an immediate health risk. In addition, we calculate a national cost of averting actions of $26 million for microorganism violations from 2006-2015, which represents a lower-bound estimate. Averting costs vary considerably across the U.S. and some counties bear a particularly large burden, such as in California and Texas. Overall, this study provides insight into how averting behavior differs across contaminant type, water utility characteristics, and community demographics. Such knowledge can aid public health agencies, water systems, and environmental regulators to direct assistance to communities most in need.

  16. Is informality a good measure of job quality? Evidence from job satisfaction data

    OpenAIRE

    Pagés, Carmen; Madrigal, Lucía

    2008-01-01

    The formality status of a job is the most widely used indicator of job quality in developing countries. However, a number of studies argue that, at least for some workers, the informality status may be driven by choice rather than exclusion. This paper uses job satisfaction data from three low-income countries (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador) to assess whether informal jobs are less valued than formal jobs. The paper finds substantial differences in job satisfaction within different type...

  17. The effect of mandatory regulation on corporate social responsibility reporting quality: evidence from China

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Jianling; Tian, Gaoliang; Fan, Weiguo; Luo, Dan

    2017-01-01

    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) disclosure has attracted attention from regulatory bodies and academics over the past few decades. Due to the unreliability resulted from CSR voluntary disclosure, an increasing number of researchers are calling for more government regulation on CSR disclosure. Based on 1830 standalone CSR reports disclosed by the Chinese-listed firms during 2009-2012, we examine the effect of mandatory regulation on CSR\\ud reporting quality. We further hypothesize and te...

  18. International Financial Reporting Standards Convergence and Quality of Accounting Information: Evidence from Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    Yusrina, Hasyyati; Mukhtaruddin, Mukhtaruddin; Fuadah, Luk Luk; Sulong, Zunaidah

    2017-01-01

    The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) initiated by International Accounting Standard Board (IASB) are principle-based standard that require extensive disclosure of financial statements and accounting information as compared to prior standard that is the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to better reflect the overall quality of company’s performance. Therefore, the IFRS convergence is expected to improve the reliability of financial reporting by limiting opportun...

  19. Dynamic linkages between road transport energy consumption, economic growth, and environmental quality: evidence from Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danish; Baloch, Muhammad Awais

    2018-03-01

    The focus of the present research work is to investigate the dynamic relationship between economic growth, road transport energy consumption, and environmental quality. To this end, we rely on time series data for the period 1971 to 2014 in the context of Pakistan. To use sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ) emission from transport sector as a new proxy for measuring environmental quality, the present work employs time series technique ARDL which allows energy consumption from the transport sector, urbanization, and road infrastructure to be knotted by symmetric relationships with SO 2 emissions and economic growth. From the statistical results, we confirm that road infrastructure boosts economic growth. Simultaneously, road infrastructure and urbanization hampers environmental quality and causes to accelerate emission of SO 2 in the atmosphere. Furthermore, economic growth has a diminishing negative impact on total SO 2 emission. Moreover, we did not find any proof of the expected role of transport energy consumption in SO 2 emission. The acquired results directed that care should be taken in the expansion of road infrastructure and green city policies and planning are required in the country.

  20. A plea for quality in internship programmes – evidence from the business and administration students’ experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goia Simona

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The career of business students is nowadays definitely influenced by their involvement in different internships and volunteering activities. The internship programmes help them understand the context of business organisations and decide what field of activity is most suitable for their professional life. However, sometimes internship programmes are not very well organised and influence in a negative manner students′ final perception of a certain domain. Our research identified and analysed the main factors that might influence the quality of an internship programme from students′ perspective. The quantitative analysis relies on a questionnaire based survey among over 450 students from one of the most prestigious universities in Romania in the field of economics and business administration. By running factor analysis, we identified five factors which mainly determine the quality of internships: Job arrangements, Mentorship and employability benefits, Learning content, Academic supervision, Bureaucracy and accessibility. Subsequently we measured through multiple regression the way the identified factors influence the quality of the internships. We consider that the results of the study are relevant not only for academics but also for students and business organisations that have the power and instruments to improve internship programmes and the entire experience for all stakeholders involved.

  1. Scientific Evidence in the Study and Treatment of Addictive Behaviours in Psychosocial Intervention. Journal on Equality and Quality of Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itziar Iruarrizaga Díez

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available In Spain, the importance and relevance of substance dependence and other addictive behaviours has generated great interest among the scientific community. Since its creation in 1992, Psychosocial Intervention. Journal on Equality and Quality of Life has transmitted the needs and training demands of psychologists, paying special attention to those aspects related to prevention, health outcomes and psychosocial factors involved in the onset and maintenance of drug addiction, psychosocial intervention and the treatment of addictive behaviours. As an introduction to this report on the Scientific evidence in the study and treatment of addictive behaviours, all topics covered by this journal throughout the years will be addressed.

  2. Effect of diabetes mellitus on the quality and cytokine content of human semen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Xiaosheng; Huang, Yonggang; Zhang, Huina; Zhao, Junzhao

    2017-09-01

    The effects of diabetes mellitus (DM) on the quality and cytokine levels of human semen remain unknown. Sixty semen samples from 30 normal volunteers and 30 DM patients were assayed. The percentage of sperm progressive motility, sperm vitality, sperm survival rate, the rate of normal sperm morphology, semen volume, and semen pH and density of DM males were significantly lower than those of normal males (psemen interleukin (IL)-17 and IL-18 levels in DM males were significantly higher than those in normal males (psemen decreased semen quality and might lead to male infertility. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. MANAGEMENT OF INNOVATIVE IMPROVEMENT OF QUALITY OF LIFE AND HUMAN CAPITAL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. H. Usmanova

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Relevance of the chosen subject is caused by the current state and problems of development of a human capital and potential. The existing changes of the current legislation and a tendency of development of a human capital in Russia in developed countries allow to subject to doubt efficiency of planning of economic and social programs in the country. Also relevance of article is caused by the fact that in the conditions of a transitional economy and integration of economy into the world economy many countries create quality of life of the population according to standards and there is a need of revaluation of values regarding development of a human capital in Russia within the world device.In the first part of article the overview of historical aspects of planning of a human capital and the analysis of high budget revenues becomes. In article it is shown that expenses aren't effectively distributed on regional equalization and on social needs, that is on development of a welfare and a human capital and potential in the country.The second part of article describes one of manifestations of the quality level of life, that is the Minimum Wage (MW which is the main indicator for charge of temporary disability benefits, pension accrual, unemployment benefits, etc.The third part of article reflects the directions of development of innovative management: improvement of quality of life and a human capital where emphasis on need of preparation intellectual the oriented specialists is placed.The purpose/goal .The purpose of article is disclosure, comparison of features, and also determinations of criteria of management of innovative development of quality of life and a human capital in the Russian Federation.Methodology. The methodology of the solution of objectives is based on use of a method of a dialectic research, methods of the economic analysis, forecasting, the situation and system analysis, expert evaluations and the analysis of empirical data

  4. The serotonin transporter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) and cortisol stress responsiveness: preliminary evidence for a modulating role for sleep quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dalfsen, Jens H; Markus, C Rob

    2018-05-23

    The short (S) allele of a functional polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) within the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) is found to predispose the risk for stress-related affective disorders relative to the long (L) allele. Evidence suggests that elevated stress reactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis might underlie this association although there is little understanding about the origin of inconsistent findings. Since inadequate sleep is commonly known to promote HPA stress reactivity, it might well play an important modulating role. The present study tested this hypothesis by investigating whether sleep quality moderates the relationship between 5-HTTLPR and cortisol stress responsiveness. From a large 5-HTTLPR database (n = 771), a sample of healthy male and female participants homozygous for either the 5-HTTLPR S-allele (n = 25) or L-allele (n = 25) were assessed for sleep quality and salivary cortisol secretion during acute laboratory stress. Diminished sleep quality was found to exclusively potentiate cortisol stress reactivity in the homozygous L-allele genotype. Accounting for this 5-HTTLPR-dependent influence enhanced the predictive value of 5-HTTLPR on cortisol stress responsiveness, revealing greater HPA reactivity in S-allele relative to L-allele carriers. Current findings suggest that variations in sleep quality may serve as a confounding factor in the search for genetic differences in stress sensitivity and related affective disorders.

  5. How does image noise affect actual and predicted human gaze allocation in assessing image quality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Röhrbein, Florian; Goddard, Peter; Schneider, Michael; James, Georgina; Guo, Kun

    2015-07-01

    A central research question in natural vision is how to allocate fixation to extract informative cues for scene perception. With high quality images, psychological and computational studies have made significant progress to understand and predict human gaze allocation in scene exploration. However, it is unclear whether these findings can be generalised to degraded naturalistic visual inputs. In this eye-tracking and computational study, we methodically distorted both man-made and natural scenes with Gaussian low-pass filter, circular averaging filter and Additive Gaussian white noise, and monitored participants' gaze behaviour in assessing perceived image qualities. Compared with original high quality images, distorted images attracted fewer numbers of fixations but longer fixation durations, shorter saccade distance and stronger central fixation bias. This impact of image noise manipulation on gaze distribution was mainly determined by noise intensity rather than noise type, and was more pronounced for natural scenes than for man-made scenes. We furthered compared four high performing visual attention models in predicting human gaze allocation in degraded scenes, and found that model performance lacked human-like sensitivity to noise type and intensity, and was considerably worse than human performance measured as inter-observer variance. Furthermore, the central fixation bias is a major predictor for human gaze allocation, which becomes more prominent with increased noise intensity. Our results indicate a crucial role of external noise intensity in determining scene-viewing gaze behaviour, which should be considered in the development of realistic human-vision-inspired attention models. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Multiple lines of evidence to identify sewage as the cause of water quality impairment in an urbanized tropical watershed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirs, Marek; Kisand, Veljo; Wong, Mayee; Caffaro-Filho, Roberto A; Moravcik, Philip; Harwood, Valerie J; Yoneyama, Bunnie; Fujioka, Roger S

    2017-06-01

    Indicator bacteria, which are conventionally used to evaluate recreational water quality, can originate from various non-human enteric and extra-enteric sources, hence they may not be indicative of human health risk nor do they provide information on the sources of contamination. In this study we utilized traditional (enterococci and Escherichia coli) and alternative (Clostridium perfringens) indicator bacteria, F + -specific coliphage, molecular markers for microorganisms associated with human sewage (human-associated Bacteroides and polyomaviruses), and microbial community analysis tools (16S rRNA gene fragment amplicon sequencing), to identify and evaluate human sewage-related impact in the Manoa watershed in Honolulu, Hawaii. Elevated concentrations of enterococci (geometric mean ranging from 1604 to 2575 CFU 100 mL -1 ) and C. perfringens (45-77 CFU 100 mL -1 ) indicated impairment of the urbanized section of the stream, while indicator bacteria concentrations decreased downstream in the tidally influenced Ala Wai Canal. The threshold values triggering water quality violation notifications in Hawaii were exceeded in 33.3-75.0% of samples collected at sites in the urbanized section of Manoa Stream, but were not exceeded in any of the samples collected at an upstream site located in a forested area. Correlation between indicator bacteria concentrations and rainfall amounts was weak to moderate but significant (E. coli R = 0.251, P = 0.009; enterococci R = 0.369, P watershed, it was lower in the impaired section. Leaking sewer systems and illegal cross-connections are implicated in the impairment of the watershed, hence both the sewer and the storm water lines should be routinely inspected. Collectively, our data suggest that information derived from the analysis of microbial communities complements current marker-based microbial source tracking techniques and environmental monitoring programs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Considerations in the development of generic human health-based soil quality guidelines for uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Richardson, G.M.; Petrovic, S.; Purtill, C.; Wilson, R.

    2006-01-01

    At the current time in Canada, no human health-based generic (national) soil quality guidelines (SQG HH ) exist for uranium. This paper explores some of the various methods that could be used to develop human health soil guideline values for this element. To determine possible values that may be appropriate for use in Canada, the authors have applied both the existing CCME approach (1996) and the draft revised CCME approach (2005) to estimate possible SQG HH for uranium for various land uses. (author)

  8. mEBT: multiple-matching Evidence-based Translator of Murine Genomic Responses for Human Immunity Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tae, Donghyun; Seok, Junhee

    2018-05-29

    In this paper, we introduce multiple-matching Evidence-based Translator (mEBT) to discover genomic responses from murine expression data for human immune studies, which are significant in the given condition of mice and likely have similar responses in the corresponding condition of human. mEBT is evaluated over multiple data sets and shows improved inter-species agreement. mEBT is expected to be useful for research groups who use murine models to study human immunity. http://cdal.korea.ac.kr/mebt/. jseok14@korea.ac.kr. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

  9. A Reflection on Research, Theory, Evidence-based Practice, and Quality Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eesa Mohammadi

    2016-04-01

    While each process is associated with its unique characteristics, overlaps are likely to appear between each of the two processes. For instance, in the EBP process, if one discovers (theory that evidence is inadequate to implement a certain intervention, it highlights the need for research on that specific subject. Similarly, QI may lead to the identification of new questions, which could be used for research purposes. All the discussed processes, as well as their scientific and professional dimensions, are essential to nursing disciplines in healthcare systems.

  10. Neighborhood Quality and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Quasi-Random Neighborhood Assignment of Immigrants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damm, Anna Piil

    2012-01-01

    of men living in the neighborhood, but positively affected by the employment rate of non-Western immigrant men and co-national men living in the neighborhood. This is strong evidence that immigrants find jobs in part through their employed immigrant and co-ethnic contacts in the neighborhood of residence...... successfully addresses the methodological problem of endogenous neighborhood selection. Taking account of location sorting, living in a socially deprived neighborhood does not affect labor market outcomes of refugee men. Furthermore, their labor market outcomes are not affected by the overall employment rate...

  11. Further human evidence for striatal dopamine release induced by administration of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): selectivity to limbic striatum.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bossong, MG; Mehta, Mitul; van Berckel, Bart; Howes, Oliver; Kahn, RS; Stokes, Paul

    2015-01-01

    RATIONALE: Elevated dopamine function is thought to play a key role in both the rewarding effects of addictive drugs and the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Accumulating epidemiological evidence indicates that cannabis use is a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia. However, human

  12. Functional and phenotypic evidence for a selective loss of memory T cells in asymptomatic human immunodeficiency virus-infected men

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Noesel, C. J.; Gruters, R. A.; Terpstra, F. G.; Schellekens, P. T.; van Lier, R. A.; Miedema, F.

    1990-01-01

    In addition to a well-documented depletion of CD4+ T helper cells in later stages of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, evidence has been provided for a specific unresponsiveness to triggering either by specific antigen in the context of autologous major histocompatibility molecules (self

  13. Reverse quality management: developing evidence-based best practices in health emergency management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Tim; Cox, Paul

    2006-01-01

    The British Columbia Ministry of Health's Framework for Core Functions in Public Health was the catalyst that inspired this review of best practices in health emergency management. The fieldwork was conducted in the fall of 2005 between hurricane Katrina and the South Asia earthquake. These tragedies, shown on 24/7 television news channels, provided an eyewitness account of disaster management, or lack of it, in our global village world. It is not enough to just have best practices in place. There has to be a governance structure that can be held accountable. This review of best practices lists actions in support of an emergency preparedness culture at the management, executive, and corporate/governance levels of the organization. The methodology adopted a future quality management approach of the emergency management process to identify the corresponding performance indictors that correlated with practices or sets of practices. Identifying best practice performance indictors needed to conduct a future quality management audit is described as reverse quality management. Best practices cannot be assessed as stand-alone criteria; they are influenced by organizational culture. The defining of best practices was influenced by doubt about defining a practice it is hoped will never be performed, medical staff involvement, leadership, and an appreciation of the resources required and how they need to be managed. Best practice benchmarks are seen as being related more to "measures" of performance defined locally and agreed on by 2 or more parties rather than to achieving industrial standards. Relating practices to performance indicators and then to benchmarks resulted in the development of a Health Emergency Management Best Practices Matrix that lists specific practice in the different phases of emergency management.

  14. Positive and negative social support and HPA-axis hyperactivity: Evidence from glucocorticoids in human hair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iob, Eleonora; Kirschbaum, Clemens; Steptoe, Andrew

    2018-06-12

    While positive social support is associated with lower prevalence of disease and better treatment outcomes, negative social relationships can instead have unfavourable consequences for several physical and mental health conditions. However, the specific mechanisms by which this nexus might operate remain poorly understood. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis hyperactivity owing to psychosocial stress has been proposed as a potential pathway underlying the link between social support and health. Hair glucocorticoids such as cortisol and cortisone are emerging as promising biomarkers of long-term retrospective HPA activation. Therefore, the aim of this investigation was to examine the effects of positive and negative experiences of social support within key relationships (i.e. spouse/partner, children, other family members, and friends) on cortisol and cortisone. These associations were tested in a sample of 2520 older adults (mean age 68.1) from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Hair samples were collected in wave 6 (2012/13). To understand the impact of cumulative exposure to poor social support, the analysis used self-reported data from waves 4 (2008/09) and 6. Covariates included demographic, socioeconomic, lifestyle, and hair characteristics. In cross sectional analyses, lower positive support from all sources and specifically from children were associated with higher cortisol. Additionally, lower positive support from children was positively associated with cortisone. Similarly, higher overall negative support was related to higher cortisol, and greater negative support from children was also positively associated with cortisone. In longitudinal analyses, there was evidence for positive associations between hair glucocorticoids and cumulative exposure to poorer social support. Experiences of low positive and high negative social support, particularly from children, were both related to higher hair glucocorticoids. Hence, social relationships of

  15. Does Export Product Quality Matter for CO2 Emissions? Evidence from China

    OpenAIRE

    Gozgor, Giray; Can, Muhlis

    2016-01-01

    This paper re-estimates the environmental Kuznets curve over the period 1971–2010 in China. To this end, it uses the unit root tests with one structural break and the autoregressive-distributed lag (ARDL) estimations. The special role is given to the impacts of export product quality and energy consumption on CO2 emissions in the empirical models. The paper finds that the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis is valid in China. It also observes the positive effect from energy consumption to ...

  16. When does quality improvement count as research? Human subject protection and theories of knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynn, J

    2004-02-01

    The publication of insights from a quality improvement project recently precipitated a ruling by the lead federal regulatory agency that regulations providing protection for human subjects of research should apply. The required research review process did not match the rapid changes, small samples, limited documentation, clinician management, and type of information commonly used in quality improvement. Yet quality improvement can risk harm to patients, so some review might be in order. The boundaries and processes are not clear. Efforts have been made to determine what constitutes "research", but this has proved difficult and often yields irrational guidance with regard to protection of patients. Society needs a workable way to separate activities that will improve care, on the one hand, and those that constitute research, on the other. Practitioners who lead both quality improvement and research projects claim that those which rapidly give feedback to the care system that generated the data, aiming to change practices within that system, are "quality improvement" no matter whether the findings are published, whether the project is grant funded, and whether contemporaneous controls do not have the intervention. This criterion has not previously been proposed as a possible demarcation. The quandaries of which projects to put through research review and how to ensure ethical implementation of quality improvement need to be resolved.

  17. The factor harmful to the quality of human life--shift-work.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strzemecka, Joanna; Pencuła, Marcin; Owoc, Alfred; Szot, Wojciech; Strzemecka, Ewa; Jabłoński, Mirosław; Bojar, Iwona

    2013-01-01

    The system of human activity, which is established by genetics and regulated by outer and inner factors, is associated with many characteristics which maintain the body in the best condition and ensure appropriate life quality. To evaluate of life quality among male shift-workers. Research based on a self-devised questionnaire, conducted among 700 shift-workers, followed by statistical analysis of the results. Nearly a half of respondents (43.00%) reported that shift-work influences the quality of their family life. Remarkably, such an opinion was often stated by people with children (46.01%) pwork negatively influence their sexual life (31.14%). It was shown that shift-work negatively influences the respondents' life quality in the form of deterioration of the quality of family life; the respondents, regardless of marital status, age and having children, most often complained about the lack of contact with the family and irregular eating with them; negative influence on sexual life, which was the case in one-third of respondents. In order to encourage healthy behaviour and increase the quality of life of people performing shift-work, training and programmes should be introduced. These would help shift- workers to adjust their work time to their family and social life.

  18. Clinical assessment of bone quality of human extraction sockets after conversion with growth factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ntounis, Athanasios; Geurs, Nico; Vassilopoulos, Philip; Reddy, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The study was conducted to evaluate the effect of mineralized freeze-dried bone allograft (FDBA), alone or in combination with growth factors in extraction sockets, on subjective assessment of bone quality during implant placement. Forty-one patients whose treatment plan involved extraction of anterior or premolar teeth were randomized into four groups: Group 1, collagen plug (control); Group 2, FDBA/β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP)/collagen plug; Group 3, FDBA/β-TCP/platelet-rich plasma (PRP)/collagen plug; Group 4, FDBA/β-TCP/recombinant human platelet-derived growth factor BB (rhPDGF-BB)/collagen plug. After 8 weeks of healing, implants were placed. The clinicians assessed bone quality according to the Misch classification. A benchtop calibration exercise test was conducted to evaluate agreement and accuracy of operators in recognizing different bone qualities. Differences were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) or chi-square tests for continuous and categorical data. Pairwise comparisons were tested using least squares means (LS means). Spearman correlation coefficients were used to evaluate the relationship of bone growth with potential confounders. P .05). Inclusion of bone grafting is associated with a shift from D4 quality to D3 quality bone. Inclusion of PRP in bone grafting eliminates the incidence of D4 bone, establishing D3 and D2 quality bone as prevalent (56% vs. 42%, respectively). Inclusion of rhPDGF-BB and β-TCP in combination with the bone grafting has the same effect, although D2 quality is less prevalent. When compared to sockets grafted with FDBA/β-TCP/collagen plug alone, the sockets with growth factors demonstrated fewer residual bone graft particles. (1) Inclusion of bone grafting enhanced bone quality as assessed during implant placement. (2) Overall inclusion of PRP and rhPDGF-BB enhanced subjective bone quality, eliminating incidence of D4 quality in human extraction sockets. (3) The use of PRP or rhPDGF-BB may

  19. EFFECTS OF HIGH ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF INDUSTRIAL BRANCHES ON HUMAN LIFE QUALITY AND ENVIRONMENT

    OpenAIRE

    Özarslan, Doguş Deniz; Cumbul Altay, Melek; Arabaci, Aliye; Altay, H. Fatih; Sivri, Nüket

    2012-01-01

    Importance of industrialization which has a role in determination of the civilization levels of societies is increasing everyday due to meet rapidly increasing demands. However this process has led up to environmental problems with time and thus effects on quality of human life also brought along. In this study, three sectors were selected among different branches of industry according to their economical importance in Turkey. These sectors are paper, metal and construction chemicals industry...

  20. Quality Improvement Project to Improve Patient Satisfaction With Pain Management: Using Human-Centered Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trail-Mahan, Tracy; Heisler, Scott; Katica, Mary

    2016-01-01

    In this quality improvement project, our health system developed a comprehensive, patient-centered approach to improving inpatient pain management and assessed its impact on patient satisfaction across 21 medical centers. Using human-centered design principles, a bundle of 6 individual and team nursing practices was developed. Patient satisfaction with pain management, as measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems pain composite score, increased from the 25th to just under the 75th national percentile.

  1. Canadian soil quality guidelines for the protection of environmental and human health : benzene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Potter, K.

    2005-07-01

    This report presented soil quality guidelines for benzene to protect humans and ecological receptors in 4 types of land uses: agricultural; residential and parklands; commercial and industrial. The chemical and physical properties of benzene were reviewed, as well as the sources and emissions of benzene in Canada. The distribution and behaviour of benzene in the environment was examined, and the toxicological effects of benzene on microbial processes, plants, animals and humans were reviewed. It was noted that the background information and rationale for the derivation of Canadian Soil Quality Guidelines for this substance were originally published in 1999 by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) in Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines. These guidelines have since been revised to reflect new data and lessons learned during the development of the Canada-wide Standard for Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Soil (CCME 2000). Modifications in this report included the derivation of guidelines for different soil textures and depths. Behaviour and effects in biota were reviewed, including soil microbial processes; terrestrial plants; terrestrial invertebrates; livestock and wildlife; and bioaccumulation. Behaviour and effects in humans and mammalian species were examined. The derivation of environmental soil quality guidelines was outlined. Recommendations for Canadian soil quality guidelines were presented. It was concluded that there is a lack of studies on the toxic effects of benzene on livestock, mammalian wildlife and birds and that studies on the metabolism of benzene in mammals and birds as well as invertebrates are needed. In addition, research is needed on the effects of benzene on nitrogen fixation, nitrification, nitrogen mineralization, decomposition and respiration. 118 refs., 3 tabs., 2 figs.

  2. The contribution of international trade to economic growth through human capital accumulation: Evidence from nine Asian countries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirajul Haq

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study is an attempt to test the hypothesis “international trade contributes to economic growth through its effects on human capital accumulation.” To assess the hypothesis empirically, we employed the extended Neo-Classical growth model that reflects some features of the endogenous growth models. We thus ended up with a model in which the change in human capital is sensitive to change in trade policies. Unlike conventional approaches, the model serves to assess and determine the impact of international trade on the accumulation of human capital. The empirical analysis estimates dynamic panel growth equations by using a data-set of nine Asian countries, over the period 1972–2012. The overall evidence substantiates the fact that in countries under consideration, international trade enhances the accumulation of human capital and contributes to economic growth positively through human capital accumulation.

  3. Air quality and urban form in U.S. urban areas: evidence from regulatory monitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Lara P; Millet, Dylan B; Marshall, Julian D

    2011-08-15

    The layout of an urban area can impact air pollution via changes in emissions and their spatial distribution. Here, we explore relationships between air quality and urban form based on cross-sectional observations for 111 U.S. urban areas. We employ stepwise linear regression to quantify how long-term population-weighted outdoor concentrations of ozone, fine particulate matter (PM(2.5)), and other criteria pollutants measured by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency depend on urban form, climate, transportation, city size, income, and region. Aspects of urban form evaluated here include city shape, road density, jobs-housing imbalance, population density, and population centrality. We find that population density is associated with higher population-weighted PM(2.5) concentrations (p urban form variables are associated with 4%-12% changes in population-weighted concentrations-amounts comparable, for example, to changes in climatic factors. Our empirical findings are consistent with prior modeling research and suggest that urban form could potentially play a modest but important role in achieving (or not achieving) long-term air quality goals.

  4. Does GLP enhance the quality of toxicological evidence for regulatory decisions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgert, Christopher J.; Becker, Richard A.; Carlton, Betsy D.; Hanson, Mark; Kwiatkowski, Patricia L.; Sue Marty, Mary; McCarty, Lynn S.; Quill, Terry F.; Solomon, Keith; Van Der Kraak, Glen; Witorsch, Raphael J.; Don Yi, Kun

    2016-01-01

    There is debate over whether the requirements of GLP are appropriate standards for evaluating the quality of toxicological data used to formulate regulations. A group promoting the importance of non-monotonic dose responses for endocrine disruptors contend that scoring systems giving primacy to GLP are biased against non-GLP studies from the literature and are merely record-keeping exercises to prevent fraudulent reporting of data from non-published guideline toxicology studies. They argue that guideline studies often employ insensitive species and outdated methods, and ignore the perspectives of subject-matter experts in endocrine disruption, who should be the sole arbiters of data quality. We believe regulatory agencies should use both non-GLP and GLP studies, that GLP requirements assure fundamental tenets of study integrity not typically addressed by journal peer-review, and that use of standardized test guidelines and GLP promotes consistency, reliability, comparability, and harmonization of various types of studies used by regulatory agencies worldwide. This debate suffers two impediments to progress: a conflation of different phases of study interpretation and levels of data validity, and a misleading characterization of many essential components of GLP and regulatory toxicology. Herein we provide clarifications critical for removing those impediments. PMID:27208076

  5. Socioeconomic Inequalities in Green Space Quality and Accessibility-Evidence from a Southern European City.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffimann, Elaine; Barros, Henrique; Ribeiro, Ana Isabel

    2017-08-15

    Background : The provision of green spaces is an important health promotion strategy to encourage physical activity and to improve population health. Green space provision has to be based on the principle of equity. This study investigated the presence of socioeconomic inequalities in geographic accessibility and quality of green spaces across Porto neighbourhoods (Portugal). Methods : Accessibility was evaluated using a Geographic Information System and all the green spaces were audited using the Public Open Space Tool. Kendall's tau-b correlation coefficients and ordinal regression were used to test whether socioeconomic differences in green space quality and accessibility were statistically significant. Results : Although the majority of the neighbourhoods had an accessible green space, mean distance to green space increased with neighbourhood deprivation. Additionally, green spaces in the more deprived neighbourhoods presented significantly more safety concerns, signs of damage, lack of equipment to engage in active leisure activities, and had significantly less amenities such as seating, toilets, cafés, etc. Conclusions : Residents from low socioeconomic positions seem to suffer from a double jeopardy; they lack both individual and community resources. Our results have important planning implications and might contribute to understanding why deprived communities have lower physical activity levels and poorer health.

  6. Corporate Governance Quality, Board Gender Diversity and Corporate Dividend Policy: Evidence from Jordan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayat S. Al-Rahahleh

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the impact of corporate governance quality and board gender diversity on the corporate dividend policy for a set of all non-financial companies listed on Amman Stock Exchange (ASE during the period 2009-2015. The results documented that corporate governance quality and board gender diversity proxies have positive impact on corporate dividend policy. The results also showed that the women representation on the boards of non-financial companies in Jordan is considered low relative to other countries. Particularly, the causes of the poor board gender diversity in Jordan range from lack of awareness about the benefits of gender diversity to the lack of legislation that regulates this issue. It is recommended to non-financial companies in Jordan to boost their compliance with the corporate governance code and adopt diversity policies to enhance the effectiveness of the boards and keep favorable relationships with their shareholders. Furthermore, regulatory bodies in Jordan should take a step towards encouraging gender diversity on boards.

  7. Bacterial zoonoses of fishes: a review and appraisal of evidence for linkages between fish and human infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gauthier, David T

    2015-01-01

    Human contact with and consumption of fishes presents hazards from a range of bacterial zoonotic infections. Whereas many bacterial pathogens have been presented as fish-borne zoonoses on the basis of epidemiological and phenotypic evidence, genetic identity between fish and human isolates is not frequently examined or does not provide support for transmission between these hosts. In order to accurately assess the zoonotic risk from exposure to fishes in the context of aquaculture, wild fisheries and ornamental aquaria, it is important to critically examine evidence of linkages between bacteria infecting fishes and humans. This article reviews bacteria typically presented as fish-borne zoonoses, and examines the current strength of evidence for this classification. Of bacteria generally described as fish-borne zoonoses, only Mycobacterium spp., Streptococcus iniae, Clostridium botulinum, and Vibrio vulnificus appear to be well-supported as zoonoses in the strict sense. Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, while transmissible from fishes to humans, does not cause disease in fishes and is therefore excluded from the list. Some epidemiological and/or molecular linkages have been made between other bacteria infecting both fishes and humans, but more work is needed to elucidate routes of transmission and the identity of these pathogens in their respective hosts at the genomic level. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Do strategies to improve quality of maternal and child health care in lower and middle income countries lead to improved outcomes? A review of the evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dettrick, Zoe; Firth, Sonja; Jimenez Soto, Eliana

    2013-01-01

    Efforts to scale-up maternal and child health services in lower and middle income countries will fail if services delivered are not of good quality. Although there is evidence of strategies to increase the quality of health services, less is known about the way these strategies affect health system goals and outcomes. We conducted a systematic review of the literature to examine this relationship. We undertook a search of MEDLINE, SCOPUS and CINAHL databases, limiting the results to studies including strategies specifically aimed at improving quality that also reported a measure of quality and at least one indicator related to health system outcomes. Variation in study methodologies prevented further quantitative analysis; instead we present a narrative review of the evidence. Methodologically, the quality of evidence was poor, and dominated by studies of individual facilities. Studies relied heavily on service utilisation as a measure of strategy success, which did not always correspond to improved quality. The majority of studies targeted the competency of staff and adequacy of facilities. No strategies addressed distribution systems, public-private partnership or equity. Key themes identified were the conflict between perceptions of patients and clinical measures of quality and the need for holistic approaches to health system interventions. Existing evidence linking quality improvement strategies to improved MNCH outcomes is extremely limited. Future research would benefit from the inclusion of more appropriate indicators and additional focus on non-facility determinants of health service quality such as health policy, supply distribution, community acceptability and equity of care.

  9. Challenges and ideas from a research program on high-quality, evidence-based practice in school mental health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weist, Mark D; Youngstrom, Eric A; Stephan, Sharon; Lever, Nancy; Fowler, Johnathan; Taylor, Leslie; McDaniel, Heather; Chappelle, Lori; Paggeot, Samantha; Hoagwood, Kimberly

    2014-01-01

    This article reviews the progression of a research program designed to develop, implement, and study the implementation of "achievable" evidence-based practices (EBPs) in schools. We review challenges encountered and ideas to overcome them to enhance this avenue of research. The article presents two federally funded randomized controlled trials involving comparison of a four-component targeted intervention (Quality Assessment and Improvement, Family Engagement and Empowerment, Modular Evidence-Based Practice, Implementation Support) versus a comparison intervention focused on personal wellness. In both studies, primary aims focused on changes in clinician attitudes and behavior, including the delivery of high-quality EBPs and secondary aims focused on student-level impacts. A number of challenges, many not reported in the literature, are reviewed, and ideas for overcoming them are presented. Given the reality that the majority of youth mental health services are delivered in schools and the potential of school mental health services to provide a continuum of mental health care from promotion to intervention, it is critical that the field consider and address the logistical and methodological challenges associated with implementing and studying EBP implementation by clinicians.

  10. Surviving or thriving: quality assurance mechanisms to promote innovation in the development of evidence-based parenting interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Matthew R; Kirby, James N

    2015-04-01

    Parenting interventions have the potential to make a significant impact to the prevention and treatment of major social and mental health problems of children. However, parenting interventions fail to do so because program developers pay insufficient attention to the broader ecological context that influences the adoption and implementation of evidence-based interventions. This context includes the professional and scientific community, end users, consumers, and broader sociopolitical environment within which parenting services are delivered. This paper presents an iterative stage model of quality assurance steps to guide ongoing research and development particularly those related to program innovations including theory building, intervention development, pilot testing, efficacy and effectiveness trials, program refinement, dissemination, and planning for implementation and political advocacy. The key challenges associated with each phase of the research and development process are identified. Stronger consumer participation throughout the entire process from initial program design to wider community dissemination is an important, but an often ignored part of the process. Specific quality assurance mechanisms are discussed that increase accountability, professional, and consumer confidence in an intervention and the evidence supporting its efficacy.

  11. Verbal Communication Quality Analysis of Human Operators in Main Control Room

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Seung Hwan; Park, Jin kyun

    2012-01-01

    Verbal communication problems have been one of the major human factors causing serious problems in many industries. The results of existing researches have revealed that keeping good communication quality is essential to ensure the safety of a large-sized and highly advanced industrial process system. Communication Quality is ensured only when both parties involved in a communication process understand and comprehend each other correctly, and it can be decided based on the correctness of the messages communicated between them. In this paper, we suggested a method to measure the quality of communication during off-normal situation in main control room of nuclear power plants. It evaluates the cosine similarity that is a measure of sentence similarity between two operators by finding the cosine of the angle between them

  12. Air Quality Effects on Human Health and Approaches for Its Assessment through Microfluidic Chips.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze, Frank; Gao, Xinghua; Virzonis, Darius; Damiati, Samar; Schneider, Marlon R; Kodzius, Rimantas

    2017-09-27

    Air quality depends on the various gases and particles present in it. Both natural phenomena and human activities affect the cleanliness of air. In the last decade, many countries experienced an unprecedented industrial growth, resulting in changing air quality values, and correspondingly, affecting our life quality. Air quality can be accessed by employing microchips that qualitatively and quantitatively determine the present gases and dust particles. The so-called particular matter 2.5 (PM2.5) values are of high importance, as such small particles can penetrate the human lung barrier and enter the blood system. There ar