Wang, Yan; Zhai, Guangtao
Subjective quality assessment serves as the foundation for almost all visual quality related researches. Size of the image quality databases has expanded from dozens to thousands in the last decades. Since each subjective rating therein has to be averaged over quite a few participants, the ever-increasing overall size of those databases calls for an evolution of existing subjective test methods. Traditional single/double stimulus based approaches are being replaced by multiple image tests, where several distorted versions of the original one are displayed and rated at once. And this naturally brings upon the question of how to arrange those multiple images on screen during the test. In this paper, we answer this question by performing subjective viewing test with eye tracker for different types arrangements. Our research indicates that isometric arrangement imposes less duress on participants and has more uniform distribution of eye fixations and movements and therefore is expected to generate more reliable subjective ratings.
Full Text Available Aim: The study aimed at assessing the quality of sleep in seniors. Another objective was to determine the impact of gender, age, type of residence and taking sleeping medication on the quality of sleep. Design: A cross-sectional study. Methods: Data were collected using the standardized Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI questionnaire. The sample comprised 146 seniors living in the Moravian-Silesian Region, Czech Republic. The survey was conducted from January 2014 to the end of October 2014 in a long-term chronic care department of a selected hospital, two retirement homes and among seniors living in their own homes. Results: Thirty-five (24% seniors had their global PSQI scores of 5 (i.e. the highest score indication good sleep quality or less. The remaining 111 (76% participants were shown to suffer from impaired sleep quality as their global PSQI scores were 6 or higher. There were statistically significant differences in component scores between seniors with the global PSQI scores of 5 or less and those with higher scores. The best quality of sleep was observed in females, seniors in the 65–74 age category and those sharing their own homes with their spouses or partners. Conclusion: Subjective sleep quality assessment varies significantly with respect to gender, age, type of residence and use of sleeping medication. Keywords: sleep quality, PSQI, subjective assessment, senior.
Full Text Available In recent years, an interest in multimedia services has become a global trend and this trend is still rising. The video quality is a very significant part from the bundle of multimedia services, which leads to a requirement for quality assessment in the video domain. Video quality of a streamed video across IP networks is generally influenced by two factors “transmission link imperfection and efficiency of compression standards. This paper deals with subjective video quality assessment and the impact of the compression standards H.264, H.265 and VP9 on perceived video quality of these compression standards. The evaluation is done for four full HD sequences, the difference of scenes is in the content“ distinction is based on Spatial (SI and Temporal (TI Index of test sequences. Finally, experimental results follow up to 30% bitrate reducing of H.265 and VP9 compared with the reference H.264.
Shahid, M.; Søgaard, Jacob; Pokhrel, J.
humans are considered to be the most valid method of the as- sessment of QoE. Besides lab-based subjective experiments, crowdsourcing based subjective assessment of video quality is gaining popularity as an alternative method. This paper presents insights into a study that investigates perceptual pref......- erences of various adaptive video streaming scenarios through crowdsourcing based subjective quality assessment....
Full Text Available The quality of an image produced by the Whole Slide Imaging (WSI scanners is of critical importance for using the image in clinical diagnosis. Therefore, it is very important to monitor and ensure the quality of images. Since subjective image quality assessments by pathologists are very time-consuming, expensive and difficult to reproduce, we propose a method for objective assessment based on clinically relevant and perceptual image parameters: sharpness, contrast, brightness, uniform illumination and color separation; derived from a survey of pathologists. We developed techniques to quantify the parameters based on content-dependent absolute pixel performance and to manipulate the parameters in a predefined range resulting in images with content-independent relative quality measures. The method does not require a prior reference model. A subjective assessment of the image quality is performed involving 69 pathologists and 372 images (including 12 optimal quality images and their distorted versions per parameter at 6 different levels. To address the inter-reader variability, a representative rating is determined as a one-tailed 95% confidence interval of the mean rating. The results of the subjective assessment support the validity of the proposed objective image quality assessment method to model the readers’ perception of image quality. The subjective assessment also provides thresholds for determining the acceptable level of objective quality per parameter. The images for both the subjective and objective quality assessment are based on the HercepTestTM slides scanned by the Philips Ultra Fast Scanners, developed at Philips Digital Pathology Solutions. However, the method is applicable also to other types of slides and scanners.
Viola, Irene; Řeřábek, Martin; Ebrahimi, Touradj
Plenoptic content is becoming increasingly popular thanks to the availability of acquisition and display devices. Thanks to image-based rendering techniques, a plenoptic content can be rendered in real time in an interactive manner allowing virtual navigation through the captured scenes. This way of content consumption enables new experiences, and therefore introduces several challenges in terms of plenoptic data processing, transmission and consequently visual quality evaluation. In this paper, we propose a new methodology to subjectively assess the visual quality of plenoptic content. We also introduce a prototype software to perform subjective quality assessment according to the proposed methodology. The proposed methodology is further applied to assess the visual quality of a light field compression algorithm. Results show that this methodology can be successfully used to assess the visual quality of plenoptic content.
Tavakoli, Samira; Brunnström, Kjell; Wang, Kun; Andrén, Börje; Shahid, Muhammad; Garcia, Narciso
With the recent increased popularity and high usage of HTTP Adaptive Streaming (HAS) techniques, various studies have been carried out in this area which generally focused on the technical enhancement of HAS technology and applications. However, a lack of common HAS standard led to multiple proprietary approaches which have been developed by major Internet companies. In the emerging MPEG-DASH standard the packagings of the video content and HTTP syntax have been standardized; but all the details of the adaptation behavior are left to the client implementation. Nevertheless, to design an adaptation algorithm which optimizes the viewing experience of the enduser, the multimedia service providers need to know about the Quality of Experience (QoE) of different adaptation schemes. Taking this into account, the objective of this experiment was to study the QoE of a HAS-based video broadcast model. The experiment has been carried out through a subjective study of the end user response to various possible clients' behavior for changing the video quality taking different QoE-influence factors into account. The experimental conclusions have made a good insight into the QoE of different adaptation schemes which can be exploited by HAS clients for designing the adaptation algorithms.
HAD) scale and pittsburgh sleep quality index. (PSQI). ... sleeping. Conclusion: IDA affects sleep quality irrespective of psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety. ..... sleep: genetics, cellular physiology and subcortical net- works.
the characteristics of each test sample are represented by a set of parameters, and the individual preferences are represented by weights for the parameters. According to the validation experiment performed on public visual quality databases annotated with raw individual scores, the proposed model can predict......In this paper, we study the problem of predicting the visual quality of a specific test sample (e.g. a video clip) experienced by a specific user, based on the ratings by other users for the same sample and the same user for other samples. A simple linear model and algorithm is presented, where...
All participants were requested to fill 3 forms: a socio-demographic form (age, gender, marital status, income level and educational status), hospital anxiety and depression (HAD) scale and pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI). Results: According to the HAD scale, the average anxiety score was found 9.24±4.37 in patients ...
Full Text Available This paper seeks to provide an approach for subjective video quality assessment in the H.264/AVC standard. For this purpose a special software program for the subjective assessment of quality of all the tested video sequences is developed. It was developed in accordance with recommendation ITU-T P.910, since it is suitable for the testing of multimedia applications. The obtained results show that in the proposed selective intra prediction and optimized inter prediction algorithm there is a small difference in picture quality (signal-to-noise ratio between decoded original and modified video sequences.
Full Text Available Research in the field of video quality assessment relies on the availability of subjective scores, collected by means of experiments in which groups of people are asked to rate the quality of video sequences. The availability of subjective scores is fundamental to enable validation and comparative benchmarking of the objective algorithms that try to predict human perception of video quality by automatically analyzing the video sequences, in a way to support reproducible and reliable research results. In this paper, a publicly available database of subjective quality scores and corrupted video sequences is described. The scores refer to 156 sequences at CIF and 4CIF spatial resolutions, encoded with H.264/AVC and corrupted by simulating the transmission over an error-prone network. The subjective evaluation has been performed by 40 subjects at the premises of two academic institutions, in standard-compliant controlled environments. In order to support reproducible research in the field of full-reference, reduced-reference, and no-reference video quality assessment algorithms, both the uncompressed files and the H.264/AVC bitstreams, as well as the packet loss patterns, have been made available to the research community.
Full Text Available This paper deals with the influence of bit depth on the subjective video quality assessment. To achieve this goal, eight video sequences, each representing a different content prototype, were analysed. Subjective evaluation was performed using the ACR method. The analysed video sequences were encoded to 8 and 10-bit bit depth. Two most used compression standards H.264 and H.265 were evaluated with 1, 3, 5, 10 and 15 Mbps bitrate in Full HD and UHD resolution. Finally, the perceived quality of both compression standards using the subjective tests with emphasis on bit-depth was compared. From the results we can state, that the practical application of 10-bit bit depth is not appropriate for Full HD resolution in the range of bitrate from 1 to 15 Mbps, for Ultra HD resolution, it is appropriate only for videos encoded by H.265/HEVC compression standard.
Full Text Available Recently increasing interest in multimedia services leads to requirements for quality assessment, especially in the video domain. There are many factors that influence the video quality. Compression technology and transmission link imperfection can be considered as the main ones. This paper deals with the assessment of the impact of H.265/HEVC compression standard on the video quality using subjective metrics. The evaluation is done for two types of sequences with Full HD resolution depending on content. The paper is divided as follows. In the first part of the article, a short characteristic of the H.265/HEVC compression standard is written. In the second part, the subjective video quality methods used in our experiments are described. The last part of this article deals with the measurements and experimental results. They showed that quality of sequences coded between 5 and 7 Mbps is for observers sufficient, so there is no need for providers to use higher bitrates in streaming than this threshold. These results are part of a new model that is still being created and will be used for predicting the video quality in networks based on IP.
Mowlaee, Pejman; Saeidi, Rahim; Christensen, Mads Græsbøll
are expected to carry on to other applications beyond ASR. In this paper, in addition to conventional speech quality metrics (PESQ and SNRloss), we also evaluate the separation systems output using different source separation metrics: blind source separation evaluation (BSS EVAL) and perceptual evaluation...... that PESQ and PEASS quality metrics predict well the subjective quality of separated signals obtained by the separation systems. From the results it is observed that the short-time objective intelligibility (STOI) measure predict the speech intelligibility results.......Previous studies on performance evaluation of single-channel speech separation (SCSS) algorithms mostly focused on automatic speech recognition (ASR) accuracy as their performance measure. Assessing the separated signals by different metrics other than this has the benefit that the results...
DEIMOS (Database of Images: Open Source) is an open-source database of images and video sequences for testing, verification and comparison of various image and/or video processing techniques such as compression, reconstruction and enhancement. This paper deals with extension of the database allowing performing large-scale web-based subjective image quality assessment. Extension implements both administrative and client interface. The proposed system is aimed mainly at mobile communication devices, taking into account advantages of HTML5 technology; it means that participants don't need to install any application and assessment could be performed using web browser. The assessment campaign administrator can select images from the large database and then apply rules defined by various test procedure recommendations. The standard test procedures may be fully customized and saved as a template. Alternatively the administrator can define a custom test, using images from the pool and other components, such as evaluating forms and ongoing questionnaires. Image sequence is delivered to the online client, e.g. smartphone or tablet, as a fully automated assessment sequence or viewer can decide on timing of the assessment if required. Environmental data and viewing conditions (e.g. illumination, vibrations, GPS coordinates, etc.), may be collected and subsequently analyzed.
Mantel, Claire; Ferchiu, Stefan Catalin; Forchhammer, Søren
In this paper a subjective test in which participants evaluate the quality of JPEG-XT compressed HDR images is presented. Results show that for the selected test images and display, the subjective quality reached its saturation point starting around 3bpp. Objective evaluations are obtained by app...... the best performance with the limit that it does not capture the quality saturation. The usage of the gamma correction prior to applying metrics depends on the characteristics of each objective metric.......In this paper a subjective test in which participants evaluate the quality of JPEG-XT compressed HDR images is presented. Results show that for the selected test images and display, the subjective quality reached its saturation point starting around 3bpp. Objective evaluations are obtained...... by applying a model of the display and providing the modeled images to three objective metrics dedicated to HDR content. Objective grades are compared with subjective data both in physical domain and using a gamma correction to approximate perceptually uniform luminance coding. The MRSE metric obtains...
Rousson, Johanna; Couturou, Jeanne; Vetsuypens, Arnout; Platisa, Ljiljana; Kumcu, Asli; Kimpe, Tom; Philips, Wilfried
No study to-date explored the relationship between perceived image quality (IQ) and perceived depth (DP) in stereoscopic medical images. However, this is crucial to design objective quality metrics suitable for stereoscopic medical images. This study examined this relationship using volume-rendered stereoscopic medical images for both dual- and single-view distortions. The reference image was modified to simulate common alterations occurring during the image acquisition stage or at the display side: added white Gaussian noise, Gaussian filtering, changes in luminance, brightness and contrast. We followed a double stimulus five-point quality scale methodology to conduct subjective tests with eight non-expert human observers. The results suggested that DP was very robust to luminance, contrast and brightness alterations and insensitive to noise distortions until standard deviation σ=20 and crosstalk rates of 7%. In contrast, IQ seemed sensitive to all distortions. Finally, for both DP and IQ, the Friedman test indicated that the quality scores for dual-view distortions were significantly worse than scores for single-view distortions for multiple blur levels and crosstalk impairments. No differences were found for most levels of brightness, contrast and noise distortions. So, DP and IQ didn't react equivalently to identical impairments, and both depended whether dual- or single-view distortions were applied.
Mench, A [Salem Hospital, Salem, OR (United States); Lipnharski, I; Carranza, C; Lamoureux, R; Smajdor, L; Cormack, B; Mohammed, T; Rill, L; Arreola, M [University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States); Sinclair, L [Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR (United States)
Purpose: New radiation dose reduction technologies are emerging constantly in the medical imaging field. The latest of these technologies, iterative reconstruction (IR) in CT, presents the ability to reduce dose significantly and hence provides great opportunity for CT protocol optimization. However, without effective analysis of image quality, the reduction in radiation exposure becomes irrelevant. This work explores the use of postmortem subjects as an image quality assessment medium for protocol optimizations in abdominal CT. Methods: Three female postmortem subjects were scanned using the Abdomen-Pelvis (AP) protocol at reduced minimum tube current and target noise index (SD) settings of 12.5, 17.5, 20.0, and 25.0. Images were reconstructed using two strengths of iterative reconstruction. Radiologists and radiology residents from several subspecialties were asked to evaluate 8 AP image sets including the current facility default scan protocol and 7 scans with the parameters varied as listed above. Images were viewed in the soft tissue window and scored on a 3-point scale as acceptable, borderline acceptable, and unacceptable for diagnosis. The facility default AP scan was identified to the reviewer while the 7 remaining AP scans were randomized and de-identified of acquisition and reconstruction details. The observers were also asked to comment on the subjective image quality criteria they used for scoring images. This included visibility of specific anatomical structures and tissue textures. Results: Radiologists scored images as acceptable or borderline acceptable for target noise index settings of up to 20. Due to the postmortem subjects’ close representation of living human anatomy, readers were able to evaluate images as they would those of actual patients. Conclusion: Postmortem subjects have already been proven useful for direct CT organ dose measurements. This work illustrates the validity of their use for the crucial evaluation of image quality
Lim, Hyun Jung; Choue, Ryowon
Assessment of the nutritional status of patients with cerebral infarction (CI) is important because their nutritional status influences disease outcome. The purpose of this study was to assess the nutritional status of patients with CI using the scored Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) and to investigate the relation of the quality of their diet and life with their nutritional status. Seventy-three patients with CI were recruited from Kyung Hee University Oriental Medical Center in Seoul, Korea, from May to July 2007. The subjects' PG-SGA, dietary quality (Dietary Diversity Score, Dietary Variety Score, and Diet Quality Index-International), and quality of life (Stroke-Specific Quality of Life, modified Barthel Index, and Beck Depression Inventory) were investigated. The patients were classified by PG-SGA categories as well nourished (26.0%), moderately malnourished (49.3%), or severely malnourished (24.7%). Quality of diet assessed by the Dietary Diversity Score and Dietary Variety Score was significantly lower in severely malnourished patients (P SGA is a useful nutritional assessment tool for patients with CI with stable vital signs. When patients with CI were categorized according to their PG-SGA score, well-nourished patients demonstrated better diet quality and better quality of life. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Rezaei-Ghaleh, Nasrollah; Azizi, Fereidoun
The journal impact factor is increasingly employed to evaluate the quality of scientific research. This is in contrary to its critical limitations, e.g., its marked variation across scientific disciplines. This study was conducted to describe, in both quantitative and qualitative terms, the contribution of Iranian universities and research institutes to biomedical publications in 2004 and to examine the possible effect of impact factor normalization by subject on their rankings. The Iranian biomedical articles were recruited from Thomson Science Citation Index Expanded and PubMed databases according to Thomson Scientific subject categorization of journals. Three subject-normalized impact factors were employed: rank-normalized impact factor, journal to field impact score, and standardized impact factor. Tehran and Shiraz Universities of Medical Sciences and University of Tehran were the top three institutes regarding the sum of impact factor in 2004. On the basis of the mean crude impact factor, Sharif University of Technology, University of Shiraz, and Baqiyatollah University were ranked as the first to third. However, the subject normalization of impact factor made some considerable changes in impact factor-based rankings of research institutes. The Iranian scientific community and science development policy makers are recommended to employ subject-normalized impact factor, rather than crude impact factor, in quality assessment of biomedical research held in various academic and research institutes.
For decades USA rice was considered to have excellent milling quality, grain appearance, and cooking quality as compared to much of the rice in world trade. This was largely due to a concerted effort by breeders to eliminate genotypes that did not possess grain quality characteristics that were cons...
Søgaard, Jacob; Shahid, Muhammad; Pokhrel, Jeevan
Video streaming services are offered over the Internet and since the service providers do not have full control over the network conditions all the way to the end user, streaming technologies have been developed to maintain the quality of service in these varying network conditions i.e. so called...... adaptive video streaming. In order to cater for users' Quality of Experience (QoE) requirements, HTTP based adaptive streaming solutions of video services have become popular. However, the keys to ensure the users a good QoE with this technology is still not completely understood. User QoE feedback...
The reproduction of sound by stereo and by multichannel systems is affected by many factors which will give rise to various complex sensations in listeners, and thereby influence the perceived overall quality. In this Ph.D. thesis, the perceptual changes associated with different reproduction...... on the perceived direction of panned sources. The second part of the thesis addresses the identification of auditory attributes which play a role in the perception of sound reproduced by multichannel systems. Short musical excerpts were presented in mono, stereo and several multichannel formats to evoke various...
Krüger, Theresa; Behrens, Janina R; Grobelny, Anuschka; Otte, Karen; Mansow-Model, Sebastian; Kayser, Bastian; Bellmann-Strobl, Judith; Brandt, Alexander U; Paul, Friedemann; Schmitz-Hübsch, Tanja
Physical activity (PA) is frequently restricted in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) and aiming to enhance PA is considered beneficial in this population. We here aimed to explore two standard methods (subjective plus objective) to assess PA reduction in PwMS and to describe the relation of PA to health-related quality of life (hrQoL). PA was objectively measured over a 7-day period in 26 PwMS (EDSS 1.5-6.0) and 30 matched healthy controls (HC) using SenseWear mini® armband (SWAmini) and reported as step count, mean total and activity related energy expenditure (EE) as well as time spent in PA of different intensities. Measures of EE were also derived from self-assessment with IPAQ (International Physical Activity Questionnaire) long version, which additionally yielded information on the context of PA and a classification into subjects' PA levels. To explore the convergence between both types of assessment, IPAQ categories (low, moderate, high) were related to selected PA parameters from objective assessment using ANOVA. Group differences and associated effect sizes for all PA parameters as well as their relation to clinical and hrQoL measures were determined. Both, SWAmini and IPAQ assessment, captured differences in PA between PwMS and HC. IPAQ categories fit well with common cut-offs for step count (p = 0.002) and mean METs (p = 0.004) to determine PA levels with objective devices. Correlations between specifically matched pairs of IPAQ and SWAmini parameters ranged between r .288 and r .507. Concerning hrQoL, the lower limb mobility subscore was related to four PA measures, while a relation with patients' report of general contentment was only seen for one. Both methods of assessment seem applicable in PwMS and able to describe reductions in daily PA at group level. Whether they can be used to track individual effects of interventions to enhance PA levels needs further exploration. The relation of PA measures with hrQoL seen with lower limb
Baandrup, Lone; Glenthøj, Birte Yding; Jennum, Poul Jørgen
and subjective sleep quality during benzodiazepine discontinuation and whether sleep variables were associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal. Eligible patients included adults with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder and long-term use of benzodiazepines in combination...... with antipsychotics. All participants gradually tapered the use of benzodiazepines after randomization to add-on treatment with melatonin versus placebo. Here we report a subsample of 23 patients undergoing sleep recordings (one-night polysomnography) and 55 patients participating in subjective sleep quality ratings....... Melatonin had no effect on objective sleep efficiency, but significantly improved self-reported sleep quality. Reduced benzodiazepine dosage at the 24-week follow-up was associated with a significantly decreased proportion of stage 2 sleep. These results indicate that prolonged-release melatonin has some...
Full Text Available Background . The provision of medical services to patients according to their expectations and needs is necessary for the comfort and quality of life of patients, as well as for the standardization of hospital procedures. In recognizing these needs and expectations, an important step is the verification of provided services in order to improve their quality. The present study was designed to determine differences in service quality, as evaluated by hospitalized patients. Objectives . The analysis of the subjective feelings of hospitalized patients concerning service quality in the context of the application of the SER VQUAL method – a pilot study. Material and methods. The study was conducted in a Lower Silesian hospital in a group of 29 young patients (women: 16, men: 13, average age: 16 diagnosed with kidney disease. In the study a standard sheet of 22 SER VQUAL statements was used, and an analysis of the validity of 5 quality areas important for the patient was conducted. Results. According to the respondents, the most important of all 5 features directly affecting the quality of life during treatment is the ability and skill of the ward staff to provide medical services, so-called reliability – 24.48%. In turn, the least important of all the study characteristics was the aesthetics and ergonomics of rooms, the presence of appropriate equipment, the so-called material dimension – 15.31%. Furthermore, service quality gaps were visible in all five service quality dimensions. Conclusions . 1. The SER VQUAL method helps to identify discrepancies between the perceptions of patients’ expectations in all dimensions of the quality of provided medical services. 2. For the patients the least important is the material dimension, and the most affecting is the dimension associated with the reliability of the medical services. 3. Improvement of the level of satisfaction with the quality of medical services requires proper planning and effective
Crowther Nigel J
Full Text Available Abstract Background The introduction of HAART has initially improved the quality of life (QoL of HIV-positive (HIV+ patients, however body fat redistribution (BFR and metabolic disorders associated with long-term HAART use may attenuate this improvement. As access to treatment improves in sub-Saharan Africa, the disfiguring nature of BFR (peripheral atrophy and/or central adiposity may deter treatment adherence and initiatives and decrease QoL. We examined the relationship between BFR and domains of QoL in HAART-treated HIV+ African men and women with (HIV+BFR, n = 50 and without (HIV+noBFR, n = 50 BFR in Rwanda. Results HIV+ subjects with BFR were less satisfied with their body image (4.3 ± 0.1 versus 1.5 ± 0.2; p 2 = 0.691; p = 0.009 and marital status was associated with psychological (r2 = 0.593; p = 0.019 and social relationships (r2 = 0.493; p = 0.007. CD4 count (r2 = 0.648; p = 0.003 and treatment duration (r2 = 0.453; p = 0.003 were associated with HIV HAART-specific domain of wellbeing. HIV+ Rwandan women with BFR were significantly more affected by abdominal adiposity (p Conclusion Body fat alterations negatively affect psychological and social domains of quality of life. These symptoms may result in stigmatization and marginalization mainly in HAART-treated African women, adversely affecting HAART adherence and treatment initiatives. Efforts to evaluate self-perceived body fat changes may improve patients' wellbeing, HAART adherence and treatment outcomes and contribute towards stability in quality of life continuum.
Full Text Available Research on educational effectiveness most often uses student assessments of classroom instruction for measuring aspects of teaching quality. Given that crucial inferences on the success of education are based on these assessments, it is essential to ensure that they provide valid indicators. In this study, we illustrate the application of an innovative application of a multilevel bifactor structural equation model (ML-BFSEM to examine the validity of student assessments. Analyzing a large-scale data set of 12,077 fourth-grade students in three countries (Finland, Norway, and Sweden, we find that (a three aspects of teaching quality and subject domain factors can be established; (b metric and scalar invariance could be established for the ML-BFSEM approach across countries; (c significant relations between students’ assessments of how easy the teacher is to understand and achievement in all subjects exist. In support of substantive research, we demonstrate a methodological approach for representing the complex nature of student assessments of teaching quality. We finally encourage substantive and methodological researchers to advance the ML-BFSEM.
Pocta, P.; Beerends, J.G.
This paper investigates the impact of different audio codecs typically deployed in current digital audio broadcasting (DAB) systems and web-casting applications, which represent a main source of quality impairment in these systems and applications, on the quality perceived by the end user. Both
Mekuria, Rufael; Cesar, Pablo; Doumanis, Ioannis; Frisiello, Antonella
Compression of 3D object based video is relevant for 3D Immersive applications. Nevertheless, the perceptual aspects of the degradation introduced by codecs for meshes and point clouds are not well understood. In this paper we evaluate the subjective and objective degradations introduced by such codecs in a state of art 3D immersive virtual room. In the 3D immersive virtual room, users are captured with multiple cameras, and their surfaces are reconstructed as photorealistic colored/textured 3D meshes or point clouds. To test the perceptual effect of compression and transmission, we render degraded versions with different frame rates in different contexts (near/far) in the scene. A quantitative subjective study with 16 users shows that negligible distortion of decoded surfaces compared to the original reconstructions can be achieved in the 3D virtual room. In addition, a qualitative task based analysis in a full prototype field trial shows increased presence, emotion, user and state recognition of the reconstructed 3D Human representation compared to animated computer avatars.
Korhonen, Jari; Reiter, Ulrich; You, Junyong
and quality scalability. The practical experiments with low resolution video sequences show that in general, distortion is a more crucial factor for the perceived subjective quality than frame rate. However, the results also depend on the content. Moreover,, we discuss the role of other different influence...
One such major concern pertains to the very general experiences of life of the elderly and associated factors. The purpose of this study was then to specifically assess the subjective quality of life and perceived adequacy of social support and the possible socio-demographic factors making differences in quality of life.
Akvardar, Yildiz; Akdede, Berna Binnur; Ozerdem, Ayşegül; Eser, Erhan; Topkaya, Sule; Alptekin, Köksal
Decreased quality of life is often an important cause or consequence of psychiatric illness, and needs to be included in a comprehensive treatment plan. The authors aimed to identify how psychiatric patients characterize the quality of their lives compared to others who are suffering from a chronic physical illness (diabetes) and healthy individuals. A total of 100 psychiatric patients were recruited from Dokuz Eylül University Psychiatry Department outpatient clinic. Of these, 34 had 4(th) edition Diagnostic and Statistical Manual diagnosis of alcohol dependence, 38 had schizophrenia, and 28 had bipolar disorder. A total of 35 patients with diabetes and 49 healthy individuals were also included in the study. The World Health Organization's Quality of Life Questionnaire was used to measure the quality of life. Patients with alcohol dependence, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia scored lower than healthy subjects on the physical aspects of quality of life. Patients with schizophrenia had lower scores in the psychological domain compared to patients with bipolar disorder, patients with diabetes, and healthy subjects. In the social relationship domain, patients with schizophrenia and alcohol dependence scored lower compared to healthy subjects. Patients with schizophrenia were worse with respect to social relationships than bipolar patients and diabetics. World Health Organization's Quality of Life Questionnaire is useful for evaluating the needs and targets for interventions in psychiatric patients.
Dietz, T.; Obeng, F.; Obure, J.; Zaal, F.
The starting point for development evaluations should be how the recipients of development assistance experience change, rather than the set perspectives of the evaluators. The participatory development assessment (PDA) methodology is designed to involve recipients in evaluations.
van Empel, P.J.; van Rijssen, L.B.; Commandeur, J.P.; Verdam, M.G.E.; Huirne, J.A.; Scheele, F.; Bonjer, H.J.; Meijerink, W.J.
Background: The equality of subjective- and objective-assessment methods in laparoscopic surgery are unknown. The aim of this study was to compare a subjective assessment method to an objective assessment method to evaluate laparoscopic skill. Methods: A prospective observational cohort study was
Asghari, Alimohamad; Farhadi, Mohammad; Kamrava, Seyed Kamran; Ghalehbaghi, Babak; Nojomi, Marzieh
Sleep disturbances are common among adult populations and can have a significant effect on daytime activities. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of sleep problems and subjective sleep quality in the adult population of Tehran, Iran. From an urban community of Tehran, a random sample of 3400 adult men and women were selected by a cross-sectional design. Using the Persian version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), subjects were interviewed face-to-face. There were 3114 completed questionnaires returned and analyzed. The mean age of the subjects was 43.57 (± SD 17.5) years. Overall 37% (95% CI: 35-39) of the population were categorized as poor sleepers. The PSQI > 5 showed 27% were males versus 35% among females. The global PSQI scores ranged from 4.20 ± 2.67 to 5.60 ± 3.74 for males and 5.03 ± 3.00 to 7.97 ± 4.31 for females by age groups. The difference across age groups for global PSQI score was significant in females (P rate of sleep complaints in this population-based study was high. Females, older adults, widows and separated couple were the most important risk factors for sleep disturbances.
Full Text Available The article presents a theoretical introduction to the discussion of the subjective quality of life for carriers of psychology of poverty. We revealed the socio-cultural determinants of subjective quality of life, systematize its psychological components and factors of its high level. We describe a set of characteristics of psychology of poverty, including the sense of displacement from normal life, hopelessness, fatalism, deprivation, social envy, metapathology of personality, lack of subjectivity, responsibility, an outsider position, survivor guilt complex, and so on. On the criterion of the relationship to own life we revealed types of carriers of psychology of poverty: a passive-contemplative, passive-aggressive, pseudocompensatory-devalued, infantile, anomic. We analyzed the specificity of reflection and benchmarking of carriers of psychology of poverty as a cognitive and affective strategies to assess the quality of own lives, focused on the maintenance of self-esteem
Guyonnet, Denis; Chassany, Olivier; Picard, Céline; Guillemin, Isabelle; Meunier, Juliette; Seignobos, Eva; Vigneux, Marc; Lassel, Taous; Trudeau, Elyse
To assess the perceived outcomes associated with diet/food intake in the general adult population. The Food Benefits Assessment (FBA) questionnaire was developed from subjects' verbatim transcripts (n 18) and after comprehension tests (n 5). Normal-weight (n 130) and overweight (n 67) subjects then completed the final questionnaire twice, 7 d apart. Psychometric properties were assessed, including construct validity by principal components analysis (PCA), concurrent validity (Spearman coefficient) with the Short Form-36 scale (SF-36), known-group validity by comparing FBA dimension scores according to lifestyle and clinical variables, internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's alpha) and test-retest reproducibility in stable subjects over 1 week (intraclass correlation coefficient, ICC). PCA and Multitrait analysis confirmed the final version of the FBA comprising forty-one items split into seven dimensions (vitality; digestive comfort; physical appearance; well-being; snacking; disease prevention; aesthetics). All dimensions displayed good item convergent validity (0.44 to 0.80), good concurrent validity (highest correlation between well-being dimension of FBA and mental health scale of SF-36, r=0.83) and good known-group validity and reproducibility (ICC >or= 0.76); internal consistency reliability was good to excellent (Cronbach's alpha=0.79 to 0.91). The FBA is the first valid and reliable questionnaire that allows the assessment of diet effects and impact as perceived by subjects. It is a good candidate in the nutrition field for further use in specific population settings and with a particular food or daily diet. Linguistically validated English (UK and US) and German versions of the questionnaire are available.
Stiel, Stephanie; Psych, Dipl; Kues, Katharina; Krumm, Norbert; Radbruch, Lukas; Elsner, Frank
Many quality-of-life assessment tools are not feasible in palliative care settings because of the severe impairment of the physical, cognitive, and psychological status of patients. This study investigated whether comprehensive instruments can be replaced by a single item concerning the well-being of patients. From April to December 2008 patients receiving palliative care in three different settings (palliative care unit, inpatient unit of the department of radiotherapy, inpatient hospice) were asked to answer the assessment tools Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Treatment (FACIT-G), European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC-QLQ-C30), Schedule for the Evaluation of the Individual Quality of Life (SEIQoL), and the Minimal Documentation System (MIDOS) including a single item on well-being. Correlations of sum and specific domain scores were used for correlational analysis. Datasets of 72 patients were collected. The MIDOS single item on well-being correlated significantly with the QoL indexes of the EORTC (Spearman rank correlation r = -0.563) and FACIT-G (0.527). SEIQoL had low to moderate correlations with the other assessment tools. Subscales on physical functioning from the FACIT-G (r = 0.583) and the EORTC-QLQ-C30 (r = 0.385) had the highest correlation with the single item on well-being. Well-being correlated higher with nonphysical subscales of the QoL instruments for patients in the palliative care unit than in the radiotherapy department. The single item is unable to completely replace comprehensive questionnaires, but it is useful to initiate communication on QoL and can be recommended as a substitute for physical-functional aspects of QoL assessment in the palliative care setting.
Objective: Heart failure (HF) is a common pathology worldwide. Associated emotional pain is an important risk factor of increased morbidity and secondary psychopathology. Methods: Subjects in stable state of HF attending the cardiology clinic of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) were recruited into the study.
Burke, Paul F.; Reitzig, Markus
The increasing number of patent applications worldwide and the extension of patenting to the areas of software and business methods have triggered a debate on "patent quality". While patent quality may have various dimensions, this paper argues that consistency in the decision making on the side...... of the patent office is one important dimension, particularly in new patenting areas (emerging technologies). In order to understand whether patent offices appear capable of providing consistent assessments of a patent's technological quality in such novel industries from the beginning, we study the concordance...... of the European Patent Office's (EPO's) granting and opoposition decisions for individual patents. We use the historical example of biotech patens filed between 1978 until 1986, the early stage of the industry. Our results indicate that the EPO shows systematically different assessments of technological quality...
Stanić, Arsen; Stevanović, Ranko; Pristaš, Ivan; Tiljak, Hrvoje; Benković, Vanesa; Krčmar, Nevenka; Jovanović, Aleksandar; Jurlina, Nataša; Nott, Teodora
A survey of the subjective assessment of quality in the fi eld of family medicine was conducted on a random sample of 50 family medicine teams distributed proportionally across all Croatian counties, and both rural and urban areas. It measured the satisfaction of insurants/patients, i.e. healthcare service users, on the basis of the completed EUROPEP questionnaire. The survey included 7.271 respondents (the response rate to 15.000 distributed questionnaires was 48.47%). O...
Full Text Available We present a study of subjective life quality in young people with disabilities compared with their healthy peers. The study sample comprised 62 women aged 14 to 18 years. The experimental study group consisted of 30 students of grades VIII-XI of Secondary School of home-based learning № 1673 "Support". The control group included 32 student of grades VIII-XI of School № 1222 with in-depth study of the German language. The methods used were: Medical Outcomes Study 36 Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36, M. Kuhn test "Who am I" (M. Kuhn, T. McPartland; modification by T.V. Rumjantseva, Method and diagnosis of health, activity and mood, projective technique "Picture of the actual self" and "Picture of the desired self" with questions. We formulated conclusions about the features of the subjective assessment of the quality of life in young people with disabilities compared with their healthy peers.
Perez-Cornago, Aurora; Zulet, M Angeles; Martinez, J Alfredo
The interplay between individual's mood fluctuations and nutrition has important health implications. However, little information is available on the relationship between dietary intake and mood state in a population with metabolic syndrome (MetS). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association between dietary intake and mood state in subjects with MetS. This cross-sectional study was based on the baseline data of 84 volunteers (mean age 49 ± 1 years) recruited into the Metabolic Syndrome Reduction in Navarra-Spain (RESMENA-S) study. Mood state was determined using a mood thermometer visual analogue scale. The dietary intake was assessed with a 48-hours weighted food record, from which a Healthy Eating Index (HEI) score was obtained. Anthropometrical measurements and biochemical parameters were also analysed. At baseline, a positive association between mood thermometer and HEI was observed. Among the 10 HEI components, vegetables, fruits, calories from lipids, saturated fatty acids, and dietary variety were related with higher mood. Moreover, those participants who consumed more water, fibre, vitamin B6, ascorbic acid, tryptophan, magnesium, and selenium have higher mood. In conclusion, an association between both the overall dietary pattern and isolated nutrients with mood state was observed. The analyses of both dietary patterns and specific nutrients are important to determine the association between mental disorders and dietary intake.
Dr Harriët Jager-Wittenaar; Martine J. Sealy; Suzanne Kasenic; Elizabeth Isenring; Faith D. Ottery; Susan P. DeBolt
Purpose: The Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA), including the PG-SGA Short Form (SF, aka ‘abridged’), was originally developed in the mid 1990’s as a scored, patient self-report, paperbased instrument and has been widely validated. The PG-SGA (SF) has been used for screening,
The only noteworthy maternal correlation among wool traits was estimated between QUAL and COL at 0.39 ± 0.18 (Table 6). Table 5 Genetic (rg), phenotypic (rp), environmental (re) and maternal (rm) correlations (± s.e.) among subjectively assessed conformation traits. Trait rg re rp rm. General head conformation (GEN) X.
Mantel, Claire; Bech, Søren; Korhonen, Jari
signal can then be used as input to objective quality metrics. The focus of this paper is on determining which characteristics of locally backlit displays influence quality assessment. A subjective experiment assessing the quality of highly contrasted videos displayed with various local backlight...
Overview of Clean Water Act (CWA) restoration framework including; water quality standards, monitoring/assessment, reporting water quality status, TMDL development, TMDL implementation (point & nonpoint source control)
Bampis, Christos George; Zhi Li; Moorthy, Anush Krishna; Katsavounidis, Ioannis; Aaron, Anne; Bovik, Alan Conrad
HTTP adaptive streaming is being increasingly deployed by network content providers, such as Netflix and YouTube. By dividing video content into data chunks encoded at different bitrates, a client is able to request the appropriate bitrate for the segment to be played next based on the estimated network conditions. However, this can introduce a number of impairments, including compression artifacts and rebuffering events, which can severely impact an end-user's quality of experience (QoE). We have recently created a new video quality database, which simulates a typical video streaming application, using long video sequences and interesting Netflix content. Going beyond previous efforts, the new database contains highly diverse and contemporary content, and it includes the subjective opinions of a sizable number of human subjects regarding the effects on QoE of both rebuffering and compression distortions. We observed that rebuffering is always obvious and unpleasant to subjects, while bitrate changes may be less obvious due to content-related dependencies. Transient bitrate drops were preferable over rebuffering only on low complexity video content, while consistently low bitrates were poorly tolerated. We evaluated different objective video quality assessment algorithms on our database and found that objective video quality models are unreliable for QoE prediction on videos suffering from both rebuffering events and bitrate changes. This implies the need for more general QoE models that take into account objective quality models, rebuffering-aware information, and memory. The publicly available video content as well as metadata for all of the videos in the new database can be found at http://live.ece.utexas.edu/research/LIVE_NFLXStudy/nflx_index.html.
Yang, Huan; Fang, Yuming; Lin, Weisi
Research on screen content images (SCIs) becomes important as they are increasingly used in multi-device communication applications. In this paper, we present a study on perceptual quality assessment of distorted SCIs subjectively and objectively. We construct a large-scale screen image quality assessment database (SIQAD) consisting of 20 source and 980 distorted SCIs. In order to get the subjective quality scores and investigate, which part (text or picture) contributes more to the overall visual quality, the single stimulus methodology with 11 point numerical scale is employed to obtain three kinds of subjective scores corresponding to the entire, textual, and pictorial regions, respectively. According to the analysis of subjective data, we propose a weighting strategy to account for the correlation among these three kinds of subjective scores. Furthermore, we design an objective metric to measure the visual quality of distorted SCIs by considering the visual difference of textual and pictorial regions. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed SCI perceptual quality assessment scheme, consisting of the objective metric and the weighting strategy, can achieve better performance than 11 state-of-the-art IQA methods. To the best of our knowledge, the SIQAD is the first large-scale database published for quality evaluation of SCIs, and this research is the first attempt to explore the perceptual quality assessment of distorted SCIs.
You, Junyong; Korhonen, Jari; Perkis, Andrew
This paper proposes to evaluate video quality by balancing two quality components: global quality and local quality. The global quality is a result from subjects allocating their ttention equally to all regions in a frame and all frames n a video. It is evaluated by image quality metrics (IQM) ith...... quality modeling algorithm can improve the performance of image quality metrics on video quality assessment compared to the normal averaged spatiotemporal pooling scheme....... averaged spatiotemporal pooling. The local quality is derived from visual attention modeling and quality variations over frames. Saliency, motion, and contrast information are taken into account in modeling visual attention, which is then integrated into IQMs to calculate the local quality of a video frame...
Spong, J; Graco, M; Brown, D J; Schembri, R; Berlowitz, D J
This is a cross-sectional survey. The objective of this study was to evaluate the subjective sleep disturbances and quality of life in chronic tetraplegia. This study was conducted in a community sample from Victoria, Australia. People with tetraplegia were mailed a survey battery including the following: demographic questions; Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS); Basic Nordic Sleepiness Questionnaire; Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire (FOSQ); Multivariate Apnoea Prediction Index and Assessment of Quality of Life (AQoL) Questionnaire. Scores were compared with the best available normative data. A total of 163 of 424 (38%) surveys were returned (77% male; 39% sensory and motor complete; mean age±s.d.=46±14 years; mean years since injury=11±8 years). The AQoL health utility score (0.31±0.29) was significantly lower than published population norms. FOSQ total (17.55±2.57) and KSS (3.93±2.27) scores were no different from the best available population data. People with tetraplegia reported worse sleep habits, symptoms and quality than a normal population, as indicated on 17 of 21 questions on the Basic Nordic Sleep Questionnaire. Multivariate analysis found that greater injury severity (coefficient (95% CI)=0.14 (0.10, 0.18)), increasing age (-0.004 (-0.008, -0.001)) and worse sleep symptoms (-0.005 (-0.009, -0.0003)) were all significantly associated with reduced quality of life. People with chronic tetraplegia experience more subjective sleep problems and worse quality of life than their able-bodied counterparts. Quality of life is related to injury severity, age and sleep symptoms. Treating the sleep disorders experienced by people living with tetraplegia has the potential to improve their health and well-being.
Ghadiyaram, Deepti; Bovik, Alan C
Most publicly available image quality databases have been created under highly controlled conditions by introducing graded simulated distortions onto high-quality photographs. However, images captured using typical real-world mobile camera devices are usually afflicted by complex mixtures of multiple distortions, which are not necessarily well-modeled by the synthetic distortions found in existing databases. The originators of existing legacy databases usually conducted human psychometric studies to obtain statistically meaningful sets of human opinion scores on images in a stringently controlled visual environment, resulting in small data collections relative to other kinds of image analysis databases. Toward overcoming these limitations, we designed and created a new database that we call the LIVE In the Wild Image Quality Challenge Database, which contains widely diverse authentic image distortions on a large number of images captured using a representative variety of modern mobile devices. We also designed and implemented a new online crowdsourcing system, which we have used to conduct a very large-scale, multi-month image quality assessment (IQA) subjective study. Our database consists of over 350 000 opinion scores on 1162 images evaluated by over 8100 unique human observers. Despite the lack of control over the experimental environments of the numerous study participants, we demonstrate excellent internal consistency of the subjective data set. We also evaluate several top-performing blind IQA algorithms on it and present insights on how the mixtures of distortions challenge both end users as well as automatic perceptual quality prediction models. The new database is available for public use at http://live.ece.utexas.edu/research/ChallengeDB/index.html.
Vaz Patto, Maria Carlota
Full Text Available Grain legumes, also called pulses, play a key role in the nutritional improvement of food and feed. These legumes are important sources of protein as well as other nutritional compounds. Today, protein is one of the most sought after ingredients in the market and grain legumes represent one of the most sustainable protein sources. However, not all grain legume proteins are nutritionally equal. Their quality varies and depends on their amino acid composition and digestibility. In this article, we review concepts related to grain legume protein quality and discuss challenges regarding their genetic improvement. A comprehensive database of grain legume amino acid profiles and protein digestibility is needed to address the matter of protein quality in grain legume breeding. This database will be enhanced by quantitative information on digestibility-reducing bioactive compounds and the development of reliable screening tools. The achievement of higher protein quality grain legume varieties, better adjusted to animal and human requirements, will cut dietary protein content, associated costs and nitrogen excretion, thus reducing the environmental impact.Las leguminosas grano tienen un alto potencial en alimentación humana y animal siendo una importante fuente de proteínas así como de otros compuestos beneficiosos para la nutrición y salud. La proteína es uno de los ingredientes más demandados y las leguminosas grano son una delas fuentes más sostenible de proteína. Sin embargo, no todas las leguminosas grano son igual de nutritivas, variando la calidad con la composición de aminoácidos y su digestibilidad. En este artículo revisaremos los conceptos de calidad de la proteína y discutiremos las posibilidades de mejora genética. Para abordar con éxito la mejora de la calidad de la proteína será de gran ayuda disponer de bases de datos con los perfiles de aminoácidos y de digestibilidad, así como de información cuantitativa sobre los
Aryal, J; Gautam, B; Sapkota, N
Drinking water quality is the great public health concern because it is a major risk factor for high incidence of diarrheal diseases in Nepal. In the recent years, the prevalence rate of diarrhoea has been found the highest in Myagdi district. This study was carried out to assess the quality of drinking water from different natural sources, reservoirs and collection taps at Arthunge VDC of Myagdi district. A cross-sectional study was carried out using random sampling method in Arthunge VDC of Myagdi district from January to June,2010. 84 water samples representing natural sources, reservoirs and collection taps from the study area were collected. The physico-chemical and microbiological analysis was performed following standards technique set by APHA 1998 and statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS 11.5. The result was also compared with national and WHO guidelines. Out of 84 water samples (from natural source, reservoirs and tap water) analyzed, drinking water quality parameters (except arsenic and total coliform) of all water samples was found to be within the WHO standards and national standards.15.48% of water samples showed pH (13) higher than the WHO permissible guideline values. Similarly, 85.71% of water samples showed higher Arsenic value (72) than WHO value. Further, the statistical analysis showed no significant difference (Pwater for collection taps water samples of winter (January, 2010) and summer (June, 2010). The microbiological examination of water samples revealed the presence of total coliform in 86.90% of water samples. The results obtained from physico-chemical analysis of water samples were within national standard and WHO standards except arsenic. The study also found the coliform contamination to be the key problem with drinking water.
Full Text Available The ex-post retrospective analysis of the health care reform in Latvia has been performed by several authors; therefore in writing this paper, the author also considered it essential to try and predict its future prospects, specifically, to carry out an ex-ante analysis of reimbursement arrangements for medicines and medical devices in outpatient treatment (“reimbursement arrangements”. An ex-antepolicy impact analysis takes place at the beginning of the policy development process when policy planners and experts try to project, by means of various quantitative and qualitative methods, the various kinds of consequences that the society will face as a result of implementation of the policy. Taking into account the circumstances of limited state budget resources for the medicines reimbursement arrangements in Latvia, the aim of this research is to evaluate by the experts’ method the impact of the reimbursed diseases on the life expectancy, the ability to work, and the quality of life, to identify the priorities. According to the experts’ judgments the group of diagnoses “Neoplasms” gives the greatest common impact on the life expectancy, the ability to work, and quality of life, followed by the “Diseases of the circulatory system” and “Diseases of the blood and blood forming organs and certain disorders involving the immune mechanisms”.
Full Text Available The increased prevalence of obesity represents, currently, one of the major public health issues, due to its consequences on physical and psychological health status as well as on the psychosocial functioning. As defined by the World Health Organization, sexual health is “a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality.” The aim of the present study was to explore the relationship between sexual life in obese subjects and quality of life, psychological status, and disability. Methods. 95 obese subjects were recruited from June 2012 to February 2013 and underwent physical examination and measures for the assessment of quality of life, sexual life, psychological status, and disability. Results. In obese subjects sexual life was related to gender, age, psychological status, disability, and quality of life. Conclusion. As obesity is a multifactorial disease, and is accompanied by multiple comorbidities, it is difficult to identify a single causative factor responsible for the impairment of sexual life in obese subjects; thus, a thorough, multidimensional evaluation including sexual function assessment should be performed in obese people.
This thesis explores challenging topic of information system quality assessment and mainly process assessment. In this work the term Information System Quality is defined as well as different approaches in a quality definition for different domains of information systems are outlined. Main methods of process assessment are overviewed and their relationships are described. Process assessment methods are divided into two categories: ISO standards and best practices. The main objective of this w...
Fatima, Y.; Doi, S.A.R.; Mamun, A. A.
To assess the effect of poor sleep quality on Overweight/Obesity (Ow/Ob) in young subjects, and explore if this association is independent of sleep duration. Pubmed, EMBASE, and MEDLINE databases were searched for papers on sleep quality and overweight/obesity, focusing on children, adolescents, and young adults. Studies based on subjects with medical/psychological problems or published in languages other than English were excluded. Quality effects model was used to pool studies for meta-anal...
Ma, Lin; Lin, Weisi; Ngan, King
This book provides comprehensive coverage of the latest trends/advances in subjective and objective quality evaluation for traditional visual signals, such as 2D images and video, as well as the most recent challenges for the field of multimedia quality assessment and processing, such as mobile video and social media. Readers will learn how to ensure the highest storage/delivery/ transmission quality of visual content (including image, video, graphics, animation, etc.) from the server to the consumer, under resource constraints, such as computation, bandwidth, storage space, battery life, etc. Provides an overview of quality assessment for traditional visual signals; Covers newly emerged visual signals such as social media, 3D image/video, mobile video, high dynamic range (HDR) images, graphics/animation, etc., which demand better quality of experience (QoE); Helps readers to develop better quality metrics and processing methods for newly emerged visual signals; Enables testing, optimizing, benchmarking...
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Water Quality Assessment Tool project was developed to assess the potential for water-borne contaminants to adversely affect biota and habitats on Service lands.
Mantel, Claire; Bech, Søren; Korhonen, Jari; Forchhammer, Søren; Pedersen, Jesper Melgaard
Local backlight dimming is a technology aiming at both saving energy and improving visual quality on television sets. As the rendition of the image is specified locally, the numerical signal corresponding to the displayed image needs to be computed through a model of the display. This simulated signal can then be used as input to objective quality metrics. The focus of this paper is on determining which characteristics of locally backlit displays influence quality assessment. A subjective experiment assessing the quality of highly contrasted videos displayed with various local backlight-dimming algorithms is set up. Subjective results are then compared with both objective measures and objective quality metrics using different display models. The first analysis indicates that the most significant objective features are temporal variations, power consumption (probably representing leakage), and a contrast measure. The second analysis shows that modeling of leakage is necessary for objective quality assessment of sequences displayed with local backlight dimming.
Lim, Kyeung Eun; Kim, Sung Reul; Kim, Hyun Kyung; Kim, So Ri
COPD is one of the most common respiratory diseases. Patients with COPD experience and suffer from various physical and psychological symptoms. We performed this study to identify symptom clusters and the effects on quality of life (QOL) in patients with COPD. A total of 130 COPD subjects were recruited from a university hospital in South Korea. Dyspnea, fatigue, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, dry mouth, and physical functional status were assessed with structured questionnaires. QOL was measured with the Clinical COPD Questionnaire. Factor analysis and cluster analysis were used to identify symptom clusters based on severity of symptom experiences. Three distinct clusters were identified: a respiratory-functional cluster (symptom cluster 1), a mood cluster (symptom cluster 2), and a fatigue-sleep cluster (symptom cluster 3). Symptom cluster 1 consisted of dyspnea, physical functional status, and dry mouth; symptom cluster 2 consisted of anxiety and depression; and symptom cluster 3 consisted of sleep disturbance and fatigue. Subgroup cluster analysis showed that COPD subjects with higher-scoring symptoms in symptom clusters 1, 2, and 3 had significantly poorer QOL. The symptom clusters were significantly different depending on age, educational level, and monthly income. COPD subjects may have specific patterns of symptom clusters. The symptom clusters are related with clinical characteristics and had a negative impact on QOL. To enhance symptom management and QOL, approaches and interventions based on symptom clusters, rather than independent intervention for each symptom, may be more effective. Understanding COPD symptom clusters may help successful symptom management, which can improve QOL for COPD patients. Copyright © 2017 by Daedalus Enterprises.
Carniel, Maiara Pires; Santetti, Daniele; Andrade, Juliana Silveira; Favero, Bianca Penteado; Moschen, Tábata; Campos, Paola Almeida; Goldani, Helena Ayako Sueno; Dornelles, Cristina Toscani Leal
To validate the Subjective Global Nutritional Assessment (SGNA) questionnaire for Brazilian children and adolescents. A cross-sectional study with 242 patients, aged 30 days to 13 years, treated in pediatric units of a tertiary hospital with acute illness and minimum hospitalization of 24h. After permission from the authors of the original study, the following criteria were observed to obtain the validation of SGNA instruments: translation and backtranslation, concurrent validity, predictive validity, and inter-observer reliability. The variables studied were age, sex, weight and length at birth, prematurity, and anthropometry (weight, height, body mass index, upper arm circumference, triceps skinfold, and subscapular skinfold). The primary outcome was considered as the need for admission/readmission within 30 days after hospital discharge. Statistical tests used included ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis, Mann-Whitney, chi-square, and Kappa coefficient. According to SGNA score, 80% of patients were considered as well nourished, 14.5% moderately malnourished, and 5.4% severely malnourished. Concurrent validity showed a weak correlation between the SGNA and anthropometric measurements (p<0.001). Regarding predictive power, the main outcome associated with SGNA was length of admission/readmission. Secondary outcomes associated included the following: length of stay at the unit after SGNA, weight and length at birth, and prematurity (p<0.05). The interobserver reliability showed good agreement among examiners (Kappa=0.74). This study validated the SGNA in this group of hospitalized pediatric patients, ensuring its use in the clinical setting and for research purposes in the Brazilian population. Copyright © 2015 Sociedade Brasileira de Pediatria. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.
Increasing demands on fresh water supplies by municipal and industrial users means decreased fresh water availability for irrigated agriculture in semi arid and arid regions. There is potential for agricultural use of treated wastewaters and low quality waters for irrigation but this will require co...
Mantel, Claire; Korhonen, Jari; Pedersen, Jesper Mørkhøj
This paper focuses on the influence of ambient light on the perceived quality of videos displayed on Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) with local backlight dimming. A subjective test assessing the quality of videos with two backlight dimming methods and three lighting conditions, i.e. no light, low...
Wendt, Oliver; Miller, Bridget
Critical appraisal of the research literature is an essential step in informing and implementing evidence-based practice. Quality appraisal tools that assess the methodological quality of experimental studies provide a means to identify the most rigorous research suitable for evidence-based decision-making. In single-subject experimental research,…
Lan, Chou-Chin; Huang, Hui-Chuan; Yang, Mei-Chen; Lee, Chih-Hsin; Huang, Chun-Yao; Wu, Yao-Kuang
Poor sleep quality is often reported among patients with COPD. Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is beneficial in improving exercise capacity and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). However, its benefit in terms of sleep quality in patients with COPD remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the effects of PR on sleep quality of patients with COPD. Thirty-four subjects with COPD were studied. All subjects participated in a 12-week (2 sessions/week) hospital-based out-patient PR study. Baseline and post-PR status were evaluated by spirometry, a sleep questionnaire (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index [PSQI]), a disease-specific questionnaire of HRQOL (St George Respiratory Questionnaire [SGRQ]), cardiopulmonary exercise testing, respiratory muscle strength, and the Borg dyspnea scale. Mean FEV1/FVC in the subjects was 0.49 ± 0.13, and the mean FEV1 was 1.06 ± 0.49 L/min (49.7 ± 18.0% of predicted). After PR, the PSQI score decreased from 9.41 ± 4.33 to 7.82 ± 3.90 (P 5 also decreased (85.3-64.7%, P = .006). There were significant improvements in HRQOL (SGRQ, P = .003), exercise capacity (peak oxygen uptake, P rate, P sleep quality, along with concurrent improvements in HRQOL and exercise capacity. PR is an effective nonpharmacologic treatment to improve sleep quality in patients with COPD and should be part of their clinical management. Copyright © 2014 by Daedalus Enterprises.
Fernández, D. G.; Del Barrio, A. A.; Botella, Guillermo; Meyer-Baese, Uwe; Meyer-Baese, Anke; Grecos, Christos
Nowadays, HEVC is the cutting edge encoding standard being the most efficient solution for transmission of video content. In this paper a subjective quality improvement based on pre-processing algorithms for homogeneous and chaotic regions detection is proposed and evaluated for low bit-rate applications at high resolutions. This goal is achieved by means of a texture classification applied to the input frames. Furthermore, these calculations help also reduce the complexity of the HEVC encoder. Therefore both the subjective quality and the HEVC performance are improved.
Li, Yezhou; Ye, Xiang; Li, Yong
This paper proposes a method of accurately assessing image quality without a reference image by using a deep convolutional neural network. Existing training based methods usually utilize a compact set of linear filters for learning features of images captured by different sensors to assess their quality. These methods may not be able to learn the semantic features that are intimately related with the features used in human subject assessment. Observing this drawback, this work proposes training a deep convolutional neural network (CNN) with labelled images for image quality assessment. The ReLU in the CNN allows non-linear transformations for extracting high-level image features, providing a more reliable assessment of image quality than linear filters. To enable the neural network to take images of any arbitrary size as input, the spatial pyramid pooling (SPP) is introduced connecting the top convolutional layer and the fully-connected layer. In addition, the SPP makes the CNN robust to object deformations to a certain extent. The proposed method taking an image as input carries out an end-to-end learning process, and outputs the quality of the image. It is tested on public datasets. Experimental results show that it outperforms existing methods by a large margin and can accurately assess the image quality on images taken by different sensors of varying sizes.
Ovsiannikova, T. Y.; Nikolaenko, M. N.
This paper is dedicated to the research applicability of quality management problems of construction products. It is offered to expand quality management borders in construction, transferring its principles to urban systems as economic systems of higher level, which qualitative characteristics are substantially defined by quality of construction product. Buildings and structures form spatial-material basis of cities and the most important component of life sphere - urban environment. Authors justify the need for the assessment of urban environment quality as an important factor of social welfare and life quality in urban areas. The authors suggest definition of a term "urban environment". The methodology of quality assessment of urban environment is based on integrated approach which includes the system analysis of all factors and application of both quantitative methods of assessment (calculation of particular and integrated indicators) and qualitative methods (expert estimates and surveys). The authors propose the system of indicators, characterizing quality of the urban environment. This indicators fall into four classes. The authors show the methodology of their definition. The paper presents results of quality assessment of urban environment for several Siberian regions and comparative analysis of these results.
Full Text Available This paper assesses the Website of a chemical company, Deza, relative to strategy and Website quality. In an attempt to obtain both an objective and subjective measure of the quality of the Deza website, two assessment methods have been used. Firstly, a subjective assessment was conducted based on the WebQual survey instrument proposed by Barnes and Vidgen (2000. Secondly, a more objective assessment was conducted via an “informational content analysis”, based on the work of Carlson et. al. (2001. Analysis of the results of the WebQual survey suggest that overall, the Deza Website is perceived by the user as being of a higher quality than the Koppers Website, but a lower quality then the Nalon Website. The Information content analysis also ranks the Deza website as being superior to Koppers and inferior to Nalon.
Ansaldi, Roberta; Asadi, Ehsan; Costa, José Joaquim
This Guidebook gives building professionals useful support in the practical measurements and monitoring of the indoor climate in buildings. It is evident that energy consumption in a building is directly influenced by required and maintained indoor comfort level. Wireless technologies for measure...... for measurement and monitoring have allowed a significantly increased number of possible applications, especially in existing buildings. The Guidebook illustrates several cases with the instrumentation of the monitoring and assessment of indoor climate....
An evaluation of the subjective categorization of hair quality pelt traits in Karakul lambs. S.J. Schoeman* and Jaenette R. Albertyn 1. Department of Animal and Wildlife Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002 Republic of South Africa. In an investigationof the subjectivecategorizationof pelt traits in Karakul lambs it was ...
Asif Ali Laghari
Full Text Available Video sharing on social clouds is popular among the users around the world. High-Definition (HD videos have big file size so the storing in cloud storage and streaming of videos with high quality from cloud to the client are a big problem for service providers. Social clouds compress the videos to save storage and stream over slow networks to provide quality of service (QoS. Compression of video decreases the quality compared to original video and parameters are changed during the online play as well as after download. Degradation of video quality due to compression decreases the quality of experience (QoE level of end users. To assess the QoE of video compression, we conducted subjective (QoE experiments by uploading, sharing, and playing videos from social clouds. Three popular social clouds, Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter, were selected to upload and play videos online for users. The QoE was recorded by using questionnaire given to users to provide their experience about the video quality they perceive. Results show that Facebook and Twitter compressed HD videos more as compared to other clouds. However, Facebook gives a better quality of compressed videos compared to Twitter. Therefore, users assigned low ratings for Twitter for online video quality compared to Tumblr that provided high-quality online play of videos with less compression.
Van Metre, Peter C.; Egler, Amanda L.; May, Jason T.
In 2017, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) project is assessing stream quality in coastal California, United States. The USGS California Stream Quality Assessment (CSQA) will sample streams over most of the Central California Foothills and Coastal Mountains ecoregion (modified from Griffith and others, 2016), where rapid urban growth and intensive agriculture in the larger river valleys are raising concerns that stream health is being degraded. Findings will provide the public and policy-makers with information regarding which human and natural factors are the most critical in affecting stream quality and, thus, provide insights about possible approaches to protect the health of streams in the region.
Kang, Suk-Hoon; Yoon, In-Young; Lee, Sang Don; Kim, Tae; Lee, Chung Suk; Han, Ji Won; Kim, Ki Woong; Kim, Chan-Hyung
The association between sleep disturbances and cognitive decline in the elderly has been putative and controversial. We evaluated the relation between subjective sleep quality and cognitive function in the Korean elderly. Among 459 community-dwelling subjects, 352 subjects without depression or neurologic disorders (mean age 68.2 ± 6.1) were analyzed in this study. All the participants completed the Korean version of the consortium to establish a registry for Alzheimer's disease neuropsychological battery (CERAD-KN) as an objective cognitive measure and subjective memory complaints questionnaire (SMCQ). Based on the Pittsburgh sleep quality index, two types of sleepers were defined: 'good sleepers' and 'poor sleepers'. There were 192 good sleepers (92 men) and 160 poor sleepers (51 men). Poor sleepers reported more depressive symptoms and more use of sleep medication, and showed higher SMCQ scores than good sleepers, but there was no difference in any assessments of CERAD-KN. In the regression analysis, depressive symptoms and subjective sleep quality were associated with subjective memory complaints (β = 0.312, p poor sleep quality was associated with subjective memory complaints, but not with objective cognitive measures. As subjective memory complaints might develop into cognitive disorders, poor sleep quality in the elderly needs to be adequately controlled.
Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to know the relationship between the variables (social support, autonomy, mental health, and physical recreational activity included in the subjective perspective of the quality of life of Costa Rican senior citizens related to gender. Another objective was to know the main reason for the subjects to practice physical activity and the benefits perceived by them, according to their gender. A total of 152 subjects (92 women and 60 men ranging between 60 and 75 years of age from 21 senior centers participated in this study. Two instruments were applied to the subjects: a questionnaire on quality of life (INISA, 1994 and a survey on physical recreational activity. Results showed a significant relationship between the variables autonomy and social support, autonomy and mental health, autonomy and frequency of activity, and autonomy and duration. Regarding gender, geriatric depression was more frequent in women (F=5.86. Health was the main motivation to do physical activity and the major benefits for both genders were feeling more revitalized, happier, energized, and pain relief. In conclusion, quality of life (social support, autonomy, mental health as perceived by senior citizens shows no differences as far as gender or reasons to exercise or benefits received, except for depression, which is more frequent in women. It is proven that the more times and the longer physical recreational activities are practiced by senior citizens per week the more positive results are received.
Fatima, Y; Doi, S A R; Mamun, A A
To assess the effect of poor sleep quality on Overweight/Obesity (Ow/Ob) in young subjects, and explore if this association is independent of sleep duration. Pubmed, EMBASE, and MEDLINE databases were searched for papers on sleep quality and overweight/obesity, focusing on children, adolescents, and young adults. Studies based on subjects with medical/psychological problems or published in languages other than English were excluded. Quality effects model was used to pool studies for meta-analysis. Findings from the systematic review suggest a link between poor sleep quality and Ow/Ob in young subjects. Pooled estimate (from 26,553 subjects) suggest a role of inadequate sleep (including both short duration and poor quality) in Ow/Ob (OR: 1.27 95% CI: 1.05-1.53). Sub-group-analyses suggest considerably higher odds of Ow/Ob (OR = 1.46, 95% CI: 1.24-1.72) in young subjects with poor sleep quality (independent of duration). Poor sleep quality seems to be associated with Ow/Ob, and some studies indicate this association to be independent of duration. Therefore, considering only sleep duration might not help in disentangling sleep-obesity association. However, this review is mostly composed of cross-sectional studies. Therefore, a causal link or the stability of the sleep quality and Ow/Ob association could not be established. © 2016 World Obesity.
Full Text Available Introduction: REM sleep deprivation increases unstimulated erections in rats, and total sleep deprivation increases erections during audiovisual sexual stimulation in men, but the effects of sleep problems on human unstimulated sexual arousal are unknown. Objective: We examined the associations of subjective sleep quality with unstimulated sexual arousal, satisfaction with sex life, and sexual frequency and desire over the past month. Methods: 275 Portuguese (169 women reported their anxiety, sexual arousal and sexual desire during a resting state, and completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the sexual satisfaction subscale of the LiSat scale, the Desire dimensions of the Female Sexual Function Index (women only and International Index of Erectile Function (men only. They additionally reported how many days in the past month they engaged in penile-vaginal intercourse, noncoital sex, and masturbation. Salivary testosterone (T was assayed by luminescence immunoassays. Results: Poorer sleep quality correlated with greater unstimulated sexual arousal in men with higher T levels and in women with higher T levels not taking oral contraceptives. In women with lower T, poorer subjective sleep quality correlated with greater sexual dissatisfaction. In both sexes, sleep quality was uncorrelated with sexual desire and sexual frequency over the past month. Discussion: Consistently with other studies in humans and animals, the findings are congruent with the notion that lack of sleep can increase sexual arousal, but not sexual frequency. T might play a role in the sexual arousal caused by lack of appropriate sleep.
Tao, Fang-biao; Huang, Kun; Gao, Ming; Su, Pu-yu
To understand the tendency of smoking in middle school students during the last 5 years and to identify the relationship between subjective life qualities and different smoking behaviors in order to determine the possible effects on tobacco use. Six middle schools were chosen in the city and rural areas of Hefei in 1998 and 2003, respectively. Smoking behaviors such as ever smoking, smoking before 13 years old, current smoking, regular smoking and addictive smoking were surveyed. Emotional symptoms, satisfaction on school life and on general life were chosen to estimate subjective life qualities. Relationship between subjective life qualities and smoking behaviors was analyzed. Prevalence rates of smoking before 13 years old, current smoking, regular smoking and addictive smoking in 2003 (8.8%, 12.0%, 5.6% and 1.7%, respectively) were higher in 1998 (3.1%, 3.0%, 1.7% and 0.6%, respectively). The prevalence rates of depression and anxiety were high among students with ever smoking, current smoking, regular smoking, addictive smoking, smoking before 13 years old and no attempt to quit cigarette smoking. Lower school life satisfaction and general estimation of life were found among these students. Higher satisfaction on school life (OR = 0.657) and on ordinary life (OR = 0.766) were protecting factors of current smoking but comorbid depression and anxiety were risk factors (OR = 2.181). Higher school life satisfaction (OR = 0.388) seemed to be protecting factor of addictive smoking while depression was risk factor of addictive smoking (OR = 2.753) and regular smoking (OR = 1.676). Smoking behaviors were common in middle school students and affected by several emotional and cognitive factors of subjective life qualities. Longitudinal designs are required to clarify the causal relationship between these factors and smoking behaviors in adolescents.
It is becoming crucial to accurately estimate and monitor speech quality in various ambient environments to guarantee high quality speech communication. This practical hands-on book shows speech intelligibility measurement methods so that the readers can start measuring or estimating speech intelligibility of their own system. The book also introduces subjective and objective speech quality measures, and describes in detail speech intelligibility measurement methods. It introduces a diagnostic rhyme test which uses rhyming word-pairs, and includes: An investigation into the effect of word familiarity on speech intelligibility. Speech intelligibility measurement of localized speech in virtual 3-D acoustic space using the rhyme test. Estimation of speech intelligibility using objective measures, including the ITU standard PESQ measures, and automatic speech recognizers.
Gelaye, Bizu; Barrios, Yasmin V; Zhong, Qiu-Yue; Rondon, Marta B; Borba, Christina P C; Sánchez, Sixto E; Henderson, David C; Williams, Michelle A
To examine the independent and joint relationships of poor subjective sleep quality and antepartum depression with suicidal ideation among pregnant women. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 641 pregnant women attending prenatal care clinics in Lima, Peru. Antepartum depression and suicidal ideation were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 scale. Antepartum subjective sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Logistic regression procedures were performed to estimate odds ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) adjusted for confounders. Overall, the prevalence of suicidal ideation in this cohort was 16.8% and poor subjective sleep quality was more common among women endorsing suicidal ideation as compared to their counterparts who did not (47.2% vs. 24.8%, Ppoor subjective sleep quality (defined using the recommended criteria of PSQI global score of >5 vs. ≤5) was associated with a 1.7-fold increased odds of suicidal ideation (aOR=1.67; 95% CI 1.02-2.71). When assessed as a continuous variable, each 1-unit increase in the global PSQI score resulted in an 18% increase in odds for suicidal ideation, even after adjusting for depression (aOR=1.18; 95% CI 1.08-1.28). Women with both poor subjective sleep quality and depression had a 3.5-fold increased odds of suicidal ideation (aOR=3.48; 95% CI 1.96-6.18) as compared with those who had neither risk factor. Poor subjective sleep quality was associated with increased odds of suicidal ideation. Replication of these findings may promote investments in studies designed to examine the efficacy of sleep-focused interventions to treat pregnant women with sleep disorders and suicidal ideation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Archie, John G.; Paluszewski, Martin; Karplus, Kevin
Our group tested three quality assessment functions in CASP8: a function which used only distance constraints derived from alignments (SAM-T08-MQAO), a function which added other single-model terms to the distance constraints (SAM-T08-MQAU), and a function which used both single-model and consens...
Kopp, Kristopher J.; Johnson, Amy M.; Crossley, Scott A.; McNamara, Danielle S.
An NLP algorithm was developed to assess question quality to inform feedback on questions generated by students within iSTART (an intelligent tutoring system that teaches reading strategies). A corpus of 4575 questions was coded using a four-level taxonomy. NLP indices were calculated for each question and machine learning was used to predict…
Mantel, C.; Bech, Søren; Forchhammer, S.
This paper investigates what composes the quality of videos displayed on LCD with local backlight dimming. In a subjective experiment, participants assessed the level of nine attributes defined using the Qualitative Descriptive Analysis method. Results show that three attributes (Contrast, Change...
Control of image quality in mammography. Influence of assessing subjective image of a test object; Control de calidad de imagen en mamografia. Influencia de la valoracion subjetiva de la imagen de un objeto de prueba
Hernandez Concepcion, E.; Garrido Breton, C.; Batista Arce, A.; Gonzalez Lopez, S.; Catalan Acosta, A.; Hernandez Armas, J.
. The object of this work is to assess the influence of the observer in the control of image quality to the digital mammography machine of our hospital, establishing reference values and tolerances that take into account the variability between observers. (Author)
Gardsjord, Erlend Strand; Romm, Kristin Lie; Friis, Svein
UNLABELLED: Subjective quality of life (S-QoL) is an important outcome measure in first episode psychosis (FEP). The aims of this study were to describe S-QoL-development the first 10-years in FEP patients and to identify predictors of this development. METHODS: A representative sample of 272...... patients with a first episode psychotic disorder was included from 1997 through 2000. At 10year follow-up 186 patients participated. QoL was measured by the Lehman's Quality of Life Interview. Linear mixed model analyses were performed to investigate longitudinal effects of baseline psychiatric symptoms...... and socio-economic variables and the effects of changes in the same variables on S-QoL-development. RESULTS: S-QoL improved significantly over the follow-up period. More contact with family and a better financial situation at baseline had a positive and longstanding effect on S-QoL-development, but changes...
Kurtanova Yu.E.,; Bondar O.V.,
We present a study of subjective life quality in young people with disabilities compared with their healthy peers. The study sample comprised 62 women aged 14 to 18 years. The experimental study group consisted of 30 students of grades VIII-XI of Secondary School of home-based learning № 1673 "Support". The control group included 32 student of grades VIII-XI of School № 1222 with in-depth study of the German language. The methods used were: Medical Outcomes Study 36 Item Short Form Health Sur...
Samer A.M. Nashef
Full Text Available There is a the strong temporal, if not causal, link between the intervention and the outcome in cardiac surgery and therefore a link becomes established between operative mortality and the measurement of surgical performance. In Britain the law stipulates that data collected by any public body or using public funds must be made freely available. Tools and mechanisms we devise and develop are likely to form the models on which the quality of care is assessed in other surgical and perhaps medical specialties. Measuring professional performance should be done by the profession. To measure risk there are a number of scores as crude mortality is not enough. A very important benefit of assessing the risk of death is to use this knowledge in the determination of the indication to operate. The second benefit is in the assessment of the quality of care as risk prediction gives a standard against performance of hospitals and surgeons. Peer review and “naming and shaming” are two mechanisms to monitor quality. There are two potentially damaging outcomes from the publication of results in a league-table form: the first is the damage to the hospital; the second is to refuse to operate on high-risk patients. There is a real need for quality monitoring in medicine in general and in cardiac surgery in particular. Good quality surgical work requires robust knowledge of three crucial variables: activity, risk prediction and performance. In Europe, the three major specialist societies have agreed to establish the European Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Institute of Accreditation (ECTSIA. Performance monitoring is soon to become imperative. If we surgeons are not on board, we shall have no control on its final destination, and the consequences may be equally damaging to us and to our patients.
Raum, Kay; Grimal, Quentin; Varga, Peter; Barkmann, Reinhard; Glüer, Claus C; Laugier, Pascal
Bone quality is determined by a variety of compositional, micro- and ultrastructural properties of the mineralized tissue matrix. In contrast to X-ray-based methods, the interaction of acoustic waves with bone tissue carries information about elastic and structural properties of the tissue. Quantitative ultrasound (QUS) methods represent powerful alternatives to ionizing x-ray based assessment of fracture risk. New in vivo applicable methods permit measurements of fracture-relevant properties, [eg, cortical thickness and stiffness at fragile anatomic regions (eg, the distal radius and the proximal femur)]. Experimentally, resonance ultrasound spectroscopy and acoustic microscopy can be used to assess the mesoscale stiffness tensor and elastic maps of the tissue matrix at microscale resolution, respectively. QUS methods, thus, currently represent the most promising approach for noninvasive assessment of components of fragility beyond bone mass and bone microstructure providing prospects for improved assessment of fracture risk.
Semiz, Umit B; Basoglu, Cengiz; Ebrinc, Servet; Cetin, Mesut
The aims of the present study were to examine the rate of nightmare disorder (ND) and to determine the levels of dream anxiety and subjective sleep quality in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Another aim was to determine whether dream anxiety was associated with childhood trauma, dissociative experiences, and subjective sleep disturbance in BPD patients. Finally, the hypothesis as to whether BPD patients with ND exhibited a more severe clinical profile than those without ND, was also tested. A total of 88 borderline patients and 100 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R Personality Disorders, Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders, Van Dream Anxiety Scale, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Dissociative Experiences Scale, and Traumatic Experiences Checklist. Subjects with codiagnoses that could affect sleep were not included. BPD patients suffered a significantly greater rate of nightmares, elevated levels of dream anxiety, and disturbed sleep quality than did controls. In the borderline group, heightened dream anxiety was correlated with higher rates of early traumatic experiences and dissociative symptoms, and impaired sleep quality. Furthermore, borderline patients with ND exhibited greater psychopathology as compared to those without ND in terms of several clinical characteristics. The present study provides support for a strong association between BPD, distressing nightmares, and subjective sleep quality. Recognition and management of dream and sleep disturbances in BPD patients might lead to improvements in their global clinical picture.
In 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) and USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center (CERC) will be collaborating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA) to assess stream quality across the Midwestern United States. The sites selected for this study are a subset of the larger NRSA, implemented by the EPA, States and Tribes to sample flowing waters across the United States (http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/riverssurvey/index.cfm). The goals are to characterize water-quality stressors—contaminants, nutrients, and sediment—and ecological conditions in streams throughout the Midwest and to determine the relative effects of these stressors on aquatic organisms in the streams. Findings will contribute useful information for communities and policymakers by identifying which human and environmental factors are the most critical in controlling stream quality. This collaborative study enhances information provided to the public and policymakers and minimizes costs by leveraging and sharing data gathered under existing programs. In the spring and early summer, NAWQA will sample streams weekly for contaminants, nutrients, and sediment. During the same time period, CERC will test sediment and water samples for toxicity, deploy time-integrating samplers, and measure reproductive effects and biomarkers of contaminant exposure in fish or amphibians. NRSA will sample sites once during the summer to assess ecological and habitat conditions in the streams by collecting data on algal, macroinvertebrate, and fish communities and collecting detailed physical-habitat measurements. Study-team members from all three programs will work in collaboration with USGS Water Science Centers and State agencies on study design, execution of sampling and analysis, and reporting.
Gelaye, Bizu; Barrios, Yasmin V.; Zhong, Qiu-Yue; Rondon, Marta B.; Borba, Christina P.C.; Sánchez, Sixto E.; Henderson, David C.; Williams, Michelle A.
Objective To examine the independent and joint relationships of poor subjective sleep quality, and antepartum depression with suicidal ideation among pregnant women. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted among 641 pregnant women attending prenatal care clinics in Lima, Peru. Antepartum depression and suicidal ideation were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) scale. Antepartum subjective sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Logistic regression procedures were performed to estimate odds ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) adjusted for confounders. Results Overall, the prevalence of suicidal ideation in this cohort was 16.8% and poor subjective sleep quality was more common among women endorsing suicidal ideation as compared to their counterparts who did not (47.2%vs.24.8%, p5vs. ≤5) was associated with a 1.7-fold increased odds of suicidal ideation (aOR=1.67; 95%CI 1.02–2.71). When assessed as a continuous variable, each 1-unit increase in the global PSQI score resulted in an 18% increase in odds for suicidal ideation, even after adjusting for depression (aOR=1.18; 95%CI 1.08–1.28). Women with both poor subjective sleep quality and depression had a 3.5-fold increased odds of suicidal ideation (aOR=3.48; 95%CI 1.96–6.18) as compared with those who had neither risk factor. Conclusion Poor subjective sleep quality was associated with increased odds of suicidal ideation. Replication of these findings may promote investments in studies designed to examine the efficacy of sleep-focused interventions to treat pregnant women with sleep disorders and suicidal ideation. PMID:25983188
Huang, Xin; Søgaard, Jacob; Forchhammer, Søren
the transform coefficients, estimates the distortion, and assesses the video quality. The proposed scheme generates VQA features based on Intra coded frames, and then maps features using an Elastic Net to predict subjective video quality. A set of HEVC coded 4K UHD sequences are tested. Results show......This paper proposes a No-Reference (NR) Video Quality Assessment (VQA) method for videos subject to the distortion given by High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC). The proposed assessment can be performed either as a BitstreamBased (BB) method or as a Pixel-Based (PB). It extracts or estimates...
Effect of oral magnesium supplementation on measures of airway resistance and subjective assessment of asthma control and quality of life in men and women with mild to moderate asthma: a randomized placebo controlled trial.
Kazaks, Alexandra G; Uriu-Adams, Janet Y; Albertson, Timothy E; Shenoy, Sonia F; Stern, Judith S
Epidemiological data shows low dietary magnesium(Mg) may be related to incidence and progression of asthma. To determine if long term(6.5 month) treatment with oral Mg would improve asthma control and increase serum measures of Mg status in men and women with mild-to-moderate asthma. 55 males and females aged 21 to 55 years with mild to moderate asthma according to the 2002 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute(NHLBI) and Asthma Education and Prevention Program(NAEPP) guidelines and who used only beta-agonists or inhaled corticosteroids(ICS) as asthma medications were enrolled. Subjects were randomly assigned to consume 340 mg(170 mg twice a day) of Mg or a placebo for 6.5 months. Multiple measures of Mg status including serum, erythrocyte, urine, dietary, ionized and IV Mg were measured. markers of asthma control were: methacholine challenge test(MCCT) and pulmonary function test(PFT) results. Subjective validated questionnaires on asthma quality of life(AQLQ) and control(ACQ) were completed by participants. Markers of inflammation, including c-reactive protein(CRP) and exhaled nitric oxide(eNO) were determined. The concentration of methacholine required to cause a 20% drop in forced expiratory volume in in minute(FEV(1)) increased significantly from baseline to month 6 within the Mg group. Peak expiratory flow rate(PEFR) showed a 5.8% predicted improvement over time(P = 0.03) in those consuming the Mg. There was significant improvement in AQLQ mean score units(P reactivity to methacholine and PEFR and in subjective measures of asthma control and quality of life.
Full Text Available Aim: Sleep problems are common in students with one third of university students reporting insufficient sleep. It is known that sleep quality and daytime sleepiness cause decrasing academic performans. For this reason we aimed to investigate the effects of a sleep hygiene education on sleep quality and academic performance of first year medical students. Material and Method: Self-reported sleep data and academic performance of 131 first grade medical students were collected. To all students enrolled Pittsburg Sleep Quality Scale in the assessment of sleep quality and Epworth Sleepiness Scale for assessment of daytime sleepiness in the evaluation.The students were divided into two subgroups and the intervention group received a 30 minute structured sleep hygiene education. Global academic performance was assessed by grade point average at the end of the year. Results: Mean Pittsburgh sleep quality index score of the students was 7.9±3.5 and 106 (82.8% of then had a score %u22655.After intervention, .the worse the initial sleep quality, the more improvement by the sleep hygiene education on sleep quality and academic performance. Discussion: An education on sleep hygiene might improve subjective sleep quality and academic performance of medical students.
Beranek, Leo L.
Each new concert hall has the following stated goal: ``Acoustics equal to the best in the world.'' The owner can specify the number of seats, areas of public spaces, lighting intensities, etc. But, the attributes of acoustical quality cannot as yet be specified. Most acoustical consultants seem to feel that a ``seat of the pants'' experience is the only possible specification. But the architect's goal is a monument to himself and he believes the acoustical consultant should achieve the ``best in the world'' goal without visible means. Numbers for specifications are needed. In this paper 40 years of pertinent research are described: What are the critical physical attributes of good acoustics, how do we measure them, and how can they be translated into architectural specifications? Four steps have been involved: (1) interviews of conductors and music critics to determine (a) their acoustical rank orderings of a large number of halls and (b) which acoustical characteristics do they believe are important, viz., reverberance, strength of sound, etc.; (2) a determination of which physical measures correlate with their beliefs plus others that are physiologically important; (3) measurements of those physical quantities in the rank-ordered halls; and (5) the correlation of the measured values with the subjective quality ratings.
Chao, Linda L; Mohlenhoff, Brian S; Weiner, Michael W; Neylan, Thomas C
To investigate whether subjective sleep quality is associated with brain volume independent of comorbid psychiatric conditions. Cross-sectional. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. One hundred forty-four Gulf War Veterans (mean age 45 years; range: 31-70 years; 14% female). None. Total cortical, lobar gray matter, and hippocampal volumes were quantified from 1.5 Tesla magnetic resonance images using Freesurfer version 4.5. Subjective sleep quality was assessed with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Multiple linear regressions were used to determine the association of sleep quality with total and regional brain volumes. The global PSQI score was positively correlated with lifetime and current posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and current depressive symptoms (P sleep quality. Poorer subjective sleep quality was associated with reduced total cortical and regional frontal lobe volumes independent of comorbid psychiatric conditions. Future work will be needed to examine if effective treatment of disturbed sleep leads to improved structural and functional integrity of the frontal lobes.
Kamal, Nasrollahi; Moeslund, Thomas B.
Summarizing a long surveillance video to just a few best quality face images of each subject, a face-log, is of great importance in surveillance systems. Face quality assessment is the back-bone for face log generation and improving the quality assessment makes the face logs more reliable. Develo....... Developing a real time face quality assessment system using the most important facial features and employing it for face logs generation are the concerns of this paper. Extensive tests using four databases are carried out to validate the usability of the system....
Kragt, Lea; Jaddoe, Vincent; Wolvius, Eppo; Ongkosuwito, Edwin
The existing body of evidence reports an inconsistent association between subjective and objective orthodontic treatment need. The concept of oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) might help to explain the differences in subjective and objective orthodontic treatment need. Our aim was to investigate the association of subjective orthodontic treatment with OHRQoL in children. This cross-sectional study was embedded in the Generation R Study, a population-based prospective cohort study. OHRQoL and subjective orthodontic treatment need were assessed by parental questionnaires. Questionnaire items were individually compared among children with no, borderline and definite subjective orthodontic need. The association between subjective orthodontic treatment need and OHRQoL was investigated in multivariate regression analysis with weighted least squares. Differences by sex and levels of objective orthodontic treatment need were evaluated. In total, 3774 children were included in the analysis. Children with borderline subjective orthodontic treatment need and those with definite subjective orthodontic treatment need had significantly poorer OHRQoL based on the fully adjusted model (adjusted regression coefficient (aβ)=-0.49, 95% CI: -0.75, -0.30; (aβ)=-1.58, 95% CI: -1.81, -1.58, respectively). The association between subjective orthodontic treatment need and OHRQoL was stronger in girls than in boys and stronger in children with objective orthodontic treatment need than in those with none. Oral health-related quality of life is poorer in children with subjective orthodontic treatment need. This has not been investigated before in such a large-population-based study and clearly offers an explanation for the lack of concurrence between objective and subjective orthodontic treatment need. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Krasula, Lukas; Le Callet, Patrick; Fliegel, Karel; Klima, Milos
Most of the effort in image quality assessment (QA) has been so far dedicated to the degradation of the image. However, there are also many algorithms in the image processing chain that can enhance the quality of an input image. These include procedures for contrast enhancement, deblurring, sharpening, up-sampling, denoising, transfer function compensation, etc. In this work, possible strategies for the quality assessment of sharpened images are investigated. This task is not trivial because the sharpening techniques can increase the perceived quality, as well as introduce artifacts leading to the quality drop (over-sharpening). Here, the framework specifically adapted for the quality assessment of sharpened images and objective metrics comparison in this context is introduced. However, the framework can be adopted in other quality assessment areas as well. The problem of selecting the correct procedure for subjective evaluation was addressed and a subjective test on blurred, sharpened, and over-sharpened images was performed in order to demonstrate the use of the framework. The obtained ground-truth data were used for testing the suitability of state-ofthe- art objective quality metrics for the assessment of sharpened images. The comparison was performed by novel procedure using ROC analyses which is found more appropriate for the task than standard methods. Furthermore, seven possible augmentations of the no-reference S3 metric adapted for sharpened images are proposed. The performance of the metric is significantly improved and also superior over the rest of the tested quality criteria with respect to the subjective data.
Song, Yang; Yu, Mei; Jiang, Gangyi; Shao, Feng; Peng, Zongju
Stereoscopic image quality assessment (IQA) plays a vital role in stereoscopic image/video processing systems. We propose a new quality assessment for stereoscopic image that uses disparity-compensated view filtering (DCVF). First, because a stereoscopic image is composed of different frequency components, DCVF is designed to decompose it into high-pass and low-pass components. Then, the qualities of different frequency components are acquired according to their phase congruency and coefficient distribution characteristics. Finally, support vector regression is utilized to establish a mapping model between the component qualities and subjective qualities, and stereoscopic image quality is calculated using this mapping model. Experiments on the LIVE 3-D IQA database and NBU 3-D IQA databases demonstrate that the proposed method can evaluate stereoscopic image quality accurately. Compared with several state-of-the-art quality assessment methods, the proposed method is more consistent with human perception.
van Wijk, Charles H; Meintjes, W A J
The interaction of subjective experiences and objective measures of neuropsychological performance during hyperbaric exposure has received less attention in the literature, in part due to the shortage of available and appropriately standardized measures. This study aimed to describe the psychometric properties of a modified version of the Subjective High Assessment Scale when used in the hyperbaric context, by exploring internal reliability, factor structure, associations with psychological variables and simple cognitive delayed recall, and the effect of task focus on the recall of subjective experience. Seventy qualified divers completed dry hyperbaric chamber dives to 607.95 kPa, and completed ratings of their subjective experiences. Some also completed a delayed recall task and psychological measures prior to their dives. The scale displayed good internal consistency, with four meaningful factors emerging. It showed some significant but small associations with trait anxiety and transient mood states, and a small to moderate correlation with recall performance. There was no significant effect of task focus on self-report of subjective experiences. The modified scale, renamed the Subjective Narcosis Assessment Scale here, has useful psychometric properties, and promising potential for future use.
Noaman, Amin Y.; Ragab, Abdul Hamid M.; Madbouly, Ayman I.; Khedra, Ahmed M.; Fayoumi, Ayman G.
This paper presents a developed higher education quality assessment model (HEQAM) that can be applied for enhancement of university services. This is because there is no universal unified quality standard model that can be used to assess the quality criteria of higher education institutes. The analytical hierarchy process is used to identify the…
Vera, Francisca M; Manzaneque, Juan M; Maldonado, Enrique F; Carranque, Gabriel A; Rodriguez, Francisco M; Blanca, Maria J; Morell, Miguel
Yoga represents a fascinating mind-body approach, wherein body movements (asana), breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation are integrated into a single multidimensional practice. Numerous beneficial mental and physical effects have been classically ascribed to this holistic ancient method. The purpose of the present study has been to examine the effects of long-term yoga practice on Subjective Sleep Quality (SSQ) and on several hormonal parameters of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Twenty-six subjects (16 experimental and 10 controls) were recruited to be part of the study. Experimental subjects were regular yoga practitioners with a minimum of 3 years of practice. Blood samples for the quantification of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S) were drawn from all subjects. Likewise, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was employed to assess SSQ. As statistical analysis, Mann-Whitney U-test was performed. The yoga group displayed lower PSQI scores and higher blood cortisol levels than control subjects. Therefore, it can be concluded that long-term yoga practice is associated with significant psycho-biological differences, including better sleep quality as well as a modulatory action on the levels of cortisol. These preliminary results suggest interesting clinical implications which should be further researched.
Chu, Ying; Mou, Xuanqin; Ji, Zhen
State of the art blind image quality assessment (IQA) methods generally extract perceptual features from the training images, and send them into support vector machine (SVM) to learn the regression model, which could be used to further predict the quality scores of the testing images. However, these methods need complicated training and learning, and the evaluation results are sensitive to image contents and learning strategies. In this paper, two novel blind IQA metrics without training and learning are firstly proposed. The new methods extract perceptual features, i.e., the shape consistency of conditional histograms, from the joint histograms of neighboring divisive normalization transform coefficients of distorted images, and then compare the length attribute of the extracted features with that of the reference images and degraded images in the LIVE database. For the first method, a cluster center is found in the feature attribute space of the natural reference images, and the distance between the feature attribute of the distorted image and the cluster center is adopted as the quality label. The second method utilizes the feature attributes and subjective scores of all the images in the LIVE database to construct a dictionary, and the final quality score is calculated by interpolating the subjective scores of nearby words in the dictionary. Unlike the traditional SVM based blind IQA methods, the proposed metrics have explicit expressions, which reflect the relationships of the perceptual features and the image quality well. Experiment results in the publicly available databases such as LIVE, CSIQ and TID2008 had shown the effectiveness of the proposed methods, and the performances are fairly acceptable.
Vidulich, Michael A.; Pandit, Parimal
Results by two groups of subjects, pilots and nonpilots, for two subjective workload assessment techniques (the SWAT and NASA-TLX tests) intended to evaluate individual differences in the perception and reporting of subjective workload are compared with results obtained for several traditional personality tests. The personality tests were found to discriminate between the groups while the workload tests did not. It is concluded that although the workload tests may provide useful information with respect to the interaction between tasks and personality, they are not effective as pure tests of individual differences.
Inoue, Yuichi; Nanba, Kazuyoshi; Honda, Yutaka; Takahashi, Yasuro; Arai, Heii
The severity of restless leg syndrome (RLS) and/or periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) was investigated by using a suggested immobilization test (SIT) and by measuring the influence of these disorders on the subjective sleep quality as assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Patients with RLS and those with both RLS and PLMD showed remarkably high values for PSQI and SIT, whereas patients with PLMD only showed normal values for PSQI. These findings suggest that there is only a small pathological significance for periodic limb movements, and demonstrate the efficacy of SIT and PSQI for evaluating the severity of these disorders.
Kooravand Takht Sabzy, Bashaer; Thomsen, Carsten E
The purpose of this study is to assess the Sleep Quality (SQ) in powernapping. The contributed factors for SQ assessment are time of Sleep Onset (SO), Sleep Length (SL), Sleep Depth (SD), and detection of sleep events (K-complex (KC) and Sleep Spindle (SS)). Data from daytime nap for 10 subjects, 2...... days each, including EEG and ECG were recorded. The SD and sleep events were analyzed by applying spectral analysis. The SO time was detected by a combination of signal spectral analysis, Slow Rolling Eye Movement (SREM) detection, Heart Rate Variability (HRV) analysis and EEG segmentation using both...... Autocorrelation Function (ACF), and Crosscorrelation Function (CCF) methods. The EEG derivation FP1-FP2 filtered in a narrow band and used as an alternative to EOG for SREM detection. The ACF and CCF segmentation methods were also applied for detection of sleep events. The ACF method detects segment boundaries...
The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of the compression time constants in a multi-channel compression hearing aid on both subjectively assessed speech intelligibility and sound quality in realistic binaural acoustical situations for normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners. A nonlinear hearing aid with 15 independent compression channels of approximated critical bandwidth was simulated on a personal computer. Various everyday life situations containing different sounds such as speech and speech in noise were recorded binaurally through original hearing aid microphones placed in BTE hearing aid cases. Two experiments were run with normal hearing and hearing-impaired subjects. For each subject, hearing thresholds were established using in situ audiometry. The static I/O-curve parameters in all channels of the hearing aid were then adjusted so that normal speech received an insertion gain corresponding to the NAL-R formula (Byrne & Dillon, 1986). The compression ratio was kept constant at 2.1:1. In the first experiment with six normal-hearing and six hearing-impaired subjects, the hearing aid was programmed to four different settings by changing only the compression time constants while all the parameters describing the static nonlinear Input/Output-curve were kept constant. The compression threshold was set to a very low value. In the second experiment with seven normal-hearing and eight hearing-impaired subjects, the hearing aid was programmed to four settings by changing the release time constants and the compression threshold while all other remaining parameters were kept constant. Using a complete A/B pair comparison procedure, subjects were presented binaurally with the amplified sounds and asked to subjectively assess their preference for each hearing aid setting with regards to speech intelligibility and sound quality. In Experiment 1, all subjects showed a significant preference for the longest release time (4 sec) over the two
Hong, Jinkuk; Bishop-Fitzpatrick, Lauren; Smith, Leann E.; Greenberg, Jan S.; Mailick, Marsha R.
We examined factors related to subjective quality of life (QoL) of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) aged 25-55 (n = 60), using the World Health Organization Quality of Life measure (WHOQOL-BREF). We used three different assessment methods: adult self-report, maternal proxy-report, and maternal report. Reliability analysis showed that…
Akin, Umran; Akin, Ahmet; Uğur, Erol
This research investigated the mediator role of mindfulness on the relationship between friendship quality and subjective vitality. Participants were 273 university students (M age = 21 years, SD = 1.1) who completed a questionnaire package that included the Friendship Quality Scale, the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale, and the Subjective Vitality Scale. Both mindfulness and subjective vitality were correlated positively with friendship quality and subjective vitality was correlated positively with mindfulness. Mindfulness mediated the relationship between friendship quality and subjective vitality. Together, the findings illuminate the importance of friendship quality in psychological and cognitive adjustment. © The Author(s) 2016.
Data used for this study were collected on the Carnarvon Afrino flock from 1986 to 1998, and include data records on several subjectively assessed traits, body weight and fleece traits of 3291 animals, the progeny of 127 sires and 772 dams. Reproduction data of 686 ewes born from 1986 to 1997 were also included.
The effects of supervisor experience and the presence of a shift technical advisor on the performance of two-man crews in a nuclear power plant...et de Recherches de Medecine Acrospatiale, Laboratoire d’Etudes Medicophysiologiques 16/330). S 110 Potter, S. S., 1986, Subjective workload assessment
dense and had higher creeping belly scores (the extent to which belly wool tends to creep up the side into the fleece). Estimated genetic correlations between the subjectively assessed fleece traits and reproduction were variable in sign and magnitude. The most important of these is the unfavourable genetic correlation ...
Background: Reliability and validity studies of different lumbar curvature analysis and measurement techniques have been documented however there is limited literature on the reliability and validity of subjective visual analysis. Radiological assessment of lumbar lordotic curve aids in early diagnosis of conditions even ...
Objective: Establish the reliability of the scored Patient Generated-Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) in determining nutritional status among Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) naive HIV-infected adults. Methods: A descriptive, cross sectional study among outpatient medical clinics, in The AIDS Support Organization ...
Eleonora Poggiogalle; Luca Di Lazzaro; Alessandro Pinto; Silvia Migliaccio; Andrea Lenzi; Lorenzo M Donini
The increased prevalence of obesity represents, currently, one of the major public health issues, due to its consequences on physical and psychological health status as well as on the psychosocial functioning. As defined by the World Health Organization, sexual health is “a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality.” The aim of the present study was to explore the relationship between sexual life in obese subjects and quality of life, psychological s...
He, Ye; Fei, Kevin; Fernandez, Gustavo A.; Delp, Edward J.
Due to the increasing user expectation on watching experience, moving web high quality video streaming content from the small screen in mobile devices to the larger TV screen has become popular. It is crucial to develop video quality metrics to measure the quality change for various devices or network conditions. In this paper, we propose an automated scoring system to quantify user satisfaction. We compare the quality of local videos with the videos transmitted to a TV. Four video quality metrics, namely Image Quality, Rendering Quality, Freeze Time Ratio and Rate of Freeze Events are used to measure video quality change during web content mirroring. To measure image quality and rendering quality, we compare the matched frames between the source video and the destination video using barcode tools. Freeze time ratio and rate of freeze events are measured after extracting video timestamps. Several user studies are conducted to evaluate the impact of each objective video quality metric on the subjective user watching experience.
Full Text Available Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the subjective image quality of (1 regular intensifying screens with medium intensifying screens, (2 regular intensifying screens with digital radiography, and (3 medium intensifying screens with digital radiography for panoramic radiographs. Materials and Methods: Forty-five patients participated and a total of 90 radiographs were obtained in the study. The patients were divided into three groups (regular-medium intensifying screen, regular intensifying screen-digital radiography, and medium intensifying screen-digital radiography that consisted of 15 people each. All radiographs were assessed by three oral radiologists independently. The observers evaluated the images using a 3-point scale (1=well visible, 0=partly visible, -1=not or hardly visible for anatomical structures and pathological findings that are commonly found on panoramic radiographs. Subjective image quality of the groups and comparison of the observers were assessed by using non parametric Kruskal Wallis and Mann-Whitney U tests. Results: For all groups and observers, no statistically significant difference (p>0.05 was found for both anatomical structures and pathologies and between anatomical structures and pathologies according to the Mann Whitney U test. In comparison with observers, no statistically significant difference (p>0.05 was found for both anatomical structures and pathologies and between anatomical structures and pathologies for all groups according to the Kruskal Wallis test. Conclusion: The subjective image quality of medium and regular intensifying screens and conventional and digital panoramic radiographs were found statistically equal in this study.
Peker, Ilkay; Toraman, Alkurt M; Usalan, G; Altunkaynak, B
The purpose of this study was to compare the subjective image quality of (1) regular intensifying screens with medium intensifying screens, (2) regular intensifying screens with digital radiography, and (3) medium intensifying screens with digital radiography for panoramic radiographs. Forty-five patients participated and a total of 90 radiographs were obtained in the study. The patients were divided into three groups (regular-medium intensifying screen, regular intensifying screen-digital radiography, and medium intensifying screen-digital radiography) that consisted of 15 people each. All radiographs were assessed by three oral radiologists independently. The observers evaluated the images using a 3-point scale (1=well visible, 0=partly visible, -1=not or hardly visible) for anatomical structures and pathological findings that are commonly found on panoramic radiographs. Subjective image quality of the groups and comparison of the observers were assessed by using non parametric Kruskal Wallis and Mann-Whitney U tests. For all groups and observers, no statistically significant difference (p>0.05) was found for both anatomical structures and pathologies and between anatomical structures and pathologies according to the Mann Whitney U test. In comparison with observers, no statistically significant difference (p>0.05) was found for both anatomical structures and pathologies and between anatomical structures and pathologies for all groups according to the Kruskal Wallis test. The subjective image quality of medium and regular intensifying screens and conventional and digital panoramic radiographs were found statistically equal in this study.
Lussiana, Thibault; Gindre, Cyrille; Mourot, Laurent; Hébert-Losier, Kim
Running patterns are often categorized into subgroups according to common features before data analysis and interpretation. The Volodalen(®) method is a simple field-based tool used to classify runners into aerial or terrestrial using a 5-item subjective rating scale. We aimed to validate the Volodalen(®) method by quantifying the relationship between its subjective scores and 3D biomechanical measures. Fifty-four runners ran 30 s on a treadmill at 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18 km h(-1) while their kinematics were assessed subjectively using the Volodalen(®) method and objectively using 3D motion capture. For each runner and speed, two researchers scored the five Volodalen(®) items on a 1-to-5 scale, which addressed vertical oscillation, upper-body motion, pelvis and foot position at ground contact, and footstrike pattern. Seven 3D biomechanical parameters reflecting the subjective items were also collected and correlated to the subjective scores. Twenty-eight runners were classified as aerial and 26 as terrestrial. Runner classification did not change with speed, but the relative contribution of the biomechanical parameters to the subjective classification was speed dependent. The magnitude of correlations between subjective and objective measures ranged from trivial to very large. Five of the seven objective parameters significantly differed between aerial and terrestrial runners, and these parameters demonstrated the strongest correlations to the subjective scores. Our results support the validity of the Volodalen(®) method, whereby the visual appreciation of running gait reflected quantifiable objective parameters. Two minor modifications to the method are proposed to simplify its use and improve agreement between subjective and objective measures.
Over the past two decades the role of SHA has shifted from quality control (QC) of materials and : placement techniques to quality assurance (QA) and acceptance. The role of the Office of Materials : Technology (OMT) has been shifting towards assuran...
interpreters, and Verhoef (2008) has written on the subject of subject-specialist interpreters in an educational ..... has shown that an error-free but monotonous interpretation is considered less accurate than an error-ridden but ... interpretation, fluency of delivery, correct grammatical usage, pleasant voice, and native accent.
Erickson Stephen W
Full Text Available Abstract Background Multiple investigators have established the feasibility of using buccal brush samples to genotype single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs with high-density genome-wide microarrays, but there is currently no consensus on the accuracy of copy number variants (CNVs inferred from these data. Regardless of the source of DNA, it is more difficult to detect CNVs than to genotype SNPs using these microarrays, and it therefore remains an open question whether buccal brush samples provide enough high-quality DNA for this purpose. Methods To demonstrate the quality of CNV calls generated from DNA extracted from buccal samples, compared to calls generated from blood samples, we evaluated the concordance of calls from individuals who provided both sample types. The Illumina Human660W-Quad BeadChip was used to determine SNPs and CNVs of 39 Arkansas participants in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS, including 16 mother-infant dyads, who provided both whole blood and buccal brush DNA samples. Results We observed a 99.9% concordance rate of SNP calls in the 39 blood–buccal pairs. From the same dataset, we performed a similar analysis of CNVs. Each of the 78 samples was independently segmented into regions of like copy number using the Optimal Segmentation algorithm of Golden Helix SNP & Variation Suite 7. Across 640,663 loci on 22 autosomal chromosomes, segment-mean log R ratios had an average correlation of 0.899 between blood-buccal pairs of samples from the same individual, while the average correlation between all possible blood-buccal pairs of samples from unrelated individuals was 0.318. An independent analysis using the QuantiSNP algorithm produced average correlations of 0.943 between blood-buccal pairs from the same individual versus 0.332 between samples from unrelated individuals. Segment-mean log R ratios had an average correlation of 0.539 between mother-offspring dyads of buccal samples, which was not
Full Text Available This paper describes several MATLAB-based applications useful for image processing and image quality assessment. The Image Processing Application helps user to easily modify images, the Image Quality Adjustment Application enables to create series of pictures with different quality. The Image Quality Assessment Application contains objective full reference quality metrics that can be used for image quality assessment. The Image Quality Evaluation Applications represent an easy way to compare subjectively the quality of distorted images with reference image. Results of these subjective tests can be processed by using the Results Processing Application. All applications provide Graphical User Interface (GUI for the intuitive usage.
Vorobjeva, S.; Podrezenko, V.
The study analyses various approaches to translation quality assessment. Functional and pragmatic translation quality evaluation model which is based on target text function being equivalent to source text function has been proposed.
Werner, Gabriela G.; Ford, Brett Q.; Mauss, Iris B.; Schabus, Manuel; Blechert, Jens; Wilhelm, Frank H.
Cardiac vagal control (CVC) has been linked to both physical and mental health. One critical aspect of health, that has not received much attention, is sleep. We hypothesized that adults with higher CVC – operationalized by high-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV) – will exhibit better sleep quality assessed both subjectively (i.e., with Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index) and objectively (i.e., with polysomnography). HF-HRV was measured in 29 healthy young women during an extended neutral film clip. Participants then underwent full polysomnography to obtain objective measures of sleep quality and HF-HRV during a night of sleep. As expected, higher resting HF-HRV was associated with higher subjective and objective sleep quality (i.e., shorter sleep latency and fewer arousals). HF-HRV during sleep (overall or separated by sleep phases) showed less consistent relationships with sleep quality. These findings indicate that high waking CVC may be a key predictor of healthy sleep. PMID:25709072
Crescimanno, Grazia; Misuraca, Angela; Purrazzella, Giuseppina; Greco, Francesca; Marrone, Oreste
Patients with neuromuscular diseases improve their sleep when treated with noninvasive ventilation (NIV), but their sleep architecture during NIV may still be disturbed by side effects of NIV or inadequacy of the ventilator setting. Little is known about subjective sleep quality during NIV. The aims of this study were to evaluate subjective sleep quality of stable neuromuscular patients under long-term NIV by using Pittsburgh questionnaire (PSQI), and to assess its possible determinants. Fifty stable neuromuscular patients under long-term NIV were administered PSQI and underwent polysomnography. Arterial blood gases, forced vital capacity, and respiratory muscular strength were measured. Thirty-three patients had global PSQI ≥ 5 and were classified as bad sleepers. Good and poor sleepers differed in age (P = 0.005), base excess (BE) (P = 0.02), NIV inspiratory pressure (P = 0.04), %N1 (P = 0.0006), and %N3 sleep stage (P = 0.02). Percent N3 duration and Arousal/Awakening Index were correlated with rate of patient-ventilator asynchronies (r = -0.41 and 0.37, respectively, P sleep quality is often poor in neuromuscular patients under long-term NIV. Amount of slow wave sleep and chronic hypoventilation resulting in increased BE are independent predictors of subjective sleep quality. Since inadequate NIV setting or application can influence sleep structure and alveolar ventilation, great care should be paid to the setting and the correct application of NIV to ensure a better subjective sleep quality. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Ali, Holi Ibrahim Holi; Al Ajmi, Ahmed Ali Saleh
Assessment is central in education and the teaching-learning process. This study attempts to explore the perspectives and views about quality assessment among teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL), and to find ways of promoting quality assessment. Quantitative methodology was used to collect data. To answer the study questions, a…
Tonetti, Lorenzo; Fabbri, Marco; Erbacci, Alex; Martoni, Monica; Natale, Vincenzo
The relationship between seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and subjective quality of sleep/wake cycle in adolescents was explored. The Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire for Children and Adolescents (SPAQ-CA) and Mini Sleep Questionnaire (MSQ) were administered to 345 adolescents living in the city of Cesena (Emilia-Romagna region, Italy) (299 females; age range: 14-18 years), to determine SAD and perceived quality of the sleep/wake cycle. The response rate was 92% for females and 90.2% for males. The MSQ includes two factors, sleep and wake, with lower scores corresponding to a lower quality of sleep and wake. The MSQ includes cut-off criteria to detect a good or bad sleep and wake quality. Adolescents with SAD (16 ± 5.7) scored significantly lower than those not affected on wake factor (19.5 ± 4.3), while no effect has been observed on sleep factor. SAD was the only one significant predictor of good/bad wake quality, while it did not reach significant level with reference to good/bad sleep quality. Present results are indications of a possible influence of SAD on wake quality and further studies are necessary to confirm them. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Maul, P.R.; Watkins, B.M.; Salter, P.; Mcleod, R [QuantiSci Ltd, Henley-on-Thames (United Kingdom)
Following publication of the Site-94 report, SKI wishes to review how Quality Assurance (QA) issues could be treated in future work both in undertaking their own Performance Assessment (PA) calculations and in scrutinising documents supplied by SKB (on planning a repository for spent fuels in Sweden). The aim of this report is to identify the key QA issues and to outline the nature and content of a QA plan which would be suitable for SKI, bearing in mind the requirements and recommendations of relevant standards. Emphasis is on issues which are specific to Performance Assessments for deep repositories for radioactive wastes, but consideration is also given to issues which need to be addressed in all large projects. Given the long time over which the performance of a deep repository system must be evaluated, the demonstration that a repository is likely to perform satisfactorily relies on the use of computer-generated model predictions of system performance. This raises particular QA issues which are generally not encountered in other technical areas (for instance, power station operations). The traceability of the arguments used is a key QA issue, as are conceptual model uncertainty, and code verification and validation; these were all included in the consideration of overall uncertainties in the Site-94 project. Additionally, issues which are particularly relevant to SKI include: How QA in a PA fits in with the general QA procedures of the organisation undertaking the work. The relationship between QA as applied by the regulator and the implementor of a repository development programme. Section 2 introduces the discussion of these issues by reviewing the standards and guidance which are available from national and international organisations. This is followed in Section 3 by a review of specific issues which arise from the Site-94 exercise. An outline procedure for managing QA issues in SKI is put forward as a basis for discussion in Section 4. It is hoped that
Full Text Available In this research project, the validity of the school assessment is examined in the craft subject in Finland’s basic education. The criteria for the school assessment are based on the Finnish Na-tional Core Curriculum (FNCC in which the idea of the Entire Craft (EC is highlighted. How-ever, the discussion as to whether or not the school practice is based on the idea of EC, or whether the teachers are still focused on the technical details of products in reflecting on the pupils’ tool-handling skills, is still an ongoing debate. Learner-centred learning is implicated in EC since the pupils are expected to set goals for the implementation of their own ideating, plan-ning and constructing. And, finally, in such a process, the self-reflection of the implemented out-comes against the goals will take place. Altogether 73 craft teachers from 59 upper level schools participated in this research project. The pupils’ (N = 982 success was assessed during an EC period using the indicator validated by the previous nation-wide evaluation by the Finn-ish National Board of Education (FNBE. Since the valid school assessment was expected to reflect the success in the Entire Craft Assessment Period (ECAP, the outcomes were assessed against the criteria of the FNCC and compared to the pupils’ school scores. The data was ana-lysed using the Linear Regression Analysis (Enter Method. The central observation was that the pupils’ success in the criteria of the EC do not reflect the 7th grade school scores, in all re-spects. Moreover, the pupils’ success does not reflect the 6th grade school scores. The instruc-tions and supplementary education of the FNCC criteria are needed for craft teachers, especial-ly for class teachers at the lower level. In Finland, also the craft subject is taught by the class teachers at the lower level while, at the upper level, the subject teachers take their place. Ac-cording to the new FNCC, the number of class lessons will be
Full Text Available Background Fulfilling the learners' "real needs" will improve medical education. There are subjects that are necessary for any clinical residents not considering their field of specialty. Among the subjects ten seems to be the most important: research methodology and data analysis, computer-based programs, medical recording, cardiopulmonary and cerebral resuscitation, clinical teaching programs, communication skills, clinical ethics, laboratory examinations, reporting special diseases and death certification, and prescription. Purpose This cross-sectional study assessed educational needs of clinical residents for ten educational subjects. Methods A questionnaire prepared by board faculty members consisted of 10 close-ended questions, and one open ended question was distributed among 1307 residents from 22 clinical disciplines, who registered for preboard or promotion exam in June 2000. Results Among the subjects three were the most needed: computer-based programs 149 (60%, data collecting system 606 (49%, and clinical ethics 643 (46%. The prescription standard was the least required 177(13%. Conclusion Complementary training courses on these subjects can be an answer to the clinical residents needs. Keywords : research methodology, computer in medicine, cpr, clinical teaching methods, communication in medicine, medical ethics, laboratory ordering, disease coding system, death certificate, prescription writing
Leifholz, M; Margolf-Hackl, S; Kreikemeier, S; Kiessling, J
The acceptance of hearing aids by users with high frequency hearing loss still represents a problem. Processing algorithms that shift high frequency signal components into an audible frequency range are proposed as a solution. We looked into the issue of whether frequency compression becomes more beneficial with increasing high frequency hearing loss or/and for users with cochlear dead regions (DR). A total of 20 hearing aid candidates were assessed audiometrically and classified into two test groups in terms of their hearing loss and the presence of DR. The subjects then evaluated four hearing aid settings that differed solely in the degree of frequency compression. Speech recognition threshold measurements and subjective sound quality ratings were carried out for all four settings. Data showed that 15 of the 20 test subjects understood fricatives with a high frequency spectrum component better, since they were able to distinguish between the two logatomes "Afa" and "Asa". No correlation was found between the beneficial effect of frequency compression and the degree of high frequency hearing loss or the presence of DR. Subjective sound quality ratings indicated no clear preference, but excessive frequency compression was generally deemed counterproductive. Frequency compression may be appropriate for hearing aid users with high frequency hearing loss and can improve speech recognition. The degree of frequency compression required to achieve maximal benefit varies from case to case and has to be optimized on an individual basis.
Full Text Available The importance of introduction of "Integrated quality management" into higher education curricula arises from the need for students to grasp synergetic application of new and advanced approaches to theoretical and practical management quality and process based management in particular as well as understanding a unified concept which improves conformity and linking of all levels in management hierarchy (normative, strategic and operational toward accomplishment of successful business performance. A curriculum is proposed (as a contribution to a map of necessary knowledge to be expected from prospective quality personnel with appropriate topics in accordance with studies objective and chosen up-to-date options of management concepts and methods.
Jesús Vega Encabo
Full Text Available In this paper, I claim that subjectivity is a way of being that is constituted through a set of practices in which the self is subject to the dangers of fictionalizing and plotting her life and self-image. I examine some ways of becoming subject through narratives and through theatrical performance before others. Through these practices, a real and active subjectivity is revealed, capable of self-knowledge and self-transformation.
Barbara A. Rasaiah
Full Text Available This paper presents the proposed criteria for measuring the quality and completeness of field spectroscopy metadata in a spectral archive. Definitions for metadata quality and completeness for field spectroscopy datasets are introduced. Unique methods for measuring quality and completeness of metadata to meet the requirements of field spectroscopy datasets are presented. Field spectroscopy metadata quality can be defined in terms of (but is not limited to logical consistency, lineage, semantic and syntactic error rates, compliance with a quality standard, quality assurance by a recognized authority, and reputational authority of the data owners/data creators. Two spectral libraries are examined as case studies of operationalized metadata policies, and the degree to which they are aligned with the needs of field spectroscopy scientists. The case studies reveal that the metadata in publicly available spectral datasets are underperforming on the quality and completeness measures. This paper is part two in a series examining the issues central to a metadata standard for field spectroscopy datasets.
van Dijk, F. J.; de Kort, W. L.; Verbeek, J. H.
Interest in the quality of instruments for occupational health services is growing as a result of European legislation on preventive services stressing, for example, risk identification and assessment. The quality of the services can be enhanced when the quality of the applied instruments can be
Korfmacher, Jon; Laszewski, Audrey; Sparr, Mariel; Hammel, Jennifer
Defining quality and designing a quality assessment measure for home visitation programs is a complex and multifaceted undertaking. This article summarizes the process used to create the Home Visitation Program Quality Rating Tool (HVPQRT) and identifies next steps for its development. The HVPQRT measures both structural and dynamic features of…
Terry L. Craigg; Steven W. Howes
Forest managers must understand how changes in soil quality resulting from project implementation affect long-term productivity and watershed health. Volcanic ash soils have unique properties that affect their quality and function; and which may warrant soil quality standards and assessment techniques that are different from other soils. We discuss the concept of soil...
Full Text Available For any quality evaluation in sports, science, education, and so, it is useful to collect data to construct a strategy to improve the quality of services offered to the user. For this purpose, we use statistical software packages for data processing data collected in order to increase customer satisfaction. The principle is demonstrated by the example of the level of student satisfaction ratings Belgrade Polytechnic (as users the quality of institutions (Belgrade Polytechnic. Here, the emphasis on statistical analysis as a tool for quality control in order to improve the same, and not the interpretation of results. Therefore, the above can be used as a model in sport to improve the overall results.
Full Text Available Jong-Hoon Kim,1 Seul Lee,1 Ah-Young Han,1 Kyungwook Kim,2 Jinyoung Lee1 1Neuroscience Research Institute, Department of Psychiatry, Gil Medical Center, Gachon University School of Medicine, Gachon University, Incheon, Republic of Korea; 2Department of Medicine, Gachon University School of Medicine, Gachon University, Incheon, Republic of Korea Background: The concept of cognitive insight refers to the cognitive processes involved in patients’ re-evaluation of their anomalous experiences and of their misinterpretations. The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between cognitive insight and subjective quality of life in patients with schizophrenia to further shed light on the nature of cognitive insight and its functional correlates in schizophrenia.Methods: Seventy-one stable outpatients with schizophrenia were evaluated for cognitive insight and subjective quality of life using the Beck Cognitive Insight Scale (BCIS and the Schizophrenia Quality of Life Scale Revision 4 (SQLS-R4. The symptoms of schizophrenia were also assessed. Pearson’s correlation analysis and partial correlation analysis that controlled for the severity of symptoms were performed to adjust for the possible effects of symptoms.Results: The self-reflectiveness subscale score of the BCIS had significant positive correlations with the SQLS-R4 psychosocial domain and total SQLS-R4 scores, indicating that the higher the level of cognitive insight, the lower the subjective quality of life. In partial correlation analysis controlling for symptoms, the BCIS self-reflectiveness subscale score still had a significant correlation with the SQLS-R4 psychosocial domain score. The correlation coefficient between the BCIS self-reflectiveness and total SQLS-R4 scores was reduced to a nonsignificant statistical tendency.Conclusion: The results of our study suggest that cognitive insight, particularly the level of self-reflectiveness, is negatively associated with
Ijichi, Carrie; Collins, Lisa M; Creighton, Emma; Elwood, Robert W
Objective assessment of animal personality is typically time consuming, requiring the repeated measure of behavioural responses. By contrast, subjective assessment of personality allows information to be collected quickly by experienced caregivers. However, subjective assessment must predict behaviour to be valid. Comparisons of subjective assessments and behaviour have been made but often with methodological weaknesses and thus, limited success. Here we test the validity of a subjective assessment against a battery of behaviour tests in 146 horses (Equus caballus). Our first aim was to determine if subjective personality assessment could predict behaviour during behaviour testing. We made specific a priori predictions for how subjectively measured personality should relate to behaviour testing. We found that Extroversion predicted time to complete a handling test and refusal behaviour during this test. It also predicted minimum distance to a novel object. Neuroticism predicted how reactive an individual was to a sudden visual stimulus but not how quickly it recovered from this. Agreeableness did not predict any behaviour during testing. There were several unpredicted correlations between subjective measures and behaviour tests which we explore further. Our second aim was to combine data from the subjective assessment and behaviour tests to gain a more comprehensive understanding of personality. We found that the combination of methods provides new insights into horse behaviour. Furthermore, our data are consistent with the idea of horses showing different coping styles, a novel finding for this species. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Jaschke, A.C.; Eggermont, L.H.P.; Scherder, E.J.A.; Shippton, M.; Hiomonides, I.
AIMS Quality assessment of studies is essential for the understanding and application of these in systematic reviews and meta analyses, the two “gold standards” of medical sciences. Publications in scientific journals have extensively used assessment scales to address poor methodological quality,
Lattimore, M R; Cornum, R L
Because 23% of Army aviators are ametropic, contact lenses have drawn increased attention as a spectacle substitute to solve system compatibility problems. From November 1988 until October 1991, a series of contact lens research protocols were conducted to develop a comprehensive database on contact lens wear in varied environments. Questionnaires were used to assess suitability and acceptability of routine contact lens wear. Responses from 202 subjects were obtained from September 1989 through September 1991. The questions explored operational and safety of flight issues of contact lens wear. Subjects overwhelmingly approved of contact lens use in all settings: 95% expressed greater combat readiness and effectiveness with contact lenses, 98% felt contact lens use (and maintenance) in the cockpit had no adverse impact on safety of flight, and 98% endorsed the routine use of contact lenses. These data highlight Army aircrew acceptance of contact lens use.
Frei, Patrizia; Mohler, Evelyn; Röösli, Martin
Various epidemiological studies have found an association between noise exposure and sleep quality, but the mediating role of annoyance is unclear for this association. To investigate the effects of both objectively modeled road traffic noise exposure as well as noise annoyance on subjective and objective sleep quality measures. 1375 randomly selected participants from Basel, Switzerland, were enrolled in a questionnaire survey in 2008 with follow-up one year later (1122 participants). We assessed sleep quality by using a standardized sleep disturbance score, as well as the level of annoyance with road traffic noise at home. Objective sleep efficiency data was collected in a nested diary study by means of actigraphy from 119 subjects for 1551 nights. Residential nocturnal exposure to road traffic noise was modeled using validated models. Data were analyzed with random intercept mixed-effects regression models. In the main study, self-reported sleep quality was strongly related to noise annoyance (p for trendnoise exposure (p=0.07). In the nested diary study objectively measured sleep efficiency was not related to annoyance (p=0.25) but correlated with modeled noise exposure (p=0.02). Strikingly, noise induced decreased sleep efficiency was even more significant for study participants who were not annoyed with traffic noise (p=0.001). This study indicates that effects of nocturnal traffic noise on objective sleep quality are independent of perceived noise annoyance, whereas the association between self-reported sleep quality and noise is mediated by noise annoyance. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Boschloo, Annemarie; Krabbendam, Lydia; Dekker, Sanne; Lee, Nikki; De Groot, Renate; Jolles, Jelle
This study investigated the relation between sleep and school performance in a large sample of 561 adolescents aged 11–18 years. Three subjective measures of sleep were used: sleepiness, sleep quality, and sleep duration. They were compared to three measures of school performance: objective school
Boschloo, Annemarie; Krabbendam, Lydia; Dekker, Sanne; Lee, Nikki; De Groot, Renate; Jolles, Jelle
This study investigated the relation between sleep and school performance in a large sam- ple of 561 adolescents aged 11–18 years. Three subjective measures of sleep were used: sleepiness, sleep quality, and sleep duration. They were compared to three measures of school performance: objective school
Boschloo, A.; Krabbendam, L.; Dekker, S.; Lee, N.; Groot, R. de; Jolles, J.
This study investigated the relation between sleep and school performance in a large sample of 561 adolescents aged 11-18 years. Three subjective measures of sleep were used: sleepiness, sleep quality, and sleep duration. They were compared to three measures of school performance: objective school
Prem, Venkatesan; Sahoo, Ramesh Chandra; Adhikari, Prabha
The aim of this systematic review was to determine if diaphragmatic breathing exercise improves quality of life (QoL) in asthma. Electronic databases were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Data were extracted and risk of bias was assessed by two independent reviewers. Three RCTs were eligible for inclusion (254 subjects). Two studies compared diaphragmatic breathing exercise to asthma education, and one compared with asthma medication. Meta-analysis was not possible due to clinical heterogeneity of the studies. All three studies had a low risk of bias. All studies reported short-term effects, and long-term effects of breathing exercise on asthma quality life. There is a moderate evidence of improvement in QoL following diaphragmatic breathing both in short-term and long-term basis.
Sohn, Jee Hoon; Ahn, Seung Hee; Seong, Su Jeong; Ryu, Ji Min; Cho, Maeng Je
The nationwide prevalence of major depressive disorder in Korea is lower than most countries, despite the high suicide rate. To explain this unexpectedly low prevalence, we examined the functional disability and quality of life in community-dwelling subjects with significant depressive symptoms not diagnosable as depressive disorder. A total of 1,029 subjects, randomly chosen from catchment areas, were interviewed with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale, Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, WHO Quality of Life scale, and the WHO Disability Assessment Schedule. Those with scores over 21 on the depression scale were interviewed by a psychiatrist for diagnostic confirmation. Among community-dwelling subjects, the 1-month prevalence of major depressive disorder was 2.2%, but the 1-month prevalence of depressive symptoms not diagnosable as depressive disorder was 14.1%. Depressive disorders were the cause of 24.7% of work loss days, while depressive symptoms not diagnosable as depressive disorder were the cause of 17.2% of work loss days. These findings support the dimensional or spectrum approach to depressive disorder in the community and might be the missing link between the apparent low prevalence of depressive disorder and high suicide rate in Korea.
Pohl, C.; Moellmann, J.; Fries, K.
The multitude of available operational remote sensing satellites led to the development of many image fusion techniques to provide high spatial, spectral and temporal resolution images. The comparison of different techniques is necessary to obtain an optimized image for the different applications of remote sensing. There are two approaches in assessing image quality: 1. Quantitatively by visual interpretation and 2. Quantitatively using image quality indices. However an objective comparison is difficult due to the fact that a visual assessment is always subject and a quantitative assessment is done by different criteria. Depending on the criteria and indices the result varies. Therefore it is necessary to standardize both processes (qualitative and quantitative assessment) in order to allow an objective image fusion quality evaluation. Various studies have been conducted at the University of Osnabrueck (UOS) to establish a standardized process to objectively compare fused image quality. First established image fusion quality assessment protocols, i.e. Quality with No Reference (QNR) and Khan's protocol, were compared on varies fusion experiments. Second the process of visual quality assessment was structured and standardized with the aim to provide an evaluation protocol. This manuscript reports on the results of the comparison and provides recommendations for future research.
Various data sets were used to examine whether there would be a discrepancy between what lecturers in a particular academic department emphasised when they first considered the feasibility of this type of educational interpreting, and what they actually focused on when assessing the interpreters' performance.
Chen, Yue; Ekstrom, Tor
Face perception impairment in schizophrenia has been demonstrated, mostly through experimental studies. How this laboratory-defined behavioral impairment is associated with patients' perceptual experience of various faces in everyday life is however unclear. This question is important because a first-person account of face perception has direct consequences on social functioning of patients. In this study, we adapted and administered a self-reported questionnaire on narrative perceptual experience of faces along with psychophysical assessments of face perception in schizophrenia. The self-reported questionnaire includes six rating items of face-related functioning in everyday life, providing a subjective measure of face perception. The psychophysical assessment determines perceptual threshold for discriminating different facial identities, providing an objective measure of face perception. Compared to controls (n = 25), patients (n = 35) showed significantly lower scores (worse performance) in the subjective assessment and significantly higher thresholds (worse performance) in the objective assessment. The subjective and objective face perception assessments were moderately correlated in controls but not in patients. The subjective face perception assessments were significantly correlated with measurements of a social cognitive ability (Theory of Mind), again in controls but not in patients. These results suggest that in schizophrenia the quality of face-related functioning in everyday life is degraded and the role that basic face discrimination capacity plays in face-related everyday functioning is disrupted. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Chen, Yue; Ekstrom, Tor
Objectives Face perception impairment in schizophrenia has been demonstrated, mostly through experimental studies. How this laboratory-defined behavioral impairment is associated with patients’ perceptual experience of various faces in everyday life is however unclear. This question is important because a first-person account of face perception has direct consequences on social functioning of patients. In this study, we adapted and administered a self-reported questionnaire on narrative perceptual experience of faces along with psychophysical assessments of face perception in schizophrenia. Methods The self-reported questionnaire includes six rating items of face-related functioning in everyday life, providing a subjective measure of face perception. The psychophysical assessment determines perceptual threshold for discriminating different facial identities, providing an objective measure of face perception. Results Compared to controls (n=25), patients (n=35) showed significantly lower scores (worse performance) in the subjective assessment and significantly higher thresholds (worse performance) in the objective assessment. The subjective and objective face perception assessments were moderately correlated in controls but not in patients. The subjective face perception assessments were significantly correlated with measurements of a social cognitive ability (Theory of Mind), again in controls but not in patients. Conclusion These results suggest that in schizophrenia the quality of face-related functioning in everyday life is degraded and the role that basic face discrimination capacity plays in face-related everyday functioning is disrupted. PMID:26938027
Fedorovskaya, Elena A.; De Ridder, Huib
From the advent of digital imaging through several decades of studies, the human vision research community systematically focused on perceived image quality and digital artifacts due to resolution, compression, gamma, dynamic range, capture and reproduction noise, blur, etc., to help overcome existing technological challenges and shortcomings. Technological advances made digital images and digital multimedia nearly flawless in quality, and ubiquitous and pervasive in usage, provide us with the exciting but at the same time demanding possibility to turn to the domain of human experience including higher psychological functions, such as cognition, emotion, awareness, social interaction, consciousness and Self. In this paper we will outline the evolution of human centered multidisciplinary studies related to imaging and propose steps and potential foci of future research.
Hovland, Anders; Pallesen, Ståle; Hammar, Asa; Hansen, Anita Lill; Thayer, Julian F; Sivertsen, Børge; Tarvainen, Mika P; Nordhus, Inger Hilde
Patients with panic disorder (PD) are known to report impaired sleep quality and symptoms of insomnia. PD is an anxiety disorder characterised by deficient physiological regulation as measured by heart rate variability (HRV), and reduced HRV, PD and insomnia have all been related to impaired inhibitory ability. The present study aimed to investigate the interrelationships between subjectively reported sleep impairment, cognitive inhibition and vagally mediated HRV in a sample characterised by variability on measures of all these constructs. Thirty-six patients with PD with or without agoraphobia were included. Cognitive inhibition was assessed with the Color-Word Interference Test from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS), HRV was measured using high frequency (HF) power (ms(2)), and subjectively reported sleep quality was measured with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Cognitive inhibition was related to both Sleep latency and Sleep disturbances, whereas HRV was only related to Sleep disturbances. These relationships were significant also after controlling for depression. Correlational design. Cognitive inhibition is related to key insomnia symptoms: sleep initiation and sleep maintenance. The data supports the psychobiological inhibition model of insomnia, and extends previous findings. Possible clinical implications of these findings are discussed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Croghan, Naomi B H; Arehart, Kathryn H; Kates, James M
Dynamic-range compression (DRC) is used in the music industry to maximize loudness. The amount of compression applied to commercial recordings has increased over time due to a motivating perspective that louder music is always preferred. In contrast to this viewpoint, artists and consumers have argued that using large amounts of DRC negatively affects the quality of music. However, little research evidence has supported the claims of either position. The present study investigated how DRC affects the perceived loudness and sound quality of recorded music. Rock and classical music samples were peak-normalized and then processed using different amounts of DRC. Normal-hearing listeners rated the processed and unprocessed samples on overall loudness, dynamic range, pleasantness, and preference, using a scaled paired-comparison procedure in two conditions: un-equalized, in which the loudness of the music samples varied, and loudness-equalized, in which loudness differences were minimized. Results indicated that a small amount of compression was preferred in the un-equalized condition, but the highest levels of compression were generally detrimental to quality, whether loudness was equalized or varied. These findings are contrary to the "louder is better" mentality in the music industry and suggest that more conservative use of DRC may be preferred for commercial music.
Baartman, L.K.J.; Bastiaens, T.J.; Kirschner, P.A.; Vleuten, C.P.M. van der
Quality control policies towards Dutch vocational schools have changed dramatically because the government questioned examination quality. Schools must now demonstrate assessment quality to a new Examination Quality Center. Since teachers often design assessments, they must be involved in quality
Benoliel, Rafael; Zini, Avraham; Zakuto, Avraham; Slutzky, Hulio; Haviv, Yaron; Sharav, Yair; Almoznino, Galit
To measure sleep quality in temporomandibular disorder (TMD) patients, to compare it with that of control subjects, and to analyze its association with disease characteristics and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL). The collected data included demographics, tobacco use, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), trauma history, presence of coexisting headaches and/or body pain, parafunctional habits, pain scores, muscle tenderness to palpation scores, and the Oral Health Impact Profile-14 (OHIP-14). Differences between groups were examined with Pearson chi-square test for categorical variables and independent t test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) for numeric variables. Significant differences were then further tested with multivariate backward stepwise linear regression analysis. The final analysis was performed on 286 individuals (187 TMD patients and 99 controls). Poor sleep (PSQI global score > 5) was exhibited in 43.3% of the TMD group and in 28.3% of the control group (P = .013) (mean ± standard deviation [SD] PSQI score = 5.53 ± 2.85 for TMD patients and 4.41 ± 2.64 for controls, P = .001). TMD patients had significantly worse scores in the sleep quality component of the PSQI questionnaire (P = .006). Higher PSQI global scores and poor sleep were positively associated with whiplash history (P = .009 and P = .004, respectively), coexisting headaches (P = .005 and P = .002), body pain (P = .001 and P quality was positively associated with TMD disease characteristics, comorbid pain conditions, and poorer OHRQoL. Assessing sleep quality should be a routine part of the diagnostic work-up of TMD patients. A multidisciplinary management approach is needed to address all the factors-including sleep-that modulate pain experience.
Full Text Available Aesthetic quality acceptance for road marking works has been relied on subjective visual examination. Due to a lack of quantitative operation procedures, acceptance outcome can be biased and results in great quality variation. To improve aesthetic quality acceptance procedure of road marking, we develop an innovative road marking quality assessment mechanism, utilizing machine vision technologies. Using edge smoothness as a quantitative aesthetic indicator, the proposed prototype system first receives digital images of finished road marking surface and has the images processed and analyzed to capture the geometric characteristics of the marking. The geometric characteristics are then evaluated to determine the quality level of the finished work. System is demonstrated through two real cases to show how it works. In the end, a test comparing the assessment results between the proposed system and expert inspection is conducted to enhance the accountability of the proposed mechanism.
De Koning, T.C.M.; Veldhoven, P.; Knoche, H.; Kooij, R.E.
In this paper we explore the relation between subjective and objective measures of video quality. We computed objective MOS values from video clips using the video quality measuring tool VQM and compared it to the clips’ subjective Acceptability scores. Using the ITU defined mapping (M2G) from MOS
Tham, See Wan; Fales, Jessica; Palermo, Tonya M
There is increased recognition that sleep problems may develop in children and adolescents after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). However, few studies have utilized both subjective and objective measures to comprehensively assess sleep problems in the pediatric population following the acute post-TBI period. The aims of this study were to compare sleep in adolescents with mTBI to healthy adolescents using subjective and objective measures, and to identify the clinical correlates associated with sleep problems. One hundred adolescents (50 adolescents with mTBI recruited from three to twelve months post-injury and 50 healthy adolescents) completed questionnaires assessing sleep quality, depression, and pain symptoms, and underwent 10 day actigraphic assessment of sleep patterns. Adolescents with mTBI reported poorer sleep quality and demonstrated significantly shorter actigraphic-measured sleep duration, poorer sleep efficiency, and more wake time after onset of sleep, compared with healthy adolescents (all, padolescents, poorer self-reported sleep quality was predicted by greater depressive symptoms. Poorer actigraphic sleep efficiency was predicted by membership in the mTBI group after controlling for age, sex, depressive symptoms, and presence of pain. Our findings suggest that adolescents may experience subjective and objective sleep disturbances up to one year following mTBI. These findings require further replication in larger samples. Additionally, research is needed to identify possible mechanisms for poor sleep in youth with mTBI.
Brunnström, Kjell; Tavakoli, Samira; Søgaard, Jacob
This paper analyzes the impact on compensating for Type-I errors in video quality assessment. A Type-I error is to incorrectly conclude that there is an effect. The risk increases with the number of comparisons that are performed in statistical tests. Type-I errors are an issue often neglected in...... in Quality of Experience and video quality assessment analysis. Examples are given for the analysis of subjective experiments and the evaluation of objective metrics by correlation.......This paper analyzes the impact on compensating for Type-I errors in video quality assessment. A Type-I error is to incorrectly conclude that there is an effect. The risk increases with the number of comparisons that are performed in statistical tests. Type-I errors are an issue often neglected...
Full Text Available Combining the color difference formula of CIEDE2000 and the printing industry standard for visual verification, we present an objective color image quality assessment method correlated with subjective vision perception. An objective score conformed to subjective perception (OSCSP Q was proposed to directly reflect the subjective visual perception. In addition, we present a general method to calibrate correction factors of color difference formula under real experimental conditions. Our experiment results show that the present DE2000-based metric can be consistent with human visual system in general application environment.
Savill, M; Orfanos, S; Reininghaus, U; Wykes, T; Bentall, R; Priebe, S
Understanding the link between quality of life and symptoms in schizophrenia is important in enhancing the prospect of patient recovery. Only weak associations have been found between subjective quality of life (SQOL) and negative symptoms. However, this may be because many existing symptom assessment scales inadequately assess the experiential deficits of negative symptoms. This study aimed to re-evaluate these findings using the Clinical Assessment Interview for Negative Symptoms (CAINS), which as been designed to capture both the expressive and experiential subdomains of negative symptoms as separate constructs. In this observational study 275 participants with at least moderate negative symptoms were assessed three times over nine months using the CAINS, the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), and the Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life (MANSA). A significant negative association between SQOL and the CAINS experiential subscale was found in the cross-sectional analysis (adj. B=-0.28, 95% CI=-0.44 to -0.12, P=0.001), and in the change scores (adj. B=-0.13, 95% CI=-0.26 to -0.01, P=0.032). No associations between SQOL and expressive symptoms, or negative symptoms measured using the PANSS were detected in the multivariable models. These findings suggest that the association between negative symptoms and SQOL is related primarily to experiential deficits, and highlights the importance of measuring the separate subdomains of negative symptoms as distinct constructs. The findings also highlight the impact of negative symptoms and experiential deficits in particular on social outcomes, further emphasising the need to develop new treatments for these symptoms. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Research Aim: One of the methodological challenges of single-subject designs is accounting for intra-individual variability in performance, which is commonly assessed by applying the same testing materials on multiple sessions (McReynolds & Thompson, 1986. This approach might be less feasible in some individuals, such as bilingual speakers with aphasia, who would need to be tested, using the same materials, on several occasions within as well as across languages. Repetitive exposure to the same testing materials can increase practice effects and further reduce the validity of the testing. In the present study, we explored an alternative approach to measuring stability in performance by comparing the use of identical vs. different (but comparable testing materials. Method: Participants were five monolinguals with non-fluent aphasia following a single left CVA. Participants performed an action-naming task and two narrative tasks: a picture sequence and a personal narrative. There were two testing times, several weeks apart using identical materials. Each testing time included three consecutive sessions, using different materials. Action-naming performance was assessed by the number of correct verbs produced. The verbal output in the narrative tasks was scored for amount (number of utterances, grammaticality (percentage of grammatical sentences, and verb diversity (number of different verbs. Pearson correlation coefficients (r were computed to establish the intra-subject variability across testing times and across sessions. The magnitude of the correlations was evaluated using published guidelines (Strauss, Sherman, & Spreen, 2006. Results: For action naming, the correlations ranged from high to very high (.87 to .98 across testing times and from adequate to very high across sessions (.74 to .96. For the narrative tasks, the correlations between the number of utterances across testing times ranged from adequate to very high (.76 to .97 and from low
Full Text Available Freezing is one of the methods to preserve and guarantee the quality of meat until it reaches the consumer. Even though freezing is classified as a mild form of preservation, it causes meat changes resulting from the formation of ice crystals that subsequently affect the tenderness and functionality of meat. The aim of this study was to evaluate the physicochemical and structural characteristics of chicken half breast submitted to fast freezing (-36 °C for 2 hours and thawed by five different methods (under refrigeration, in a microwave, in a oven with air circulation, placed in cold water, or at room temperature. After thawing, the following parameters were evaluated: moisture content, drip loss (syneresis, water activity (aw, and shear force. Samples were also histologically evaluated by light microscopy. The results indicated that, despite being submitted to fast freezing, thawing affected (p <0.05 most of the physicochemical and structural properties of the meat, except for aw. Thawing in cold water (packed in low-density polyethylene bags and placed in cold water at approximately 10 °C for 2 hours and 15 minutes presented the best results due to lesser damage to the cell structure, as shown by the lower drip loss, higher moisture content, and greater tenderness of the samples compared to those thawed using the other methods. Histological examination showed that muscle fiber structural features and organization were maintained. Thawing at low temperatures seems to cause less damage to the meat structure and allows maintaining of its properties. It was concluded that the meat quality is not related only with the freezing method, but also with the method and conditions used in thawing.
Awkash Kumar; Rashmi S. Patil; Anil Kumar Dikshit; Rakesh Kumar
Air pollution is increasing rapidly in almost all cities around the world due to increase in population. Mumbai city in India is one of the mega cities where air quality is deteriorating at a very rapid rate. Air quality monitoring stations have been installed in the city to regulate air pollution control strategies to reduce the air pollution level. In this paper, air quality assessment has been carried out over the sample region using interpolation techniques. The technique Inverse Distance...
Full Text Available -1 Computer Science & Information Technology (CS & IT), Dubai, UAE, 23-24 January 2015 Quality assessment for online iris images Sisanda Makinana, Tendani Malumedzha, and Fulufhelo V Nelwamondo Modelling and Digital Science, CSIR, Pretoria, South...
African Journal of Economic Review, Volume III, Issue I, January 2015. 90 Page. Quality Assessment on Environmental Conservation Interventions in three Selected. Councils of Dodoma Region, Tanzania. Gaspar Peter Mwananchipeta Mwembezi1. Abstract. The study highlights some of conservation challenges, quality ...
Gastaldo, P.; Zunino, R.; Redi, J.
Objective metrics for visual quality assessment often base their reliability on the explicit modeling of the highly non-linear behavior of human perception; as a result, they may be complex and computationally expensive. Conversely, machine learning (ML) paradigms allow to tackle the quality
The quality assessment of differently treated mackerel (Scomber scombrus), sourced from commercial cold storage facilities in Owerri, was carried out using 1kg of fish ... were therefore observed to have varying effects on the keeping quality of mackerel (Scomber scombrus), with brining and salting being the most preferred.
A study was carried out to assess the groundwater pollution and identify major variables affecting the groundwater quality in Ranipet industrial area. Twenty five wells were monitored during pre- and post-monsoon in 2008 and analyzed for the major physico-chemical variables. The water quality variables such as total ...
This study examined quality assurance and academic accountability in ten higher education institutions in Nigeria, using UNESCO's input-processoutput framework for assessing the quality of education. Data were collected from staff and students of the universities as well as opinion leaders drawn from the communities ...
Jan 16, 2006 ... surface water by rain and stormwater. On the other hand, run- off water increases pollutant concentrations, thereby decreases quality. To assess the water quality of the Buyuk Menderes. River under high-flow conditions, factor analysis was applied to data sets obtained from 21 monitoring stations between ...
Full Text Available The term of “soil quality” is utilized until present with different connotations; its meaning became nowadays more comprehensive. The most adequate definition of the “soil quality” is: “the capacity of a specific kind of soil to function, within natural or managed ecosystem boundaries, to sustain plant and animal productivity, maintain or enhance water and air quality and support human health and habitation” (Karlen et al, 1998 One distinguishes a native soil quality, in natural conditions, and a meta-native soil quality, in managed conditions. Also, one can distinguish a stable side and a variable side of the soil quality. It is useful to consider also the term of “soilscape quality”, defined as weighted average of soil qualities of all the soils entering soil cover and their arrangement (expressed by the pedogeographical assemblage. The assessing soil quality can be made indirectly by a set of indicators. The kind and number of the quality indicators depend on the evaluation scale and the objective of the assessment. New researches are necessary to define more accurately the soil quality and to develop its evaluation. Assessing and monitoring soil quality have global implication in environment and society.
Full Text Available -Quality Assessment in the Primary care Dear Editor; I have read the article titled as “Implementation of Rogi Kalyan Samiti (RKS at Primary Health Centre Durvesh” with great interest. Shrivastava et all concluded that assessment mechanism for the achievement of objectives for the suggested RKS model was not successful (1. Hereby I would like to emphasize the importance of quality assessment (QA especially in the era of newly established primary care implementations in our country. Promotion of quality has been fundamental part of primary care health services. Nevertheless variations in quality of care exist even in the developed countries. Accomplishment of quality in the primary care has some barriers like administration and directorial factors, absence of evidence-based medicine practice lack of continuous medical education. Quality of health care is no doubt multifaceted model that covers all components of health structures and processes of care. Quality in the primary care set up includes patient physician relationship, immunization, maternal, adolescent, adult and geriatric health care, referral, non-communicable disease management and prescribing (2. Most countries are recently beginning the implementation of quality assessments in all walks of healthcare. Organizations like European society for quality and safety in family practice (EQuiP endeavor to accomplish quality by collaboration. There are reported developments and experiments related to the methodology, processes and outcomes of quality assessments of health care. Quality assessments will not only contribute the accomplishment of the program / project but also detect the areas where obstacles also exist. In order to speed up the adoption of QA and to circumvent the occurrence of mistakes, health policy makers and family physicians from different parts of the world should share their experiences. Consensus on quality in preventive medicine implementations can help to yield
Full Text Available Although impaired social functioning, particularly poor employment status, is a cardinal feature of patients with schizophrenia and leads to decreased quality of life (QOL, few studies have addressed the relationship between these two clinical issues. The aim of this study was to determine whether employment status predicts subjective QOL and to evaluate a model in which functional capacity mediates the relationship between general cognitive performance and employment status. Ninety-three patients with schizophrenia were administered a comprehensive battery of cognitive tests, the UCSD Performance-based Skills Assessment-Brief version (UPSA-B, the Social Functioning Scale (SFS, and the Subjective Quality of Life Scale (SQLS. First, we evaluated a model for predicting the employment/occupation subscale score of the SFS using path analysis, and the model fitted well (χ2 (4 = 3.6, p = 0.46; CFI = 1.0; RMSEA < 0.001, with 90% CIs: 0–0.152. Employment status was predicted by negative symptoms and functional capacity, which was in turn predicted by general cognitive performance. Second, we added subjective QOL to this model. In a final path model, QOL was predicted by negative symptoms and employment status. This model also satisfied good fit criteria (χ2 (7 = 10.3, p = 0.17; CFI = 0.987; RMSEA = 0.072, with 90% CIs: 0–0.159. The UPSA-B and SFS scores were moderately correlated with most measures of cognitive performance. These results support the notion that better employment status enhances subjective QOL in patients with schizophrenia.
Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes, that provide countless recreational opportunities and are an important resource that makes tourism and recreation a $15-billion-dollar per-year industry in the State (Stynes, 2002). Knowledge of the water-quality characteristics of inland lakes is essential for the current and future management of these resources.Historically the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) jointly have monitored water quality in Michigan's lakes and rivers. During the 1990's, however, funding for surface-water-quality monitoring was reduced greatly. In 1998, the citizens of Michigan passed the Clean Michigan Initiative to clean up, protect, and enhance Michigan's environmental infrastructure. Because of expanding water-quality-data needs, the MDEQ and the USGS jointly redesigned and implemented the Lake Water-Quality Assessment (LWQA) Monitoring Program (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, 1997).
Annemarie eBoschloo; Lydia eKrabbendam; Sanne eDekker; Lee, Nikki C.; Renate ede Groot; Jelle eJolles
This study investigated the relation between sleep and school performance in a large sample of 561 adolescents aged 11-18 years. Three subjective measures of sleep were used: sleepiness, sleep quality and sleep duration. They were compared to three measures of school performance: objective school grades, self-reported school performance, and parent-reported school performance. Sleepiness – ‘I feel sleepy during the first hours at school’ – appeared to predict both school grades and self-repor...
Gupta, Ravi; Ulfberg, Jan; Allen, Richard P; Goel, Deepak
To study the effect of altitude on subjective sleep quality in populations living at high and low altitudes after excluding cases of restless legs syndrome (RLS). This population-based study was conducted at three different altitudes (400 m, 1,900-2,000 m, and 3,200 m above sea level). All consenting subjects available from random stratified sampling in the Himalayan and sub-Himalayan regions of India were included in the study (ages 18 to 84 years). Sleep quality and RLS status were assessed using validated translations of Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Cambridge Hopkins RLS diagnostic questionnaire. Recent medical records were screened to gather data for medical morbidities. In the total sample of 1,689 participants included, 55.2% were women and average age of included subjects was 35.2 (± 10.9) years. In this sample, overall 18.4% reported poor quality of sleep (PSQI ≥ 5). Poor quality of sleep was reported more commonly at high altitude compared to low altitude (odds ratio [OR] = 2.65; 95% CI = 1.9-3.7; P quality of sleep were male sex, smoking, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and varicose veins. Binary logistic regression indicated that COPD (OR = 1.97; 95% CI = 1.36-2.86; P quality of sleep. This study showed that poor quality of sleep was approximately twice as prevalent at high altitudes compared to low altitudes even after removing the potential confounders such as RLS and COPD.
Lee, Sun Hwa; Kang, Yeonwook; Cho, Soo-Jin
Cognitive decline is a major concern in patients with migraine. Depression, anxiety, and/or poor sleep quality are well-known comorbidities of migraine, but available evidence on the subjective cognitive decline (SCD) is limited. This study aimed to investigate the presence and frequency of SCD and its relationship with anxiety, depression and sleep quality in patients with migraine. We enrolled patients with migraine who scored within the normal range of the Korean-Mini Mental State Examination and the Korean-Montreal Cognitive Assessment. Using the Subjective Cognitive Decline Questionnaire (SCD-Q), participants with ≥7 were assigned to the SCD group. The Headache Impact Test-6, Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index were used and analyzed between the two groups. A total of 188 patients with migraine, aged 38.1 ± 9.9 years, were enrolled. The mean SCD-Q score was 6.5 ± 5.5, and 44.7% of participants were identified as SCD. Migraineurs with SCD reported higher headache pain intensity and headache impact, as well as greater prevalence of anxiety, depression, reduced quality of sleep, and shorter sleep duration during weekdays compared to migraineurs without SCD. There were no significant differences in terms of age, sex, migraine type (chronic/episodic), medication, or sleep duration during weekends between the two groups. Upon multivariate logistic analysis adjusted for age, sex, headache characteristics, and psychological variables, depression was associated with increased risk of SCD (Odds ratio 1.31, 95% confidence interval 1.16-1.49) and sleep duration during weekdays was associated with decreased risk of SCD (Odds ratio 0.66, 95% confidence interval 0.44-0.97). A non-negligible number of patients with migraine complained of SCD. Depression and short sleep duration during weekdays were related to SCD among adult migraineurs.
The study examined some factors responsible for low participation of teachers, parents and communities in quality enhancement of secondary education in Cross River State, Nigeria. Teachers and parents of students in public secondary schools were used. A total of 8,590 subjects constituted the population of the study.
Larisa Alexejevna Ismagilova
Full Text Available We consider the topical issue of implementation of innovative technologies in the aircraft engine building industry. In this industry, products with high reliability requirements are developed and mass-produced. These products combine the latest achievements of science and technology. To make a decision on implementation of innovative technologies, a comprehensive assessment is carried out. It affects the efficiency of the innovations realization. In connection with this, the assessment of quality of innovative technologies is a key aspect in the selection of technological processes for their implementation. Problems concerning assessment of the quality of new technologies and processes of production are considered in the suggested method with respect to new positions. The developed method of assessing the quality of innovative technologies stands out for formed system of the qualimetric characteristics ensuring the effectiveness, efficiency, adaptability of innovative technologies and processes. The feature of suggested system of assessment is that it is based on principles of matching and grouping of quality indicators of innovative technologies and the characteristics of technological processes. The indicators are assessed from the standpoint of feasibility, technologies competiveness and commercial demand of products. In this paper, we discuss the example of implementing the approach of assessing the quality of the innovative technology of high-tech products such as turbine aircraft engine.
McCord, Layne K; Scarfe, William C; Naylor, Rachel H; Scheetz, James P; Silveira, Anibal; Gillespie, Kevin R
The objectives of this study were to compare the effect of JPEG 2000 compression of hand-wrist radiographs on observer image quality qualitative assessment and to compare with a software-derived quantitative image quality index. Fifteen hand-wrist radiographs were digitized and saved as TIFF and JPEG 2000 images at 4 levels of compression (20:1, 40:1, 60:1, and 80:1). The images, including rereads, were viewed by 13 orthodontic residents who determined the image quality rating on a scale of 1 to 5. A quantitative analysis was also performed by using a readily available software based on the human visual system (Image Quality Measure Computer Program, version 6.2, Mitre, Bedford, Mass). ANOVA was used to determine the optimal compression level (P quality. When we used quantitative indexes, the JPEG 2000 images had lower quality at all compression ratios compared with the original TIFF images. There was excellent correlation (R2 >0.92) between qualitative and quantitative indexes. Image Quality Measure indexes are more sensitive than subjective image quality assessments in quantifying image degradation with compression. There is potential for this software-based quantitative method in determining the optimal compression ratio for any image without the use of subjective raters.
Park, Namgyoo K.; Chun, Monica Youngshin; Lee, Jinju
Compared to the significant development of creativity studies, individual creativity research has not reached a meaningful consensus regarding the most valid and reliable method for assessing individual creativity. This study revisited 2 of the most popular methods for assessing individual creativity: subjective and objective methods. This study…
Visser, R.; Dekker, F. W.; Boeschoten, E. W.; Stevens, P.; Krediet, R. T.
Subjective global assessment (SGA) is a method to score nutritional status in a standardized way. The original 3-point scale has been replaced by a 7-point scale. The reliability of the latter scale has never been tested. We therefore assessed inter-observer and intra-observer reliability.
Voronin, V. V.; Frantc, V. A.; Marchuk, V. I.; Sherstobitov, A. I.; Egiazarian, K.
Inpainting has received a lot of attention in recent years and quality assessment is an important task to evaluate different image reconstruction approaches. In many cases inpainting methods introduce a blur in sharp transitions in image and image contours in the recovery of large areas with missing pixels and often fail to recover curvy boundary edges. Quantitative metrics of inpainting results currently do not exist and researchers use human comparisons to evaluate their methodologies and techniques. Most objective quality assessment methods rely on a reference image, which is often not available in inpainting applications. Usually researchers use subjective quality assessment by human observers. It is difficult and time consuming procedure. This paper focuses on a machine learning approach for no-reference visual quality assessment for image inpainting based on the human visual property. Our method is based on observation that Local Binary Patterns well describe local structural information of the image. We use a support vector regression learned on assessed by human images to predict perceived quality of inpainted images. We demonstrate how our predicted quality value correlates with qualitative opinion in a human observer study. Results are shown on a human-scored dataset for different inpainting methods.
Full Text Available Controlled data on predictors of subjective sleep quality in patients with memory complaints are sparse. To improve the amount of comprehensive data on this topic, we assessed factors associated with subjective sleep quality in patients from our memory clinic and healthy individuals.Between February 2012 and August 2014 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI and subjective cognitive decline (SCD from our memory clinic and healthy controls were recruited. Apart from a detailed neuropsychological assessment, the subjective sleep quality, daytime sleepiness and depressive symptoms were assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II.One hundred fifty eight consecutive patients (132 (84% MCI patients and 26 (16% SCD patients and 75 healthy controls were included in the study. Pairwise comparison of PSQI scores showed that non-amnestic MCI (naMCI patients (5.4 ± 3.5 had significantly higher PSQI scores than controls (4.3 ± 2.8, p = .003 Pairwise comparison of PSQI subscores showed that naMCI patients (1.1 ± 0.4 had significantly more "sleep disturbances" than controls (0.9 ± 0.5, p = .003. Amnestic MCI (aMCI (0.8 ± 1.2, p = .006 and naMCI patients (0.7 ± 1.2, p = .002 used "sleep medication" significantly more often than controls (0.1 ± 0.6 Both, aMCI (11.5 ± 8.6, p < .001 and naMCI (11.5 ± 8.6, p < .001 patients showed significantly higher BDI-II scores than healthy controls (6.1 ± 5.3. Linear regression analysis showed that the subjective sleep quality was predicted by depressive symptoms in aMCI (p < .0001 and naMCI (p < .0001 patients as well as controls (p < .0001. This means, that more depressive symptoms worsened subjective sleep quality. In aMCI patients we also found a significant interaction between depressive symptoms and global cognitive function (p = .002.Depressive symptoms were the main predictor of subjective sleep quality in MCI
Ruiz-Santaquiteria, Jesus; Espinosa-Aranda, Jose Luis; Deniz, Oscar; Sanchez, Carlos; Borrego-Ramos, Maria; Blanco, Saul; Cristobal, Gabriel; Bueno, Gloria
We study the effectiveness of several low-cost oblique illumination filters to improve overall image quality, in comparison with standard bright field imaging. For this purpose, a dataset composed of 3360 diatom images belonging to 21 taxa was acquired. Subjective and objective image quality assessments were done. The subjective evaluation was performed by a group of diatom experts by psychophysical test where resolution, focus, and contrast were assessed. Moreover, some objective nonreference image quality metrics were applied to the same image dataset to complete the study, together with the calculation of several texture features to analyze the effect of these filters in terms of textural properties. Both image quality evaluation methods, subjective and objective, showed better results for images acquired using these illumination filters in comparison with the no filtered image. These promising results confirm that this kind of illumination filters can be a practical way to improve the image quality, thanks to the simple and low cost of the design and manufacturing process. (2018) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).
Physiochemical assessment of shallow groundwater in Gboloko area was carried out to determine its suitability for drinking and irrigation purposes. ...... Journal of king Saud. University. Science 21:179-190. Ayuba, R., Omonona, O. V and Onwuka, O. S., 2013. Assessment of groundwater quality of Lokoja basement area ...
S. V. Gautier
Full Text Available The study of quality of life of living organ donors in transplantation by questionnaires has increasingly become the subject of clinical studies. However, there are no unified criteria and standard norms of quality of life. Each questionnaire has its own criteria and evaluation scale. This review presents the main general questionnaires that have been applied worldwide for the quality of life assessment of living kidney and liver donors. Special questionnaires used to refine the parameters of quality of life and their coordination with common questionnaires are considered. Optimal questionnaire to detect quality of life in modern research for living organ donors is identified.
Grande, Gesine; Romppel, Matthias
It is supposed that subjective concepts influence disease-related behaviour and health care utilization. But until now systematic knowledge of the importance of quality related subjective beliefs is lacking. To analyse subjective views of quality in rehabilitation and between-group differences, 625 patients, 203 physicians and 101 social workers were asked in a questionnaire to rate various indicators for their importance in judging the quality of a rehabilitation program. Based on a factor analysis seven quality dimensions were identified. "Skills of rehabilitation staff" is consistently judged as most significant dimension of quality, while "Psychosocial outcome quality" received the second highest importance score. Dedication and motivation of rehabilitation staff and the successful restoration of general functioning in every day life were regarded as the most important single indicators of good quality in rehabilitation programs. Differences in views of quality between groups mirror differing interests and tasks in relation to rehabilitation. Subjective views on the quality of health care should be taken into consideration by doctors in counselling and referring their patients. The role of quality indicators compared to other pragmatic or individual preferences remains unclear.
Liu, Shiguo; Zheng, Lanlan; Zheng, Xueping; Zhang, Xinhua; Yi, Mingji; Ma, Xu
To explore the subjective quality of life (QoL) in children with Tourette Syndrome (TS) in China to provide a basis for more effective interference. A total of 107 patients and 107 controls were enrolled. Subjective QoL was investigated by Inventory of Subjective Life Quality, Family Environment Scale of Chinese Version, and the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale, and a case-control study was performed. The total score of subjective QoL and family life, school life, peer relationship, cognitive component, environment, self-awareness, cognitive component and depression experience in the TS were lower than control. Patients with co-morbid exhibited significantly lower scores within the subjective QoL family life, peer relationship, school life, self-awareness, and cognitive affective domains. The subjective QoL is impaired and it is important to control clinical symptoms and improve family environment for the improvement of the subjective QoL in TS.
Full Text Available Dreaming - a particular form of consciousness that occurs during sleep - undergoes major changes in the course of the night. We aimed to outline state-dependent features of consciousness using a paradigm with multiple serial awakenings/questionings that allowed for within as well as between subject comparisons. Seven healthy participants who spent 44 experimental study nights in the laboratory were awakened by a computerized sound at 15-30 minute intervals, regardless of sleep stage, and questioned for the presence or absence of sleep consciousness. Recall without content (‘I was experiencing something but do not remember what’ was considered separately. Subjects had to indicate the content of the most recent conscious experience prior to the alarm sound and to estimate its duration and richness. We also assessed the degree of thinking and perceiving, self- and environment-relatedness and reflective consciousness of the experiences. Of the 778 questionings, 5% were performed during wakefulness, 2% in stage N1, 42% in N2, 33% in N3 and 17% in rapid eye movement (REM sleep. Recall with content was reported in 34% of non-REM and in 77% of REM sleep awakenings. Sleep fragmentation inherent to the study design appeared to only minimally affect the recall of conscious experiences. Each stage displayed a unique combination of characteristic features of sleep consciousness. In conclusion, our serial awakening paradigm allowed us to collect a large and representative sample of conscious experiences across states of being. It represents a time-efficient method for the study of sleep consciousness that may prove particularly advantageous when combined with techniques such as functional MRI and high-density EEG.
Awadalla, Abdel W; Ohaeri, Jude U; Tawfiq, Adel M; Al-Awadi, Shafika A
There is a paucity of studies on comparison of quality of life (QOL) of type-1 and type-2 diabetes patients, and the impact of family caregivers' impressions on the QOL of patients. To assess the subjective QOL of Sudanese diabetics using the WHOQOL-Bref, compared with a general population sample; examine caregiver-patient concordance; and assess the variables that impact on QOL. The responses of 105 outpatients with type-1 diabetes and 136 with type-2 diabetes were compared with their family caregivers' impressions and 139 general population subjects. Patients were predominantly dissatisfied with their life circumstances. Type-1 diabetics had significantly lowest QOL scores, while the control group had highest scores. Having additional medical problems; having diminished sexual desire; and being young, unemployed and single were associated with poor QOL, but illness duration was not. Type-2 diabetics had lesser concordance with caregivers. The only predictor of patients' QOL was the caregivers' impression of patients' QOL. Caregivers' impression of patients' QOL impacted on outcome. Caregiver education is, therefore, important. The factors associated with QOL indicate a group that needs focused attention. The good QOL for type-2 and nonsignificance of illness duration encourage therapeutic optimism.
Measures were recommended to assess the quality of software submitted to the AdaNet program. The quality factors that are important to software reuse are explored and methods of evaluating those factors are discussed. Quality factors important to software reuse are: correctness, reliability, verifiability, understandability, modifiability, and certifiability. Certifiability is included because the documentation of many factors about a software component such as its efficiency, portability, and development history, constitute a class for factors important to some users, not important at all to other, and impossible for AdaNet to distinguish between a priori. The quality factors may be assessed in different ways. There are a few quantitative measures which have been shown to indicate software quality. However, it is believed that there exists many factors that indicate quality and have not been empirically validated due to their subjective nature. These subjective factors are characterized by the way in which they support the software engineering principles of abstraction, information hiding, modularity, localization, confirmability, uniformity, and completeness.
Liu, Dong; Wang, Dandan; Li, Houqiang
Traditionally, image compression was optimized for the pixel-wise fidelity or the perceptual quality of the compressed images given a bit-rate budget. But recently, compressed images are more and more utilized for automatic semantic analysis tasks such as recognition and retrieval. For these tasks, we argue that the optimization target of compression is no longer perceptual quality, but the utility of the compressed images in the given automatic semantic analysis task. Accordingly, we propose to evaluate the quality of the compressed images neither at pixel level nor at perceptual level, but at semantic level. In this paper, we make preliminary efforts towards image semantic quality assessment (ISQA), focusing on the task of optical character recognition (OCR) from compressed images. We propose a full-reference ISQA measure by comparing the features extracted from text regions of original and compressed images. We then propose to integrate the ISQA measure into an image compression scheme. Experimental results show that our proposed ISQA measure is much better than PSNR and SSIM in evaluating the semantic quality of compressed images; accordingly, adopting our ISQA measure to optimize compression for OCR leads to significant bit-rate saving compared to using PSNR or SSIM. Moreover, we perform subjective test about text recognition from compressed images, and observe that our ISQA measure has high consistency with subjective recognizability. Our work explores new dimensions in image quality assessment, and demonstrates promising direction to achieve higher compression ratio for specific semantic analysis tasks.
Epele, Luis Beltrán; Miserendino, María Laura
Livestock grazing can compromise the biotic integrity and health of wetlands, especially in remotes areas like Patagonia, which provide habitat for several endemic terrestrial and aquatic species. Understanding the effects of these land use practices on invertebrate communities can help prevent the deterioration of wetlands and provide insights for restoration. In this contribution, we assessed the responses of 36 metrics based on the structural and functional attributes of invertebrates (130 taxa) at 30 Patagonian wetlands that were subject to different levels of livestock grazing intensity. These levels were categorized as low, medium and high based on eight features (livestock stock densities plus seven wetland measurements). Significant changes in environmental features were detected across the gradient of wetlands, mainly related to pH, conductivity, and nutrient values. Regardless of rainfall gradient, symptoms of eutrophication were remarkable at some highly disturbed sites. Seven invertebrate metrics consistently and accurately responded to livestock grazing on wetlands. All of them were negatively related to increased levels of grazing disturbance, with the number of insect families appearing as the most robust measure. A multivariate approach (RDA) revealed that invertebrate metrics were significantly affected by environmental variables related to water quality: in particular, pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, nutrient concentrations, and the richness and coverage of aquatic plants. Our results suggest that the seven aforementioned metrics could be used to assess ecological quality in the arid and semi-arid wetlands of Patagonia, helping to ensure the creation of protected areas and their associated ecological services.
Giuseppe La Torre
Full Text Available
Background: An important characteristic of meta-analysis is that the results are determined both by the management of the meta-analysis process and by the features of studies included. The scientific rigor of potential primary studies varies considerably and the common objection to meta-analytic summaries is that they combine results from studies of different quality. Researchers began to develop quality scales for experimental studies, however now the interest of researchers is also focusing on observational studies. Since 1980, when Chalmers developed the first quality scale to assess primary studies included in metaanalysis, more than 100 scales have been developed, which vary dramatically in the quality and quantity of the items included. No standard lists of items exist, and the used quality scales lack empirically-supported components.
Methods: Two of the most important and diffuse quality scales for experimental studies, Jadad system and Chalmers’ scale, and a quality scale used for observational studies, developed by Angelillo et al., are described and compared.
Conclusion: The fallibility of meta-analysis is not surprising, considering the various bias that may be introduced by the processes of locating and selecting studies, including publication bias, language bias and citation bias. Quality assessment of the studies offers an estimate of the likelihood that their results will express the truth.
Guan, Wei-Jie; Gao, Yong-Hua; Xu, Gang; Lin, Zhi-Ya; Tang, Yan; Li, Hui-Min; Lin, Zhi-Min; Jiang, Mei; Zheng, Jin-Ping; Chen, Rong-Chang; Zhong, Nan-Shan
Bronchiectasis exacerbations are critical events characterized by worsened symptoms and signs (ie, cough frequency, sputum volume, malaise). Our goal was to examine variations in airway and systemic inflammation, spirometry, and quality of life during steady state, bronchiectasis exacerbations, and convalescence (1 week following a 2-week antibiotic treatment) to determine whether potentially pathogenic microorganisms, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, were associated with poorer conditions during bronchiectasis exacerbations. Peripheral blood and sputum were sampled to detect inflammatory mediators and bacterial densities. Spirometry and quality of life (St George Respiratory Questionnaire [SGRQ]) were assessed during the 3 stages. Forty-eight subjects with bronchiectasis (43.2 ± 14.2 y of age) were analyzed. No notable differences in species and density of potentially pathogenic microorganisms were found during bronchiectasis exacerbations. Except for CXCL8 and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), serum inflammation was heightened during bronchiectasis exacerbations and recovered during convalescence. Even though sputum TNF-α was markedly higher during bronchiectasis exacerbations and remained heightened during convalescence, the variations in miscellaneous sputum markers were unremarkable. Bronchiectasis exacerbations were associated with notably higher SGRQ symptom and total scores, which recovered during convalescence. FVC, FEV1, and maximum mid-expiratory flow worsened during bronchiectasis exacerbations (median change from baseline of -2.2%, -0.8%, and -1.3%) and recovered during convalescence (median change from baseline of 0.6%, 0.7%, and -0.7%). Compared with no bacterial isolation, potentially pathogenic microorganism or P. aeruginosa isolation at baseline did not result in poorer clinical condition during bronchiectasis exacerbations. Bronchiectasis exacerbations are characterized by heightened inflammatory responses and poorer quality of life and
Garcia-Retamero, Rocio; Cokely, Edward T; Ghazal, Saima; Joeris, Alexander
Visual aids tend to help diverse and vulnerable individuals understand risk communications, as long as these individuals have a basic understanding of graphs (i.e., graph literacy). Tests of objective graph literacy (OGL) can effectively identify individuals with limited skills, highlighting vulnerabilities and facilitating custom-tailored risk communication. However, the administration of these tests can be time-consuming and may evoke negative emotional reactions (e.g., anxiety). To evaluate a brief and easy-to-use assessment of subjective graph literacy (SGL) (i.e., self-reported ability to process and use graphically presented information) and to estimate the robustness and validity of the SGL scale and compare it with the leading OGL scale in diverse samples from different cultures. Demographically diverse residents (n = 470) of the United States, young adults (n = 172) and patients (n = 175) from Spain, and surgeons (n = 175) from 48 countries. A focus group and 4 studies for instrument development and initial validation (study 1), reliability and convergent and discriminant validity evaluation (study 2), and predictive validity estimation (studies 3 and 4). Psychometric properties of the scale. In about 1 minute, the SGL scale provides a reliable, robust, and valid assessment of skills and risk communication preferences and evokes fewer negative emotional reactions than the OGL scale. The SGL scale can be suitable for use in clinical research and may be useful as a communication aid in clinical practice. Theoretical mechanisms involved in SGL, emerging applications, limitations, and open questions are discussed. © The Author(s) 2016.
Bradshaw, Shenan; Faulk, Jan; Blakey, George H; Phillips, Ceib; Phero, James A; White, Raymond P
Our purpose was to assess the effect of third molar removal on the quality of life in subjects with symptoms of pericoronitis. Healthy subjects (American Society of Anesthesiologists Classes I and II), aged 18 to 35 years, with minor symptoms of pericoronitis affecting at least 1 mandibular third molar were recruited for an institutional review board-approved study. The exclusion criteria were major symptoms of pericoronitis, generalized periodontal disease, body mass index greater than 29 kg/m(2), and antibiotic or tobacco use. The data from patients undergoing surgery to remove all third molars with a follow-up examination after surgery at least 3 months later were included in these analyses. The clinical, demographic, and quality of life data were collected at enrollment and after surgery. At entry, the debris was removed from symptomatic third molar sites; no attempt was made to mechanically remove nonsheddable biofilm. The patients scheduled surgery electively with a recall examination at least 3 months after surgery. The median age of the 60 subjects was 21.9 years (interquartile range 20.2 to 24.7). The median postoperative follow-up was 7.7 months (interquartile range 6.0 to 12.4). The proportion of patients reporting the worst pain as severe decreased from enrollment to after surgery from 32% to 3%. Those responding "none" for the worst pain increased from 10% to 78%. Fifteen percent of subjects reported the pain intensity as "nothing," "faint," or "very weak" at enrollment. This increased to 96% after surgery. One third of patients reported the unpleasantness of pain as "neutral," "slightly unpleasant," or "slightly annoying" at enrollment, which increased to 97% after surgery. Also, 22% and 18% of the patients reported "quite a bit" or "lots of difficulty" with eating desired foods and chewing foods at enrollment, respectively; only 1 patient reported this degree of difficulty at the follow-up examination. In contrast, 42% and 37% of the patients
Kantner, R M; Rubin, A M; Armstrong, C W; Cummings, V
Normal adults and patients referred to the Dizzy Clinic at the Medical College of Ohio had their standing balance assessed during combinations of normal and altered visual and somatosensory orientation conditions using a fixed-force platform to measure center-of-pressure translations. Significant differences were identified between normal subjects and dizzy patients, depending on the particular diagnostic category, the sensory condition tested, and the particular sway component being measured. Patients with central and peripheral vestibular dysfunctions had significantly greater sway than all other categories in most test conditions, especially with eyes closed and with a visual conflict dome while standing on a foam surface. The central vestibular dysfunction and peripheral vestibular dysfunction groups could be differentiated statistically under eyes-closed and visual conflict-foam conditions. The normal and psychogenic groups could not be differentiated statistically for any test conditions except one: there was significantly greater mean anterior/posterior sway displacement in the psychogenic group compared with all other diagnostic categories for the eyes-open foam test condition. Our results indicate that static stabilometry recordings of postural sway can be used to evaluate and quantify a dizzy patient's ability to receive and process vestibular, visual, and somatosensory-proprioceptive cues for postural stability. It can also be used to monitor patients with vestibular disorders and to document their responses to rehabilitation programs.
Baniya, Rupak Raj
The objectives of this thesis were to explore different approaches to improve energy efficiency and colour quality, and to find out the subjective preference of LED office lighting. Four approaches (optimization of LED spectra, lighting retrofitting, hue-heat hypothesis, and smart indoor lighting control) were studied for energy efficiency and colour quality improvement. Two experiments, one in lighting booths and the other in an office room, were conducted to examine subjective preferences. ...
Müller, Matthias J; Olschinski, Christiane; Kundermann, Bernd; Cabanel, Nicole
Sleep complaints and sleep disturbances are highly prevalent in patients with psychiatric disorders. During hospitalization the patients? condition may be even worse but little is known about the subjective sleep quality in psychiatric hospitals. Thus, we have investigated subjective sleep quality and mean sleep duration in patients with different psychiatric disorders at the end of hospitalization. For a period of one year, inpatients of a psychiatric hospital with diagnosis of substance use...
Quality management plan (QMP) which identifies the mission, roles, responsibilities of personnel with regard to quality assurance and quality management for the environmental assessment and innovation division.
Full Text Available Image quality assessment has been attracting growing attention at an accelerated pace over the past decade, in the fields of image processing, vision and machine learning. In particular, general purpose blind image quality assessment is technically challenging and lots of state-of-the-art approaches have been developed to solve this problem, most under the supervised learning framework where the human scored samples are needed for training a regression model. In this paper, we propose an unsupervised learning approach that work without the human label. In the off-line stage, our method trains a dictionary covering different levels of image quality patch atoms across the training samples without knowing the human score, where each atom is associated with a quality score induced from the reference image; at the on-line stage, given each image patch, our method performs group sparse coding to encode the sample, such that the sample quality can be estimated from the few labeled atoms whose encoding coefficients are nonzero. Experimental results on the public dataset show the promising performance of our approach and future research direction is also discussed.
Ferreira, João D; Inácio, Bruno; Salek, Reza M; Couto, Francisco M
Public resources need to be appropriately annotated with metadata in order to make them discoverable, reproducible and traceable, further enabling them to be interoperable or integrated with other datasets. While data-sharing policies exist to promote the annotation process by data owners, these guidelines are still largely ignored. In this manuscript, we analyse automatic measures of metadata quality, and suggest their application as a mean to encourage data owners to increase the metadata quality of their resources and submissions, thereby contributing to higher quality data, improved data sharing, and the overall accountability of scientific publications. We analyse these metadata quality measures in the context of a real-world repository of metabolomics data (i.e. MetaboLights), including a manual validation of the measures, and an analysis of their evolution over time. Our findings suggest that the proposed measures can be used to mimic a manual assessment of metadata quality.
Marques, D M; Teixeira, H R S; Lopes, A R F; Martins-Pedersoli, T A; Ziviani, L C; Mente, Ê D; Castro-E-Silva, O; Galvão, C M; Mendes, K S
The goal of this study was to evaluate the sleep quality and daytime sleepiness of patients eligible for liver transplants. A cross-sectional prospective study was conducted on liver transplant candidates from a transplant center in the interior of São Paulo State. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and Epworth Sleepiness Scale questionnaires were applied to obtain demographic and clinical characteristics and to assess sleep quality and daytime sleepiness. The mean (±SD) score on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale of the 45 liver transplantation candidates was 7.00 ± 2.83 points, with 28.89% having scores >10 points, indicating excessive daytime sleepiness. The mean score on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index was 6.64 ± 4.95 points, with 60% of the subjects showing impaired sleep quality, with scores >5 points. The average sleep duration was 07:16 h. Regarding sleep quality self-classification, 31.11% reported poor or very poor quality. It is noteworthy that 73.33% of patients had to go to the bathroom, 53.33% woke up in the middle of the night, and 40.00% reported pain related to sleeping difficulties. Comparison of subjects with good and poor sleep quality revealed a significant difference in time to sleep (P = .0002), sleep hours (P = .0003), and sleep quality self-classification (P = .000072). Liver transplant candidates have a compromised quality of sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness. In clinical practice, we recommend the evaluation and implementation of interventions aimed at improving the sleep and wakefulness cycle, contributing to a better quality of life. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Boschloo, Annemarie; Krabbendam, Lydia; Dekker, Sanne; Lee, Nikki; De Groot, Renate; Jolles, Jelle
This study investigated the relation between sleep and school performance in a large sample of 561 adolescents aged 11–18 years. Three subjective measures of sleep were used: sleepiness, sleep quality, and sleep duration. They were compared to three measures of school performance: objective school grades, self-reported school performance, and parent-reported school performance. Sleepiness – “I feel sleepy during the first hours at school” – appeared to predict both school grades and self-repo...
Full Text Available Background: According to the so called Transactional Model of Quality of Life, job satisfaction is a part of subjective well-being. The aim of this study was to explore the relationships between professional commitment, expressed as job satisfaction or dissatisfaction, consideration of leaving the profession or/and workplace, and subjective assessment of well-being among midwives working at hospitals. Materials and Methods: The study was a part of the international research project, coordinated by the University of Ostrava. The group of respondents consisted of 176 midwives working at selected hospitals in the Silesian region. The study was conducted using the method of diagnostic survey, questionnaire techniques and standardized research tools, such as McCloskey/Mueller Satisfaction Scale (MMSS, Personal Wellbeing Index-Adult (PWI-A and Subjective Emotional Habitual Wellbeing Scale (SEHP. Results: The overall midwives' job satisfaction was found to be at a medium level. Respondents less satisfied with various aspects of work (interaction, co-workers, professional opportunities, praise/recognition, control/responsibility and life (standard of living and achievements in life were significantly more often considering changing their jobs. Dissatisfaction with the extrinsic rewards (salary, vacation, benefits package had additionally influenced the frequency of considering changing the profession. The respondents were characterized by much lower sense of present and future security than that observed in Western countries, as well as by low satisfaction with standard of living and feeling part of the society. Conclusions: Job satisfaction and subjective well-being remain in strong relationship, and although it is difficult to determine the direction of these relationships, they seem to have a significant impact on each other. Med Pr 2014;65(1:99–108
Barendregt, C.S.; van der Laan, A.M.; Bongers, I.L.; van Nieuwenhuizen, Ch.
Subjective quality of life (QoL) is an outcome measure often used in the field of psychiatry. While upcoming strength-based rehabilitation theories place strong emphasis on subjective QoL, it has hardly ever been investigated in adolescents with severe psychiatric problems who are admitted to secure
Brajsa-Zganec, Andreja; Merkas, Marina; Sverko, Iva
The quality of life is determined with objective factors and also with subjective perception of factors which influence human life. Leisure activities play a very important role in subjective well-being because they provide opportunities to meet life values and needs. Through participation in leisure activities people build social relationships,…
An innovative computerized benchmarking approach (US Patent pending Sep 2011) based on extensive application of photometry, geometrical optics, and digital media using a randomized target, for a standard observer to assess the image quality of video imaging systems, at different day time, and low-light luminance levels. It takes into account, the target's contrast and color characteristics, as well as the observer's visual acuity and dynamic response. This includes human vision as part of the "extended video imaging system" (EVIS), and allows image quality assessment by several standard observers simultaneously.
Ahmed M El-Refaey
Full Text Available Studies examining sleep patterns in children on hemodialysis (HD are lacking. This cross-sectional, control-matched group study was performed to assess the sleep quality in children on HD. The assessment was made using a subjective sleep assessment and sleep questionnaire and objective analysis was made using full night polysomnography. A total of 25 children with end-stage renal disease (ESRD on HD were compared with 15 age- and sex-matched controls. The average age of the cases was 14 ± 4 years, 52% were males and the mean body mass index was 20 ± 3.8 kg/m². The average duration on dialysis was 2.6 ± 2 years. Analysis of subjective data revealed markedly affected sleep quality in HD patients, as evidenced by excessive day time sleepiness (P <0.005, night awakening (P <0.005, difficult morning arousal (P <0.005 and limb pains (P <0.005. Objective analysis showed differences in sleep architecture, less slow wave sleep in HD children, similar rapid eye movement and non-rapid eye movement, more sleep disordered breathing (P <0.0001 and more periodic limb movement disorders (P <0.0001. Our study suggests that children on regular HD have markedly affected objective as well as subjective quality of sleep.
Berg, P. van den; Sharmeen, F.; Weijs-Perrée, M.
Contemporary research in the field of transportation is paying due attention to the geography and composition of personal social networks. However, still little is known about the quality of social interactions, although arguably the subjective quality of social interaction is more important for
Purpose: There is paucity of information about quality of life (QOL) studies among patients with arthritis and diabetes mellitus in developing countries. The objective of this study was to evaluate quality of life of patients with arthritis (AR) and diabetes mellitus (DM). Methods: A total of 507 subjects comprising 364 healthy ...
This article examines approaches to defining and measuring quality of life. Each approach to measuring the quality of life contains information that is not contained in the other measures. It describes the economic, subjective and social indicators. The strengths and weaknesses of those indicators are also analyzed.
Physiochemical assessment of shallow groundwater in Gboloko area was carried out to determine its suitability for drinking and irrigation purposes. Eighteen (18) groundwater samples were collected from different rural communities' wells and subjected field measurements of physical parameters followed by chemical ...
Conclusion: Our results showed that although the lubricating drop did not improve the tear film stability and optical quality in the silicone hydrogel contact lens wearers, subjects experienced a subjective improvement.
Usman, Muhammad Arslan; Usman, Muhammad Rehan; Shin, Soo Young
Maintaining the quality of medical images and videos is an essential part of the e-services provided by the healthcare sector. The convergence of modern communication systems and the healthcare industry necessitates the provision of better quality of service and experience by the service provider. Recent inclusion and standardization of the high efficiency video coder (HEVC) has made it possible for medical data to be compressed and transmitted over wireless networks with minimal compromise of the quality. Quality evaluation and assessment of these medical videos transmitted over wireless networks is another important research area that requires further exploration and attention. In this paper, we have conducted an in-depth study of video quality assessment for compressed wireless capsule endoscopy (WCE) videos. Our study includes the performance evaluation of several state-of-the-art objective video quality metrics in terms of determining the quality of compressed WCE videos. Subjective video quality experiments were conducted with the assistance of experts and non-experts in order to predict the diagnostic and visual quality of these medical videos, respectively. The evaluation of the metrics is based on three major performance metrics that include, correlation between the subjective and objective scores, relative statistical performance and computation time. Results show that the metrics information fidelity criterion (IFC), visual information fidelity-(VIF) and especially pixel based VIF stand out as best performing metrics. Furthermore, our paper reports the performance of HEVC compression on medical videos and according to the results, it performs optimally in preserving the diagnostic and visual quality of WCE videos at Quantization Parameter (QP) values of up to 35 and 37 respectively. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Erdim, Aylin; Aktan, Ahmet Özdemir
This study was designed to evaluate the perioperative nutritional status of patients undergoing surgery for gastrointestinal cancer using Subjective Global Assessment and surgeon behavior on nutritional support. We recruited 100 patients undergoing surgery for gastrointestinal cancer in one university and two state teaching hospitals. Subjective Global Assessment was administered to evaluate preoperative and postoperative nutritional status. Fifty-two patients in the state hospitals (Group 1) and 48 in the university hospital were assessed. Anthropometric and biochemical measurements were performed. Changes in preoperative Subjective Global Assessment scores and scores at the time of discharge and types of nutritional support were compared. Subjective Global Assessment-B was regarded as moderate and Subjective Global Assessment-C as heavy malnutrition. Ten patients had Subjective Global Assessment-B and 29 had Subjective Global Assessment-C malnutrition in Group 1 and nine had Subjective Global Assessment-B and 31 had Subjective Global Assessment-C malnutrition in Group 2 during preoperative assessment. Respective numbers in postoperative assessment were 12 for Subjective Global Assessment-B and 30 for Subjective Global Assessment-C in Group 1 and 14 for Subjective Global Assessment-B and 26 for Subjective Global Assessment-C in Group 2. There was no difference between two groups. Nutritional methods according to Subjective Global Assessment evaluation in pre- and postoperative periods were not different between the groups. This study demonstrated that the malnutrition rate is high among patients scheduled for gastrointestinal cancer surgery and the number of surgeons were inadequate to provide perioperative nutritional support. Both university and state hospitals had similar shortcomings. Subjective Global Assessment is an easy and reliable test and if utilized will be helpful to detect patients requiring nutritional support.
Frantc, V. A.; Voronin, V. V.; Marchuk, V. I.; Sherstobitov, A. I.; Agaian, S.; Egiazarian, K.
This paper focuses on a machine learning approach for objective inpainting quality assessment. Inpainting has received a lot of attention in recent years and quality assessment is an important task to evaluate different image reconstruction approaches. Quantitative metrics for successful image inpainting currently do not exist; researchers instead are relying upon qualitative human comparisons in order to evaluate their methodologies and techniques. We present an approach for objective inpainting quality assessment based on natural image statistics and machine learning techniques. Our method is based on observation that when images are properly normalized or transferred to a transform domain, local descriptors can be modeled by some parametric distributions. The shapes of these distributions are different for noninpainted and inpainted images. Approach permits to obtain a feature vector strongly correlated with a subjective image perception by a human visual system. Next, we use a support vector regression learned on assessed by human images to predict perceived quality of inpainted images. We demonstrate how our predicted quality value repeatably correlates with a qualitative opinion in a human observer study.
Wolfe, Barat J; Sirois, Fuschia M
In order to facilitate our understanding of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients, it is critical to explore their subjective experiences with the disease. Research has suggested that current modes of assessing HRQoL (i.e., generic and disease-specific measures) may not fully represent all dimensions of patients' HRQoL. The purpose of this study was to examine IBD patients' subjective experiences of the daily impact of IBD, and categorize dimensions of their HRQoL affected by IBD, as identified by the patients themselves. Two hundred and eighty-two patients with IBD provided answers to the qualitative question "How has IBD affected your daily activities?" A content analysis using NVivo 2.0 was conducted on the participants' responses to this question to reveal dimensions of their HRQoL. The analysis yielded six dimensions and several subdimensions of HRQoL, including physical (systemic functioning, daily functioning, energy/vitality, pain), emotional, social, cognitive (functioning, attending to disease), self-regulation (taking control, loss of control, and neutral), and practical functioning. These results reflect previous findings, but also reveal several dimensions of HRQoL not included in current measures of HRQoL for IBD patients (i.e., cognitive, self-regulation, and practical). The implications of these findings for future measurement of HRQoL and research with IBD patients are discussed.
Poggiogalle, Eleonora; Lubrano, Carla; Gnessi, Lucio; Marocco, Chiara; Di Lazzaro, Luca; Polidoro, Giampaolo; Luisi, Federica; Merola, Gianluca; Mariani, Stefania; Migliaccio, Silvia; Lenzi, Andrea; Donini, Lorenzo M
Sleep duration has emerged as a crucial factor affecting body weight and feeding behaviour. The aim of our study was to explore the relationship among sleep duration, body composition, dietary intake, and quality of life (QoL) in obese subjects. Body composition was assessed by DXA. "Sensewear Armband" was used to evaluate sleep duration. SF-36 questionnaire was used to evaluate quality of life (QoL). A 3-day dietary record was administered. Subjects were divided into 2 groups: sleep duration > and ≤300 min/day. 137 subjects (105 women and 32 men), age: 49.8 ± 12.4 years, BMI: 38.6 ± 6.7 kg/m(2), were enrolled. Sleep duration was ≤300 min in 30.6 % of subjects. Absolute and relative fat mass (FM) (40.5 ± 9 vs. 36.5 ± 9.1 kg; 40.2 ± 4.7 vs. 36.9 ± 5.6 %), and truncal fat mass (19.2 ± 6.1 vs. 16.6 ± 5 kg; 38.6 ± 5.3 vs. 35.2 ± 5.5 %) were higher in subjects sleeping ≤300 min when compared to their counterparts (all p BMI was observed (p = 0.077). Even though energy intake was not different between groups, subjects sleeping ≤300 min reported a higher carbohydrate consumption per day (51.8 ± 5.1 vs. 48.4 ± 9.2 %, p = 0.038). SF-36 total score was lower in subjects sleeping ≤300 min (34.2 ± 17.8 vs. 41.4 ± 12.9, p = 0.025). Sleep duration was negatively associated with FM (r = -0.25, p = 0.01) and SF-36 total score (r = -0.31, p sleep duration and SF-36 total score was confirmed by the regression analysis after adjustment for BMI and fat mass (R = 0.43, R (2) = 0.19, p = 0.012). Reduced sleep duration negatively influences body composition, macronutrient intake, and QoL in obese subjects.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Health economic evaluations support the health care decision-making process by providing information on costs and consequences of health interventions. The quality of such studies is assessed by health economic evaluation (HEE quality appraisal instruments. At present, there is no instrument for measuring and improving the quality of such HEE quality appraisal instruments. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to establish a framework for assessing the quality of HEE quality appraisal instruments to support and improve their quality, and to apply this framework to those HEE quality appraisal instruments which have been subject to more scrutiny than others, in order to test the framework and to demonstrate the shortcomings of existing HEE quality appraisal instruments. Methods To develop the quality assessment framework for HEE quality appraisal instruments, the experiences of using appraisal tools for clinical guidelines are used. Based on a deductive iterative process, clinical guideline appraisal instruments identified through literature search are reviewed, consolidated, and adapted to produce the final quality assessment framework for HEE quality appraisal instruments. Results The final quality assessment framework for HEE quality appraisal instruments consists of 36 items organized within 7 dimensions, each of which captures a specific domain of quality. Applying the quality assessment framework to four existing HEE quality appraisal instruments, it is found that these four quality appraisal instruments are of variable quality. Conclusions The framework described in this study should be regarded as a starting point for appraising the quality of HEE quality appraisal instruments. This framework can be used by HEE quality appraisal instrument producers to support and improve the quality and acceptance of existing and future HEE quality appraisal instruments. By applying this framework, users of HEE quality appraisal
Møller, M; Arnsbo, P; Asklund, Mogens
AIMS: Quality assessment of therapeutic procedures is essential to insure a cost-effective health care system. Pacemaker implantation is a common procedure with more than 500,000 implantations world-wide per year, but the general complication rate is not well described. We studied procedure related...
Home; Journals; Journal of Earth System Science; Volume 123; Issue 1. Water quality assessment and hydrochemical characteristics of groundwater on the aspect of metals in an old town, Foshan, south China. Guanxing Huang Zongyu Chen Jichao Sun. Volume 123 Issue 1 February 2014 pp 91-100 ...
Davis, M.J.; Chiu, S.
This report identifies and evaluates the significant water quality issues related to regional and national energy development. In addition, it recommends improvements in the Office assessment capability. Handbook-style formating, which includes a system of cross-references and prioritization, is designed to help the reader use the material.
Doesburg, W.A. van
Accurate and efficient models of human behavior offer great potential in military and crisis management applications. However, little attention has been given to the man ner in which it can be determined if this potential is actually realized. In this study a quality assessment approach that
Technology. Full Length Research Paper. Physicochemical and bacteriological quality assessment of the Bambui community drinking water in the North West Region ... the water samples were contaminated to different extents by bacteria and heavy metals due to lack of ... water source and the decision to purify or not water.
Beaudart, Charlotte; Biver, Emmanuel; Bruyère, Olivier; Cooper, Cyrus; Al-Daghri, Nasser; Reginster, Jean-Yves; Rizzoli, René
Musculoskeletal disorders affect morbidity, quality of life and mortality, and represent an increasing economic and societal burden in the context of population aging and increased life expectancy. Improvement of quality of life should be one of the priorities of any interventions to prevent and treat musculoskeletal disorders in the ageing population. Two main approaches, namely generic and disease-specific instruments, can be applied to measure health-related quality of life. Among the generic tools available in scientific literature, the short form 36 questionnaire (SF-36) and the Euroqol five item questionnaire (EQ-5D) are two of the most popular questionnaires used to quantify the health related quality of life in people with musculoskeletal disorders. However, because generic tools may not always be able to detect subtle effects of a specific condition on quality of life, a specific tool is highly valuable. Specific tools improve the ability to clinically characterize quality of life in subjects with a specific musculoskeletal disorder, as well as the capacity to assess changes over time in the QoL of these subjects. The recent development of specific tools should help to validate preventive and therapeutic interventions in this field.
Kwok, Timothy; Leung, Ping Chung; Wing, Yun Kwok; Ip, Isaac; Wong, Bel; Ho, Daniel Wai Hung; Wong, Wai Ming; Ho, Florence
Elderly with dementia are often afflicted with sleep problems. Recent studies have suggested that acupuncture may be a feasible alternative to traditional sleep medicine for treating sleep disturbance. This study investigated the effectiveness of acupuncture on sleep quality of elderly with dementia. Nineteen elders with dementia were followed through a control period and an acupuncture treatment period, each lasting 6 weeks. Outcome measures were subjects' sleep quality and cognitive function. Sleep parameters were recorded by wrist actigraphy. Cognitive function was assessed by the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive (ADAS-Cog). Pretests and posttests were conducted immediately before and after the control and treatment periods. Changes in the outcome measures between control and treatment periods were compared. Wilcoxon signed rank tests revealed that the subjects gained significantly more resting time and total sleep time in the treatment period than in the control period (P efficiency was observed. Improvement in cognitive function was not statistically significant. A total of 86% of the subjects completed the treatment regime. Results reveal that acupuncture was effective in improving some domains of sleep quality of elderly with dementia, and the subjects showed acceptance towards the intervention. Strengths and limitations of the present study as well as suggestions for further studies were considered.
Full Text Available This study investigated the relation between sleep and school performance in a large sample of 561 adolescents aged 11-18 years. Three subjective measures of sleep were used: sleepiness, sleep quality and sleep duration. They were compared to three measures of school performance: objective school grades, self-reported school performance, and parent-reported school performance. Sleepiness – ‘I feel sleepy during the first hours at school’ – appeared to predict both school grades and self-reported school performance. Sleep quality on the other hand – as a measure of (uninterrupted sleep and/or problems falling asleep or waking up – predicted parent-reported school performance. Self- and parent-reported school performance correlated only moderately with school grades. So it turns out that the measures used to measure either sleep or school performance impacts whether or not a relation is found. Further research on sleep and school performance should take this into account. The findings do underscore the notion that sleep in adolescence can be important for learning. They are compatible with the hypothesis that a reduced sleep quality can give rise to sleepiness in the first hours at school which results in lower school performance. This notion could have applied value in counseling adolescents and their parents in changing adolescents’ sleep behavior.
Boschloo, Annemarie; Krabbendam, Lydia; Dekker, Sanne; Lee, Nikki; de Groot, Renate; Jolles, Jelle
This study investigated the relation between sleep and school performance in a large sample of 561 adolescents aged 11-18 years. Three subjective measures of sleep were used: sleepiness, sleep quality, and sleep duration. They were compared to three measures of school performance: objective school grades, self-reported school performance, and parent-reported school performance. Sleepiness - "I feel sleepy during the first hours at school" - appeared to predict both school grades and self-reported school performance. Sleep quality on the other hand - as a measure of (un)interrupted sleep and/or problems falling asleep or waking up - predicted parent-reported school performance. Self- and parent-reported school performance correlated only moderately with school grades. So it turns out that the measures used to measure either sleep or school performance impacts whether or not a relation is found. Further research on sleep and school performance should take this into account. The findings do underscore the notion that sleep in adolescence can be important for learning. They are compatible with the hypothesis that a reduced sleep quality can give rise to sleepiness in the first hours at school which results in lower school performance. This notion could have applied value in counseling adolescents and their parents in changing adolescents' sleep behavior.
Report No. DoDIG-2012-143 September 27, 2012 ISO 9001 :2008 Quality Assurance Assessment of Defense Acquisition University...DATE 27 SEP 2012 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2012 to 00-00-2012 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE ISO 9001 :2008 Quality Assurance Assessment of...ACQUISITION UNIVERSITY SUBJECT: ISO 9001 :2008 Quality Assurance Assessment of Defense Acquisition University Processes (Report No. DODIG-2012-143) The
Full Text Available Air pollution is increasing rapidly in almost all cities around the world due to increase in population. Mumbai city in India is one of the mega cities where air quality is deteriorating at a very rapid rate. Air quality monitoring stations have been installed in the city to regulate air pollution control strategies to reduce the air pollution level. In this paper, air quality assessment has been carried out over the sample region using interpolation techniques. The technique Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW of Geographical Information System (GIS has been used to perform interpolation with the help of concentration data on air quality at three locations of Mumbai for the year 2008. The classification was done for the spatial and temporal variation in air quality levels for Mumbai region. The seasonal and annual variations of air quality levels for SO2, NOx and SPM (Suspended Particulate Matter have been focused in this study. Results show that SPM concentration always exceeded the permissible limit of National Ambient Air Quality Standard. Also, seasonal trends of pollutant SPM was low in monsoon due rain fall. The finding of this study will help to formulate control strategies for rational management of air pollution and can be used for many other regions.
Minocha, Priyanka; Sitaraman, Sadasivan; Choudhary, Anita; Yadav, Rajiv
To determine the prevalence of undernutrition in children with cerebral palsy and to compare subjective and objective methods of nutritional assessment. This was a hospital based analytical observational study in which 180 children of cerebral palsy, aged 1-12 y, attending tertiary level hospital, Jaipur from March, 2012 through March, 2013 were included. Subjective assessment was done by questionnaire (Subjective Global Nutritional Assessment; SGNA) in which questions related to nutrition history and physical examination, signs of fat, muscle wasting and edema was done while objective assessment was done by weight, height and triceps skinfold thickness (TSFT) measurements. In this study prevalence of undernutrition by subjective method (SGNA) was 76.67% while by objective measurement (weight, height, TSFT) was 48.89%, 77.78% 35.18% respectively. There was fair to moderate agreement between the SGNA and objective assessments including weight and height (k = 0.341, p = 0.000; k = 0.337, p = 0.000 respectively) while for TSFT agreement between both methods was poor (k = 0.092, p = 0.190). In the index study, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) of SGNA was for weight was 95%, 37%, 56%, 90%; for height 84%, 50%, 85%, 47%; for TSFT 81%, 30%, 38%, 75% respectively. The prevalence of undernutrition is high in cerebral palsy children. SGNA can be a reliable tool for assessing nutritional status in children with cerebral palsy and is a simple, comprehensive, noninvasive, and cost-effective tool for screening undernutrition in children of cerebral palsy.
Demant, Kirsa M; Vinberg, Maj; Kessing, Lars V
Cognitive dysfunction is prevalent in bipolar disorder (BD). However, the evidence regarding the association between subjective cognitive complaints, objective cognitive performance and psychosocial function is sparse and inconsistent. Seventy seven patients with bipolar disorder who presented...
Kao, Yueying; He, Ran; Huang, Kaiqi
Human beings often assess the aesthetic quality of an image coupled with the identification of the image's semantic content. This paper addresses the correlation issue between automatic aesthetic quality assessment and semantic recognition. We cast the assessment problem as the main task among a multi-task deep model, and argue that semantic recognition task offers the key to address this problem. Based on convolutional neural networks, we employ a single and simple multi-task framework to efficiently utilize the supervision of aesthetic and semantic labels. A correlation item between these two tasks is further introduced to the framework by incorporating the inter-task relationship learning. This item not only provides some useful insight about the correlation but also improves assessment accuracy of the aesthetic task. In particular, an effective strategy is developed to keep a balance between the two tasks, which facilitates to optimize the parameters of the framework. Extensive experiments on the challenging Aesthetic Visual Analysis dataset and Photo.net dataset validate the importance of semantic recognition in aesthetic quality assessment, and demonstrate that multitask deep models can discover an effective aesthetic representation to achieve the state-of-the-art results.
Hawthorne, M.; Chiodini, P. L.; Snell, J. J.; Moody, A. H.; Ramsay, A.
AIMS: To assess the results from parasitology laboratories taking part in a quality assessment scheme between 1986 and 1991; and to compare performance with repeat specimens. METHODS: Quality assessment of blood parasitology, including tissue parasites (n = 444; 358 UK, 86 overseas), and faecal parasitology, including extra-intestinal parasites (n = 205; 141 UK, 64 overseas), was performed. RESULTS: Overall, the standard of performance was poor. A questionnaire distributed to participants showed that a wide range of methods was used, some of which were considered inadequate to achieve reliable results. Teaching material was distributed to participants from time to time in an attempt to improve standards. CONCLUSIONS: Since the closure of the IMLS fellowship course in 1972, fewer opportunities for specialised training in parasitology are available: more training is needed. Poor performance in the detection of malarial parasites is mainly attributable to incorrect speciation, misidentification, and lack of equipment such as an eyepiece graticule. PMID:1452791
Kling, M.; Jakobsen, I.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi constitute a living bridge for the transport of nutrients from soil to plant roots, and are considered as the group of soil microorganisms that is of most direct importance to nutrient uptake by herbaceous plants. AM fungi also contribute to the formation of soil...... aggregates and to the protection of plants against drought and root pathogens. Assessment of soil quality, defined as the capacity of a soil to function within ecosystem boundaries to sustain biological productivity, maintain environmental quality, and promote plant health, should therefore include both...... quantitative and qualitative measurements of this important biological resource. Various methods for the assessment of the potential for mycorrhiza formation and function are presented. Examples are given of the application of these methods to assess the impact of pesticides on the mycorrhiza....
Sarapa, Nenad; Mortara, Justin L; Brown, Barry D; Isola, Lamberto; Badilini, Fabio
The US Food and Drug Administration recommends submission of digital electrocardiograms in the standard HL7 XML format into the electrocardiogram warehouse to support preapproval review of new drug applications. The Food and Drug Administration scrutinizes electrocardiogram quality by viewing the annotated waveforms and scoring electrocardiogram quality by the warehouse algorithms. Part of the Food and Drug Administration warehouse is commercially available to sponsors as the E-Scribe Warehouse. The authors tested the performance of E-Scribe Warehouse algorithms by quantifying electrocardiogram acquisition quality, adherence to QT annotation protocol, and T-wave signal strength in 2 data sets: "reference" (104 digital electrocardiograms from a phase I study with sotalol in 26 healthy subjects with QT annotations by computer-assisted manual adjustment) and "test" (the same electrocardiograms with an intentionally introduced predefined number of quality issues). The E-Scribe Warehouse correctly detected differences between the 2 sets expected from the number and pattern of errors in the "test" set (except for 1 subject with QT misannotated in different leads of serial electrocardiograms) and confirmed the absence of differences where none was expected. E-Scribe Warehouse scores below the threshold value identified individual electrocardiograms with questionable T-wave signal strength. The E-Scribe Warehouse showed satisfactory performance in detecting electrocardiogram quality issues that may impair reliability of QTc assessment in clinical trials in healthy subjects.
Seemann, Stefan E; Anthon, Christian; Palasca, Oana
domesticated animal genomes still need to be sequenced deeper in order to produce high-quality assemblies. In the meanwhile, ironically, the extent to which RNAseq and other next-generation data is produced frequently far exceeds that of the genomic sequence. Furthermore, basic comparative analysis is often...... affected by the lack of genomic sequence. Herein, we quantify the quality of the genome assemblies of 20 domesticated animals and related species by assessing a range of measurable parameters, and we show that there is a positive correlation between the fraction of mappable reads from RNAseq data...
Rehman, Abdul; Zeng, Kai; Wang, Zhou
Today's viewers consume video content from a variety of connected devices, including smart phones, tablets, notebooks, TVs, and PCs. This imposes significant challenges for managing video traffic efficiently to ensure an acceptable quality-of-experience (QoE) for the end users as the perceptual quality of video content strongly depends on the properties of the display device and the viewing conditions. State-of-the-art full-reference objective video quality assessment algorithms do not take into account the combined impact of display device properties, viewing conditions, and video resolution while performing video quality assessment. We performed a subjective study in order to understand the impact of aforementioned factors on perceptual video QoE. We also propose a full reference video QoE measure, named SSIMplus, that provides real-time prediction of the perceptual quality of a video based on human visual system behaviors, video content characteristics (such as spatial and temporal complexity, and video resolution), display device properties (such as screen size, resolution, and brightness), and viewing conditions (such as viewing distance and angle). Experimental results have shown that the proposed algorithm outperforms state-of-the-art video quality measures in terms of accuracy and speed.
Full Text Available Abstract A revolutionary feature of emerging media services over the Internet is their ability to account for human perception during service delivery processes, which surely increases their popularity and incomes. In such a situation, it is necessary to understand the users' perception, what should obviously be done using standardized subjective experiences. However, it is also important to develop artificial quality assessors that enable to automatically quantify the perceived quality. This efficiently helps performing optimal network and service management at the core and edges of the delivery systems. In our article, we explore the behavior rating of new emerging artificial speech quality assessors of VoIP calls subject to moderately bursty packet loss processes. The examined Speech Quality Assessment (SQA algorithms are able to estimate speech quality of live VoIP calls at run-time using control information extracted from header content of received packets. They are especially designed to be sensitive to packet loss burstiness. The performance evaluation study is performed using a dedicated set-up software-based SQA framework. It offers a specialized packet killer and includes the implementation of four SQA algorithms. A speech quality database, which covers a wide range of bursty packet loss conditions, has been created and then thoroughly analyzed. Our main findings are the following: (1 all examined automatic bursty-loss aware speech quality assessors achieve a satisfactory correlation under upper (> 20% and lower (< 10% ranges of packet loss processes; (2 they exhibit a clear weakness to assess speech quality under a moderated packet loss process; (3 the accuracy of sequence-by-sequence basis of examined SQA algorithms should be addressed in detail for further precision.
Full Text Available Abstract Background This study tested the homeostatic model of subjective quality of life in a group of 47 short stay patients as they progressed through the stages of hospitalization for surgery. Method Participants completed a questionnaire measuring subjective quality of life, positive and negative affect, self-esteem, optimism and cognitive flexibility, the day prior to admission (T1, two days post-operation (T2 and one week after discharge (T3. Neuroticism and Extroversion were measured at Time 1. Results All variables remained stable across the three times, apart from positive affect, which dropped significantly post-operation but returned to its previous level post discharge. Conclusion Although the homeostatic model of subjective quality of life was supported at Time 1, the analyses raise doubts about the stability of personality. This finding is consistent with recent discussions of personality.
Jost-Boissard, S.; Avouac, P.; Fontoynont, Marc
The CIE General Colour Rendering Index is currently the criterion used to describe and measure the colour-rendering properties of light sources. But over the past years, there has been increasing evidence of its limitations particularly its ability to predict the perceived colour quality of light...... but also with a preference index or a memory index calculated without blue and purple hues. A very low correlation was found between appreciation and naturalness indicating that colour quality needs more than one metric to describe subjective aspects.......The CIE General Colour Rendering Index is currently the criterion used to describe and measure the colour-rendering properties of light sources. But over the past years, there has been increasing evidence of its limitations particularly its ability to predict the perceived colour quality of light...... sources and especially some LEDs. In this paper, several aspects of perceived colour quality are investigated using a side-by-side paired comparison method, and the following criteria: naturalness of fruits and vegetables, colourfulness of the Macbeth Color Checker chart, visual appreciation...
Li, Junshan; Yang, Yawei; Hu, Shuangyan; Zhang, Jiao
The visual quality assessment of images/videos is an ongoing hot research topic, which has become more and more important for numerous image and video processing applications with the rapid development of digital imaging and communication technologies. The goal of image quality assessment (IQA) algorithms is to automatically assess the quality of images/videos in agreement with human quality judgments. Up to now, two kinds of models have been used for IQA, namely full-reference (FR) and no-reference (NR) models. For FR models, IQA algorithms interpret image quality as fidelity or similarity with a perfect image in some perceptual space. However, the reference image is not available in many practical applications, and a NR IQA approach is desired. Considering natural vision as optimized by the millions of years of evolutionary pressure, many methods attempt to achieve consistency in quality prediction by modeling salient physiological and psychological features of the human visual system (HVS). To reach this goal, researchers try to simulate HVS with image sparsity coding and supervised machine learning, which are two main features of HVS. A typical HVS captures the scenes by sparsity coding, and uses experienced knowledge to apperceive objects. In this paper, we propose a novel IQA approach based on visual perception. Firstly, a standard model of HVS is studied and analyzed, and the sparse representation of image is accomplished with the model; and then, the mapping correlation between sparse codes and subjective quality scores is trained with the regression technique of least squaresupport vector machine (LS-SVM), which gains the regressor that can predict the image quality; the visual metric of image is predicted with the trained regressor at last. We validate the performance of proposed approach on Laboratory for Image and Video Engineering (LIVE) database, the specific contents of the type of distortions present in the database are: 227 images of JPEG2000, 233
Siener, Roswitha; Buchholz, Noor; Daudon, Michel
, between 2010 and 2014. Each participant received the same blinded test samples for stone analysis. A total of 24 samples, comprising pure substances and mixtures of two or three components, were analysed. The evaluation of the quality of the laboratory in the present study was based on the attainment...... and chemical analysis. The aim of the present study was to assess the quality of urinary stone analysis of laboratories in Europe. Nine laboratories from eight European countries participated in six quality control surveys for urinary calculi analyses of the Reference Institute for Bioanalytics, Bonn, Germany...... of 75% of the maximum total points, i.e. 99 points. The methods of stone analysis used were infrared spectroscopy (n = 7), chemical analysis (n = 1) and X-ray diffraction (n = 1). In the present study only 56% of the laboratories, four using infrared spectroscopy and one using X-ray diffraction...
Rey, Lourdes; Extremera, Natalio; Durán, Auxiliadora; Ortiz-Tallo, Margarita
For decades, the field of quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities has focused on the improving the external life conditions. However, scarce research has examined the contribution of person-related psychological resources such as emotional competence (EC) on well-being in this population. Using a cross-sectional design, 139 adults with intellectual disabilities completed different measures: Subjective Happiness Scale, Satisfaction with Life Scale, Positive Affect and Negative Affect Scale and Wong and Law Emotional Intelligence Scale. Emotional competence shows a positive and significant association with life satisfaction and happiness. EC dimensions were predictors of well-being beyond socio-demographic variables and dispositional affectivity. Our findings provide preliminary evidence of the potential value of considering EC in the improvement in the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities. Professionals interested in intellectual disabilities care might consider training programmes based on EC as an additional intervention strategy aimed at improving well-being. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Brambilla, Giovanni; Maffei, Luigi; Di Gabriele, Maria; Gallo, Veronica
An experimental study was carried out in 20 squares in the center of Rome, covering a wide range of different uses, sonic environments, geometry, and architectural styles. Soundwalks along the perimeter of each square were performed during daylight and weekdays taking binaural and video recordings, as well as spot measurements of illuminance. The cluster analysis performed on the physical parameters, not only acoustic, provided two clusters that are in satisfactory agreement with the "a priori" classification. Applying the principal component analysis (PCA) to five physical parameters, two main components were obtained which might be associated to two environmental features, namely, "chaotic/calm" and "open/enclosed." On the basis of these two features, six squares were selected for the laboratory audio-video tests where 32 subjects took part filling in a questionnaire. The PCA performed on the subjective ratings on the sonic environment showed two main components which might be associated to two emotional meanings, namely, "calmness" and "vibrancy." The linear regression modeling between five objective parameters and the mean value of subjective ratings on chaotic/calm and enclosed/open attributes showed a good correlation. Notwithstanding these interesting results being limited to the specific data set, it is worth pointing out that the complexity of the soundscape quality assessment can be more comprehensively examined merging the field measurements of physical parameters with the subjective ratings provided by field and/or laboratory tests.
Xu, Long; Kuo, C -C Jay
The book encompasses the state-of-the-art visual quality assessment (VQA) and learning based visual quality assessment (LB-VQA) by providing a comprehensive overview of the existing relevant methods. It delivers the readers the basic knowledge, systematic overview and new development of VQA. It also encompasses the preliminary knowledge of Machine Learning (ML) to VQA tasks and newly developed ML techniques for the purpose. Hence, firstly, it is particularly helpful to the beginner-readers (including research students) to enter into VQA field in general and LB-VQA one in particular. Secondly, new development in VQA and LB-VQA particularly are detailed in this book, which will give peer researchers and engineers new insights in VQA.
Wilson, M G
Assessing the quality of data recorded with the ATLAS detector is crucial for commissioning and operating the detector to achieve sound physics measurements. In particular, the fast assessment of complex quantities obtained during event reconstruction and the ability to easily track them over time are especially important given the large data throughput and the distributed nature of the analysis environment. The data are processed once on a computer farm comprising O(1, 000) nodes before being distributed on the Grid, and reliable, centralized methods must be used to organize, merge, present, and archive data-quality metrics for performance experts and analysts. A review of the tools and approaches employed by the detector and physics groups in this environment and a summary of their performances during commissioning are presented.
Full Text Available Context: Currently there is a growing interest in oral health outcomes in how oral health affects quality of life. When oral health related quality of life measures are used alongside traditional clinical methods of measuring oral health status, a more comprehensive assessment of the impact of oral diseases on the several dimensions of subjective wellbeing becomes possible. In this context, we attempted to study the impact of oral diseases on quality of life, so as to address the patient′s needs in an appropriate way and thereby improving one′s quality of life. Aims: To evaluate the impact of different oral diseases on quality of life using a modified OHIP-14 questionnaire, so as to address the patient′s needs in an appropriate way and thereby improving one′s quality of life. Settings and Design: The study was carried out among 302 subjects, attending the outpatient department a dental hospital, India, for check up and treatment of their oral condition. Subjects aged above 20 years, who gave their consent for the study were included. Materials and Methods: The study sample was categorized in to two groups based upon the duration of the affecting disease - group 1 consisted of subjects suffering with chronic diseases and group 2 of subjects suffering with acute diseases. All the subjects were asked to fill up their responses in the given OHIP-14 questionnaires. The completed questionnaires were then collected and statistically analyzed. Statistical Analysis Used: To evaluate the role of age on QOL, age was divided in to 2 groups using median split procedure. For inter and intragroup comparisions, independent sample t test, anova followed by post hoc test and Chi-square tests were employed. Results: Chi square test revealed a moderately impaired quality of life among all the diseases investigated. On comparing the mean domain and total OHIP score between the two groups, the domain of psychological discomfort and disability and the total
Jucelia Appio Tibola
Full Text Available The aim in this research is to identify the quality attributes students perceive in cost management and accounting subjects. The subjects were 126 students who took the subjects Cost Applied to Administration, Cost Accounting and Cost Analysis, corresponding to all students in the semester during which the research was undertaken. Thus, a census study was adopted. The research institution is a public university that offers graduate (M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs in Accountancy and Business Administration, particularly in the South of Brazil. An exploratory and qualitative research design was used in the first part and a descriptive and quantitative design in the second. Data were collected with the help of a structured questionnaire with open questions, applying the Critical Incident Technique. Content Analysis was used to classify and categorize the respondents’ answers into units of meaning. In the second phase, these categories were transformed into categorical variables and analyzed through statistical procedures. The results evidenced that the quality attributes constituted an Axis. In the Cost Analysis subjects, they privileged the lecturer’s quality. In Cost Accounting, the students evidenced the teacher’s commitment and the application of practical examples as a relevant attribute. In Cost Applied to Administration, the results indicated that understanding about the subject, clarification of doubts and the lecturer’s didactics served as quality attributes.
Corchs, Silvia; Gasparini, Francesca; Schettini, Raimondo
The aim of this work is to study image quality of both single and multiply distorted images. We address the case of images corrupted by Gaussian noise or JPEG compressed as single distortion cases and images corrupted by Gaussian noise and then JPEG compressed, as multiply distortion case. Subjective studies were conducted in two parts to obtain human judgments on the single and multiply distorted images. We study how these subjective data correlate with No Reference state-of-the-art quality metrics. We also investigate proper combining of No Reference metrics to achieve better performance. Results are analyzed and compared in terms of correlation coefficients.
Ali Çekiç; Aykut Kul; Ayşenur Çetin; Ümmügülsüm Cihangiroğlu
This study aims to examine the effects of friendship skills training on the quality of friendship and subjective well-being of adolescents. In order to determine the experimental and control groups, the Friendship Quality Scale and the Adolescent Subjective Well-Being Scale were administered to 311 students in 9th, 10th and 11th grade classes from a state school in İskenderun in Hatay during the 2015-2016 education year. As a result, 21 students who had lower than average scores were included...
Zoraghi, Nima; Amiri, Maghsoud; Talebi, Golnaz; Zowghi, Mahdi
This paper presents a fuzzy multi-criteria decision-making (FMCDM) model by integrating both subjective and objective weights for ranking and evaluating the service quality in hotels. The objective method selects weights of criteria through mathematical calculation, while the subjective method uses judgments of decision makers. In this paper, we use a combination of weights obtained by both approaches in evaluating service quality in hotel industries. A real case study that considered ranking five hotels is illustrated. Examples are shown to indicate capabilities of the proposed method.
Nip, Maarten J.; Udo de Haes, Helias A.
Environmental quality assessment has to focus more on the quality of whole ecosystems, instead of focusing on the direct effects of a specific stressor, because of a more integrated environmetal policy approach. Yet, how can the ecosystem quality be measured? Partly this is a normative question, a question of what is considered good and bad. At the same time, it is a scientific question, dealing with the problem of low the state of a system as complex as an ecosystem could be measured. Measuring all abiotic and biotic components, not to mention their many relationships, is not feasible. In this article we review several approaches dealing with this scientific question. Three approaches are distinguished; they differ in type of variable set and ecosystem model used. As a result of this, the information about the state of the ecosystem differs: ultimate breadth, comprising information about the whole ecosystem, is at the expense of detail, while ultimate detail is at the expense of breadth. We discuss whether the resultant quality assessments differ in character and are therefore suitable to answer different policy questions.
Timmermans, Martijn J T N; de Boer, Muriel E; Nota, Benjamin; de Boer, Tjalf E; Mariën, Janine; Klein-Lankhorst, Rene M; van Straalen, Nico M; Roelofs, Dick
BACKGROUND: Environmental quality assessment is traditionally based on responses of reproduction and survival of indicator organisms. For soil assessment the springtail Folsomia candida (Collembola) is an accepted standard test organism. We argue that environmental quality assessment using gene
Full Text Available Self-imposed short sleep durations are increasingly commonplace in society, and have considerable health and performance implications for individuals. Reduced sleep duration over multiple nights has similar behavioural effects to those observed following acute total sleep deprivation, suggesting that lack of sleep affects brain function cumulatively. A link between habitual sleep patterns and functional connectivity has previously been observed, and the effect of sleep duration on the brain's intrinsic functional architecture may provide a link between sleep status and cognition. However, it is currently not known whether differences in habitual sleep patterns across individuals are related to changes in the brain's white matter, which underlies structural connectivity. In the present study we use diffusion–weighted imaging and a group comparison application of tract based spatial statistics (TBSS to investigate changes to fractional anisotropy (FA and mean diffusivity (MD in relation to sleep duration and quality, hypothesising that white matter metrics would be positively associated with sleep duration and quality. Diffusion weighted imaging data was acquired from a final cohort of 33 (23–29 years, 10 female, mean 25.4 years participants. Sleep patterns were assessed for a 14 day period using wrist actigraphs and sleep diaries, and subjective sleep quality with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI. Median splits based on total sleep time and PSQI were used to create groups of shorter/longer and poorer/better sleepers, whose imaging data was compared using TBSS followed by post-hoc correlation analysis in regions identified as significantly different between the groups. There were significant positive correlations between sleep duration and FA in the left orbito-frontal region and the right superior corona radiata, and significant negative correlations between sleep duration and MD in right orbito-frontal white matter and the right
Nikic, Dragana; Bogdanovic, Dragan; Nikolic, Maja; Stankovic, Aleksandra; Zivkovic, Nenad; Djordjevic, Amelija
The aim of this study is to indicate the significance of air quality monitoring and to determine the air quality fields for the assessment of air pollution health effects, with special attention to risk population. Radial basis function network was used for air quality index mapping. Between 1991 and 2005, on the territory of Nis, several epidemiological studies were performed on risk groups (pre-school children, school children, pregnant women and persons older than 65). The total number of subjects was 5837. The exposed group comprised individuals living in the areas with unhealthy AQI, while the control group comprised individuals living in city areas with good or moderate AQI. It was determined that even relatively low levels of air pollution had impact on respiratory system and the occurrence of anaemia, allergy and skin symptoms.
Bittremieux, Wout; Meysman, Pieter; Martens, Lennart; Valkenborg, Dirk; Laukens, Kris
Despite many technological and computational advances, the results of a mass spectrometry proteomics experiment are still subject to a large variability. For the understanding and evaluation of how technical variability affects the results of an experiment, several computationally derived quality control metrics have been introduced. However, despite the availability of these metrics, a systematic approach to quality control is often still lacking because the metrics are not fully understood and are hard to interpret. Here, we present a toolkit of powerful techniques to analyze and interpret multivariate quality control metrics to assess the quality of mass spectrometry proteomics experiments. We show how unsupervised techniques applied to these quality control metrics can provide an initial discrimination between low-quality experiments and high-quality experiments prior to manual investigation. Furthermore, we provide a technique to obtain detailed information on the quality control metrics that are related to the decreased performance, which can be used as actionable information to improve the experimental setup. Our toolkit is released as open-source and can be downloaded from https://bitbucket.org/proteinspector/qc_analysis/ .
Kukla, Marina; Lysaker, Paul H; Roe, David
Interest in recovery from schizophrenia has been growing steadily, with much of the focus on remission from psychotic symptoms and a return to functioning. Less is known about the experience of subjective recovery and its relationships with other important outcomes, such as quality of life and the formation and sustenance of social connections. This study sought to address this gap in knowledge by examining the links between self perceived recovery, symptoms, and the social components of quality of life. Sixty eight veterans with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders who were participating in a study of cognitive remediation and work were concurrently administered the Recovery Assessment Scale, Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, and the Heinrichs-Carpenter Quality of Life Scale (QLS). Linear regression analyses demonstrated that subjective recovery moderated the relationship between positive symptoms and both QLS intrapsychic foundations scores and QLS instrumental role functioning after controlling for negative symptoms. Further examination of this interaction revealed that for individuals with substantial positive symptoms, higher levels of subjective recovery were associated with better instrumental role functioning and intrapsychic foundational abilities. Greater self perceived recovery is linked with stronger quality of life, both in regards to the cognitive and affective bases for socialization and active community involvement, even in the presence of substantial psychotic symptoms. Clinical implications of these findings are discussed. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Hemmsen, Martin Christian; Petersen, Mads Møller; Nikolov, Svetoslav Ivanov; Nielsen, Michael Backmann; Jensen, Jørgen Arendt
Improvement of ultrasound images should be guided by their diagnostic value. Evaluation of clinical image quality is generally performed subjectively, because objective criteria have not yet been fully developed and accepted for the evaluation of clinical image quality. Based on recommendation 500 from the International Telecommunication Union - Radiocommunication (ITU-R) for such subjective quality assessment, this work presents equipment and a methodology for clinical image quality evaluation for guiding the development of new and improved imaging. The system is based on a BK-Medical 2202 ProFocus scanner equipped with a UA2227 research interface, connected to a PC through X64-CL Express camera link. Data acquisition features subject data recording, loading/saving of exact scanner settings (for later experiment reproducibility), free access to all system parameters for beamformation and is applicable for clinical use. The free access to all system parameters enables the ability to capture standardized images as found in the clinic and experimental data from new processing or beamformation methods. The length of the data sequences is only restricted by the memory of the external PC. Data may be captured interleaved, switching between multiple setups, to maintain identical transducer, scanner, region of interest and recording time on both the experimental- and standardized images. Data storage is approximately 15.1 seconds pr. 3 sec sequence including complete scanner settings and patient information, which is fast enough to get sufficient number of scans under realistic operating conditions, so that statistical evaluation is valid and reliable.
Dafkin, Chloe; Green, Andrew; Kerr, Samantha; Veliotes, Demetri; Olivier, Benita; McKinon, Warrick
The Babinski reflex is a clinical diagnostic tool; however, the interrater reliability of this tool is currently greatly contested. A comparison between rater groups with objective measurements of the Babinski reflex was therefore conducted. Fifteen recorded Babinski reflexes were assessed by 12 neurologists and 12 medical students as being either pathological or nonpathological. Kinematic and electromyographic variables were collected and used to assess which aspects of the Babinski reflex predict classification. Substantial interrater agreement within the neurologist and student groups (κ = .72 and .67, respectively) was shown; however, there were some differing aspects between what neurologists and students used to assess the reflex as determined by objective kinematic measurements.
This article proposes a Thurstonian model in the framework of Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) to assess preferences among quality of life dimensions for the elderly. Data were gathered by a paired comparison design in a sample comprised of 323 people aged from 65 to 94 years old. Five dimensions of quality of life were evaluated: Health,…
Nunes, Gonçalo; Santos, Carla Adriana; Barosa, Rita; Fonseca, Cristina; Barata, Ana Teresa; Fonseca, Jorge
Protein-calorie malnutrition is common in chronic liver disease (CLD) but adequate clinical tools for nutritional assessment are not defined. In CLD patients, it was aimed: 1. Characterize protein-calorie malnutrition; 2. Compare several clinical, anthropometric and functional tools; 3. Study the association malnutrition/CLD severity and malnutrition/outcome. Observational, prospective study. Consecutive CLD ambulatory/hospitalised patients were recruited from 01-03-2012 to 31-08-2012, studied according with age, gender, etiology, alcohol consumption and CLD severity defined by Child-Turcotte-Pugh. Nutritional assessment used subjective global assessment, anthropometry, namely body-mass index (BMI), triceps skinfold, mid upper arm circumference, mid arm muscular circumference and handgrip strength. Patients were followed during two years and survival data was recorded. A total of 130 CLD patients (80 men), aged 22-89 years (mean 60 years) were included. Most suffered from alcoholic cirrhosis (45%). Hospitalised patients presented more severe disease ( P nutritional status defined by BMI ( P =0.002), mid upper arm circumference ( P assessment ( P assessment ( P Nutritional assessment should be considered mandatory in the routine care of CLD patients.
Kottink, Anke I.; IJzerman, Maarten Joost; Hermens, Hermanus J.; Groothuis-Oudshoorn, Catharina Gerarda Maria; Kottink, A.I.R.
The aim was to determine if the treatment of a drop foot by means of an implantable two-channel peroneal nerve stimulator improves health-related quality of life (HRQoL). All subjects were measured at baseline and after a follow-up period of 12 and 26 weeks. Twenty-nine stroke survivors with chronic
Newton, Tamara L; Burns, Vicki Ellison; Miller, James J; Fernandez-Botran, G Rafael
A marital status of divorced or separated, as opposed to married, predicts increased risk of health problems, but not for all persons. Focusing on one established health risk that has been linked with divorce--poor subjective sleep quality--the present cross-sectional study examined whether a history of physical intimate partner victimization (IPV) helps identify divorced women at potentially greater risk of health problems. Community midlife women with divorce histories, all of whom were free of current IPV, reported on their past month sleep quality and lifetime IPV. The predicted odds of poor sleep quality were significantly greater for women with, versus without, IPV histories. This held after adjusting for socioemotional, medical, or sociodemographic risks. A dose-response relationship between IPV chronicity and poor quality sleep was observed. IPV history may help identify divorced women at increased risk of poor quality sleep and, more broadly, poor health. © The Author(s) 2015.
Factors that degrade image quality in video and other sensor collections, such as noise, blurring, and poor resolution, also affect the spatial power spectrum of imagery. Prior research in human vision and image science from the last few decades has shown that the image power spectrum can be useful for assessing the quality of static images. The research in this article explores the possibility of using the image power spectrum to automatically evaluate full-motion video (FMV) imagery frame by frame. This procedure makes it possible to identify anomalous images and scene changes, and to keep track of gradual changes in quality as collection progresses. This article will describe a method to apply power spectral image quality metrics for images subjected to simulated blurring, blocking, and noise. As a preliminary test on videos from multiple sources, image quality measurements for image frames from 185 videos are compared to analyst ratings based on ground sampling distance. The goal of the research is to develop an automated system for tracking image quality during real-time collection, and to assign ratings to video clips for long-term storage, calibrated to standards such as the National Imagery Interpretability Rating System (NIIRS).
Romeiser Logan, Lynne; Hickman, Robbin R; Harris, Susan R; Heriza, Carolyn B
The aim of this article is to present a set of evidence levels, accompanied by 14 quality or rigor questions, to foster a critical review of published single-subject research articles. In developing these guidelines, we reviewed levels of evidence and quality/rigor criteria that are in wide use for group research designs, e.g. randomized controlled trials, such as those developed by the Treatment Outcomes Committee of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine. We also reviewed methodological articles on how to conduct and critically evaluate single-subject research designs (SSRDs). We then subjected the quality questions to interrater agreement testing and refined them until acceptable agreement was reached. We recommend that these guidelines be implemented by clinical researchers who plan to conduct single-subject research or who incorporate SSRD studies into systematic reviews, and by clinicians who aim to practise evidence-based medicine and who wish to critically review pediatric single-subject research.
Cortez, Paulo; Teixeira, Juliana; Cerdeira, António; Almeida, Fernando; Matos, Telmo; Reis, José
Certification and quality assessment are crucial issues within the wine industry. Currently, wine quality is mostly assessed by physicochemical (e.g alcohol levels) and sensory (e.g. human expert evaluation) tests. In this paper, we propose a data mining approach to predict wine preferences that is based on easily available analytical tests at the certification step. A large dataset is considered with white vinho verde samples from the Minho region of Portugal. Wine quality is modeled under a regression approach, which preserves the order of the grades. Explanatory knowledge is given in terms of a sensitivity analysis, which measures the response changes when a given input variable is varied through its domain. Three regression techniques were applied, under a computationally efficient procedure that performs simultaneous variable and model selection and that is guided by the sensitivity analysis. The support vector machine achieved promising results, outperforming the multiple regression and neural network methods. Such model is useful for understanding how physicochemical tests affect the sensory preferences. Moreover, it can support the wine expert evaluations and ultimately improve the production.
Olmos Gómez Maria del Carmen
Full Text Available The quality assessment is subject to multiple interpretations of its content and purpose, and also regarding to methods and techniques used to develop it. Although purposes of assessment are varied, usually pursuit three goals: Improvement, accountability and information. Currently, the concept of quality evaluation has been replaced by the management of educational quality, as Matthew  point “the new culture of evaluation is no longer oriented to penalty, ranking or selection of people, as provide a reasoned and reasonable information to guide the management of educational improvement”. Military Training Centres are externally evaluated by an experts External Evaluation Unit to identify strengths and weaknesses on their self-evaluation system and focus on important aspects related to the organization of the Centre, development of work plans, teacher’s style and students learning strategies, system of evaluation and qualification and accurate recommendations to improve all that. This research focuses on the evaluation of quality indicators for the external evaluation of higher education at Military Education Centres in Spain and it is funded by a joint project between University of Granada and MADOC. The technique used for collecting and analysing information was a content description of several documents provided by these military educational authorities, arising the identification and extraction of relevant indicators on the evaluation of higher education. This analysis was primarily based on standards and indicators systems by ANECA (National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation adapted to the Military Higher Education, but also it was consider other standards by international agencies and evaluative institutions, such as University of Chile, University of Paraguay, Canarias Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation and Agency for Quality Education System University of Castilla y León. The analysis realize a usual
Olmos Gómez Maria del Carmen
Full Text Available The quality assessment is subject to multiple interpretations of its content and purpose, and also regarding to methods and techniques used to develop it. Although purposes of assessment are varied, usually pursuit three goals: Improvement, accountability and information. Currently, the concept of quality evaluation has been replaced by the management of educational quality, as Matthew  point “the new culture of evaluation is no longer oriented to penalty, ranking or selection of people, as provide a reasoned and reasonable information to guide the management of educational improvement”. Military Training Centres are externally evaluated by an experts External Evaluation Unit to identify strengths and weaknesses on their self-evaluation system and focus on important aspects related to the organization of the Centre, development of work plans, teacher’s style and students learning strategies, system of evaluation and qualification and accurate recommendations to improve all that. This research focuses on the evaluation of quality indicators for the external evaluation of higher education at Military Education Centres in Spain and it is funded by a joint project between University of Granada and MADOC. The technique used for collecting and analysing information was a content description of several documents provided by these military educational authorities, arising the identification and extraction of relevant indicators on the evaluation of higher education. This analysis was primarily based on standards and indicators systems by ANECA (National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation adapted to the Military Higher Education, but also it was consider other standards by international agencies and evaluative institutions, such as University of Chile, University of Paraguay, Canarias Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation and Agency for Quality Education System University of Castilla y León. The analysis realize a usual
Ellermeier, Wolfgang; Legarth, Søren Vase
In order to evaluate how strong the influence of visual input on sound quality evaluation may be, a naive sample of 20 participants was asked to judge interior automotive sound recordings while simultaneously being exposed to pictures of cars. twenty-two recordings of second-gear acceleration...... accounted for by the pictures was roughly one fifth of the variance due to the sounds themselves. In physical terms, the picture manipulation shifted ratings of powerfulness by what a change in overall sound-pressure level of approximately 2-3 decibels would accomplish....
Klauder, L. T., Jr.; Clevenson, S. A.
Since ride quality is, by definition, a matter of passenger response, there is need for a qualification procedure (QP) for establishing the degree to which any particular ride quality measurement procedure (RQMP) does correlate with passenger responses. Once established, such a QP will provide very useful guidance for optimal adjustment of the various parameters which any given RQMP contains. A QP is proposed based on use of a ride motion simulator and on test subject responses to recordings of actual vehicle motions. Test subject responses are used to determine simulator gain settings for the individual recordings such as to make all of the simulated rides equally uncomfortable to the test subjects. Simulator platform accelerations vs. time are recorded with each ride at its equal discomfort gain setting. The equal discomfort platform acceleration recordings are then digitzed.
Rivas, Manuela Raposo; De La Serna, Manuel Cebrian; Martinez-Figueira, Esther
Helping students to acquire specific competences is nowadays one of the basic pillars of university teaching; therefore its evaluation and accreditation is of key importance. As of late, rubrics and in particular electronic rubrics (e-rubrics) have become an important resource to assess competences and guide students in their learning processes.…
Gao, Xinbo; Lu, Wen; Tao, Dacheng; Li, Xuelong
This paper summaries the state-of-the-art of image quality assessment (IQA) and human visual system (HVS). IQA provides an objective index or real value to measure the quality of the specified image. Since human beings are the ultimate receivers of visual information in practical applications, the most reliable IQA is to build a computational model to mimic the HVS. According to the properties and cognitive mechanism of the HVS, the available HVS-based IQA methods can be divided into two categories, i.e., bionics methods and engineering methods. This paper briefly introduces the basic theories and development histories of the above two kinds of HVS-based IQA methods. Finally, some promising research issues are pointed out in the end of the paper.
Johnsen, Kjeld; Dubois, Marie-Claude; Sørensen, Karl Grau
The present report documents the results of a study on daylight conditions in simple rooms of residential buildings. The overall objective of the study was to develop a basis for a method for the assessment of daylight quality in a room with simple geometry and window configurations. As a tool...... for the analyses the Radiance Lighting Simulation System was used. A large number of simulations were performed for 3 rooms (window configurations) under overcast, intermediate, and 40-50 sunny sky conditions for each window (7 months, three orientations and for every other hour with direct sun penetration through......-to-horizontal illuminance ratio as well as scale of shadow gave valuable information allowing a detailed description of the three-dimensional geometry of daylight in the space. It should be mentioned however, that there is no universal definition of light quality. The approach of this study was to analyse differences...
Asaad, Aras T.; Rashid, Rasber Dh.; Jassim, Sabah A.
Image quality is a major factor influencing pattern recognition accuracy and help detect image tampering for forensics. We are concerned with investigating topological image texture analysis techniques to assess different type of degradation. We use Local Binary Pattern (LBP) as a texture feature descriptor. For any image construct simplicial complexes for selected groups of uniform LBP bins and calculate persistent homology invariants (e.g. number of connected components). We investigated image quality discriminating characteristics of these simplicial complexes by computing these models for a large dataset of face images that are affected by the presence of shadows as a result of variation in illumination conditions. Our tests demonstrate that for specific uniform LBP patterns, the number of connected component not only distinguish between different levels of shadow effects but also help detect the infected regions as well.
Nielsen, P.E.; Myschetzky, P; Andersen, A R
Out-patient clinic blood pressure (OPC-BP) was compared to home blood pressure (Home-BP) measured three times daily during a two week period in 122 consecutively referred hypertensive subjects. A semi-automatic device (TM-101) including a microphone for detection of Korotkoff-sounds, self......-deflation of cuff pressure and digital display of blood pressure was used. Mean difference between OPC-BP and Home-BP was systolic +13 mm Hg (range -21 - +100 mg Hg) and diastolic +5 mm Hg (range -27 - +36 mm Hg). Although a significant correlation could be demonstrated between Home-BP and OPC-BP, the inter......-individual scatter was pronounced and unpredictable from the hypertensive organ damages. It is argued, that home readings should be used to greater extent in the evaluation of patients with hypertension....
R. G. Bolbakov
Full Text Available The article describes the results of theoretical and experimental studies on the evaluation of the quality of educational information placed on information and educational portals. The methodology allows you to compare not only portals, but also the results of training on exam scores and test scores. The methodological basis of the assessment is the cognitive approach and the negentropic approach. The article gives a comparison of entropy and negentropy. On the basis of comparison, the authors propose a negentropic approach to assessing the quality of educational resources obtained as a result of information retrieval. The search results are evaluated by cognitive and perpetual scores. Estimates are introduced into the entropy formula and converted to the formula of negentropy. The negentropic approach serves as the basis for calculating the statistical amount of information obtained as a result of information retrieval. The cognitive approach serves as a basis for assessing the qualitative characteristics of educational information, such as: visibility, perceptibility, interpretability. Open information portalsare the source of educational resources. The article shows that modern information portals are often clogged with unreliable or unnecessary information, which makes it difficult to find relevant educational information. In contrast to the widespread methods for one relevanceassess of the information retrieval, this article differentiates the notion of the relevance of the information retrieval. The article introduces three qualitatively different notions of relevance: formal, semantic and perpetual – relevance. The article introduces new additional characteristics of the quality of information search, the coefficient of cognition and the coefficient of perpetuation. These coefficients are introduced into the formula for estimating entropy and obtain the cognitive-entropy formula. As a result, a new method for assessing the content of
Pujol Carreras, O; Anton, A; Mora, C; Pastor, L; Gudiña, S; Maull, R; Vega, Z; Castilla, M
To assess the quality of life in glaucoma patients and normal subjects, and to assess its relationship with the severity of damage in each eye. A cross-sectional study was conducted with prospective selection of cases. The study included 464 subjects and were distributed into 4categories. Subjects included in group 1 had both eyes normal, that is with a normal intraocular pressure (IOP), optic disk and visual fields (VF), or mild glaucoma, defined as untreated IOP>21mmHg and abnormal VF with mean defect (MD) over -6dB. Group 2 consisted of patients with both eyes with mild or moderate glaucoma, defined as untreated IOP>21mmHg and abnormal VF with MD between -6 and -12dB. Group 3 included patients with moderate to severe glaucoma, that is, untreated IOP>21mmHg and abnormal VF with MD of less than -12dB in both eyes. Group 4 consisted of patients with asymmetric glaucoma damage, that is, they had one eye with severe glaucoma and the other eye normal or with mild glaucoma. All subjects completed 3 different questionnaires. Global quality of life was evaluated with EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D). Vision related quality of life was assessed with Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ-25). Quality of life related to ocular surface disease was measured with Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI). VFQ-25 showed that group 3 had significantly lower scores than group 1 in mental health (P=.006), dependence (P=.006), colour vision (P=.002), and peripheral vision (P=.002). EQ-5D showed no significant differences between any group, but a trend was found to greater difficulty in group 3 than in groups 1 and 2, and in all dimensions. OSDI showed a higher score, or which was the same as a major disability, in groups 2 and 3 than group 1 (P=.021 and P=.014, respectively). VFQ-25 only found significant differences between group 1 and group 4. Dimensions with significant differences were found between group 1 and 3 (both eyes with advanced or moderate glaucoma). These were not found between group 1 and
Fontes, Daniel; Generoso, Simone de Vasconcelos; Toulson Davisson Correia, Maria Isabel
Nutritional assessment of critically ill patients has created controversy. However, it is well established that malnourished patients who are severely ill have worse outcomes than well-nourished patients. Therefore, assessing patients' nutritional status may be useful in predicting which patients may experience increased morbidity and mortality. One hundred eighty-five consecutively admitted patients were followed until discharge or death, and their nutritional status was evaluated using Subjective Global Assessment (SGA) as well as anthropometric and laboratory methods. Agreement between the methods was measured using the Kappa coefficient. Malnutrition was highly prevalent (54%), according to SGA. Malnourished patients had significantly higher rates of readmission to the intensive care unit (ICU) (OR 2.27; CI 1.08-4.80) and mortality (OR 8.12; CI 2.94-22.42). The comparison of SGA with other tests used to assess nutritional status showed that the correlation between the methods ranged from poor to superficial. SGA, an inexpensive and quick nutritional assessment method conducted at the bedside, is a reliable tool for predicting outcomes in critically ill patients. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. All rights reserved.
Goodin, Burel R; McGuire, Lynanne; Smith, Michael T
It has long been recognized that socioeconomic status (SES) influences health and health-related behaviors, and it has been suggested that the adverse impact of low SES on health may be partly mediated by poor sleep quality. The relation between sleep and objective and subjective measures of SES has only been explored in a preliminary manner, providing indirect evidence that associations between SES and health might be explained, in part, by disrupted sleep. However, it remains unclear whether low SES directly affects sleep quality or whether the SES-sleep quality relation varies as a function of ethnicity given robust ethnic disparities across SES-related factors. This study examined the relation between perceived social status (i.e., individuals' perception of their socioeconomic standing) and subjective sleep quality among 149 college students, and examined the moderating effect of ethnicity to determine whether the magnitude or direction of association differed among Caucasian, Asian, and African Americans. Using hierarchical regressions and a dummy-coded ethnicity variable, results demonstrated significant moderation (ΔR₂ = 0.04, p = .02), such that both Asian (p = .04) and African Americans (p = .02) were significantly different from Caucasian Americans. Lower perceived social status was related to greater impairment in sleep quality for Asian Americans (β = -.37, p sleep quality for specific subgroups of ethnic minorities.
Full Text Available This article deals with service quality and the methods for its measurement and improvements to reach the so called service excellence. Besides older methods such as SERVQUAL and SERPERF, there are also shortly described capability maturity models based on which the own methodology is developed and used for process maturity assessment in organizations providing technical services. This method is equally described and accompanied by examples on pictures. The verification of method functionality is explored on finding a correlation between service employee satisfaction and average process maturity in a service organization. The results seem to be quite promising and open an arena for further studies.
Full Text Available The aim of the present study has been designing and putting in operation of a stand for sonic testing equipped with modern and readily available numerical devices and with the author’s own computer program, which enables recording and analysis of acoustic fields and of the frequency of free vibrations in selected castings made from Fe and Al alloys, and specifically also from magnesium alloys, and mastering the technique of making such tests along with their practical application in assessment of the quality of castings made from magnesium alloys and investment castings made from carbon steel.
Tham, Elaine K H; Tan, Joyce; Chong, Yap-Seng; Kwek, Kenneth; Saw, Seang-Mai; Teoh, Oon-Hoe; Goh, Daniel Y T; Meaney, Michael J; Broekman, Birit F P
Symptoms of depression and anxiety are common during pregnancy and the postnatal period. A risk factor for mood disorders is poor sleep quality. In this study we investigate the effects of poor subjective prenatal sleep quality on postnatal depressive and anxiety symptoms, independent of prenatal depression or anxiety, amongst pregnant women in the general population. We analysed data from a subset of women taking part in a prospective cohort study, Growing Up in Singapore towards Healthy Outcomes. The participants completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory between 26 and 28 weeks of pregnancy (Time 1) and at 3 months postpartum (Time 2), and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index at Time 1. Logistic regression analyses were used to investigate the associations between subjective prenatal sleep quality and postnatal depressive and anxiety symptoms, while adjusting for prenatal depressive/anxiety symptoms and education. Although borderline-high depressive/anxiety symptoms were the strongest predictors of postnatal depressive/anxiety, independent of this, poor subjective sleep quality during pregnancy was also associated with borderline-high postnatal depressive symptoms, but not with postnatal anxiety. Sleep quality and prenatal/postnatal mood were derived from self-reported questionnaires, which may be more susceptible to bias. Although treatment of symptoms of prenatal depression and anxiety will be the most important for reducing postnatal depression and anxiety, in addition to that, future studies may explore treatments improving prenatal sleep quality, particularly for women with antenatal depressive symptoms. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available The aim of this work is to assess the groundwater quality in Pengyang County based on an improved water quality index. An information entropy method was introduced to assign weight to each parameter. For calculating WQI and assess the groundwater quality, total 74 groundwater samples were collected and all these samples subjected to comprehensive physicochemical analysis. Each of the groundwater samples was analyzed for 26 parameters and for computing WQI 14 parameters were chosen including chloride, sulphate, pH, chemical oxygen demand (COD, total dissolved solid (TDS, total hardness (TH, nitrate, ammonia nitrogen, fluoride, total iron (Tfe, arsenic, iodine, aluminum, nitrite, metasilicic acid and free carbon dioxide. At last a zoning map of different water quality was drawn. Information entropy weight makes WQI perfect and makes the assessment results more reasonable. The WQI for 74 samples ranges from 12.40 to 205.24 and over 90% of the samples are below 100. The excellent quality water area covers nearly 90% of the whole region. The high value of WQI has been found to be closely related with the high values of TDS, fluoride, sulphate, nitrite and TH. In the medium quality water area and poor quality water area, groundwater needs some degree of pretreated before consumption. From the groundwater conservation view of point, the groundwater still need protection and long term monitoring in case of future rapid industrial development. At the same time, preventive actions on the agricultural non point pollution sources in the plain area are also need to be in consideration.
Theodoridou, Magdalini; Charalambous, Cleopatra; Ioannou, Ioannis
Weathering is inevitable in existing limestone structures due to their exposure to fluctuating and aggressive environmental conditions, such as wetting/drying, and the presence of salts. Therefore, conservation treatments are often deemed necessary in order to prevent or at least delay the progress of deterioration and to strengthen weathered stones. This paper focuses on the effect of an ethanol-based laboratory produced water repellent and three water-based commercial products (water repellent, pure acrylic emulsion mixed with a water repellent with thermal insulation properties and consolidant) on the durability and other properties of three different types of limestone (massive chalk, calcarenite and bioclastic limestone). All test specimens were subjected to micro-destructive cutting tests before/after the application of the aforementioned surface treatments to investigate changes in resistance to cutting on the area close to the treated surface. They were also subjected to two cycles of salt contamination with 20% w/w Na2SO4•10H2O solution by capillary absorption through their bottom face, until 2 mm of pore space was theoretically filled with salt crystals. Drying after salt contamination took place at 70 °C. The results of the micro-destructive cutting tests showed increases in cutting resistance at the topmost area (1-2 mm below the treated surface) of the massive chalk and the calcarenite, but no significant changes in the case of the rather non-homogeneous bioclastic limestone. At the same time, the performance of each surface treatment varied from lithotype to lithotype. The laboratory produced water repellent showed a generally better performance; no signs of damage were detected due to the formation of salt crystals within the pores of the materials, i.e. subflorescence, when applied on the calcarenite and the bioclastic limestone. Very poor performance was observed for all treatments when applied on the massive chalk. This accounted for (i
Smith, Maia P; Standl, Marie; Schulz, Holger; Heinrich, Joachim
Lunar periodicity in human biology and behaviour, particularly sleep, has been reported. However, estimated relationships vary in direction (more or less sleep with full moon) if they exist at all, and studies tend to be so small that there is potential for confounding by weekly or monthly cycles. Lunar variation in physical activity has been posited as a driver of this relationship, but is likewise not well studied. We explore the association between lunar cycle, sleep and physical activity in a population-based sample of 1411 Germans age 14-17 years (46% male). Physical activity (daily minutes moderate-to-vigorous activity) was objectively assessed by accelerometry for a total of 8832 days between 2011 and 2014. At the same time, time in bed (h) and subjective sleep quality (1-6) were diaried each morning. In models corrected for confounding, we found that lunar phase was not significantly associated with physical activity, subjective sleep quality or time in bed in either sex, regardless of season. Observed relationships varied randomly in direction between models, suggesting artefact. Thus, this large, objectively-measured and well-controlled population of adolescents displayed no lunar periodicity in objective physical activity, subjective sleep quality or time in bed. © 2016 European Sleep Research Society.
Johnston, R C; Clarke, G N; Liu, D Y; Baker, H W
To assess the relationship between the results of the Sperm Quality Analyzer (United Medical Systems Inc., Santa Ana, CA), which measures motile sperm concentration by light scattering, conventional manual semen analysis characteristics, and computer-assisted sperm motility analyses. Sperm Quality Analyzer measurements and manual and computer-assisted semen analyses were performed on 150 (50, 62, and 38) samples in three laboratories and the results were compared. The study was performed in the Andrology Laboratory of Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research, Monash Medical Centre, and Andrology Laboratory and Reproductive Biology Unit at the Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Patients presented to the laboratories for routine fertility evaluation in the male and were selected at random to reflect the range of normal and abnormal samples seen in the laboratories. None. Sperm count, motility (percent motility, motility index, velocity, and amplitude of lateral head displacement [ALH]), morphology, and normal acrosomes were evaluated by manual and computer-assisted semen analysis and sperm quality analyzer motility index. Spearman nonparametric univariate analysis showed strong correlations between sperm motility index and manual sperm concentration, motility, abnormal morphology, and normal acrosomes by Pisum sativum agglutinin; and computer-assisted sperm motility analysis sperm concentration, motile concentration, and percent static. Curvilinear velocity, straight-line velocity (VSL), and linearity also were related significantly to sperm motility index values. By multiple regression analysis, the significant covariates of the sperm motility index were motile sperm concentration, abnormal morphology, ALH, and straight-line velocity and these accounted for 85.5% of the variance of the sperm motility index. The Sperm Quality Analyzer is easy to use. The good correlation between the sperm motility index, motile sperm concentration, and, in
Full Text Available Abstract: Materiality has been and continues to be a topic of importance for auditors. It is considered as a significant factor in the planning of the audit procedures, performing the planned audit procedures, evaluating the results of the audit procedures and issuing an audit report. Recently, there has been a renewed interest in the concept of materiality motivated by concerns at the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Securities and Exchange Commission and International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board issuance of proposed standards on materiality. The objective of this paper is to discuss and analyze comprehensively the concept of audit materiality including how materiality threshold is determined by auditors. Auditing standards settings bodies pointed out that auditor’s determination of materiality threshold is a matter of professional judjment. As a judgmental concept, however, materiality is susceptible to subjectivity. Furthermore, the absence of audting standards on how materiality is determined has highlighted the significance of this issue and indicated that guidance for materiality professional judgments must come from other non-authoritative sources such as empirical researches. A number of new and important areas of materiality are in need of further investigation.
Sowlat, Mohammad Hossein; Gharibi, Hamed; Yunesian, Masud; Tayefeh Mahmoudi, Maryam; Lotfi, Saeedeh
The ever increasing level of air pollution in most areas of the world has led to development of a variety of air quality indices for estimation of health effects of air pollution, though the indices have their own limitations such as high levels of subjectivity. Present study, therefore, aimed at developing a novel, fuzzy-based air quality index (FAQI ) to handle such limitations. The index developed by present study is based on fuzzy logic that is considered as one of the most common computational methods of artificial intelligence. In addition to criteria air pollutants (i.e. CO, SO 2, PM 10, O 3, NO 2), benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, and 1,3-butadiene were also taken into account in the index proposed, because of their considerable health effects. Different weighting factors were then assigned to each pollutant according to its priority. Trapezoidal membership functions were employed for classifications and the final index consisted of 72 inference rules. To assess the performance of the index, a case study was carried out employing air quality data at five different sampling stations in Tehran, Iran, from January 2008 to December 2009, results of which were then compared to the results obtained from USEPA air quality index (AQI). According to the results from present study, fuzzy-based air quality index is a comprehensive tool for classification of air quality and tends to produce accurate results. Therefore, it can be considered useful, reliable, and suitable for consideration by local authorities in air quality assessment and management schemes. Fuzzy-based air quality index (FAQI).
Full Text Available Timothy Kwok,1,2 Ping Chung Leung,3 Yun Kwok Wing,4 Isaac Ip,2 Bel Wong,2 Daniel Wai Hung Ho,2 Wai Ming Wong,3 Florence Ho2 1Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong; 2Jockey Club Centre for Positive Ageing, Hong Kong; 3Institute of Chinese Medicine, 4Department of Psychiatry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Purpose: Elderly with dementia are often afflicted with sleep problems. Recent studies have suggested that acupuncture may be a feasible alternative to traditional sleep medicine for treating sleep disturbance. This study investigated the effectiveness of acupuncture on sleep quality of elderly with dementia. Patients and methods: Nineteen elders with dementia were followed through a control period and an acupuncture treatment period, each lasting 6 weeks. Outcome measures were subjects' sleep quality and cognitive function. Sleep parameters were recorded by wrist actigraphy. Cognitive function was assessed by the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale – Cognitive (ADAS-Cog. Pretests and posttests were conducted immediately before and after the control and treatment periods. Changes in the outcome measures between control and treatment periods were compared. Results: Wilcoxon signed rank tests revealed that the subjects gained significantly more resting time and total sleep time in the treatment period than in the control period (P < 0.05. A nonsignificant trend for improvement in sleep efficiency was observed. Improvement in cognitive function was not statistically significant. A total of 86% of the subjects completed the treatment regime. Conclusion: Results reveal that acupuncture was effective in improving some domains of sleep quality of elderly with dementia, and the subjects showed acceptance towards the intervention. Strengths and limitations of the present study as well as suggestions for further studies were considered. Keywords: acupuncture, sleep disturbance, patients
F. S. Bazrova
Full Text Available The article discusses the new iodine-containing supplements (ID derived from organic media collagenous animal protein (pork rind, carpatina and collagen and protein concentrates brands SCANGEN and PROMIL C95. It is shown that the use of these proteins as carriers of iodine is due to the high content of the amino acids glycine and alanine, which correlates with the degree of binding of iodine objects. New additives in addition to the special focus improve rheological properties of foods, including texture, appearance and functional properties. To assess the quality'ID and selection of preferred option the proposed qualitative assessment and a systematic approach to consider all'ID as a system to allocate its elements, to justify the principles of its construction and the requirements imposed on it, to build a General decision tree. For the construction of complex criterion for assessing the quality'ID proposed procedure formalization based on selection and evaluation of individual indicators, the definition of the laws of their change, depending on the dose, duration and temperature of exposure, and functional efficiency. For comparative evaluation of single and calculation of group indicators all of them were reduced to a single dimension by introducing the dimensionless coefficients of adequately describing the analyzed indicators. The article presents the calculated values of single and group of indicators characterizing technological properties 'ID: the degree of binding of iodine, the binding rate of iodine, heat losses of iodine and basic functional and technological properties of meat stuffing systems (water-binding, moisture-holding, emulsifying capacity and emulsion stability, obtained by the introduction of stuffing in the system studied'ID. At the final stage is the selection of the best 'ID, on the basis of an assessment of group performance.
Redl, Arne; Keimel, Christian; Diepold, Klaus
Today in many homes big TV screens and hifi systems are common. But is the perception of subjective video quality under professional test conditions the same as at home? Therefore we examined two things: How large is the influence of the presentation device but also the influence of the soundtrack, both in HDTV (1080p50). Previous work has shown that a difference is noticeable, but there have not been studies with consumer devices, yet. It was also shown that there is an influence of the soundtrack, but only in SDTV or lower resolutions. Therefore we conducted subjective video tests: One test with different devices, a 23-inch-reference monitor, a high quality 56-inch-LCD-TV and an HD-projector, and one test in which we presented a soundtrack on a 7.1-channel hifi system in addition to the HD-projector. The results show two things: First the test subjects had a higher quality of experience with the consumer devices than with the reference monitor, although the video quality of the reference monitor itself was rated better in an additional questionnaire and the mean opinion score (MOS). The second result is that there is no significant difference in the MOS between showing the videos on the projector with or without sound.
Bushong, Mark E; Nakonezny, Paul A; Byerly, Matthew J
The objective of this research was to examine the association between sexual dysfunction and subjective quality of life in outpatients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. The authors evaluated a sample of 238 adult outpatients with diagnoses of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder who took quetiapine, olanzapine, or risperidone at study entry with a 1-time rating of the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale and the general life satisfaction scale item of the quality of life index. The authors used multiple linear robust regression and Spearman partial correlation coefficient to examine the relation between subjective quality of life (measured by the general life satisfaction scale item) and sexual functioning (measured by the Arizona sexual experience scale). The authors found a significant negative linear relation between the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale total score and the general life satisfaction scale item for the overall sample (r(s) = -0.16, p = .01), but not separately for men or women. Sexual dysfunction in men and women with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder is associated with decreased subjective quality of life, although the magnitude of the effect size was relatively small. Improving clinicians' awareness of the importance of sexual dysfunction in patients may improve tolerability and subsequent treatment outcomes.
Rush, Georgia; Misajon, RoseAnne
The purpose of this study was to explore the subjective wellbeing, health-related quality of life and lived experience of women living with endometriosis. In 2015 five hundred participants between the ages of 18-63 (M = 30.5, SD = 7.46) were recruited through Endometriosis Australia and social media, completing an online questionnaire comprising the Personal Wellbeing Index, the Endometriosis Health Profile-30 and various open-ended questions. Results found that women with endometriosis reported low levels of subjective wellbeing (mean PWI total scores of 51.5 ± 2.03), considerably below the normative range of 70-80 for western populations. The mean Endometriosis Health Profile total score indicated a very low health-related quality of life amongst the women in this sample (78.9, ±13.14). There was also a significant relationship between scores on the Endometriosis Health Profile and Personal Wellbeing Index. The findings from the qualitative data suggest that endometriosis impacts negatively on women's lives in several areas such as; social life, relationships and future plans, this in turn affects women's overall life quality. The study highlights the strong negative impact that endometriosis can have on women's subjective wellbeing and health related quality of life, contributing to productivity issues, relationship difficulties and social dissatisfaction and increasing the risk of psychological comorbidities.
Full Text Available Despite advancement, numerous country regions have been observing adverse trends in terms of birth rates, society ageing, and negative migration balance. Such tendencies seem to affect particularly eastern (Podkarpacie, Podlasie and western (Opolszczyzna regions. Therefore, this article is aimed at investigating how young people assess rural life quality and identifying their preferences when choosing where to study, start their first job, or run their first business. The research sample consists of country-based farming school students and young country students of Opole colleges and universities. The level of country life has been presented through material and living conditions, while life quality has been presented through the respondents’ subjective assessment of their satisfaction with basic conditions that country regions can offer to young high school students. Survey results prove that filling gaps in income structure and narrowing distance between social-economic groups in urban and rural environments is importantly related to income from non-agricultural activities and consequently a better way of material life conditions in the country. Therefore, in the future, more effective measures should be dedicated to creating attractive, well-paid (perceived subjectively jobs. This element may determine rural populations’ satisfaction with their life quality to a greater extent than infrastructure.
Menec, Verena H; Newall, Nancy E G; Nowicki, Scott
The notion of age-friendliness is gaining increasing attention from policy makers and researchers. In this study, we examine the congruence between two types of age-friendly surveys: subjective assessments by community residents versus objective assessments by municipal officials. The study was based on data from 39 mostly rural communities in Manitoba, Canada, in which a municipal official and residents (M= 25 residents per community) completed a survey to assess age-friendly features in a range of domains, such as transportation and housing. Congruence between the two surveys was generally good, although the municipal official survey consistently overestimated communities' age-friendliness, relative to residents' ratings. The findings suggest that a survey completed by municipal officials can provide a reasonable assessment of age-friendliness that may be useful for certain purposes, such as cross-community comparisons. However, some caution is warranted when using only these surveys for community development, as they may not adequately reflect residents' views. © The Author(s) 2014.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The Water Quality Assessment TMDL Tracking And Implementation System (ATTAINS) stores and tracks state water quality assessment decisions, Total Maximum Daily Loads...
Bei, Bei; Milgrom, Jeannette; Ericksen, Jennifer; Trinder, John
Study Objectives: This study investigated whether there was a relationship between disrupted sleep and postpartum mood disturbances in women during the week after delivery. Design: Sleep and mood were measured during the third trimester (Time-1) and one week postpartum (Time-2) in a 2-stage longitudinal design. Setting: Participants were recruited from an antenatal clinic in a regional Melbourne hospital. Participants: Forty-four healthy women at low risk for postpartum depression. Interventions: N/A Measurements and Results: Objective sleep was measured by actigraphy and subjective sleep by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; mood was assessed by the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale, and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule. Sleep and mood questionnaires were administered at Time-1 and Time-2. Wrist actigraphy was collected for one week at both times. After delivery, both objective and subjective nighttime sleep significantly worsened with decreased total sleep time and sleep efficiency, while daytime napping behavior significantly increased. On average, mood improved across all scales after delivery, although 45.95% of the sample experienced deterioration of mood. Regression analyses showed little relationship between Time-1 and Time-2 objective nighttime sleep, and postpartum mood. Variables that related to both Time-1 and Time-2 subjective perception of sleep, including subjective nighttime sleep, sleep-related daytime dysfunction, and daytime napping behavior, were significant predictors of postpartum mood. Conclusions: The perception of poor sleep, and the conscious awareness of its impact during wake-time, might share a stronger relationship with the occurrence of immediate postpartum mood disturbances than actual sleep quality and quantity. Citation: Bei B; Milgrom J; Ericksen J; Trinder J. Subjective perception of sleep, but not its objective quality, is associated with immediate postpartum mood disturbances in
Biermasz, N R; Joustra, S D; Donga, E; Pereira, A M; van Duinen, N; van Dijk, M; van der Klaauw, A A; Corssmit, E P M; Lammers, G J; van Kralingen, K W; van Dijk, J G; Romijn, J A
Fatigue and excessive sleepiness have been reported after treatment of nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas (NFMA). Because these complaints may be caused by disturbed nocturnal sleep, we evaluated objective sleep characteristics in patients treated for NFMA. We conducted a controlled cross-sectional study. We studied 17 patients (8 women; mean age, 54 yr) in remission of NFMA during long-term follow-up (8 yr; range, 1-18 yr) after surgery (n = 17) and additional radiotherapy (n = 5) without comorbidity except for hypopituitarism and 17 controls matched for age, gender, and body mass index. Sleep was assessed by nocturnal polysomnography, sleep and diurnal movement patterns by actigraphy, and quality of life and subjective sleep characteristics by questionnaires. Compared to controls, patients had reduced sleep efficiency, less rapid eye movement sleep, more N1 sleep, and more awakenings in the absence of excessive apnea or periodic limb movements. Actigraphy revealed a longer sleep duration and profound disturbances in diurnal movement patterns, with more awakenings at night and less activity during the day. Patients scored higher on fatigue and reported impaired quality of life. Patients previously treated for NFMA suffer from decreased subjective sleep quality, disturbed distribution of sleep stages, and disturbed circadian movement rhythm. These observations indicate that altered sleep characteristics may be a factor contributing to impaired quality of life and increased fatigue in patients treated for NFMA.
Ceolin, D.; Noordegraaf, J.; Aroyo, L.; van Son, C.; Wolfgang, N.
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.
Nielsen, Lars Bramsløw
11 hearing-impaired (HI) and 12 normal-hearing (NH) subjects have performed sound quality ratings on 6 perceptual scales (Loudness, Clarity, Sharpness, Fullness, Spaciousness and Overall judgement). The signals for the rating experiment consisted of running speech and music with or without...... dimensions or, with simpler interpretation, by four of the original rating scales. The two subject groups agreed in their interpretation of the rating scales, and were almost identical in their use of the scales. Based on this, the rating scales were not considered absolute scales....
Mantel, Claire; Burini, Nino; Korhonen, Jari
This paper presents a subjective experiment collecting quality assessment of images displayed on a LCD with local backlight dimming using two methodologies: absolute category ratings and paired-comparison. Some well-known objective quality metrics are then applied to the stimuli...... and their respective performance are analyzed. The HDR-VDP metric seems to achieve good performance on every source image....
Full Text Available The paper provides an overview of some possible usage of the software described in the Part I. It contains the real examples of image quality improvement, distortion simulations, objective and subjective quality assessment and other ways of image processing that can be obtained by the individual applications.
Franz, Michael; Meyer, Thorsten; Gallhofer, Bernd
In the controversy about severely chronic mental patients, who still reside in the psychiatric hospital after decades of deinstitutionalization, their quality of life (QoL) has become a main topic. On the basis of a critique of the dominant, mere standardized approach to QoL this method is compared with a qualitative approach in such a schizophrenic "residual" patient group (n = 144). While in the standardized approach a high level of subjective QoL could be found that correlated positively with the duration of hospitalisation, the open interviews yielded specific experiences of deficiencies. The appraisal of the quality of life especially of chronic or hospitalized patients is reconsidered.
Tan, Sheau Kang; Loh, Yet Hua; Choong, Hui Lin; Suhail, Sufi M
Evidence has validated that the nutritional status of hospitalized patients on haemodialysis could be compromised because of admission-related and hospital-associated morbidities on the background of their kidney disease. However, nutritional status is not assessed and monitored routinely during the hospitalization period. The aim of the present study was to assess the nutritional status of hospitalized patients requiring haemodialysis with the subjective global assessment (SGA) tool during the hospitalization period. This is a prospective cohort study conducted in an acute tertiary general hospital. Patients aged 21-75 years old, admitted for various illnesses and requiring haemodialysis between November 2011 and May 2012 were enrolled into this study. A trained dietician assessed patients' nutritional status with the SGA tool, which included historical data on weight change, dietary intake, gastrointestinal symptoms, functional capacity, comorbidities and physical examination on subcutaneous fat loss, muscle wasting and presence of oedema and/or ascites. Patients were categorized under three groups: SGA-A (well-nourished), SGA-B (moderately malnourished) and SGA-C (severely malnourished). Eighty patients (mean ± SD age = 59 ± 10 years; 76% Chinese ethnicity) were assessed. Mean ± SD body mass index (BMI) was 25.1 ± 6.1 kg/m(2) . SGA categories were 48% SGA-A, 46% SGA-B, and 6% SGA-C. Mean energy and protein intake (P nutritional status. More than half of the hospitalized patients requiring haemodialysis were malnourished. It is important to incorporate SGA in the care of hospitalized haemodialysis patients for early detection of malnutrition and for medical nutrition therapy to optimise patients' nutritional status for better outcomes. © 2015 Asian Pacific Society of Nephrology.
da Silva Fink, Jaqueline; de Mello, Elza Daniel; Beghetto, Mariur Gomes; Luft, Vivian Cristine; de Jezus Castro, Stela Maris; de Mello, Paula Daniel
There is no method to be used as a reference standard for nutritional assessment. This study aims to develop and verify the performance of a new tool, based on the Item Response Theory (IRT), from the Subjective Global Assessment (SGA) questionnaire, in hospitalized adult patients. Retrospective cohort study, composed by secondary database, formed by patients included from October 2005 to June 2006. The new tool presented was developed through the usage of cumulative models from the IRT. Out of 1503 evaluated patients, 2/3 were randomly selected to the development sample of the new tool and 1/3 to the performance verification sample. After item adjustments, the "Nutritional Assessment Score" (NAS) was proposed, with reduced number of questions, and, in comparison to SGA, less polytomic items. NAS demonstrates association to variables that are clinically relevant (hospital mortality, long hospital stay, serum albumin and body mass index) and has shown itself to be more precise to patients with the worst degrees of nutritional status. Results point to the validation of the NAS in detecting, accurately, the nutritional status of hospitalized patients. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. All rights reserved.
There is no general agreement among scholars on the consequences oflabor migration on the sending countries. Some argue that the migration would increase the quality of life of the families or communities involved, giving support for democracy and market reforms in these countries, while others share the view that the brain drain and fiscal losses would have long term effects on the sending countries’ development. This paper takes another approach, focusing on the migrant persons’ subjective ...
Peker Ilkay; Toraman Alkurt; Usalan G; Altunkaynak B
Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the subjective image quality of (1) regular intensifying screens with medium intensifying screens, (2) regular intensifying screens with digital radiography, and (3) medium intensifying screens with digital radiography for panoramic radiographs. Materials and Methods: Forty-five patients participated and a total of 90 radiographs were obtained in the study. The patients were divided into three groups (regular-medium intensifying screen, r...
Hutter, E; Grapp, M; Argstatter, H
People with severe hearing impairments and deafness can achieve good speech comprehension using a cochlear implant (CI), although music perception often remains impaired. A novel concept of music therapy for adults with CI was developed and evaluated in this study. This study included 30 adults with a unilateral CI following postlingual deafness. The subjective sound quality of the CI was rated using the hearing implant sound quality index (HISQUI) and musical tests for pitch discrimination, melody recognition and timbre identification were applied. As a control 55 normally hearing persons also completed the musical tests. In comparison to normally hearing subjects CI users showed deficits in the perception of pitch, melody and timbre. Specific effects of therapy were observed in the subjective sound quality of the CI, in pitch discrimination into a high and low pitch range and in timbre identification, while general learning effects were found in melody recognition. Music perception shows deficits in CI users compared to normally hearing persons. After individual music therapy in the rehabilitation process, improvements in this delicate area could be achieved.
Chen, Chao; Choi, Lark Kwon; de Veciana, Gustavo; Caramanis, Constantine; Heath, Robert W; Bovik, Alan C
Newly developed hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP)-based video streaming technologies enable flexible rate-adaptation under varying channel conditions. Accurately predicting the users' quality of experience (QoE) for rate-adaptive HTTP video streams is thus critical to achieve efficiency. An important aspect of understanding and modeling QoE is predicting the up-to-the-moment subjective quality of a video as it is played, which is difficult due to hysteresis effects and nonlinearities in human behavioral responses. This paper presents a Hammerstein-Wiener model for predicting the time-varying subjective quality (TVSQ) of rate-adaptive videos. To collect data for model parameterization and validation, a database of longer duration videos with time-varying distortions was built and the TVSQs of the videos were measured in a large-scale subjective study. The proposed method is able to reliably predict the TVSQ of rate adaptive videos. Since the Hammerstein-Wiener model has a very simple structure, the proposed method is suitable for online TVSQ prediction in HTTP-based streaming.
P. S. Babkin
Full Text Available The purpose of this work is research and modification of the reference objective methods for image quality assessment. The ultimate goal is to obtain a modification of formal assessments that more closely corresponds to the subjective expert estimates (MOS.In considering the formal reference objective methods for image quality assessment we used the results of other authors, which offer results and comparative analyzes of the most effective algorithms. Based on these investigations we have chosen two of the most successful algorithm for which was made a further analysis in the MATLAB 7.8 R 2009 a (PQS and MSSSIM. The publication focuses on the features of the algorithms, which have great importance in practical implementation, but are insufficiently covered in the publications by other authors.In the implemented modification of the algorithm PQS boundary detector Kirsch was replaced by the boundary detector Canny. Further experiments were carried out according to the method of the ITU-R VT.500-13 (01/2012 using monochrome images treated with different types of filters (should be emphasized that an objective assessment of image quality PQS is applicable only to monochrome images. Images were obtained with a thermal imaging surveillance system. The experimental results proved the effectiveness of this modification.In the specialized literature in the field of formal to evaluation methods pictures, this type of modification was not mentioned.The method described in the publication can be applied to various practical implementations of digital image processing.Advisability and effectiveness of using the modified method of PQS to assess the structural differences between the images are shown in the article and this will be used in solving the problems of identification and automatic control.
Iphar, C.; Napoli, A.; Ray, C.
The Automatic Identification System (AIS) initially designed to ensure maritime security through continuous position reports has been progressively used for many extended objectives. In particular it supports a global monitoring of the maritime domain for various purposes like safety and security but also traffic management, logistics or protection of strategic areas, etc. In this monitoring, data errors, misuse, irregular behaviours at sea, malfeasance mechanisms and bad navigation practices have inevitably emerged either by inattentiveness or voluntary actions in order to circumvent, alter or exploit such a system in the interests of offenders. This paper introduces the AIS system and presents vulnerabilities and data quality assessment for decision making in maritime situational awareness cases. The principles of a novel methodological approach for modelling, analysing and detecting these data errors and falsification are introduced.
A variety of external quality assurance (EQA) schemes monitor quantitative performance for routine biochemical analysis of agents such as paracetamol, salicylate, ethanol and carboxyhaemoglobin. Their usefulness for toxicologists can be lessened where the concentrations monitored do not extend fully into the toxic range or where the matrix is synthetic, of animal origin or serum as opposed to whole human blood. A scheme for quantitative determinations of a wider range of toxicological analytes such as opioids, benzodiazepines and tricyclics in human blood has been piloted by the United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Scheme (UKNEQAS). Specialist schemes are available for drugs of abuse testing in urine and for hair analysis. Whilst these programmes provide much useful information on the performance of analytical techniques, they fail to monitor the integrated processes that are needed in investigation of toxicological cases. In practice, both qualitative and quantitative tests are used in combination with case information to guide the evaluation of the samples and to develop an interpretation of the analytical findings that is used to provide clinical or forensic advice. EQA programs that combine the analytical and interpretative aspects of case studies are available from EQA providers such as UKNEQAS and the Dutch KKGT program (Stichting Kwaliteitsbewaking Klinische Geneesmiddelanalyse en Toxicologie).
Gurevich, Alexey; Saveliev, Vladislav; Vyahhi, Nikolay; Tesler, Glenn
Limitations of genome sequencing techniques have led to dozens of assembly algorithms, none of which is perfect. A number of methods for comparing assemblers have been developed, but none is yet a recognized benchmark. Further, most existing methods for comparing assemblies are only applicable to new assemblies of finished genomes; the problem of evaluating assemblies of previously unsequenced species has not been adequately considered. Here, we present QUAST-a quality assessment tool for evaluating and comparing genome assemblies. This tool improves on leading assembly comparison software with new ideas and quality metrics. QUAST can evaluate assemblies both with a reference genome, as well as without a reference. QUAST produces many reports, summary tables and plots to help scientists in their research and in their publications. In this study, we used QUAST to compare several genome assemblers on three datasets. QUAST tables and plots for all of them are available in the Supplementary Material, and interactive versions of these reports are on the QUAST website. http://bioinf.spbau.ru/quast . Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Pauchard, Yves; Ayres, Fábio J.; Boyd, Steven K.
Subject motion during acquisition of high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) results in image artifacts and interferes with quantification of bone architecture used to study bone-related diseases such as osteoporosis. We propose an automatic method to measure physical subject motion that frequently takes place during acquisition. Three measures derived from projection data are proposed to quantify motion artifacts: in-plane translation (εT) and in-plane rotation (εR) utilizing projection moments and longitudinal translation (εz) based on tracking projection profiles. Validation was performed using a phantom containing sections of distal human cadaver radii attached to a mechanical device to precisely control in-plane rotation and longitudinal translation that was intentionally performed during HR-pQCT data acquisition. Motion measured by the new automated technique was compared to the known applied motion, and related to percent errors in morphological parameters quantifying bone properties. It was determined that of the three proposed measures, εT best captured a quantified representation of image quality. εT linearly relates to true physical in-plane translational motion (r2 = 0.95, pmovements and combines well with εT to fully characterize physical motion artifacts. The magnitude of εT corresponds to morphological parameter error and is an excellent basis to select high-quality images. Morphological parameter errors from these experiments confirmed our earlier computer simulations which showed that increased subject motion resulted in artificially higher trabecular number, and artificially lower bone mineral density and cortical thickness. The magnitude and, notably, the uncertainty of the morphological errors increased with increased physical motion, and this impedes a direct linear compensation of parameter errors. The automated method presented provides a basis for consistent and objective quality assurance for HR
Borghouts, Lars B.; Slingerland, Menno; Haerens, Leen
Background: Assessment can have various functions, and is an important impetus for student learning. For assessment to be effective, it should be aligned with curriculum goals and of sufficient quality. Although it has been suggested that assessment quality in physical education (PE) is suboptimal, research into actual assessment practices has…
Schofield, Joseph Richard, Jr.; Ellis, Molly A.; Williamson, Charles Michael; Bonano, Lora A.
This document describes the 2003 SNL ASCI Software Quality Engineering (SQE) assessment of twenty ASCI application code teams and the results of that assessment. The purpose of this assessment was to determine code team compliance with the Sandia National Laboratories ASCI Applications Software Quality Engineering Practices, Version 2.0 as part of an overall program assessment.
Lamont, R F
Over the past 15 years, the use of beta-agonists has declined worldwide. Following the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists guidelines in 2002, clinicians in the UK and beyond were faced with the dilemma of continuing to use beta-agonists, desist from using tocolytic therapy completely or choosing to change to atosiban or calcium channel blockers (CCBs). While grade A level 1 evidence exists to show that atosiban is significantly more efficacious than placebo and significantly safer than beta-agonists for the treatment of spontaneous preterm labour, the evidence for CCBs, such as nifedipine, is much less robust and no placebo-controlled trials have been performed. Published studies on nifedipine are largely investigator-led studies of small sample size, which lack sufficient power. As a result, most of the evidence has been based on meta-analyses of these studies, which look retrospectively at pooled data and are only as good as the quality of the studies included. In light of this, a tool was developed to produce a systematic review of studies on tocolytic effectiveness, which can and should be applied to all tocolytics and which considered both method- and topic-specific markers of quality. In the process of applying this tool to nifedipine, an extensive literature search identified 31 studies for a systematic review of the quality of nifedipine studies assessed by eight paired reviewers with wide experience in the subject of spontaneous preterm labour and preterm birth. Forty topic- and method-specific items of quality were assessed. The paucity of good quality studies of nifedipine used for the treatment of spontaneous preterm labour should be highlighted in meta-analyses or systematic reviews, which measure efficacy and should limit and influence the degree to which recommendations and guidelines are made on the basis of such studies.
St John, Ashley M; Kao, Katie; Chita-Tegmark, Meia; Liederman, Jacqueline; Grieve, Philip G; Tarullo, Amanda R
Despite the importance of social interactions for infant brain development, little research has assessed functional neural activation while infants socially interact. Electroencephalography (EEG) power is an advantageous technique to assess infant functional neural activation. However, many studies record infant EEG only during one baseline condition. This protocol describes a paradigm that is designed to comprehensively assess infant EEG activity in both social and nonsocial contexts as well as tease apart how different types of social inputs differentially relate to infant EEG. The within-subjects paradigm includes four controlled conditions. In the nonsocial condition, infants view objects on computer screens. The joint attention condition involves an experimenter directing the infant's attention to pictures. The joint attention condition includes three types of social input: language, face-to-face interaction, and the presence of joint attention. Differences in infant EEG between the nonsocial and joint attention conditions could be due to any of these three types of input. Therefore, two additional conditions (one with language input while the experimenter is hidden behind a screen and one with face-to-face interaction) were included to assess the driving contextual factors in patterns of infant neural activation. Representative results demonstrate that infant EEG power varied by condition, both overall and differentially by brain region, supporting the functional nature of infant EEG power. This technique is advantageous in that it includes conditions that are clearly social or nonsocial and allows for examination of how specific types of social input relate to EEG power. This paradigm can be used to assess how individual differences in age, affect, socioeconomic status, and parent-infant interaction quality relate to the development of the social brain. Based on the demonstrated functional nature of infant EEG power, future studies should consider the role
Mantel, Claire; Bech, Søren; Forchhammer, Søren
This paper investigates what composes the quality of videos displayed on LCD with local backlight dimming. In a sub- jective experiment, participants assessed the level of nine attributes defined using the Qualitative Descriptive Anal- ysis method. Results show that three attributes (Contrast...
Danielsen, Kjersti Karoline; Sundgot-Borgen, Jorunn; Mæhlum, Sverre; Svendsen, Mette
We examined the effects of 10-14 weeks of inpatient intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI), including a minimum of 90 minutes of adapted physical activity 5 days/week, with regard to changes in quality of life and associations with weight loss in subjects with severe obesity. A total of 100 severely obese subjects (BMI 42.6 ± 5.3 kg/m(2); 42.7 ± 10.6 years) were included. Quality of life was assessed by Binge Eating Scale, Hospital Anxiety, and Depression Scale, and SF- 36. The ILI group completed the questionnaires at inclusion, after 10-14 weeks and 12 months, and controls at inclusion and after 10-14 weeks. Compared to controls, self-reported binge eating (-6.4, P severe obesity improved quality of life by favorable changes in self-reported binge eating, depression, and mental and physical health. Improvements in binge eating and physical health were associated with weight loss.
López Velasco, Juan Pedro; Rodrigo Ferrán, Juan Antonio; Jiménez Bermejo, David; Menendez Garcia, Jose Manuel
Assessing video quality is a complex task. While most pixel-based metrics do not present enough correlation between objective and subjective results, algorithms need to correspond to human perception when analyzing quality in a video sequence. For analyzing the perceived quality derived from concrete video artifacts in determined region of interest we present a novel methodology for generating test sequences which allow the analysis of impact of each individual distortion. Through results obt...
We discussed these lessons and challenges across two measurable characteristics namely quality of design (life cycle stages) and quality of conformance. Finally, we also recommended the lessons and challenges from software quality management for space system software. KEYWORDS: Software, Software Quality ...
Huang, Xin; Søgaard, Jacob; Forchhammer, Søren
This paper proposes a No-Reference (NR) Video Quality Assessment (VQA) method for videos subject to the distortion given by the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) scheme. The assessment is performed without access to the bitstream. The proposed analysis is based on the transform coefficients...
The work presented in this book focuses on modeling audiovisual quality as perceived by the users of IP-based solutions for video communication like videotelephony. It also extends the current framework for the parametric prediction of audiovisual call quality. The book addresses several aspects related to the quality perception of entire video calls, namely, the quality estimation of the single audio and video modalities in an interactive context, the audiovisual quality integration of these modalities and the temporal pooling of short sample-based quality scores to account for the perceptual quality impact of time-varying degradations.
Full Text Available High-quality data are the precondition for analyzing and using big data and for guaranteeing the value of the data. Currently, comprehensive analysis and research of quality standards and quality assessment methods for big data are lacking. First, this paper summarizes reviews of data quality research. Second, this paper analyzes the data characteristics of the big data environment, presents quality challenges faced by big data, and formulates a hierarchical data quality framework from the perspective of data users. This framework consists of big data quality dimensions, quality characteristics, and quality indexes. Finally, on the basis of this framework, this paper constructs a dynamic assessment process for data quality. This process has good expansibility and adaptability and can meet the needs of big data quality assessment. The research results enrich the theoretical scope of big data and lay a solid foundation for the future by establishing an assessment model and studying evaluation algorithms.
Park, Eliza M; Meltzer-Brody, Samantha; Stickgold, Robert
Women are at increased risk of developing mood disorders during the postpartum period, and poor postpartum sleep may be a modifiable risk factor for the development of depression. This longitudinal study investigated the relationship between sleep variables and postpartum depression symptoms using wrist actigraphy and self-report surveys. Twenty-five healthy primiparous women were recruited from their outpatient obstetricians' offices from July 2009 through March 2010. Subjects wore wrist actigraphs for 1 week during the third trimester of pregnancy and again during the 2nd, 6th, 10th, and 14th weeks postpartum while completing sleep logs and sleep surveys. Subjective assessments of mood were collected at the end of each actigraph week. Subjective sleep assessments were strongly predictive of depression severity scores as measured by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) across all weeks (p sleep maintenance, such as sleep fragmentation, sleep efficiency, and wake time after sleep onset, were also significantly correlated with EPDS scores postpartum. However, there was no relationship between nocturnal sleep duration and EPDS scores. This study provides additional evidence that poor sleep maintenance as measured by wrist actigraphy, rather than lesser amounts of sleep, is associated with EPDS scores during the postpartum period and that subjective assessments of sleep may be more accurate predictors of postpartum depression symptoms than wrist actigraphy. It also supports the hypothesis that disrupted sleep may contribute to the development and extent of postpartum depression symptoms.
Zielinski, S.; Rumsey, F.; Bech, Søren
attempting to “bridge the gap” between the quality assessment methods used in various disciplines are indicated. Prospective challenges faced by researchers in the unification process are outlined. They include development of unified scales, defining unified anchors, integration of objective models......The paper addresses the need to develop unified methods for subjective and objective quality assessment across speech, audio, picture, and multimedia applications. Commonalities and differences between the currently used standards are overviewed. Examples of the already undertaken research...
Hobson, R; Rolland, S; Rotgans, J; Schoonheim-Klein, M; Best, H; Chomyszyn-Gajewska, M; Dymock, D; Essop, R; Hupp, J; Kundzina, R; Love, R; Memon, R A; Moola, M; Neumann, L; Ozden, N; Roth, K; Samwel, P; Villavicencio, J; Wright, P; Harzer, W
The aim of this report is to provide guidance to assist in the international convergence of quality assurance, benchmarking and assessment systems to improve dental education. Proposals are developed for mutual recognition of qualifications, to aid international movement and exchange of staff and students including and supporting developing countries. Quality assurance is the responsibility of all staff involved in dental education and involves three levels: internal, institutional and external. Benchmarking information provides a subject framework. Benchmarks are useful for a variety of purposes including design and validation of programmes, examination and review; they can also strengthen the accreditation process undertaken by professional and statutory bodies. Benchmark information can be used by institutions as part of their programme approval process, to set degree standards. The standards should be developed by the dental academic community through formal groups of experts. Assessment outcomes of student learning are a measure of the quality of the learning programme. The goal of an effective assessment strategy should be that it provides the starting point for students to adopt a positive approach to effective and competent practice, reflective and lifelong learning. All assessment methods should be evidence based or based upon research. Mutual recognition of professional qualifications means that qualifications gained in one country (the home country) are recognized in another country (the host country). It empowers movement of skilled workers, which can help resolve skills shortages within participating countries. These proposals are not intended to be either exhaustive or prescriptive; they are purely for guidance and derived from the identification of what is perceived to be 'best practice'.
You, Junyong; Korhonen, Jari; Perkis, Andrew
The visual attention mechanism plays a key role in the human perception system and it has a significant impact on our assessment of perceived video quality. In spite of receiving less attention from the viewers, unattended stimuli can still contribute to the understanding of the visual content....... This paper proposes a quality model based on the late attention selection theory, assuming that the video quality is perceived via two mechanisms: global and local quality assessment. First we model several visual features influencing the visual attention in quality assessment scenarios to derive...... an attention map using appropriate fusion techniques. The global quality assessment as based on the assumption that viewers allocate their attention equally to the entire visual scene, is modeled by four carefully designed quality features. By employing these same quality features, the local quality model...
Chapin, Martha H.; Holbert, Donald
This study assessed whether persons with spinal cord injuries who had been successfully rehabilitated into employment following receipt of rehabilitation services had better quality of life and subjective well-being than the unsuccessfully rehabilitated who did not obtain employment following receipt of rehabilitation services. Persons who were…
Duncan, N. C.; Conley, H. W.
Ride-quality experiments similar in objectives, design, and procedure were conducted, one using the U.S. Air Force Total In-Flight Simulator and the other using the Langley Passenger Ride Quality Apparatus to provide the motion environments. Large samples (80 or more per experiment) of test subjects were recruited from the Tidewater Virginia area and asked to rate the comfort (on a 7-point scale) of random aircraft motion typical of that encountered during STOL flights. Test subject characteristics of age, sex, and previous flying history (number of previous airplane flights) were studied in a two by three by three factorial design. Correlations were computed between one dependent measure, the subject's mean comfort rating, and various demographic characteristics, attitudinal variables, and the scores on Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. An effect of sex was found in one of the studies. Males made higher (more uncomfortable) ratings of the ride than females. Age and number of previous flights were not significantly related to comfort ratings. No significant interactions between the variables of age, sex, or previous number of flights were observed.
Full Text Available Data on bovine colostrum quality are scarce or absent, although Commission Regulations No 1662/2006 and No 1663/2006 include colostrum in the context of chapters on milk. Thus the aim of the present work is to study some physical, chemical, hygiene and safety quality parameters of bovine colostrum samples collected from Sicily and Calabria dairy herds. Thirty individual samples were sampled after 2-3 days from partum. The laboratory tests included: pH, fat (FT, total nitrogen (TN, lactose (LTS and dry matter (NM percentage (Lactostar and somatic cell count (CCS (DeLaval cell counter DCC. Bacterial counts included: standard plate count (SPC, total psychrophilic aerobic count (PAC, total, fecal coliforms by MPN (Most Probable Number, sulphite-reducing bacteria (SR. Salmonella spp. was determined. Bacteriological examinations were performed according to the American Public Health Association (APHA methods, with some adjustements related to the requirements of the study. Statistical analysis of data was performed by Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient. The results showed a low variability of pH values and FT, TN and DM percentage between samples; whereas LTS trend was less noticeable. A significant negative correlation (P<0.01 was observed between pH, TN and LTS amount. The correlation between LTS and TN contents was highly significant (P<0.001. Highly significant and negative was the correlation (P<0.001 between DM, NT and LTS content. SPC mean values were 7.54 x106 CFU/mL; PAC mean values were also high (3.3x106 CFU/mL. Acceptable values of coagulase positive staphylococci were showed; 3 Staphylococcus aureus and 1 Staphylococcus epidermidis strains was isolated. Coagulase negative staphylococci counts were low. A high variability in the number of TC, as for FC was observed; bacterial loads were frequently fairly high. Salmonella spp. and SR bacteria were absent. It was assumed that bacteria from samples had a prevailing environmental origin
... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Standard: Postanalytic systems quality assessment... AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Quality System for Nonwaived Testing Postanalytic Systems § 493.1299 Standard: Postanalytic systems quality assessment. (a) The...
... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. 493... HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Quality System for Nonwaived Testing Analytic Systems § 493.1289 Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. (a) The...
... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Standard: Preanalytic systems quality assessment... AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Quality System for Nonwaived Testing Preanalytic Systems § 493.1249 Standard: Preanalytic systems quality assessment. (a) The...
Saporito, R A; Feldman, C A; Stewart, D C; Echoldt, H; Buchanan, R N
Participation in a self-administered quality assessment (SAQA) program led to changes in New Jersey dentists' perceptions of practice quality. Ninety-four percent indicated they discovered practice deficiencies. This study suggests that using a self-administered quality assessment program, such as the SAQA program, can lead to a better understanding of a practice's strengths and weaknesses.
Kerkstra, A.; Beemster, F.
The aim of this study was the measurement of the quality of assessment visits of community nurses in The Netherlands. Process criteria were derived for the quality of the assessment visits from the quality standards of community nursing care established by Appelman et al. Over a period of 8 weeks, a
evaluate over all quality of TB care. Operational definition of quality of care, data collection and analysis. Three dimensions of quality of TB care; structure, process and outcome were assessed. The instruments used to assess structure- process- out come dimension were developed from published literature (8) and modified ...
Carvalho, Celina Soares; Souza, Daiane Spitz; Lopes, Jessica Rodrigues; Castanho, Ivany Alves; Lopes, Agnaldo José
A significant number of cancer deaths is partly due to late diagnosis of the disease at an advanced stage beyond cure. In this context, by applying the adequate tools, palliative care provides terminal cancer patients with the proper support for survival with a higher quality of life. The objective of this study was to describe the nutritional profile of terminal cancer patients and to evaluate the relationship among Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) score, clinical-functional characteristics and survival. The present work is a retrospective cohort study with 104 terminal cancer patients. The Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) was used to obtain socio-demographic data and clinical history and assess functional capacity. Furthermore, patients were classified by groups and PG-SGA score ranges. In the first medical consultation, the PG-SGA revealed that most patients were moderately or severely malnourished and in critical need of immediate symptom management. Functional capacity of almost half of all patients lay within a KPS score of 40 to 70. Survival analysis revealed that the median time of mortality by cancer was 5 (3.3-6.7) months. Furthermore, patients with an SGA-C, i.e., severely malnourished (Ppatients. The use of this tool in the studied population is of paramount importance to provide individualised and adequate support for these patients.
Ronimeire Torres da Silva
Full Text Available ABSTRACT Germination and seed vigor may be influenced by several factors, such as water stress during production, which affect crops differently according to the phenological stage of the plant. The aim of this study therefore was to evaluate the physiological quality of sesame seeds from plants subjected to water stress at different phenological stages. To this end, sesame plants were subjected to water stress at the following stages: I - germination to the start of vegetative growth (T1; II - vegetative growth to flowering (T2; III - flowering to pod formation (T3; IV - fruit maturation (T4; also for stress at all stages (T5 and full irrigation (T6. By weighing and daily irrigation of the containers, levels were kept at 50% of pot capacity (CV for treatments with water deficit, and at 100% CV for treatments with no deficit. At 90 days after planting, the plants were harvested. The seeds were evaluated by germination test, first germination count, germination speed index, mean germination time, accelerated aging, electrical conductivity, seedling emergence, emergence speed index, mean time of emergence, seedling length and seedling dry weight. Sesame seeds from plants grown under water deficit display lower physiological quality. Between germination and the start of vegetative growth, and between flowering and fruit formation, the sesame is more sensitive to water stress, so that water limitation during these periods results in the production of seeds of low physiological quality.
Maryn, Youri; De Bodt, Marc; Barsties, Ben; Roy, Nelson
The Acoustic Voice Quality Index (AVQI) is a relatively new clinical method to quantify dysphonia severity. Since it partially relies on continuous speech, its performance may vary with voice-related phonetic differences and thus across languages. The present investigation therefore assessed the AVQI's performance in English, Dutch, German, and French. Fifty subjects were recorded reading sentences in the four languages, as well as producing a sustained vowel. These recordings were later edited to calculate the AVQI. The samples were also perceptually rated on overall dysphonia severity by three experienced voice clinicians. The AVQI's cross-linguistic concurrent validity and diagnostic precision were assessed. The results support earlier data, and confirm good cross-linguistic validity and diagnostic accuracy. Although no statistical differences were observed between languages, the AVQI performed better in English and German and less well in French. These results validate the AVQI as a potentially robust and objective dysphonia severity measure across languages.
Nathan A Parks
Full Text Available Analysis of event-related potential (ERP data includes several steps to ensure that ERPs meet an appropriate level of signal quality. One such step, subject exclusion, rejects subject data if ERP waveforms fail to meet an appropriate level of signal quality. Subject exclusion is an important quality control step in the ERP analysis pipeline as it ensures that statistical inference is based only upon those subjects exhibiting clear evoked brain responses. This critical quality control step is most often performed simply through visual inspection of subject-level ERPs by investigators. Such an approach is qualitative, subjective, and susceptible to investigator bias, as there are no standards as to what constitutes an ERP of sufficient signal quality. Here, we describe a standardized and objective method for quantifying waveform quality in individual subjects and establishing criteria for subject exclusion. The approach uses bootstrap resampling of ERP waveforms (from a pool of all available trials to compute a signal-to-noise ratio confidence interval (SNR-CI for individual subject waveforms. The lower bound of this SNR-CI (SNRLB yields an effective and objective measure of signal quality as it ensures that ERP waveforms statistically exceed a desired signal-to-noise criterion. SNRLB provides a quantifiable metric of individual subject ERP quality and eliminates the need for subjective evaluation of waveform quality by the investigator. We detail the SNR-CI methodology, establish the efficacy of employing this approach with Monte Carlo simulations, and demonstrate its utility in practice when applied to ERP datasets.
Parks, Nathan A.; Gannon, Matthew A.; Long, Stephanie M.; Young, Madeleine E.
Analysis of event-related potential (ERP) data includes several steps to ensure that ERPs meet an appropriate level of signal quality. One such step, subject exclusion, rejects subject data if ERP waveforms fail to meet an appropriate level of signal quality. Subject exclusion is an important quality control step in the ERP analysis pipeline as it ensures that statistical inference is based only upon those subjects exhibiting clear evoked brain responses. This critical quality control step is most often performed simply through visual inspection of subject-level ERPs by investigators. Such an approach is qualitative, subjective, and susceptible to investigator bias, as there are no standards as to what constitutes an ERP of sufficient signal quality. Here, we describe a standardized and objective method for quantifying waveform quality in individual subjects and establishing criteria for subject exclusion. The approach uses bootstrap resampling of ERP waveforms (from a pool of all available trials) to compute a signal-to-noise ratio confidence interval (SNR-CI) for individual subject waveforms. The lower bound of this SNR-CI (SNRLB) yields an effective and objective measure of signal quality as it ensures that ERP waveforms statistically exceed a desired signal-to-noise criterion. SNRLB provides a quantifiable metric of individual subject ERP quality and eliminates the need for subjective evaluation of waveform quality by the investigator. We detail the SNR-CI methodology, establish the efficacy of employing this approach with Monte Carlo simulations, and demonstrate its utility in practice when applied to ERP datasets. PMID:26903849
Wastewater quality parameters namely; biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), dissolved oxygen (DO), total hydrocarbon content (THC), ... dangerous leading to the accumulation of toxic products in the receiving water bodies, with ... examination of water and wastewater (APHA,. 1995). The wastewater quality parameters.
Water quality in aquatic systems is important because it maintains the ecological processes that support biodiversity. However, declining water quality due to environmental perturbations threatens the stability of the biotic integrity and therefore hinders the ecosystem services and functions of
Pashkus, V.Y.; Krasnikova, T. S.
The article deals with the concept of quality of life, are approaches to its definition. In this paper we focus on giving a variety of methods for measuring quality of life, studied the concept of Gross National Happiness.
Tang, Dana T; Phillips, Ceib; Proffit, William R; Koroluk, Lorne D; White, Raymond P
To assess how quality of life (QoL) measures affect the decision for third molar (3M) removal in patients with mild symptoms of pericoronitis. Healthy subjects, aged 18 to 35 years, with mild symptoms of pericoronitis were enrolled in an institutional review board-approved study. The demographic, clinical, and QoL data were collected at enrollment. The subjects voluntarily scheduled surgery for 3M removal. The principal outcome variable was their decision to undergo or not undergo surgery within 6 months of enrollment. The possible predictor variables in a multivariate logistic regression analysis were the demographic characteristics, dental insurance, and QoL measures. The mean age of the 113 subjects was 23.2 ± 3.8 years. Of the 113 subjects, 79 elected to undergo 3M removal within 6 months of enrollment (removed group) and 34 elected to retain their 3M at 6 months after enrollment (retained group). A significantly greater proportion of the removed group were white (58% vs 35%; P = .03) and reported having at least "a little trouble" with opening their mouths (38% vs 18%; P = .04) and taking part in social life (27% vs 6%; P = .01). The multivariate logistic regression model suggested the odds of electing 3M removal within 6 months of enrollment were greater for those who were white (odds ratio [OR] 2.69, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14 to 6.32) and those who had at least "a little trouble" with interactions in their social life (OR 3.22, 95% CI 1.08 to 9.58). In subjects with mild pericoronitis symptoms, experiencing problems with oral function and lifestyle, factors not often considered by clinicians, were significantly associated with subjects' decision for early 3M removal. Copyright © 2014 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Whitworth, Martin B.; Millar, Samuel J.; Chau, Astor
Near infrared reflectance (NIR) spectroscopy is well established in the food industry for rapid compositional analysis of bulk samples. NIR hyperspectral imaging provides new opportunities to measure the spatial distribution of components such as moisture and fat, and to identify and measure specific regions of composite samples. An NIR hyperspectral imaging system has been constructed for food research applications, incorporating a SWIR camera with a cooled 14 bit HgCdTe detector and N25E spectrograph (Specim Ltd, Finland). Samples are scanned in a pushbroom mode using a motorised stage. The system has a spectral resolution of 256 pixels covering a range of 970-2500 nm and a spatial resolution of 320 pixels covering a swathe adjustable from 8 to 300 mm. Images are acquired at a rate of up to 100 lines s-1, enabling samples to be scanned within a few seconds. Data are captured using SpectralCube software (Specim) and analysed using ENVI and IDL (ITT Visual Information Solutions). Several food applications are presented. The strength of individual absorbance bands enables the distribution of particular components to be assessed. Examples are shown for detection of added gluten in wheat flour and to study the effect of processing conditions on fat distribution in chips/French fries. More detailed quantitative calibrations have been developed to study evolution of the moisture distribution in baguettes during storage at different humidities, to assess freshness of fish using measurements of whole cod and fillets, and for prediction of beef quality by identification and separate measurement of lean and fat regions.
This article explores the step to be followed for the evaluation of the quality of technical documents. It comprises the definition of evaluation criteria of the quality of theses documents, as well as brief description of the means of appreciation a these criteria. Keys-words: Technical documents/ Quality/ Step/ Criteria/ Evaluation/ ...
Schoenenberger Arnaiz, J A; Rodríguez Pozo, A; Sales Rufi, S; García, F; Cano Marrón, S M
The nutritional support team must justify its role by proving that it provides an adequate quality control and supervises the administration of the nutritional support to avoid its inappropriate use. The measures based on the process reported on the improvement opportunities while those based on the results allow an evaluation of the quality. The objective of this study is to present the results of a systematic search for improvement opportunities in two fundamental activities of the nutritional support team: the evaluation of the patient needs, and the adequation of the caloric supply to these needs. The data corresponding to nutritional support and nutritional assessment of 217 patients who initiated central parenteral nutrition during the perioperative surgery period for a laparotomy were registered between January of 1996 and June of 1997. These data were used to calculate 8 selected quality indicators to report on the quality of the activities subject to the evaluation. Moreover, the initial and final values of the nutritional assessment parameters of a sub-group of patients were compared with the aim of obtaining a measure of the result of parenteral nutrition. The final average levels of albumin, prealbumin, transferin, and the Nutritional Prognostic Index were significantly better than the initial data in the subgroup in which these data were available. The analysis of the process indicators allowed the detection of the need to reduce the caloric supply in relation to the protein supply and to promote the use of programs with a caloric supply that was better adjusted to the BMI and/or the patients' weight. It was also shown that it is necessary to increase the number of patients assessed from a nutritional point of view at the beginning and at the end of parenteral nutrition.
The Indoor Air Quality Building Education and Assessment Model (I-BEAM) is a guidance tool designed for use by building professionals and others interested in indoor air quality in commercial buildings.
The Indoor Air Quality Building Education and Assessment Model (I-BEAM), released in 2002, is a guidance tool designed for use by building professionals and others interested in indoor air quality in commercial buildings.
Renshaw, Tyler L.; Long, Anna C. J.; Cook, Clayton R.
This study reports on the initial development and validation of the Student Subjective Wellbeing Questionnaire (SSWQ) with a sample of 1,002 students in Grades 6-8. The SSWQ is a 16-item self-report instrument for assessing youths' subjective wellbeing at school, which is operationalized via 4 subscales measuring school connectedness, academic…
Girard, V; Tinland, A; Bonin, J P; Olive, F; Poule, J; Lancon, C; Apostolidis, T; Rowe, M; Greacen, T; Simeoni, M C
Increasing numbers of programs are addressing the specific needs of homeless people with schizophrenia in terms of access to housing, healthcare, basic human rights and other domains. Although quality of life scales are being used to evaluate such programs, few instruments have been validated for people with schizophrenia and none for people with schizophrenia who experience major social problems such as homelessness. The aim of the present study was to validate the French version of the S-QoL a self-administered, subjective quality of life questionnaire specific to schizophrenia for people with schizophrenia who are homeless. In a two-step process, the S-QoL was first administered to two independent convenience samples of long-term homeless people with schizophrenia in Marseille, France. The objective of the first step was to analyse the psychometric properties of the S-QoL. The objective of the second step was to examine, through qualitative interviews with members of the population in question, the relevance and acceptability of the principle quality of life indicators used in the S-QoL instrument. Although the psychometric characteristics of the S-QoL were found to be globally satisfactory, from the point of view of the people being interviewed, acceptability was poor. Respondents frequently interrupted participation complaining that questionnaire items did not take into account the specific context of life on the streets. Less intrusive questions, more readily understandable vocabulary and greater relevance to subjects' living conditions are needed to improve the S-QoL questionnaire for this population. A modular questionnaire with context specific sections or specific quality of life instruments for socially excluded populations may well be the way forward.
J. M. Juran's subjective quality definition of "quality is degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfils requirements" and the account have five big inherent problems: "to disturb the language order", "to violate the objective of the standardized work", "the dependence to the subjective being too strong, to disobey the objectivity principle", "to be short of the enthusiastic limit", "to be possible to reduce the requirement through the reduction, to improve the quality", "to be po...
Bei, Bei; Milgrom, Jeannette; Ericksen, Jennifer; Trinder, John
This study investigated whether there was a relationship between disrupted sleep and postpartum mood disturbances in women during the week after delivery. Sleep and mood were measured during the third trimester (Time-1) and one week postpartum (Time-2) in a 2-stage longitudinal design. Participants were recruited from an antenatal clinic in a regional Melbourne hospital. Forty-four healthy women at low risk for postpartum depression. N/A. Objective sleep was measured by actigraphy and subjective sleep by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; mood was assessed by the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale, and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule. Sleep and mood questionnaires were administered at Time-1 and Time-2. Wrist actigraphy was collected for one week at both times. After delivery, both objective and subjective nighttime sleep significantly worsened with decreased total sleep time and sleep efficiency, while daytime napping behavior significantly increased. On average, mood improved across all scales after delivery, although 45.95% of the sample experienced deterioration of mood. Regression analyses showed little relationship between Time-1 and Time-2 objective nighttime sleep, and postpartum mood. Variables that related to both Time-1 and Time-2 subjective perception of sleep, including subjective nighttime sleep, sleep-related daytime dysfunction, and daytime napping behavior, were significant predictors of postpartum mood. The perception of poor sleep, and the conscious awareness of its impact during wake-time, might share a stronger relationship with the occurrence of immediate postpartum mood disturbances than actual sleep quality and quantity.
Donini, Lorenzo Maria; Rosano, Aldo; Di Lazzaro, Luca; Poggiogalle, Eleonora; Lubrano, Carla; Migliaccio, Silvia; Carbonelli, Mariagrazia; Pinto, Alessandro; Lenzi, Andrea
Obesity is associated to increased risk of metabolic comorbidity as well as increased mortality. Notably, obesity is also associated to the impairment of the psychological status and of quality of life. Only three questionnaires are available in the Italian language evaluating the health-related quality of life in subjects with obesity. The aim of the present study was to test the validity and reliability of the Italian version of the Laval Questionnaire. The original French version was translated into Italian and back-translated by a French native speaker. 273 subjects with obesity (Body Mass Index ≥ 30 kg/m 2 ) were enrolled; the Italian version of the Laval Questionnaire and the O.R.Well-97 questionnaire were administered in order to assess health- related quality of life. The Laval questionnaire consists of 44 items distributed in 6 domains (symptoms, activity/mobility, personal hygiene/clothing, emotions, social interaction, sexual life). Disability and overall psychopathology levels were assessed through the TSD-OC test (SIO test for obesity correlated disabilities) and the SCL-90 (Symptom Checklist-90) questionnaire, respectively. To verify the validity of the Italian version, the analysis of internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and construct validity were performed. The observed proportion of agreement concordance of results was 50.2% with Cohen's K = 0.336 (CI 95%: 0.267-0.404), indicating a fair agreement between the two tests. Test-retest correlation was statistically significant (ρ = 0.82; p 0.70). The analysis of construct validity showed a statistically significant association in terms of both total score (ρ = -0.66) and scores at each single domain (p obesity.
Full Text Available J. M. Juran's subjective quality definition of "quality is degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfils requirements" and the account have five big inherent problems: "to disturb the language order", "to violate the objective of the standardized work", "the dependence to the subjective being too strong, to disobey the objectivity principle", "to be short of the enthusiastic limit", "to be possible to reduce the requirement through the reduction, to improve the quality", "to be possible provides the reason theoretically for the fake and shoddy manufacturer and the person whose quality is bad", "to have the suspicion of circular definition". The method to treat the wound is establishing the definition of "quality is the positive degree". This definition of quality both has guaranteed the positive connotation of J. M. Juran's quality definition and has cured the flaws of J. M. Juran's quality definition, but also has promulgated the condition of the symmetry and the connection between quality and value.
Christia, Chrysoula; Giordani, Gianmarco; Papastergiadou, Eva
Coastal lagoons are ecotones between continents and the sea. Coastal lagoons of Western Greece, subjected to different human pressures, were classified into four different types based on their hydromorphological characteristics and monitored over a three year period for their biotic and abiotic features. Six ecological indices based on water quality parameters (TSI-Chl-a, TSI-TP, TRIX), benthic macrophytes (E-MaQI, EEI-c) and an integrated index TWQI, were applied to assess the ecological status of studied lagoons under real conditions. The trophic status ranged from oligotrophic to hypertrophic according to the index applied. The ecological quality of transitional water ecosystems can be better assessed by using indices based on benthic macrophytes as changes in abundance and diversity of sensitive and tolerant species are the first evidence of incoming eutrophication. The multi-parametric index TWQI can be considered appropriate for the ecological assessment of these ecosystems due to its robustness and the simple application procedure. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Wojciechowski, L.C. [Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Pinawa, MB (Canada)
Quality assurance is integrated throughout the development lifecycle for performance and safety assessment software. The software used in the performance and safety assessment of a Canadian deep geological repository (DGR) follows the CSA quality assurance standard CSA-N286.7 , Quality Assurance of Analytical, Scientific and Design Computer Programs for Nuclear Power Plants. Quality assurance activities in this standard include tasks such as verification and inspection; however, much more is involved in producing a quality software computer program. The types of errors found with different verification methods are described. The integrated quality process ensures that defects are found and corrected as early as possible. (author)
Rey, Lourdes; Extremera, Natalio; Duran, Auxiliadora; Ortiz-Tallo, Margarita
Background: For decades, the field of quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities has focused on the improving the external life conditions. However, scarce research has examined the contribution of person-related psychological resources such as emotional competence (EC) on well-being in this population. Materials and Methods: Using…
Muhammad Tufail Chandio
Full Text Available English is a second language (L2 in Sindh, Pakistan. Most of the public sector schools in Sindh teach English as a subject rather than a language. Besides, they do not distinguish between generic pedagogy and distinctive approaches used for teaching English as a first language (L1 and second language (L2. In addition, the erroneous traditional assessment focuses on only writing and reading skills and the listening and speaking skills of L2 remain excluded. There is a great emphasis on summative assessments, which contribute to a qualification; however, formative assessments, which provide timely and continuous appraisal and feedback, remain ignored. Summative assessment employs only paper-and- pencil based test, while the other current means of alternative assessments like self-assessment, peer-assessment, and portfolio assessment have not been incorporated, and explored yet. Teaching English as a subject not as a language, employing summative assessment not formative, depending on paper-and-pencil based test, and not using the alternative modes of assessment are some of the questions this study will deal with. The study under discussion suggests that current approaches employed for teaching English are misplaced as these take a subject teaching approach rather than a language teaching approach. It also argues for the paradigm shift from a product to process approach to assessment by administering modern alternative assessments.
Kimura, Atsushi; Wada, Yuji; Kamada, Akiko; Masuda, Tomohiro; Okamoto, Masako; Goto, Sho-ichi; Tsuzuki, Daisuke; Cai, Dongsheng; Oka, Takashi; Dan, Ippeita
We aimed to explore the interactive effects of the accessibility of information and the degree of carbon footprint score on consumers' value judgments of food products. Participants (n=151, undergraduate students in Japan) rated their maximum willingness to pay (WTP) for four food products varying in information accessibility (active-search or read-only conditions) and in carbon footprint values (low, middle, high, or non-display) provided. We also assessed further effects of information accessibly and carbon footprint value on other product attributes utilizing the subjective estimation of taste, quality, healthiness, and environmental friendliness. Results of the experiment demonstrated an interactive effect of information accessibility and the degree of carbon emission on consumer valuation of carbon footprint-labeled food. The carbon footprint value had a stronger impact on participants' WTP in the active-search condition than in the read-only condition. Similar to WTP, the results of the subjective ratings for product qualities also exhibited an interactive effect of the two factors on the rating of environmental friendliness for products. These results imply that the perceived environmental friendliness inferable from a carbon footprint label contributes to creating value for a food product.
Rafael, Beatrix; Simon, Attila; Drótos, Gergely; Balog, Piroska
To examine psychological risk factors and somatic factors in patients after myocardial infarction. To study the relationship between somatic and psychological factors, their influence on subjective quality of life (well-being) and also to examine possible gender differences. There has been a growing body of evidence that psychosocial factors are risk factors for incident and recurrent myocardial infarction. Descriptive correlational and cross-sectional survey design. In patients (n = 97, 67 men), the level of depression and anxiety, vital exhaustion, sleep disturbances and well-being were assessed. Left ventricular ejection fraction, left ventricular diastolic diameter, body mass index, metabolic equivalents and the number of diseased vessels were retrieved from medical records. Anxiety, vital exhaustion and sleep disturbances were significantly higher in women than in men. Well-being showed a significant linear correlation with body mass index, anxiety, depression, vital exhaustion and sleep disturbances scores. After adjustment for psychological risk factors and somatic parameters, only vital exhaustion and anxiety correlated significantly with well-being. However, there were gender differences in predictive variables of well-being. Anxiety in men and vital exhaustion in women showed a linear correlation with the subjective quality of life. Our study revealed that only vital exhaustion and anxiety showed a significant correlation with well-being in patients. During cardiac rehabilitation, it is important to detect and treat not only depression but also vital exhaustion and anxiety, because by reducing these psychological conditions, we can improve well-being. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Rappange, David R; Brouwer, Werner B F; van Exel, Job
Subjective life expectancy is considered relevant in predicting mortality and future demand for health services as well as for explaining peoples' decisions in several life domains, such as the perceived impact of health behaviour changes on future health outcomes. Such expectations and in particular subjective expectations regarding future health-related quality of life remain understudied. The purpose of this study was to investigate individuals' subjective quality adjusted life years (QALYs) expectation from age 65 onwards in a representative sample of the Dutch generic public. A web-based questionnaire was administered to a sample of the adult population from the Netherlands. Information on subjective expectations regarding length and future health-related quality of life were combined into one single measure of subjective expected QALYs from age 65 onwards. This subjective QALY expectation was related to background, health and lifestyle variables. The implications of using different methods to construct our main outcome measure were addressed. Mean subjective expected QALYs from age 65 onwards was 11 QALYs (range -9 to 40 QALYs). Individuals with unhealthier lifestyles, chronic diseases, severe disorders or lower age of death of next of kin reported lower QALY expectations. Indicators were varyingly associated with either subjective life expectancy or future health-related quality of life, or both. Extending the concept of subjective life expectancy by correcting for expected quality of life appears to generate important additional information contributing to our understanding of people's perceptions regarding ageing and lifestyle choices.
Vasile DRAGU; Eugenia Alina ROMAN; Vlad C?t?lin ROMAN
The performance of a transport service is measured by its quality attribute, which is the most synthetic and comprehensive indicator. However, it is difficult to identify this service quality attribute because it involves the various customer perceptions and it may be influenced by the passengers’ preferences or by the travel behavior corresponding to a certain social category. The modal split of passenger transport is also influenced by the quality of supplied services which establishes a ma...
Ángela María Salazar-Maya
Full Text Available Objective. The study sought to identify the state of health and quality of life of post-bariatric surgery patients. Methodology. This was a cross-sectional study conducted in 2012 with the participation of 338 individuals attending the private practice of a bariatric surgeon from Medellín (Colombia. With prior signed informed consent, the survey was filled out by each patient. The information gathered was sociodemographic in nature along with the World Health Organization's Quality of Life Brief Questionnaire (WHOQoL-Bref. Results. It was found that 82.2% were women and mean age was 41±12 years. Gastric bypass was practiced on 79.6% of the cases. Mean weight before surgery was 106.3±17.5 Kg and after surgery it was 73.2±13.4 Kg. Nine of every 10 participants classified their quality of life and state of health between extremely well and quite well. Quality of life was better in men, in those younger than 40 years of age, in those from socio-economic levels 4 to 6, and in those with educational level above the secondary (high school. Conclusion. As a consequence of the important and rapid weight loss occurring during the first months after surgery, most of the participants perceived having a good quality of life and were satisfied with their health status. For nursing, it is a challenge to implement educational programs and projects, bearing in mind the sociocultural diversity of the individuals and communities, through interdisciplinary and inter-sector work, which contributes to the well-being of obese individuals subjected to bariatric surgery and their families.
Kaplan, Katherine A; Hirshman, Jason; Hernandez, Beatriz; Stefanick, Marcia L; Hoffman, Andrew R; Redline, Susan; Ancoli-Israel, Sonia; Stone, Katie; Friedman, Leah; Zeitzer, Jamie M
Reports of subjective sleep quality are frequently collected in research and clinical practice. It is unclear, however, how well polysomnographic measures of sleep correlate with subjective reports of prior-night sleep quality in elderly men and women. Furthermore, the relative importance of various polysomnographic, demographic and clinical characteristics in predicting subjective sleep quality is not known. We sought to determine the correlates of subjective sleep quality in older adults using more recently developed machine learning algorithms that are suitable for selecting and ranking important variables. Community-dwelling older men (n=1024) and women (n=459), a subset of those participating in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men study and the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures study, respectively, completed a single night of at-home polysomnographic recording of sleep followed by a set of morning questions concerning the prior night's sleep quality. Questionnaires concerning demographics and psychological characteristics were also collected prior to the overnight recording and entered into multivariable models. Two machine learning algorithms, lasso penalized regression and random forests, determined variable selection and the ordering of variable importance separately for men and women. Thirty-eight sleep, demographic and clinical correlates of sleep quality were considered. Together, these multivariable models explained only 11-17% of the variance in predicting subjective sleep quality. Objective sleep efficiency emerged as the strongest correlate of subjective sleep quality across all models, and across both sexes. Greater total sleep time and sleep stage transitions were also significant objective correlates of subjective sleep quality. The amount of slow wave sleep obtained was not determined to be important. Overall, the commonly obtained measures of polysomnographically-defined sleep contributed little to subjective ratings of prior-night sleep quality
Jensen, Sabrina; Colmorn, Lotte B; Schroll, Anne-Mette; Krebs, Lone
The safety of home births has been widely debated. Observational studies examining maternal and neonatal outcomes of home births have become more frequent, and the quality of these studies has improved. The aim of the present study was to describe neonatal outcomes of home births compared with hospital births and to discuss which data are needed to evaluate the safety of home births. This was a register-based cohort study. Data on all births in Denmark (2003-2013) were collected from the Danish Medical Birth Registry (DMBR). The cohort included healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies and no medical interventions during delivery. A total of 6,395 home births and 266,604 hospital births were eligible for analysis. Comparative analyses were performed separately in nulliparous and multiparous women. The outcome measures were neonatal mortality and morbidity. Frequencies of admission to a neonatal intensive care unit and treatment with continuous positive airway pressure were significantly lower in infants born at home than in infants born at a hospital. A slightly, but significantly increased rate of early neonatal death was found among infants delivered by nulliparous at home. This study indicates that home births in Denmark are characterized by a high level of safety owing to low rates of perinatal mortality and morbidity. Missing registration on intrapartum transfers and planned versus unplanned home births in the DMBR are, however, major limitations to the validity and utility of the reported results. Registration of these items of information is necessary to make reasonable assessments of home births in the future. none. not relevant. Articles published in the DMJ are “open access”. This means that the articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits any non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.
Turco, M; Corrias, M; Chiaromanni, F; Bano, M; Salamanca, M; Caccin, L; Merkel, C; Amodio, P; Romualdi, C; De Pittà, C; Costa, R; Montagnese, S
The assessment of diurnal preference, or the preferred timing of sleep and activity, is generally based on comprehensive questionnaires such as the Horne-Östberg (HÖ). The aim of the present study was to assess the reliability of a subject's self-classification as extremely morning (Self-MM), more morning than evening (Self-M), more evening than morning (Self-E) or extremely evening (Self-EE) type, based on the last question of the HÖ (Self-ME). A convenience sample of 461 subjects [23.8 ± 4.7 years; 322 females] completed a full sleep-wake assessment, including diurnal preference (HÖ), night sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, PSQI), daytime sleepiness (Karolinska Sleepiness Scale, KSS), and habitual sleep-wake timing (12 d sleep diaries; n = 296). Significant differences in HÖ total score were observed between Self-ME classes, with each class being significantly different from neighboring classes (p classes. Such differences were maintained when sleep-wake habits were analysed separately on work and free days, and also in a smaller group of 67 subjects who completed the Self-ME as a stand-alone rather than as part of the original questionnaire. Significant differences were observed in the time-course of subjective sleepiness by Self-ME class in both the large and the small group, with Self-MM and Self-M subjects being significantly more alert in the morning and sleepier in the evening hours compared with their Self-E and Self-EE counterparts. Finally, significant differences were observed in night sleep quality between Self-ME classes, with Self-EE/Self-E subjects sleeping worse than their Self-MM/Self-M counterparts, and averaging just over the abnormality PSQI threshold of 5. In conclusion, young, healthy adults can define their diurnal preference based on a single question (Self-ME) in a way that reflects their sleep-wake timing, their sleepiness levels over the daytime hours, and their night sleep quality. Validation of the Self
Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate health-related quality of life (HRQoL of a Chinese population with Barrett's esophagus (BE.Data from subjects with BE from a single hospital were prospectively collected from October 2012 to December 2014. The exclusion criteria included total esophagectomy, severe cardiopulmonary deficiency, malignancy, or other unsuitable conditions for scope. All the enrolled cases were asked to complete the Reflux Disease Questionnaire (RDQ, the short form-12, (SF-12, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS.In total, 139 subjects were enrolled, and the mean age of the cases was 61.85 years old. Most subjects had short-segment BE (SSBE (92.8% and non-dysplastic BE tissue (94.2%. The mean physical and mental composite scores, PCS and MCS, of SF-12 were 44.14 and 45.53, respectively. The SF-12 scores in BE individuals were similar in men and women, elderly and non-elderly, LSBE and SSBE, coexisting EE and no-EE, and dysplastic and non-dysplastic. The appearance of reflux symptoms tended to decrease SF-12 scores in affected individuals, especially heartburn. The rates of anxiety and depression accounted for 25.2% and 17.3% of these cases, respectively.Our study found HRQoL in BE patients was strongly associated with presentation of reflux symptoms.
Ahmed, Nizar; Parthasarathy, Harinath; Arshad, Mohamed; Victor, Dhayanand John; Mathew, Danny; Sankari, Siva
Objectives: To compare and quantify the presence of periodontal pathogens Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (Aac) and Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg) in Down's syndrome (DS) and systemically healthy subjects with periodontitis and gingivitis. Materials and Methods: Fifty-nine age-matched subjects were categorized into four groups; Group I: DS subjects with gingivitis, Group II: DS subjects with periodontitis, Group III: Systemically healthy subjects with gingivitis and Group IV: Systemicall...
Runkel, B; Von Mackensen, S; Hilberg, T
Musculoskeletal bleedings lead to limitations in the locomotor system and consequently, in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with haemophilia (PwH). Sports therapy is increasingly recommended to improve their physical performance. Until today, randomised controlled studies investigating changes in physical performance in PwH are rare. This study investigates the impact of programmed sports therapy on the subjective physical performance and the HRQoL in PwH. A randomised controlled trial (RCT) was conducted with a training intervention for over 6 months. For this purpose, 64 PwH with moderate (n = 5) or severe (n = 59) haemophilia A (n = 57) or B (n = 7) were randomised into two groups - intervention (IG) or control group (CG). The HRQoL was assessed with the SF-36 questionnaire and the disease-specific Haem-A-QoL before and after the intervention. The subjective physical performance was tested by the HEP-Test-Q. After the 6-month training intervention, PwH in the IG subjectively reported significant better 'endurance' (P = 0.000) in the HEP-Test-Q compared to the CG. In the SF-36, a significant difference in the domains 'general health perceptions' (P = 0.005) and 'mental health' (P = 0.001) was detected. The haemophilia-specific HRQoL questionnaire showed a significant improvement in the dimensions 'feeling' (P = 0.049), 'work' (P = 0.046) and 'family' (P = 0.040). In the first RCT evaluating the impact of a 6-month training intervention on the subjective perception of PwH, an increase in subjective physical performance and some domains of HRQoL was demonstrated in the IG. Specific sports therapy should be included into the comprehensive treatment under supervision and monitoring by experienced staff. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Cribbet, Matthew R; Carlisle, McKenzie; Cawthon, Richard M; Uchino, Bert N; Williams, Paula G; Smith, Timothy W; Gunn, Heather E; Light, Kathleen C
To examine whether subjective sleep quality and sleep duration moderate the association between age and telomere length (TL). Participants completed a demographic and sleep quality questionnaire, followed by a blood draw. Social Neuroscience Laboratory. One hundred fifty-four middle-aged to older adults (age 45-77 y) participated. Participants were excluded if they were on immunosuppressive treatment and/or had a disease with a clear immunologic (e.g., cancer) component. N/A. Subjective sleep quality and sleep duration were assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and TL was determined using peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). There was a significant first-order negative association between age and TL. Age was also negatively associated with the self-reported sleep quality item and sleep duration component of the PSQI. A significant age × self-reported sleep quality interaction revealed that age was more strongly related to TL among poor sleepers, and that good sleep quality attenuated the association between age and TL. Moreover, adequate subjective sleep duration among older adults (i.e. greater than 7 h per night) was associated with TL comparable to that in middle-aged adults, whereas sleep duration was unrelated to TL for the middle-aged adults in our study. The current study provides evidence for an association between sleep quality, sleep duration, and cellular aging. Among older adults, better subjective sleep quality was associated with the extent of cellular aging, suggesting that sleep duration and sleep quality may be added to a growing list of modifiable behaviors associated with the adverse effects of aging.
Full Text Available The article presents the methods of an ecological quality assessment of the regional social and economic development strategies, which is based on system of the criteria considering an inclusiveness of an ecological factor in the analysis of the problems of regional development, the development to scenario conditions, the definition of the priority ecological purposes and the directions of regional development, level of state regulation, productivity assessment. Results of an assessment are approved on the Ural federal district subjects.
Jan 16, 2006 ... In this study, the factor analysis technique is applied to surface water quality data sets obtained from the Buyuk Menderes. River Basin, Turkey, during two different hydrological periods. Results show that the indices which changed the quality of water in two seasons and locations differed. During low-flow ...
The water quality of groundwater is influenced by both anthropogenic and chemical weathering. The most serious pollution threat to groundwater is from TDS, Cr6+ and Fe2+, which are associated with sewage and pollution of tannery waste. The study reveals that the groundwater quality changed due to anthropogenic and ...
Bloem, J.; Hopkins, D.W.; Benedetti, A.
This book provides a selection of microbiological methods that are already applied in regional or national soil quality monitoring programs. It is split into two parts: part one gives an overview of approaches to monitoring, evaluating and managing soil quality. Part two provides a selection of
Maintaining soil productivity is essential if agriculture production systems are to be sustainable, thus soil quality is an essential issue. However, there is a paucity of tools for measurement for the purpose of understanding changes in soil quality. Here the possibility of using fuzzy modeling t...
Rocio Diaz-Chavez; Goran Berndes; Dan Neary; Andre Elia Neto; Mamadou Fall
Water quality is a measurement of the biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of water against certain standards set to ensure ecological and/or human health. Biomass production and conversion to fuels and electricity can impact water quality in lakes, rivers, and aquifers with consequences for aquatic ecosystem health and also human water uses. Depending on...
Choi, S-H; Kim, J-S; Cha, J-Y; Lee, K-J; Yu, H-S; Hwang, C-J
Reduced food intake ability can restrict an individual's choice of foods and might have a significant impact on the individual's quality of life and mental health. The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlations between self-reported masticatory ability and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQOL) and psychological health. The study included 72 (26 men, 46 women) adults with a mean age of 26·4 ± 8·6 years. Each participant completed the key subjective food intake ability (KFIA) test for five key foods, the Korean version of the Oral Health Impact Profile-14 (OHIP-14K) and three questionnaires for measuring anxiety, depression and self-esteem. The participants were distributed into two groups by sex (a mean age of 23·9 ± 5·2 for men and 27·9 ± 9·8 for women) and by the median KFIA score. There were no significant differences in any of the variables according to sex. Thirty-two participants (12 men, 20 women) in the lower KFIA group had a higher total OHIP-14K (P food intake ability is associated with a poor oral health-related quality of life and higher depression level. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Alkharusi, Hussain Ali; Al-Hosni, Salim
This study investigates students' perceptions of classroom assessment tasks as a function of gender, subject area, and grade level. Data from 2753 students on Dorman and Knightley's (2006) Perceptions of Assessment Tasks Inventory (PATI) were analyzed in a MANOVA design. Results showed that students tended to hold positive perceptions of their…
Cox Nancy C
Full Text Available Abstract Background Cough is the most common symptom presenting to doctors. The quality of cough (productive or wet vs dry is used clinically as well as in epidemiology and clinical research. There is however no data on the validity of cough quality descriptors. The study aims were to compare (1 cough quality (wet/dry and brassy/non-brassy to bronchoscopic findings of secretions and tracheomalacia respectively and, (2 parent's vs clinician's evaluation of the cough quality (wet/dry. Methods Cough quality of children (without a known underlying respiratory disease undergoing elective bronchoscopy was independently evaluated by clinicians and parents. A 'blinded' clinician scored the secretions seen at bronchoscopy on pre-determined criteria and graded (1 to 6. Kappa (K statistics was used for agreement, and inter-rater and intra-rater agreement examined on digitally recorded cough. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC curve was used to determine if cough quality related to amount of airway secretions present at bronchoscopy. Results Median age of the 106 children (62 boys, 44 girls enrolled was 2.6 years (IQR 5.7. Parent's assessment of cough quality (wet/dry agreed with clinicians' (K = 0.75, 95%CI 0.58–0.93. When compared to bronchoscopy (bronchoscopic secretion grade 4, clinicians' cough assessment had the highest sensitivity (0.75 and specificity (0.79 and were marginally better than parent(s. The area under the ROC curve was 0.85 (95%CI 0.77–0.92. Intra-observer (K = 1.0 and inter-clinician agreement for wet/dry cough (K = 0.88, 95%CI 0.82–0.94 was very good. Weighted K for inter-rater agreement for bronchoscopic secretion grades was 0.95 (95%CI 0.87–1. Sensitivity and specificity for brassy cough (for tracheomalacia were 0.57 and 0.81 respectively. K for both intra and inter-observer clinician agreement for brassy cough was 0.79 (95%CI 0.73–0.86. Conclusions Dry and wet cough in children, as determined by clinicians and
Rosen, Adon F G; Roalf, David R; Ruparel, Kosha; Blake, Jason; Seelaus, Kevin; Villa, Lakshmi P; Ciric, Rastko; Cook, Philip A; Davatzikos, Christos; Elliott, Mark A; Garcia de La Garza, Angel; Gennatas, Efstathios D; Quarmley, Megan; Schmitt, J Eric; Shinohara, Russell T; Tisdall, M Dylan; Craddock, R Cameron; Gur, Raquel E; Gur, Ruben C; Satterthwaite, Theodore D
Data quality is increasingly recognized as one of the most important confounding factors in brain imaging research. It is particularly important for studies of brain development, where age is systematically related to in-scanner motion and data quality. Prior work has demonstrated that in-scanner head motion biases estimates of structural neuroimaging measures. However, objective measures of data quality are not available for most structural brain images. Here we sought to identify quantitative measures of data quality for T1-weighted volumes, describe how these measures relate to cortical thickness, and delineate how this in turn may bias inference regarding associations with age in youth. Three highly-trained raters provided manual ratings of 1840 raw T1-weighted volumes. These images included a training set of 1065 images from Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort (PNC), a test set of 533 images from the PNC, as well as an external test set of 242 adults acquired on a different scanner. Manual ratings were compared to automated quality measures provided by the Preprocessed Connectomes Project's Quality Assurance Protocol (QAP), as well as FreeSurfer's Euler number, which summarizes the topological complexity of the reconstructed cortical surface. Results revealed that the Euler number was consistently correlated with manual ratings across samples. Furthermore, the Euler number could be used to identify images scored "unusable" by human raters with a high degree of accuracy (AUC: 0.98-0.99), and out-performed proxy measures from functional timeseries acquired in the same scanning session. The Euler number also was significantly related to cortical thickness in a regionally heterogeneous pattern that was consistent across datasets and replicated prior results. Finally, data quality both inflated and obscured associations with age during adolescence. Taken together, these results indicate that reliable measures of data quality can be automatically derived from T1
Ágh, Tamás; Dömötör, Péterné; Bártfai, Zoltán; Inotai, András; Fujsz, Eszter; Mészáros, Ágnes
Various aspects of medication adherence and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) have been studied in subjects with COPD. Nevertheless, little is known about the association between these factors. The aim of this study was to undertake a systematic review of the published literature focusing on the relationship between medication adherence and HRQOL in COPD. A systematic literature search of English language articles was conducted in April 2013 using MEDLINE. No publication date limits were defined. All of the included studies were assessed for quality. Seven studies were included in the review. Three of the assessed studies found no correlation, and 3 studies described positive and 2 studies reported negative associations between medication adherence and HRQOL. The results indicate that an improved HRQOL may be a trigger for non-adherence in patients with COPD. The relationship between medication adherence and HRQOL may be dual. The effect of medication adherence on HRQOL might be a consequence of the effectiveness of therapy and the negative effects (ie, side effects, daily life limitation of therapy, social stigma) that it can generate. HRQOL might also influence the patterns of patients' drug use, as an increased HRQOL might trigger non-adherence. The dynamics between adherence and HRQOL might differ over time, as the negative effects of medication non-adherence might become dominant in the long term. Copyright © 2015 by Daedalus Enterprises.
Bonardi, José M T; Lima, Leandra G; Campos, Giulliard O; Bertani, Rodrigo F; Moriguti, Júlio C; Ferriolli, Eduardo; Lima, Nereida K C
There are still many gaps in research concerning the effect of different physical training modalities on sleep quality in the elderly population. Thus, the objective of the present study was to compare the quality of sleep of hypertensive elderly subjects submitted to two types of training (ie, aerobic exercise alone or combined aerobic and resistance training). Participants aged 60-75 years were randomized to three groups: aerobic group (AG), combined aerobic and resistance group (ARG), and control untrained group (CG). Training lasted ten consecutive weeks with 30 uninterrupted sessions. The actigraph (Actiwatch Minimitter Company, INC - Sunriver, OR, USA) was placed on the non-dominant wrist and activities were monitored continuously while being recorded at one minute intervals. The participants kept the device for a period of 96 hours before the first and last training sessions. There was a reduction in sleep fragmentation index of 18.9 for AG and 13 for ARG (p sleep efficacy was improved in the exercise groups, with a 5.6% increase for AG (p = 0.02) and a 6.1% increase for ARG (p = 0.01). After training, percentage of minutes motionless was increased by 8.2% for AG and by 6.9% for ARG (p sleep quality. A reduction in total activity score during sleep was observed for AG and ARG (p exercise performed for ten weeks similarly improved sleep quality, thus reducing the fragmentation index, the percentage of minutes in motion and total activity score, and increasing sleep efficacy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Chen, Jieling Elaine; Lou, Vivian Weiqun; Jian, Hong; Zhou, Zhen; Yan, Meiqiong; Zhu, Jingfen; Li, Guohong; He, Yaping
The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of financial burden, using objective and subjective indicators, on the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in lung cancer patients. A total of 227 patients diagnosed with lung cancer (from the inpatient unit of the department of internal medicine-chest oncology, in Shanghai Chest Hospital, China) participated in the study. Financial information was measured by direct medical costs, direct nonmedical costs, healthcare-cost-to-income ratio, and perceived financial difficulty. HRQOL was measured using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Lung (FACT-L) scale. Catastrophic health spending, defined as a healthcare-cost-to-income ratio of more than 40%, was reported in 72.7% of the participants, whereas 37.0% reported that healthcare costs exceeded annual household income. Financial difficulty was perceived in 83.7% of the participants. Patients whose healthcare costs exceeded their annual household income and who perceived financial difficulty reported a clinically meaningful difference in overall HRQOL (> 6 points on the FACT-L) compared with participants without catastrophic health spending or perceived financial difficulty. Healthcare costs did not show a significant effect on HRQOL. Healthcare costs exceeding total annual household income and perceived financial difficulty are associated with poorer HRQOL in lung cancer patients. Subjective indicator of financial burden has a stronger effect on quality of life than objective indicators. Health-cost-to-income ratio and perceived financial difficulty can be implied as objective and subjective indicators of financial burden to identify the patients who may need additional assistance. Communication on deciding on cost-effective treatments can be facilitated.
Hernon, Peter; Nitecki, Danuta A.; Altman, Ellen
Reviews the literature of library and information science to examine issues related to service quality and customer satisfaction in academic libraries. Discusses assessment, the application of a business model to higher education, a multiple constituency approach, decision areas regarding service quality, resistance to service quality, and future…
Mycoflora and Water quality index assessment studies of hand-dug wells and a river in Oproama Community, Niger Delta were studied. Water samples was taken from the ten sampling stations (7 wells and 3 river points) and water quality index using water quality index calculator given by National Sanitation Foundation ...
Basar, Gulsun; Altinay, Zehra; Dagli, Gokmen; Altinay, Fahriye
This study involves the assessment of the quality management models in Higher Education by explaining the importance of quality in higher education and by examining the higher education quality assurance system practices in other countries. The qualitative study was carried out with the members of the Higher Education Planning, Evaluation,…
Grainger, Peter; Adie, Lenore; Weir, Katie
Quality assurance is a major agenda in tertiary education. The casualisation of academic work, especially in teaching, is also a quality assurance issue. Casual or sessional staff members teach and assess more than 50% of all university courses in Australia, and yet the research in relation to the role sessional staff play in quality assurance of…
Lofthag-Hansen, Sara; Thilander-Klang, Anne; Gröndahl, Kerstin
To evaluate subjective image quality for two diagnostic tasks, periapical diagnosis and implant planning, for cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) using different exposure parameters and fields of view (FOVs). Examinations were performed in posterior part of the jaws on a skull phantom with 3D Accuitomo (FOV 3 cm×4 cm) and 3D Accuitomo FPD (FOVs 4 cm×4 cm and 6 cm×6 cm). All combinations of 60, 65, 70, 75, 80 kV and 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 mA with a rotation of 180° and 360° were used. Dose-area product (DAP) value was determined for each combination. The images were presented, displaying the object in axial, cross-sectional and sagittal views, without scanning data in a random order for each FOV and jaw. Seven observers assessed image quality on a six-point rating scale. Intra-observer agreement was good (κw=0.76) and inter-observer agreement moderate (κw=0.52). Stepwise logistic regression showed kV, mA and diagnostic task to be the most important variables. Periapical diagnosis, regardless jaw, required higher exposure parameters compared to implant planning. Implant planning in the lower jaw required higher exposure parameters compared to upper jaw. Overall ranking of FOVs gave 4 cm×4 cm, 6 cm×6 cm followed by 3 cm×4 cm. This study has shown that exposure parameters should be adjusted according to diagnostic task. For this particular CBCT brand a rotation of 180° gave good subjective image quality, hence a substantial dose reduction can be achieved without loss of diagnostic information. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Mandalos, Achilleas; Anastasopoulos, Eleftherios; Makris, Leonidas; Dervenis, Nikolaos; Kilintzis, Vasilis; Topouzis, Fotis
To evaluate the inter-examiner reproducibility of Ocular Response Analyzer (ORA) parameters in healthy subjects using the waveform score (WS) for quality control of acquisition. Fifteen healthy subjects had their intraocular pressure (IOP) measured with ORA by 2 masked examiners. An acquisition protocol that aimed at obtaining 4 reliable measurements in each eye with WS≥6 and with as few repeated measurements as possible was employed, whereas a maximum of 8 measurements per eye was allowed. Additional good quality criteria included symmetrical force-in and force-out applanation signal peaks on the ORA waveform and few or no distortions of the applanation signal curve. Only the right eyes were included in the analysis. Examiners were trained but not experienced. The inter-examiner reproducibility of ORA parameters was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Mean values of the best 4 measurements were considered in analysis. ICC including the best 4 measurements per eye was high for all ORA parameters. Specifically, ICC for Goldmann-correlated IOP was 0.961, for corneal-compensated IOP was 0.962, for corneal resistance factor was 0.987, and for corneal hysteresis was 0.988. Similar reproducibility was found when only the 3 best measurements per eye were included in the analysis. The protocol for IOP measurement with ORA using the WS ≥6 as quality index achieved high inter-examiner reproducibility for all ORA parameters. High reproducibility was obtained even by inexperienced examiners when considering the mean of the best 3 measurements per eye.
Wu, Meng-Ni; Lai, Chiou-Lian; Liu, Ching-Kuan; Liou, Li-Min; Yen, Chen-Wen; Chen, Sharon Chia-Ju; Hsieh, Cheng-Fang; Hsieh, Sun-Wung; Lin, Feng-Cheng; Hsu, Chung-Yao
Perceived sleep quality may play an important role in diagnosis and therapy for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, few studies have assessed factors that are associated with perceived sleep quality in OSA patients. Hypoxemia depresses the central nervous system and attenuates the perceived respiratory load in asthmatic patients. This study aimed to investigate the factors related to perceived sleep quality, focusing on the role of hypoxemia. Polysomnography studies of 156 OSA patients were reviewed. Traditional polysomnographic parameters, including parameters of oxy-hemoglobin saturation (SpO2), were calculated, and the sleep questionnaire and scales were used. Considering the possible pitfalls of absolute values of SpO2 and individualized responses to hypoxemia, the amplitude of desaturation was further computed as "median SpO2 minus lowest 5 % SpO2 "and "highest 5 % SpO2 minus median 5 % SpO2". Correlations between these parameters and perceived sleep quality, represented as the Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI), were performed. Multiple linear regression analysis was also conducted to investigate the factors associated with the PSQI. Although the PSQI was not correlated with the apnea-hypopnea index (r = -0.113, p = 0.162) and oxygen desaturation index (r = -0.085, p = 0.291), the PSQI was negatively correlated with "median SpO2 minus lowest 5 % SpO2" (r = -0.161, p = 0.045). After adjusting for age, total sleep time, the periodic limb movements index, tendency of depression, and the lowest 5 % SpO2, the "median SpO2 minus lowest SpO2" was still a significant predictor for a lower PSQI (β = -0.357, p = 0.015). More severe hypoxemia is associated with better perceived sleep quality among OSA patients. This paradox may be associated with hypoxemia-related impairment of perception. The effect of hypoxemia did not appear to be significant in relatively mild hypoxemia but become significant in severe hypoxemia." Median SpO2 minus lowest 5 % SpO2" may also
Stoyanov, Stoyan R; Hides, Leanne; Kavanagh, David J; Zelenko, Oksana; Tjondronegoro, Dian; Mani, Madhavan
The use of mobile apps for health and well being promotion has grown exponentially in recent years. Yet, there is currently no app-quality assessment tool beyond "star"-ratings. The objective of this study was to develop a reliable, multidimensional measure for trialling, classifying, and rating the quality of mobile health apps. A literature search was conducted to identify articles containing explicit Web or app quality rating criteria published between January 2000 and January 2013. Existing criteria for the assessment of app quality were categorized by an expert panel to develop the new Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS) subscales, items, descriptors, and anchors. There were sixty well being apps that were randomly selected using an iTunes search for MARS rating. There were ten that were used to pilot the rating procedure, and the remaining 50 provided data on interrater reliability. There were 372 explicit criteria for assessing Web or app quality that were extracted from 25 published papers, conference proceedings, and Internet resources. There were five broad categories of criteria that were identified including four objective quality scales: engagement, functionality, aesthetics, and information quality; and one subjective quality scale; which were refined into the 23-item MARS. The MARS demonstrated excellent internal consistency (alpha = .90) and interrater reliability intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC = .79). The MARS is a simple, objective, and reliable tool for classifying and assessing the quality of mobile health apps. It can also be used to provide a checklist for the design and development of new high quality health apps.
Sumner, Walton; Ding, Eric; Fischer, Irene D; Hagen, Michael D
Many medical decisions involve an implied choice between alternative survival curves, typically with differing quality of life. Common preference assessment methods neglect this structure, creating some risk of distortions. Survival curve quality-of-life assessments (SQLA) were developed from Gompertz survival curves fitting the general population's survival. An algorithm was developed to generate relative discount rate-utility (DRU) functions from a standard survival curve and health state and an equally attractive alternative curve and state. A least means squared distance algorithm was developed to describe how nearly 3 or more DRU functions intersect. These techniques were implemented in a program called X-Trade and tested. SQLA scenarios can portray realistic treatment choices. A side effect scenario portrays one prototypical choice, to extend life while experiencing some loss, such as an amputation. A risky treatment scenario portrays procedures with an initial mortality risk. A time trade scenario mimics conventional time tradeoffs. Each SQLA scenario yields DRU functions with distinctive shapes, such as sigmoid curves or vertical lines. One SQLA can imply a discount rate or utility if the other value is known and both values are temporally stable. Two SQLA exercises imply a unique discount rate and utility if the inferred DRU functions intersect. Three or more SQLA results can quantify uncertainty or inconsistency in discount rate and utility estimates. Pilot studies suggested that many subjects could learn to interpret survival curves and do SQLA. SQLA confuse some people. Compared with SQLA, standard gambles quantify very low utilities more easily, and time tradeoffs are simpler for high utilities. When discount rates approach zero, time tradeoffs are as informative and easier to do than SQLA. SQLA may complement conventional utility assessment methods. © The Author(s) 2014.
Bech-Larsen, Tino; Jensen, Birger Boutrup
When the buyer and the consumer of a food product are not identical, the risk of discrepancies between food quality expectations and experiences is even higher. We introduce the concept of dyadic quality assessment and apply it to an exploration of parents' willingness to pay for new and healthier...... in-between meals for their children. Results show poor congruence between parent and child quality assessment due to the two parties emphasising quite different quality aspects. Improved parental knowledge of their children's quality experience however has a significant effect on parents' willingness...... to pay. Accordingly, both parents and children should be involved when developing and testing healthy in-between meals....
Ukhanova, Ann; Støttrup-Andersen, Jesper; Forchhammer, Søren
Definition of video quality requirements for video surveillance poses new questions in the area of quality assessment. This paper presents a quality assessment experiment for an automatic license plate recognition scenario. We explore the influence of the compression by H.264/AVC and H.265/HEVC...... standards on the recognition performance. We compare logarithmic and logistic functions for quality modeling. Our results show that a logistic function can better describe the dependence of recognition performance on the quality for both compression standards. We observe that automatic license plate...
Archana A. Bade
Full Text Available As the developments and customer expectations in the high quality foods are increasing day by day, it becomes very essential for the food industries to maintain the quality of the product. Therefore it is necessary to have the quality inspection system for the product before packaging. Automation in the industry gives better inspection speed as compared to the human vision. The automation based on the computer vision is cost effective, flexible and provides one of the best alternatives for more accurate, fast inspection system. Image processing and image analysis are the vital part of the computer vision system. In this paper, we discuss real time quality inspection of the biscuits of premium class using computer vision. It contains the designing of the system, implementing, verifying it and installation of the complete system at the biscuit industry. Overall system contains Image acquisition, Preprocessing, Important feature extraction using segmentation, Color variations and Interpretation and the system hardware.
Arnold, Terri L.; DeSimone, Leslie; Bexfield, Laura M.; Lindsey, Bruce; Barlow, Jeannie R.; Kulongoski, Justin; Musgrove, MaryLynn; Kingsbury, James A.; Belitz, Kenneth
Groundwater-quality data were collected from 748 wells as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Project of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Program from May 2012 through December 2013. The data were collected from four types of well networks: principal aquifer study networks, which assess the quality of groundwater used for public water supply; land-use study networks, which assess land-use effects on shallow groundwater quality; major aquifer study networks, which assess the quality of groundwater used for domestic supply; and enhanced trends networks, which evaluate the time scales during which groundwater quality changes. Groundwater samples were analyzed for a large number of water-quality indicators and constituents, including major ions, nutrients, trace elements, volatile organic compounds, pesticides, and radionuclides. These groundwater quality data are tabulated in a U.S. Geological Survey Data Series Report DS-997 which is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds997 and in this data release. Quality-control samples also were collected; data from blank and replicate quality-control samples are included in the related report (DS-997) and this data release. This compressed file contains 28 files of groundwater-quality data in ASCII text tab-delimited format and 28 corresponding metadata in xml format for wells sampled for the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment Project, May 2012 through December 2013.
Al Senany, Samira; Al Saif, Amer
[Purpose] This study investigated physical health status and quality of life among older Saudi adults. [Subjects and Methods] Participants included older adults (N = 55) aged 60?90?years (mean = 67.9? 7.71) from a major hospital in Jeddah. Subjects completed surveys and evaluations including assessments of personal and socio-demographic characteristics, caregiver presence, personal habits, perceived health, primary physical and psychological complaints, physician-diagnosed chronic diseases, a...
Priebe, Stefan; Matanov, Aleksandra; Janković Gavrilović, Jelena; McCrone, Paul; Ljubotina, Damir; Knezević, Goran; Kucukalić, Abdulah; Francisković, Tanja; Schützwohl, Matthias
To assess long-term mental health outcomes in people who suffer from war-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but do not receive appropriate treatment. We interviewed 264 subjects from former Yugoslavia, who lived in Croatia, Serbia, Germany, and the United Kingdom. All of them had suffered from PTSD at some point following the war, but never received psychiatric or psychological treatment. The interviews took place on average 10.7+/-3.0 years after the war-related trauma. Outcomes were current PTSD on the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV, subjective quality of life (SQOL) on the Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life, and care costs. Socio-demographic characteristics, the level of traumatic war-events, and aspects of the post-war situation were tested for association with outcomes. Current PTSD was diagnosed in 83.7% of participants, the mean SQOL score was 4.0+/-0.9, and mean care costs in the last 3 months exceeded euro1100 in each center. Older age, more traumatic war-events, lower education, and living in post-conflict countries were associated with higher rates of current PTSD. Older age, combat experience, more traumatic war-events, being unemployed, living alone, being housed in collective accommodation, and current PTSD were independently associated with lower SQOL. Older age and living in Germany were linked to higher costs of formal care. People with untreated war-related PTSD have a high risk of still having PTSD a decade after the traumatic event. Their SQOL is relatively low, and they generate considerable care costs. Factors that have been reported as influencing the occurrence of PTSD also appear relevant for recovery from PTSD. Current PTSD may impair SQOL independently of social factors.
González-Rubio, Elizabeth; San Mauro, Ismael; López-Ruíz, Cristina; Díaz-Prieto, Ligia E; Marcos, Ascensión; Nova, Esther
This work was aimed to study the relationships of moderate alcohol intake and the type of beverages consumed with health behaviors and quality of life in elderly people. In this observational study, 231 subjects (55-85 years) voluntarily answering to advertisements were enrolled and divided in three study groups: abstainers and occasional consumers (ABS; n = 98), moderate drinkers of beer (BEER; n = 63) and moderate drinkers of all sorts of alcoholic beverages (MIXED; n = 70). Variables assessed included physical activity, activities of daily living, Mediterranean diet-adherence score, tobacco consumption, quality of sleep, body composition, medication and perception of health through the SF-36 questionnaire. Their relationship with alcohol consumption was assessed through general linear models including confounding variables (age, sex, chronic disease prevalence and socioeconomic status). ABS were also compared to moderate drinkers (MOD = BEER + MIXED). The mean daily alcohol consumption in each group was (mean ± SD): ABS: 0.7 ± 1.1; BEER: 12.7 ± 8.1; MIXED: 13.9 ± 10.2 g/day. MOD and MIXED showed significantly higher physical activity (metabolic standard units; METs) than ABS (p = 0.023 and p = 0.004, respectively). MOD spent significantly less time doing housework activities than ABS (p = 0.032). Daily grams of alcohol consumption were significantly associated with METs (B = 21.727, p = 0.023). Specifically, wine consumption (g/day) was associated with METs (B = 46.196, p = alcohol consumption, and in particular wine consumption, is associated with a more active lifestyle and better perception of own health in the Spanish elderly subjects studied.
Wu, Xiang; Chen, Yan; Zhang, Jie; Wang, Yi
Teaching quality assessment is a judgment process by using the theory and technology of education evaluation system to test whether the process and result of teaching have got to a certain quality level. Many vocational schools have established teaching quality assessment systems of their own characteristics as the basic means to do self-examination and teaching behavior adjustment. Combined with the characteristics and requirements of the vocational education and by analyzing the problems exist in contemporary vocational school, form the perspective of the content, assessment criteria and feedback system of the teaching quality assessment to optimize the system, to complete the teaching quality information net and offer suggestions for feedback channels, to make the institutionalization, standardization of the vocational schools and indeed to make contribution for the overall improvement of the quality of vocational schools.
Full Text Available Cohesion is one of the most important factors for software quality as well as maintainability, reliability and reusability. Module cohesion is defined as a quality attribute that seeks for measuring the singleness of the purpose of a module. The module of poor quality can be a serious obstacle to the system quality. In order to design a good software quality, software managers and engineers need to introduce cohesion metrics to measure and produce desirable software. A highly cohesion software is thought to be a desirable constructing. In this paper, we propose a function-oriented cohesion metrics based on the analysis of live variables, live span and the visualization of processing element dependency graph. We give six typical cohesion examples to be measured as our experiments and justification. Therefore, a well-defined, well-normalized, well-visualized and well-experimented cohesion metrics is proposed to indicate and thus enhance software cohesion strength. Furthermore, this cohesion metrics can be easily incorporated with software CASE tool to help software engineers to improve software quality.
Driessen, E.W.; Overeem, K.; Tartwijk, J. van; Vleuten, C.P.M. van der; Muijtjens, A.M.M.
The portfolio is becoming increasingly accepted as a valuable tool for learning and assessment. The validity of portfolio assessment, however, may suffer from bias due to irrelevant qualities, such as lay-out and writing style. We examined the possible effects of such qualities in a portfolio
The article reviews forms of higher education internationalisation at an institutional level. The relevance of theoretical background of internationalised study quality assessment is highlighted and definitions of internationalised studies quality are presented. Existing methods of assessment of higher education internationalisation are criticised…
An Assessment of the Microbiological Quality and Physical Properties of Indoor. Atmosphere in Port Harcourt ... ABSTRACT: The assessment of microbiological quality and some properties of indoor atmosphere in Port. Harcourt were carried out at ... cat saliva, house dust, mites, cockroaches and pollen. There has been an ...
Cardoso, Sonia; Rosa, Maria Joao; Santos, Cristina S.
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore Portuguese academics' perceptions on higher education quality assessment objectives and purposes, in general, and on the recently implemented system for higher education quality assessment and accreditation, in particular. It aims to discuss the differences of those perceptions dependent on some…
Wind, Anke; Rajan, A.; van Harten, Willem H.
Background Cancer centers are pressured to deliver high-quality services that can be measured and improved, which has led to an increase of assessments in many countries. A critical area of quality improvement is to improve patient outcome. An overview of existing assessments can help stakeholders
Marks, Denese C.
Blood is donated either as whole blood, with subsequent component processing, or through the use of apheresis devices that extract one or more components and return the rest of the donation to the donor. Blood component therapy supplanted whole blood transfusion in industrialized countries in the middle of the twentieth century and remains the standard of care for the majority of patients receiving a transfusion. Traditionally, blood has been processed into three main blood products: red blood cell concentrates; platelet concentrates; and transfusable plasma. Ensuring that these products are of high quality and that they deliver their intended benefits to patients throughout their shelf-life is a complex task. Further complexity has been added with the development of products stored under nonstandard conditions or subjected to additional manufacturing steps (e.g., cryopreserved platelets, irradiated red cells, and lyophilized plasma). Here we review established and emerging methodologies for assessing blood product quality and address controversies and uncertainties in this thriving and active field of investigation. PMID:28070448
Loganina Valentina Ivanovna
Full Text Available The technique of assessing the quality of the painted surface of cement concrete. The technique is based on acceptance sampling quality and is to determine the average and standard deviation (SD of quantitative assessments of various quality parameters and calculating the real defect level (percentage of defective surface of the total area for each indicator. The formulas for calculating the defect level. The critical fraction nonconforming surface area coverage for individual properties.
Schnelle, J F; Ouslander, J G; Buchanan, J; Zellman, G; Farley, D; Hirsch, S H; Reuben, D B
The number of nursing home (NH) residents enrolled in managed care plans (HMO) will increase, and there is concern that the quality of their medical care may be compromised by cost-containment pressures. In this study, we evaluated the medical care of residents enrolled in 3 health maintenance organizations (HMO) that developed specific long-term care programs. To compare the medical care received by NH residents enrolled in HMO and Fee-for-Service (FFS) plans with both objective process of care and consumer perception (subjective) measures. To describe the relationship between the objective and subjective measures. Number of primary care visits per month; process of medical care for 2 geriatric tracer conditions (falls, fevers); family and residents' perceptions of the adequacy of sickness episode management; and the frequency of primary provider visits. Quasi-experimental. HMO residents received more timely and appropriate responses to falls and fevers than did FFS residents. HMO residents also received more frequent routine visits by a primary care provider team consisting of a physician and nurse practitioner. Consumer perceptions of quality did not differ between the HMO and FFS groups. Families within both groups were significantly more positive than were residents about the frequency of visits by both physicians and nurse practitioners. Within the HMO group, both families and residents were more positive about the frequency of nurse practitioner visits than were physician visits even when the frequency of visits by the 2 providers were similar. Although the medical care received by HMO residents was better on most objective process measures than that received by FFS residents, consumer perceptions of care did not detect those differences. NH residents and families have different perceptions about the adequacy of visits by physicians and nurse practitioners, and both families and residents appear to have different expectations concerning how often they want
Gao, Xinbo; Lu, Wen; Tao, Dacheng; Li, Xuelong
Reduced-reference (RR) image quality assessment (IQA) has been recognized as an effective and efficient way to predict the visual quality of distorted images. The current standard is the wavelet-domain natural image statistics model (WNISM), which applies the Kullback-Leibler divergence between the marginal distributions of wavelet coefficients of the reference and distorted images to measure the image distortion. However, WNISM fails to consider the statistical correlations of wavelet coefficients in different subbands and the visual response characteristics of the mammalian cortical simple cells. In addition, wavelet transforms are optimal greedy approximations to extract singularity structures, so they fail to explicitly extract the image geometric information, e.g., lines and curves. Finally, wavelet coefficients are dense for smooth image edge contours. In this paper, to target the aforementioned problems in IQA, we develop a novel framework for IQA to mimic the human visual system (HVS) by incorporating the merits from multiscale geometric analysis (MGA), contrast sensitivity function (CSF), and the Weber's law of just noticeable difference (JND). In the proposed framework, MGA is utilized to decompose images and then extract features to mimic the multichannel structure of HVS. Additionally, MGA offers a series of transforms including wavelet, curvelet, bandelet, contourlet, wavelet-based contourlet transform (WBCT), and hybrid wavelets and directional filter banks (HWD), and different transforms capture different types of image geometric information. CSF is applied to weight coefficients obtained by MGA to simulate the appearance of images to observers by taking into account many of the nonlinearities inherent in HVS. JND is finally introduced to produce a noticeable variation in sensory experience. Thorough empirical studies are carried out upon the LIVE database against subjective mean opinion score (MOS) and demonstrate that 1) the proposed framework has
Oleg M. Spirin
Full Text Available In the article the concept of information and communication technology training is specified. It is grounded an internal criteria of information and communication technologies training quality assessment based on experience of the organization, carrying out, analysis of experimental work results on quality assessment of designing, working out, efficiency of methodical system of informatics teachers base vocational training introduction in the conditions of credit-modular technology. Indicators and approaches of their assessment to define the criteria degree are resulted. Indicators of criteria "level differentiation", "individualization" and "intensification" of educational process for information and communication technologies training quality assessment are specified.
Barf, Hans A.; Post, Marcel W. M.; Verhoef, Marjolein; Gooskens, Rob H. J. M.; Prevo, Arie J. H.
Objective: To test the hypothesis that cognitive functioning is associated with subjective quality of life of young adults with spina bifida and hydrocephalus (SBHC). Design: Cross-sectional multi-centre study in The Netherlands. Subjects: A total of 110 young adults with SBHC (16-25 years old, 63%
Mantel, Claire; Korhonen, Jari; Forchhammer, Søren
In this paper the influence of ambient light and peak white (maximum brightness) of a display on the subjective quality of videos shown with local backlight dimming is examined. A subjective experiment investigating those factors is set-up using high contrast test sequences. The results are firstly...
Pillai, Rajath; Mathur, Vijay Prakash; Jain, Veena
To determine the effect of prosthesis need on nutritional status and oral health-related quality of life (OHrQoL) in elderly and to check the disparity between prosthesis need and prosthesis want in the Indian elderly. METHODS: A total of 946 geriatric participants reporting to a geriatric medicine...... need (r = -0.460). Participants with some prosthesis need had significantly lower MNA and GOHAI scores as compared to those with no prosthesis need. Though prosthesis need was high (79.7 %), demand was low (39.3 %). CONCLUSION: Prosthesis need affects nutritional status and OHrQoL in elderly...... clinic were recruited in the study. Mini-nutritional assessment (MNA), geriatric oral health assessment (GOHAI) indices, prosthesis need according to WHO criteria, and prosthesis want was recorded along with age, gender, socioeconomic status and posterior occluding pair. RESULTS: Significant associations...
Luz, Rita; Pereira, Inês; Henriques, Alexandra; Ribeirinho, Ana Luísa; Valentim-Lourenço, Alexandre
Midurethral slings (MUS) are the mainstay of treatment for stress urinary incontinence, but the definition of success varies widely amongst studies. The King's Health Questionnaire (KHQ) was designed to evaluate the impact of urinary incontinence on the quality of life. We hypothesised that the KHQ could be useful for postoperative quantitative assessment of subjective outcomes. This is a retrospective analysis of 204 patients who underwent incontinence surgery with transobturator MUS between 2004 and 2013. Follow-up was planned at 6, 12 and 24 months and success was evaluated using the cough stress test (objective cure) and the KHQ global score (subjective outcomes). Statistical analysis included receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves to calculate a cut-off value for the KHQ global score to define subjective cure. The minimal clinically important difference was calculated with a distribution-based method (effect size) to estimate subjective improvement. Objective cure rates were 97 % and 95 % at 6 and 24 months respectively. ROC curves established the cut-off score at ≤ 31 for subjective cure, with sensitivity of 63-100 % and specificity of 82-88 %. Subjective cure rates were 80 % and 85 % at 6 and 24 months respectively. The minimal clinically important difference was set at 10 and an improvement of ≥ 10 points was defined as subjective improvement. Rates varied between 10 and 13 %. This study showed the value of the KHQ as an evaluation tool after UI surgery and determined clinically relevant threshold scores to define subjective outcomes.
Márcia Gonzaga de Castro Oliveira
Full Text Available Rice bran is a byproduct commonly used for animal feeding; however its nutritional value and potential application in human diet have attracted market interest. Its preservation for safe use is still a challenge, so the objective of this study was to determine the quality of commercially available rice bran samples subjected to different heat treatments (extruding, parboiling, toasting, and microwave oven heating in order to promote stabilization during storage under room temperature. Rice bran samples were collected from two industries, and each treatment was divided in three parts, each corresponding to three repetitions. All samples were evaluated for moisture content, total microorganisms, mold and yeast counting, hydrolytic rancidity, and lipase activity during 90 days of storage. Most of the heat treatments, including domestic and thermoplastic extrusion, generated products which may be used for human consumption under the tested conditions in terms of physicochemical and microbiological quality. The domestic treatments were more efficient in eliminating microorganisms or keeping them within acceptable limits. The toasted rice bran showed satisfactory results in terms of moisture, hydrolytic rancidity control, and lipase activity.
Yu, Lei; Kang, Jian
This research aims to explore the feasibility of using computer-based models to predict the soundscape quality evaluation of potential users in urban open spaces at the design stage. With the data from large scale field surveys in 19 urban open spaces across Europe and China, the importance of various physical, behavioral, social, demographical, and psychological factors for the soundscape evaluation has been statistically analyzed. Artificial neural network (ANN) models have then been explored at three levels. It has been shown that for both subjective sound level and acoustic comfort evaluation, a general model for all the case study sites is less feasible due to the complex physical and social environments in urban open spaces; models based on individual case study sites perform well but the application range is limited; and specific models for certain types of location/function would be reliable and practical. The performance of acoustic comfort models is considerably better than that of sound level models. Based on the ANN models, soundscape quality maps can be produced and this has been demonstrated with an example.
Full Text Available There is no general agreement among scholars on the consequences oflabor migration on the sending countries. Some argue that the migration would increase the quality of life of the families or communities involved, giving support for democracy and market reforms in these countries, while others share the view that the brain drain and fiscal losses would have long term effects on the sending countries’ development. This paper takes another approach, focusing on the migrant persons’ subjective quality of life.Using data issued in the first two rounds of the European Social Survey (2002/2003, 2004/2005, the Eastern European immigrants’ satisfaction with their lives as a whole and with the social and political environment is measured. They report lower satisfaction with life as a whole, but higher satisfaction with the societal conditions than the natives and other kind of immigrants. Explanation lies in the different sources of these evaluations:when evaluating their overall satisfaction, the immigrants rely on their experiences in their receiving countries, while when evaluating the societal conditions they compare these to those from the sending countries. The fact that they show higher levels of satisfaction with the societal conditions than the other immigrants also supports this hypothesis, because the former are more recent and less accommodated to the receiving society than the latter.
Full Text Available Tayyab HasanPAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences, University Brunei Darussalam, Bandar Seri Begawan, BruneiAbstract: Medical education institutions usually adapt industrial quality management models that measure the quality of the process of a program but not the quality of the product. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of industrial quality management models on medical education and students, and to highlight the importance of introducing a proper educational quality management model. Industrial quality management models can measure the training component in terms of competencies, but they lack the educational component measurement. These models use performance indicators to assess their process improvement efforts. Researchers suggest that the performance indicators used in educational institutions may only measure their fiscal efficiency without measuring the quality of the educational experience of the students. In most of the institutions, where industrial models are used for quality assurance, students are considered as customers and are provided with the maximum services and facilities possible. Institutions are required to fulfill a list of recommendations from the quality control agencies in order to enhance student satisfaction and to guarantee standard services. Quality of medical education should be assessed by measuring the impact of the educational program and quality improvement procedures in terms of knowledge base development, behavioral change, and patient care. Industrial quality models may focus on academic support services and processes, but educational quality models should be introduced in parallel to focus on educational standards and products.Keywords: educational quality, medical education, quality control, quality assessment, quality management models
This research purposed on knowing basic teaching skill quality of teacher candidates in study subject Microteaching of Department of Biology Education, Pasir Pengaraian University, academic year 2016/2016. This research is qualitative research. This research has been done in February to June 2015. The subject of this research is all of the 6th semester students who are taking the Microteaching Study Subject. The instruments of this research including syllabus, teaching plans, and questionnair...
The study evaluated the spatial variation of groundwater parameters in Port Harcourt metropolis using GIS. Thirty two (32) water samples were collected from boreholes from different parts of the study area into a treated and well labeled 1.5 litres plastic bootle. The water samples were then subjected to laboratory analysis ...
Stevens, Tynan; Bardouille, Tim; Stroink, Gerhard; Boe, Shaun; Patterson, Steve; Beyea, Steven
Robust and reproducible source mapping with magnetoencephalography is particularly challenging at the individual level. We evaluated a receiver-operating characteristic reliability (ROC-r) method for automated production of volumetric MEG maps in single-subjects. ROC-r provides quality assurance comparable to that offered by goodness-of-fit (GoF) and confidence volume (CV) for equivalent current dipole (ECD) modeling. ROC-r utilizes within-session reproducibility for quality assurance, latency identification, and thresholding of volumetric source maps. We tested ROC-r on simulated and real MEG with a strongly focal source, using somatosensory evoked fields (SEFs) elicited by bilateral median nerve stimulation (MNS). For quality assurance, the ROC-r reliable fraction (FR) was compared to the ECD GoF and CV. Peak beamformer locations and latencies identified by ROC-r were compared to the ECD for co-localization accuracy. The predominant component of the SEF response occurred around 35ms, contralateral to the MNS. FR and 1/CV were more strongly correlated (mean Pearson's correlation: 0.76; 95% CI 0.60-0.87) than FR and GoF (0.65; 95% CI 0.32-0.85). There was no difference in the latency of the peak GoF (35.0+/-0.6ms), CV (34.8+/-0.7ms) and FR (35.5+/-0.8ms). The ECD fits and ROC-r peaks co-localized to within a mean (median) distance of 8.3+/-5.9mm (6.2mm). ROC-r volumetric mapping co-localized closely with the standard ECD approach. This analysis can be added to any whole-brain MEG source imaging protocol, and is especially useful for single-subject mapping. Additionally, the development of FR as an analogue to GoF or CV for volumetric mapping is a critical improvement for clinical applications. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Martelli, G; Nannoni, E; Grandi, M; Bonaldo, A; Zaghini, G; Vitali, M; Biagi, G; Sardi, L
To attain a good level of animal welfare, pigs require a sufficient environmental illumination. Therefore, minimum levels for light duration and light intensity have been set up by the European legislation (Directive 2008/120). An experimental trial was designed to determine whether an increased duration of the photophase (up to 16 h of light per day) could modify the behavior, productive parameters, and meat and ham quality of Italian heavy pigs. Forty crossbred (Large White × Landrace) castrated males pigs (26 kg initial average BW) intended for Protected Designation of Origin (according to European Union Regulation 1151/2012, ) dry-cured ham production were raised according to Parma ham production rules up to the weight of 160 kg. Pigs were homogeneously allotted to 2 experimental groups, each comprising 20 pigs. The short photoperiod (SP) group received the minimum mandatory number of hours of light per day (corresponding to 8 h/d), whereas the long photoperiod (LP) group was subjected 16 h of light per day during the whole production cycle. Light intensity was maintained at 40 lux (i.e., the minimum mandatory level) for both the experimental groups. Growth and slaughtering parameters, carcass traits, fatty acid composition, meat and dry-cured ham quality, and animal behavior were assessed. Pigs in the LP group showed a greater live weight and carcass weight compared to the SP group ( = 0.005 and = 0.007, respectively). Similarly, hams obtained from the LP group were significantly heavier and their weight losses during the dry-curing period were reduced ( ham quality or fatty acid composition of the subcutaneous fat. Pigs in the LP group spent more time resting and less time pseudo-rooting ( ham quality. Therefore, rearing pigs in semidarkness should be considered as a baseless practice, contrary to animal welfare.
Miettinen, Tomi; Myllymaa, Katja; Westeren-Punnonen, Susanna; Ahlberg, Jari; Hukkanen, Taina; Toyras, Juha; Lappalainen, Reijo; Mervaala, Esa; Sipila, Kirsi; Myllymaa, Sami
Using sleep laboratory polysomnography (PSG) is restricted for the diagnosis of only the most severe sleep disorders due to its low availability and high cost. Home PSG is more affordable, but applying conventional electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes increases its overall complexity and lowers the availability. Simple, self-administered single-channel EEG monitors on the other hand suffer from poor reliability. In this study, we aimed to quantify the reliability of self-administrated home PSG recordings conducted with a newly designed ambulatory electrode set (AES) that enables multi-channel EEG, electrooculography, electromyography and electrocardiography recordings. We assessed the sleep study success rate and technical quality of the recordings performed in subjects with possible sleep bruxism (SB). Thirty-two females and five males aged 39.6±11.6 years (mean±SD) with self-reported SB were recruited in the study. Self-administrated home PSG recordings with two AES designs were conducted (n=19 and 21). The technical quality of the recordings was graded based on the proportion of interpretable data. Technical failure rate for AES (both designs) was 5% and SB was scorable for 96.9% of all recorded data. Only one recording failed due to mistakes in self-applying the AES. We found that the proportion of good quality self-administrated EEG recordings is significantly higher when multiple channels are used compared to using a single channel. Sleep study success rates and proportion of recordings with high quality interpretable data from EEG channels of AES were comparable to that of conventional home PSG. Self-applicable AES has potential to become a reliable tool for widely available home PSG.
Samant, S. A.; Beighley, R. E.
In agriculture, improper, excessive or poorly timed irrigation and fertilizer applications can result in increased pollutants in runoff and degraded water quality. Specifically, the cultivation of salt sensitive plants and nurseries require significant irrigation and fertilizer that leads to high nutrient leaching. In southern California, a large producer of Avocados and nursery plant, waterways are often subjected to elevated nutrient concentrations, which stress the aquatic ecosystem. In this research, the specific objectives are to determine optimal irrigation and fertilizer application rates for minimizing nutrient and sediment export from avocado groves and nurseries. Altered irrigation and fertilizer application experiments will be implemented and monitored at the San Diego State University's Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve, which contains a 12 ha avocado grove and newly constructed 0.4 ha nursery. The study will last for twelve months, with runoff from natural rainfall or irrigation sampled and analyzed for nutrient concentrations on a monthly basis. The growth rate, leaf nutrient content and plant yield will also be monitored monthly. The nursery site is divided into eight plots (13.5-m x 13.5-m), with each plot containing 1200 plants consisting of four commonly used landscaping varieties in southern California. The avocado grove of the Hass variety is divided into four 1-ha plots. The experimental plots represent combinations of irrigation and fertilization practices with different methods and rates. In all cases, irrigation is fully automated based on soil moisture. To assess the effectiveness of the altered irrigation and fertilizer strategies, runoff water quality and plant yield will be compared to controlled treatments. This research is intended to provide a better understanding of how irrigation and fertilizer management can be used for the long-term reduction of nutrients in the Santa Margarita Watershed, which in turn will lead to improved
Mhaskar, Rahul; Djulbegovic, Benjamin; Magazin, Anja; Soares, Heloisa P.; Kumar, Ambuj
Objectives To assess whether reported methodological quality of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reflect the actual methodological quality, and to evaluate the association of effect size (ES) and sample size with methodological quality. Study design Systematic review Setting Retrospective analysis of all consecutive phase III RCTs published by 8 National Cancer Institute Cooperative Groups until year 2006. Data were extracted from protocols (actual quality) and publications (reported quality) for each study. Results 429 RCTs met the inclusion criteria. Overall reporting of methodological quality was poor and did not reflect the actual high methodological quality of RCTs. The results showed no association between sample size and actual methodological quality of a trial. Poor reporting of allocation concealment and blinding exaggerated the ES by 6% (ratio of hazard ratio [RHR]: 0.94, 95%CI: 0.88, 0.99) and 24% (RHR: 1.24, 95%CI: 1.05, 1.43), respectively. However, actual quality assessment showed no association between ES and methodological quality. Conclusion The largest study to-date shows poor quality of reporting does not reflect the actual high methodological quality. Assessment of the impact of quality on the ES based on reported quality can produce misleading results. PMID:22424985
Full Text Available The study focused on the comparative analysis of energy cost and gait efficiency between a below knee (BK amputee and a reference subject (without amputation. It also attempted to indicate the specific feature responsible for a controlled gait with optimum energy cost for BK amputees. Selection criteria of the subjects were similar physical parameters and quality of life studied with WHOQOL-100 quality of life assessment. A Cosmed® k4 b2 Respiratory Analyzer system was used for the measurement of Oxygen Uptake (VO2, Energy Expenditure per minute (EE and Heart Rate (HR. Gait efficiency (p < 0.0002 was found higher for BK amputee than normal subject. The therapeutic activities and mainly walking rhythm contributed to improve the mobility & balance. This ensures the optimum time & co-ordination of movements and hence improves the gait efficiency for the BK amputee. Comparison with control group was performed to validate the data.
In order to ascertain water quality for human consumption, physical and chemical parameters, together with faecal forms of bacteria were evaluated in the drinking water resources of the Bambui community in the North West region of Cameroon. This study was necessitated by the occasional presence of suspended ...
However, the SEA also achieved significant successes in terms of 'indirect outputs', such as a more holistic approach to water management, facilitated more effective public participation and contributed to broader strategic planning in the department. The paper concludes by making recommendations to improve the quality ...
Major findings include; poor use of natural resources, lack of adequate knowledge and knowledge dissemination, financial constraints and conflict of interest among stakeholders. Therefore, it is recommended that, ongoing interventions to environmental conservation should be refined and strengthened for quality and ...
Rodrigues de Lima, A.C.
In the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, rice production is one of the most important regional activities. Farmers are concerned that the land use practices for rice production in the Camaquã region may not be sustainable because of detrimental effects on soil quality. The study presented in this
Child Trends, 2010
This paper presents a profile of Mississippi's Quality Step System prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Application…
Child Trends, 2010
This paper presents a profile of New Hampshire's Quality Rating System prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4)…
Child Trends, 2010
This paper presents a profile of Illinois' Quality Counts prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for Family…
Child Trends, 2010
This paper presents a profile of Iowa's Child Care Quality Rating System prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile is divided into the following categories: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for Family Child Care Programs;…
Child Trends, 2010
This paper presents a profile of Missouri's Quality Rating System prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for…
Maguire, Kate; Gibbs, Paul
The purpose of this article is to contribute to the debate on the notion of quality in higher education with particular focus on "objectifying through articulation" the assessment of quality by professional experts. The article gives an overview of the differentiations of quality as used in higher education. It explores a substantial…
, P. Icka; , R. Damo
In this paper is applied for the first time in Albania Water Quality Index (WQI) of the Canadian Council of Ministries of the Environment (CCME) for assessment of water quality of water supply network on Pogradec city. CCME WQI, a technique of rating water quality, is an effective tool to assess spatial and temporal changes on the quality of any water body. Calculations of the index are based on a combination of three factors: scope - the number of variables whose objectives are not met; freq...
Traditionally, the microbiological quality of waters has been measured by the analysis of indicator microorganisms. The article reviews the sanitary significance of traditional indicators of faecal contamination (total coliforms, faecal coliforms and faecal streptococci) and points out their limits. For some characteristics Escherichia coli may be considered a more useful indicator then faecal coliforms and recently it has been included in all recent laws regarding fresh, marine and drinking water. A clearer taxonomic definition of faecal streptococci evidenced the difficulty into defining a specific standard methodology of enumeration and suggested the more suitable role of enterococci as indicator microorganisms. Several current laws require the detection of enterococci. The resistance of Clostridium perfringens spores may mean that they would serve as a useful indicator of the sanitary quality of sea sediments.
NSGIC Education | GIS Inventory — This layer shows only attaining lakes of the Integrated List. The Lakes Integrated List represents lake assessments in an integrated format for the Clean Water Act...
Octávio Barbosa Plaster
Full Text Available This research evaluated the quality of forest harvest using chainsaw, in farms in the south of Espirito Santo state, Brazil, considering aspects of quality and loss of wood left in the strains. A total of 250 m² plots were launched to collect data of forest cut with chainsaw, for evaluating the quality of the cut related mto: presence of skewers; crack damage; strains burst range nonstandard; strains without the notch directional, and the remaining height of the strain, in order to measure the loss of wood held in the strains. The main results were: the spike was present in 21.9% of the strains, the cracks in 17.2% of the strains, non-standard strains in 44.6% of them and unnotched directional strains in 34.5% of the evaluations. To check the influence of the realization of the directional notch on the height of the strains t-test, at 5% probability, has shown that there is an increased contribution to height of the strains, where the cut was made without the directional notch. The amount of wood held in the strains above the recommended maximum was, on average, 2.43 m³.ha-1, representing a loss of R$ 172.53 ha-1. It was verified that the loss of timber remaining in eucalyptus strains was higher in places where, for the logging, there was not done the directional notch. The items evaluated showed uneven quality, indicating the need to improve cutting with chainsaw.
PROF. BARTH EKWEME
KEYWORDS: Participation, quality, enhancement, parents-teachers-association and communities. INTRODUCTION. The success of .... relationship between teachers and students. 1.90 0.80. 2.40 0.87. 2.15 0.91. Not Accepted. 6. Low professional qualification of teachers. 0.06 0.01. 2.40 0.30. 1.23 0.16. Not Accepted. 7.
Griffith, Stafford A.
This paper proposes a framework for assessing the quality of education, based on the outcomes defined in educational standards. The author takes the view that educational standards reflect the mission that schools must fulfill. He explains that the classroom curriculum, derived from educational standards, must customize the learning process to respond to the teaching-learning environment. Defining quality as the extent to which the delivery of the school curriculum realises the learning outcomes defined in the educational standards, the author proposes that quality in education should be evaluated using two approaches: relative achievement assessment and absolute achievement assessment. In elaborating on the two dimensions of assessment on which the model is based, the author highlights the need for greater attention to be paid to values and attitudes in assessing quality of education.
Ol’ga Valentinovna Tret’yakova
The paper attempts to assess economic journals included in the List of peer-reviewed scientific journals and editions that are authorized to publish the principal research findings of doctoral (candidate’s) dissertations (the VAK List, it was established by the Decision of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and entered into force on December 01, 2016). The general assessment of the journals that include more than 380 titles is carried out by analyzing their biblio...
Larisa Alexejevna Ismagilova; Nadegda Aleksandrovna Sukhova
We consider the topical issue of implementation of innovative technologies in the aircraft engine building industry. In this industry, products with high reliability requirements are developed and mass-produced. These products combine the latest achievements of science and technology. To make a decision on implementation of innovative technologies, a comprehensive assessment is carried out. It affects the efficiency of the innovations realization. In connection with this, the assessment of qu...
Baartman, L.; Gulikers, J.T.M.; Dijkstra, A.
The development of assessments that are fit to assess professional competence in higher vocational education requires a reconsideration of assessment methods, quality criteria and (self)evaluation. This article examines the self-evaluations of nine courses of a large higher vocational education
This study was designed with the overall goal of understanding how difficulties in reading comprehension are associated with early adolescents' performance in large-scale assessments in subject domains including science and civic-related social studies. The current study extended previous research by taking a cognition-centered approach based on…
Faith D. Ottery; Suzanne Kasenic; Martine J. Sealy; Susan P. DeBolt; Elizabeth Isenring; Dr Harriët Jager-Wittenaar
Purpose: The Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA), including the PG-SGA Short Form (SF, aka ‘abridged’), was originally developed in the mid 1990’s as a scored, patient self-report, paperbased instrument and has been widely validated. The PG-SGA (SF) has been used for screening,
Kite, James; Phongsavan, Philayrath
Standards-based assessment rubrics are recognised as an important tool for ensuring clear criteria in higher education. Most of the available evidence on rubrics comes from studies with face-to-face undergraduate students. Our study evaluated the introduction of rubrics into a postgraduate subject that included both online and face-to-face…
Everson, Mark D.; Sandoval, Jose Miguel
Objectives: Evaluators examining the same evidence often arrive at substantially different conclusions in forensic assessments of child sexual abuse (CSA). This study attempts to identify and quantify subjective factors that contribute to such disagreements so that interventions can be devised to improve the reliability of case decisions. Methods:…
Jahan, Sayka; Strezov, Vladimir
Australian ports serve diverse and extensive activities, such as shipping, tourism and fisheries, which may all impact the quality of port water. In this work water quality monitoring at different ports using a range of water quality evaluation indices was applied to assess the port water quality. Seawater samples at 30 stations in the year 2016-2017 from six ports in NSW, Australia, namely Port Jackson, Botany, Kembla, Newcastle, Yamba and Eden, were investigated to determine the physicochem...
Anthony, Stephen S.
During the past 25 years, our Nation has sought to improve its water quality; however, many water-quality issues remain unresolved. To address the need for consistent and scientifically sound information for managing the Nation's water resources, the U.S. Geological Survey began a full-scale National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program in 1991. This program is unique compared with other national water-quality assessment studies in that it integrates the monitoring of the quality of surface and ground waters with the study of aquatic ecosystems. The goals of the NAWQA Program are to (1) describe current water-quality conditions for a large part of the Nation's freshwater streams and aquifers, (2) describe how water quality is changing over time, and (3) improve our understanding of the primary natural and human factors affecting water quality. Assessing the quality of water in every location of the Nation would not be practical; therefore, NAWQA Program studies are conducted within a set of areas called study units. These study units represent the diverse geography, water resources, and land and water uses of the Nation. The island of Oahu, Hawaii, is one such study unit designed to supplement water-quality information collected in other study units across the Nation while addressing issues relevant to the island of Oahu.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Breast cancer in women is increasingly frequent, and care is complex, onerous and expensive, all of which lend urgency to improvements in care. Quality measurement is essential to monitor effectiveness and to guide improvements in healthcare. Methods Ten databases, including Medline, were searched electronically to identify measures assessing the quality of breast cancer care in women (diagnosis, treatment, followup, documentation of care. Eligible studies measured adherence to standards of breast cancer care in women diagnosed with, or in treatment for, any histological type of adenocarcinoma of the breast. Reference lists of studies, review articles, web sites, and files of experts were searched manually. Evidence appraisal entailed dual independent assessments of data (e.g., indicators used in quality measurement. The extent of each quality indicator's scientific validation as a measure was assessed. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO was asked to contribute quality measures under development. Results Sixty relevant reports identified 58 studies with 143 indicators assessing adherence to quality breast cancer care. A paucity of validated indicators (n = 12, most of which assessed quality of life, only permitted a qualitative data synthesis. Most quality indicators evaluated processes of care. Conclusion While some studies revealed patterns of under-use of care, all adherence data require confirmation using validated quality measures. ASCO's current development of a set of quality measures relating to breast cancer care may hold the key to conducting definitive studies.
Full Text Available Background: Self-rated sleep disorders are common in older adults, resulting in various health problems. Two types of exercise are suggested as an affordable and accessible non-pharmacological treatment and are being compared and discussed. Objectives: This randomized, controlled, 12-week trial investigates the effects of different types of exercise (resistance vs chair yoga training on subjective sleep quality, in women with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI. Methods: In order to measure cognitive function, the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE was used. Forty nine participants enrolled in the study were randomized to a resistance training program (n=16, or a chair yoga program (n=15, or a control group (n=18. All participants engaged in cognitive activities. Results: At baseline, PSQI scores for CYG, RTG and CG (8.2±5.1, 6.1±4.3, 7.4±4.1, respectively and MMSE (28.3±1.4, 27.8±1.2, 28.0±2.3, respectively did not differ statistically between the three groups (F2,46= 1.993, p= 0.143. After the intervention, a significant improvement in PSQI total score was noted in resistance training group (t=2.335, df15, p=0.03. Conclusions: There were no significant differences between groups before and after test for the PSQI subscale scores (sleep onset latency (h, time spent in bed before sleep (min, morning waking up (h and sleep duration (h. No significant difference was found in PSQI subscales scores within each group. This study proposes that resistance training is an effective treatment approach to improve sleep quality in women with mild cognitive impairment.
Bakkum, M J; Plomp, R; Pols, L W
Objective whole-spectrum and formant analyses have been performed on all 15 Dutch vowels pronounced in /C1VC2/ words by 24 deaf and 24 normal-hearing children, in order to develop a model of pronunciation quality for evaluating (deaf) speech; the results as obtained for adult males by Bakkum et al. [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 94, 1989-2004 (1993)] have been verified and extended. Spectral representations of the vowels were created by determining the output levels of a bank of 16 filters (90-7200 Hz), with 1/3-oct bandwidths and logarithmic spacing of their center frequencies. Spectral differences agree well with subjective differences in pronunciation quality obtained from magnitude estimation and identification experiments. Spectral differences not related to pronunciation quality judgments arise as a consequence of physiological interspeaker differences and variation in fundamental frequency, but these differences can be compensated for by speaker-normalization and F0-compensation procedures. Using principal components analysis (PCA), the vowel spectra can be described by a limited number of dimensions, without losing much information; a description in a two-dimensional PCA subspace still agrees well with the subjective judgments and it also agrees with a description by the first two formants. The whole-spectrum approach provides a determinate, readily interpretable model of pronunciation quality for evaluating vowels. As a practical advantage, its computational requirements are modest and, in conjunction with PCA, the vowel dynamics can be visualized, which makes the approach suitable for vowel training and diagnostics.
Pimenta, Fabiana S; Oliveira, Cássia M; Hattori, Wallisen T; Teixeira, Kely R
To assess the agreement between the results of the Subjective Global Nutritional Assessment questionnaire, adapted for children and adolescents of the Brazilian population, and the nutritional status assessment method through growth curves and the classification of the World Health Organization in a pediatric hospital service. This was an analytical, quantitative, cross-sectional study. During the data collection period, the nutritional status of all patients from 0 to 12 years of age, admitted to the pediatric unit of a university hospital, was concomitantly assessed according to the Subjective Global Nutritional Assessment and World Health Organization curves. To determine the assessment and agreement between these methods, the Kappa and Kendall coefficients were used, respectively, considering a significance level of 5%. Sixty-one children participated, with a predominance of males. It was observed that the highest frequency of equivalent results occurred among the group classified as well nourished, and that only the height/age variable showed a close agreement between the methods. Additionally, there was a good correlation only for the weight/height variable between the assessment tools used. Due to the low agreement between the methods, the combination of both may be beneficial for the nutritional assessment of pediatric patients, collaborating with the early diagnosis of nutritional alterations and facilitating the use of adequate dietary therapy. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda.
Musilek, Josef; Plachy, Jan
Nowadays the problems occur when a structure engineer need to assess the ultimate limit state of timber bolt connection which is subjected to double unequal shears. This assessment of ultimate limit state shows the reliability of these connections. In assessing the reliability of this connection in ultimate limit state is a problem, because the formulas and equations that are currently available in design standards and available literature, describing only connections loaded symmetrically – this mean that they describe the timber bolt connection subjected to double equal shears. This fact causes problems because structural engineers have no available support, according to which they could assess reliability of the connection in terms of the ultimate limit state. They must therefore often report following an asymmetrically loaded connections carry about using formulas, which are primarily designed for checking connections loaded symmetrically. This leads logically to the fact that it is not respected by the actual behaviour of the connection in the ultimate limit state. Formulas derived in this paper provide the possibility to assess the ultimate limit state for such connection. The formulas derived in this article allow to carry out a reliability assessment of the ultimate limit state of timber bolt connection subjected to double shear. The using of the formulas derived in this paper leads to better description of the behaviour of this type of connection and also to the more economic design. An example of using these derived formulas is shown. There is shown in this example, how to assess the reliability of timber bolt connection subjected to double unequal shears in terms of ultimate limit states.
Zullig, Keith J
The association between deliberate self-harm (DSH) and domain-based life satisfaction reports and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) was explored simultaneously among college students. Randomly selected participants (N = 723) completed an online survey. Relationships among DSH, 7 life satisfaction domains, and HRQOL (as assessed by mean good physical and mental health days, GHDs) were examined through correlational and general linear modeling procedures with post hoc analyses. DSH was a significant predictor for all life satisfaction domains, overall life satisfaction, and mean GHDs, even after controlling for covariates (p romantic relationships. Lastly, those engaging in DSH experience on average 60 fewer GHDs each year than those not engaging in DSH.
Bech-Larsen, Tino; Jensen, Birger Boutrup
parental knowledge of their children’s quality assessments significantly affect the willingness to pay. Accordingly, interaction between parents and children should be promoted when developing, testing and marketing new and healthier food products for children....... of attention. The purpose of this article is to discuss the interpersonal aspects of food quality formation, and to explore these in the context of parents buying new types of healthier in-between meals for their children. To pursue this we introduce the concept of dyadic quality assessment and apply...... it to a hall-test of children’s and parents’ quality formation and to the latter’s willingness to pay for such products. The findings show poor congruence between parent and child quality evaluations due to the two parties emphasising different quality aspects. Results also indicate, however, that improved...
Broughman, James R; Chen, Ronald C
There is increasing attention in the US healthcare system on the delivery of high-quality care, an issue central to oncology. In the report 'Crossing the Quality Chasm', the Institute of Medicine identified six aims for improving healthcare quality: safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable. This article describes how current big data resources can be used to assess these six dimensions, and provides examples of published studies in oncology. Strengths and limitations of current big data resources for the evaluation of quality of care are also discussed. Finally, this article outlines a vision where big data can be used not only to retrospectively assess the quality of oncologic care, but help physicians deliver high-quality care in real time.
... Prior Learning) in higher education to assess RPL candidates for admission into programmes of study met with a lot of criticism from faculty academics. Lecturers viewed the possibility of admitting large numbers of under-qualified adult learners, as a threat to the institution's reputation, or an erosion of academic standards.
Parameters determined to assess the level of wholesomeness of water from the water facilities included calcium hardness, magnesium hardness, Ca2+, Mg2+, Cl- and SO42- ions. Others were electrical conductivity, pH, colour, turbidity, alkalinity, acidity and dissolved solids. Heavy metal contents of the samples were also ...
important aspects of the research process related to design, execution and the sharing of findings. For this reason, RQ+ indicates an approach that straddles output and research project assessment. RQ+ is designed to provide external reviewers with a more systematic approach for answering a key question posed in IDRC ...
aspects of the research process related to design, execution and the sharing of findings. For this ... The design of RQ+ was influenced by the following considerations about the nature of the research ..... product published in an established, academic, peer-reviewed journal has gone through an assessment of whether it.
Yang, Xinyan; Zhao, Wei; Ye, Long; Zhang, Qin
This paper proposes a no-reference objective stereoscopic video quality assessment method with the motivation that making the effect of objective experiments close to that of subjective way. We believe that the image regions with different visual salient degree should not have the same weights when designing an assessment metric. Therefore, we firstly use GBVS algorithm to each frame pairs and separate both the left and right viewing images into the regions with strong, general and week saliency. Besides, local feature information like blockiness, zero-crossing and depth are extracted and combined with a mathematical model to calculate a quality assessment score. Regions with different salient degree are assigned with different weights in the mathematical model. Experiment results demonstrate the superiority of our method compared with the existed state-of-the-art no-reference objective Stereoscopic video quality assessment methods.
Waller, Katja Linda; Mortensen, Erik Lykke; Avlund, Kirsten
) or cognitively impaired (N = 92). METHODS: The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and Epworth Sleepiness Scale measured subjective sleep quality and daytime sleepiness, respectively. Depressive symptoms were determined using Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI-II). A neuropsychological battery was administered....... Our results suggest that sleep quality may be an early marker of cognitive decline in midlife.......UNLABELLED: In an increasingly aged population, sleep disturbances and neurodegenerative disorders have become a major public health concern. Poor sleep quality and cognitive changes are complex health problems in aging populations that are likely to be associated with increased frailty, morbidity...
Full Text Available Patient-reported disease perceptions are important components to be considered within a holistic model of quality of care. Gender may have an influence on these perceptions. We aimed to explore gender-specific concerns of patients included in a national bilingual inflammatory bowel disease cohort.Following a qualitative study, we built a questionnaire comprising 37 items of concern. Answers were collected on a visual analog scale ranging from 0 to 100. Principal axis factor analysis was used to explore concern domains. Linear multiple regressions were conducted to assess associations with patient characteristics.Of 1102 patients who replied to the survey, 54% were female and 54% had Crohn's disease. We identified six domains of concern: socialization and stigmatization, disease-related constraints and uncertainty, symptoms and their impact on body and mind, loss of body control (including sexuality, disease transmission, and long-term impact of the disease. Cancer concerns were among the highest scored by all patients (median 61.8. Severity of symptoms was the only factor associated with concerns, unrelated to dimension and gender (p40 years decreased disease-related constraints and uncertainty concerns, and being at home or unemployed increased them. Treatments were associated with increased socialization and stigmatization and with increased disease-related constraints and uncertainty concerns in men. Overall, psychosomatic characteristics were highly associated with concerns for both men and women. Depending on the concern dimensions, increased levels of concern were associated with the highest signs of anxiety in women or depression in men, as well as lower health-related quality of life in men.Patients have numerous concerns related to their illness that need to be reassessed regularly. Concerns differ between men and women, suggesting that information and communication about the disease should take gender differences and subjective
Pittet, Valérie; Vaucher, Carla; Froehlich, Florian; Burnand, Bernard; Michetti, Pierre; Maillard, Michel H
Patient-reported disease perceptions are important components to be considered within a holistic model of quality of care. Gender may have an influence on these perceptions. We aimed to explore gender-specific concerns of patients included in a national bilingual inflammatory bowel disease cohort. Following a qualitative study, we built a questionnaire comprising 37 items of concern. Answers were collected on a visual analog scale ranging from 0 to 100. Principal axis factor analysis was used to explore concern domains. Linear multiple regressions were conducted to assess associations with patient characteristics. Of 1102 patients who replied to the survey, 54% were female and 54% had Crohn's disease. We identified six domains of concern: socialization and stigmatization, disease-related constraints and uncertainty, symptoms and their impact on body and mind, loss of body control (including sexuality), disease transmission, and long-term impact of the disease. Cancer concerns were among the highest scored by all patients (median 61.8). Severity of symptoms was the only factor associated with concerns, unrelated to dimension and gender (pwomen, being >40 years decreased disease-related constraints and uncertainty concerns, and being at home or unemployed increased them. Treatments were associated with increased socialization and stigmatization and with increased disease-related constraints and uncertainty concerns in men. Overall, psychosomatic characteristics were highly associated with concerns for both men and women. Depending on the concern dimensions, increased levels of concern were associated with the highest signs of anxiety in women or depression in men, as well as lower health-related quality of life in men. Patients have numerous concerns related to their illness that need to be reassessed regularly. Concerns differ between men and women, suggesting that information and communication about the disease should take gender differences and subjective
Adriano Geraldo Fonseca
Full Text Available Due to the growing demand for forest products, it is necessary to increase knowledge about the tree species of economic importance, especially in relation to seed storage. One method to study forest species is the storage of seeds. Cryopreservation is the cheapest and the most efficient method of seed preservation. The objective of this study was to test the behavior of Pinus elliottii Engelm. seeds storaged on liquid nitrogen; laboratory environment and refrigerator. The experiment was conducted in the seed Laboratory of the Federal University of the Jequitinhonha and Mucuri Valley. The seeds were donated by Rigesa Ltda on June 2007. Three types of storage were tested: 1 liquid nitrogen temperature of -196 º C, 2 laboratory environment, 3 refrigerator. All treatments were evaluated at 0, 40, 80 and 120 days of storage. The vigor, germination and germination rate tests were mounted on gerbox with blotters and moistened with distilled water and kept in BOD incubator chamber at 25 º C. Seeds length, green mass and dry mass were also evaluated. The data were subjected to analysis of variance and means compared by Tukey test at 5% significance level. It was found that there was loss of quality of the Pinus elliottii seeds in all treatments. Cryopreservation of P. elliotii seeds can be used as an alternative of storage in genebanks.
Reiter, Ulrich; Korhonen, Jari; You, Junyong
Video quality assessment is essential for the performance analysis of visual communication applications. Objective metrics can be used for estimating the relative quality differences, but they typically give reliable results only if the compared videos contain similar types of quality distortion...... well different objective quality metrics estimate the relative subjective quality levels for content with different types of quality distortions. Our conclusion is that none of the studied objective metrics works reliably for assessing the co-impact of compression artifacts and transmission errors...... on the subjective quality. Nevertheless, we have observed that the objective metrics' tendency to either over- or underestimate the perceived impact of transmission errors has a high correlation with the spatial and temporal activity levels of the content. Therefore, our results can be useful for improving...
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is an assessment of water quality data collected from source water, discharge and within Agassiz Pool. In the summer of 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service...
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Water quality parameters had never been assessed in these grow-out ponds. Historically growth, condition, and survival of razorback suckers have been variable...
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — The National Impact Assessment of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Measures Reports (Impact Reports) are mandated by section 3014(b), as...
Shieh, C. F.; Arslan, Alan; Sundaran, P.; Kim, Suk; Won, Mark J.
This presentation includes three topics: (1) Analysis of isolated boattail drag; (2) Computation of Technology Concept Airplane (TCA)-installed nacelle effects on aerodynamic performance; and (3) Assessment of TCA inlet flow quality.
U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This is release 1.0 of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Area-Characterization Toolbox. These tools are designed to be accessed using ArcGIS Desktop...
Miller, C K; O'Donnell, D C; Searight, H R; Barbarash, R A
We developed an instrument to assess comprehension of informed consent information among 275 adults entering one of four ambulatory trials. At the conclusion of trial enrollment, subjects rated their understanding of the information presented and completed the Deaconess Informed Consent Comprehension Test (DICCT). Subjects completed the vocabulary subtest of the revised Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-R) and the reading subtest of the revised Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT-R). The DICCT for 50 subjects was scored by 2 blinded investigators. Interrater agreement was 0.84 (df = 49, p < 0.001). To investigate the DICCT's potential validity, its scores were correlated with WAIS-R vocabulary scores (r = 0.44, df = 199, p < 0.01) and WRAT-R reading scores (r = 0.39, df = 268, p < 0.01). Understanding of consent information was rated as thorough by 70% of subjects. The mean +/- SD DICCT score was 20.4 +/- 3.9. The DICCT is a reliable instrument to assess comprehension of informed consent information. There is preliminary evidence for the scale's validity. The subjects believed that they had greater understanding of study information than was shown by the DICCT.
Background: The global disease burden associated with bronchial asthma has continued to increase particularly among children. Asthma-related quality of life is a health related assessment of disease impact on patient and care givers. Aim: To determine the perceived quality of life (QOL) among children with bronchial ...
Assessment of Physico-chemical and Microbiological qualities of Abattoir Wastewater in Sokoto, Nigeria. AB Rabah, UJJ Ijah, SB Manga, ML Ibrahim. Abstract. Wastewater samples were collected from three different points in Sokoto (Nigeria) abattoir and the physico-chemical and the microbiological qualities were ...
In this study we investigated the water quality, determined the trophic state and assessed the influence of lake zones on the physical-chemical parameters of the Manjirenji Dam, Zimbabwe. Furthermore, we tested the applicability of two customary temperate water quality indices, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the ...
Offering information to potential customers about these two factors are very important in customer decision-making. This research will stimulate discourse on quality in the relatively underexplored sector of culinary restaurant small businesses. Keywords:culinary restaurants, quality assessment, service management, small ...
The quality of drinking water at the point of delivery to the consumer is crucial in safeguarding people's health. This study assesses changes in drinking water quality during distribution at Area 25 Township in Lilongwe, Malawi. Water samples were collected from the exit point of the treatment plant, storage tank and taps at ...
Physicochemical indices of water body changed seasonally and this necessitated an investigation to assess the water quality parameters of Osinmo reservoir in relation to its fish species. The water quality parameters were measured using standard methods. Results obtained show that the reservoir is alkaline in nature with ...
Rainwater is source of water for drinking and for other purposes in Akwa Ibom State. Water quality index (WQI) was used to assess the quality of rainwater in Uyo metropolis, and pollution index to identify the individual parameter that was of risk. Twenty-two physiocochemical parameters and seven toxic metals were ...