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Sample records for studies utilising dehydroabietic

  1. Laboratory study on OH-initiated degradation kinetics of dehydroabietic acid.

    PubMed

    Lai, Chengyue; Liu, Yongchun; Ma, Jinzhu; Ma, Qingxin; He, Hong

    2015-04-28

    Dehydroabietic acid (DHAA) is a specific organic tracer for the pyrolysis of conifer resin. To understand its atmospheric stability, the degradation behavior of particulate DHAA in the presence of hydroxyl radicals (OH) was investigated under different environmental conditions using a stainless steel reactor with volume of 30 cm(3), in the dark. At 25 °C and 40% relative humidity (RH), the second-order rate constant (k2) of pure DHAA with OH was measured to be 5.72 ± 0.87 × 10(-12) cm(3) molecule(-1) s(-1). The influence of temperature, RH and mixing state on the degradation kinetics of DHAA were also investigated. At 40% RH, k2 of pure DHAA increases with increasing temperature and follows the Arrhenius equation k2 = (8.9 ± 1.9) × 10(-10) exp[-(1508.2 ± 64.2)/T], while RH does not have significant impact on k2 at 25 °C. At 25 °C and 40% RH, compared with pure DHAA, the corresponding k2 for DHAA mixed with (NH4)2SO4 decreased to 4.58 ± 0.95 × 10(-12) cm(3) molecule(-1) s(-1), while the value was 3.30 ± 0.79 × 10(-12) cm(3) molecule(-1) s(-1) when mixed with soot. The atmospheric lifetime of DHAA varied from 2.3 ± 0.2 to 4.4 ± 0.8 days under different environmental conditions. This study indicates that degradation of DHAA by OH radicals is appreciable, and a significant error in source apportionment should be introduced if the contribution of degradation to DHAA concentration is not considered during air mass aging. PMID:25824374

  2. Occurrence of the toxin dehydroabietic acid in Salmonella typhimurium.

    PubMed

    Beier, R C; Oyofo, B A; Spates, G E

    2000-03-01

    Many strains of Salmonella typhimurium studied in our lab demonstrated marked differences in the pathogenicity for guinea pig, chicken and Hela cells. As a result, a pathogenic strain of S. typhimurium, strain 9SR2, was evaluated for lipophilic components that may be associated with virulence using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The hydroxylated fatty acids 2-hydroxytetradecanoic acid (2-OH-14:0) and 3-hydroxytetradecanoic acid (3-OH-14:0) often present in lipid A, a potent endotoxin, were observed as their methyl esters. The cyclic fatty acids methylene-hexadecanoic acid (C17delta) and methyleneoctadecanoic acid (C19delta) also were detected. The nephrotoxic and neurotoxic diterpenoid resin acid, dehydroabietic acid, was observed for the first time from S. typhimurium in both the total lipid and diglyceride fractions and determined as its methyl ester at m/z 314.2246. Due to its previously established toxicity, dehydroabietic acid may be a factor associated with virulence of S. typhimurium. PMID:10669023

  3. (+)-Dehydroabietic Acid, an Abietane-Type Diterpene, Inhibits Staphylococcus aureus Biofilms in Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Fallarero, Adyary; Skogman, Malena; Kujala, Janni; Rajaratnam, Mohanathas; Moreira, Vânia M.; Yli-Kauhaluoma, Jari; Vuorela, Pia

    2013-01-01

    Potent drugs are desperately needed to counteract bacterial biofilm infections, especially those caused by gram-positive organisms, such as Staphylococcus aureus. Moreover, anti-biofilm compounds/agents that can be used as chemical tools are also needed for basic in vitro or in vivo studies aimed at exploring biofilms behavior and functionability. In this contribution, a collection of naturally-occurring abietane-type diterpenes and their derivatives was tested against S. aureus biofilms using a platform consisting of two phenotypic assays that have been previously published by our group. Three active compounds were identified: nordehydroabietylamine (1), (+)-dehydroabietic acid (2) and (+)-dehydroabietylamine (3) that prevented biofilm formation in the low micromolar range, and unlike typical antibiotics, only 2 to 4-fold higher concentrations were needed to significantly reduce viability and biomass of existing biofilms. Compound 2, (+)-dehydroabietic acid, was the most selective towards biofilm bacteria, achieving high killing efficacy (based on log Reduction values) and it was best tolerated by three different mammalian cell lines. Since (+)-dehydroabietic acid is an easily available compound, it holds great potential to be used as a molecular probe in biofilms-related studies as well as to serve as inspirational chemical model for the development of potent drug candidates. PMID:23739682

  4. Contact allergy to dehydroabietic acid derivatives isolated from Portuguese colophony.

    PubMed

    Karlberg, A T; Boman, A; Hacksell, U; Jacobsson, S; Nilsson, J L

    1988-09-01

    7-oxodehydroabietic acid and 15-hydroxydehydroabietic acid were isolated as their methyl esters from Portuguese colophony of the gum rosin type and identified as contact allergens. Another oxidation product of dehydroabietic acid, 15-hydroxy-7-oxodehydroabietic acid, was synthesized and identified as a component of Portuguese gum rosin. 7-oxodehydroabietic acid was found to a be a grade III allergen according to the GPMT method. Guinea pigs induced with gum rosin showed only a low response to the isolated compounds, while patients with a known allergy to gum rosin reacted to a greater extent. The results imply that the content of oxidized dehydroabietic acids in gum rosin is too low to give a marked sensitization in the animals. However, the patients might have come in contact with the allergens in technically modified rosins. The compounds showed a pattern of cross-reactivity in the animal experiments as well as among the patch tested patients. PMID:3191677

  5. A new isolation method for biomass-burning tracers in snow: Measurements of p-hydroxybenzoic, vanillic, and dehydroabietic acids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Shaopeng; Liu, Dameng; Kang, Shichang; Kawamura, Kimitaka; Wu, Guangming; Zhang, Guoshuai; Cong, Zhiyuan

    2015-12-01

    Organic acids such as p-hydroxybenzoic, vanillic, and dehydroabietic acids are unique biomass-burning tracers for black carbon (BC) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the snow of mountain glaciers, Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets. In this study, we developed a method by solid-phase extraction (SPE) coupled with gas chromatography/ion trap mass spectrometry for the determination of those organic acids in snow. The limit of detection (LOD) is 0.002, 0.001, 0.004 ng mL-1 for p-hydroxybenzoic, vanillic, and dehydroabietic acids, respectively. For p-hydroxybenzoic and vanillic acids, all the four SPE cartridges used produce good recoveries (>75%). However, for dehydroabietic acid, HLB cartridge has much better performance than DPA, FEP-2 and PAX cartridges. The method was applied to the snow samples collected from Zhadang Glacier in the Tibetan Plateau (TP), and demonstrated its feasibility in pretreating and detecting of these target compounds. We found that BC and DOC accumulated in the snow during winter and spring over the TP glaciers are mainly derived from biomass burning. This result demonstrates the capability of our analytical method for a deep understanding on the source of carbonaceous materials in snow.

  6. Optimal radiotherapy utilisation rate in developing countries: An IAEA study.

    PubMed

    Rosenblatt, Eduardo; Barton, Michael; Mackillop, William; Fidarova, Elena; Cordero, Lisbeth; Yarney, Joel; Lim, Gerard; Abad, Anthony; Cernea, Valentin; Stojanovic-Rundic, Suzana; Strojan, Primoz; Kobachi, Lotfi; Quarneti, Aldo

    2015-07-01

    Optimal radiotherapy utilisation rate (RTU) is the proportion of all cancer cases that should receive radiotherapy. Optimal RTU was estimated for 9 Middle Income Countries as part of a larger IAEA project to better understand RTU and stage distribution. PMID:26164776

  7. Factors affecting Japanese retirees' healthcare service utilisation in Malaysia: a qualitative study

    PubMed Central

    Kohno, Ayako; Nik Farid, Nik Daliana; Musa, Ghazali; Abdul Aziz, Norlaili; Nakayama, Takeo; Dahlui, Maznah

    2016-01-01

    Objective While living overseas in another culture, retirees need to adapt to a new environment but often this causes difficulties, particularly among those elderly who require healthcare services. This study examines factors affecting healthcare service utilisation among Japanese retirees in Malaysia. Design We conducted 6 focus group discussions with Japanese retirees and interviewed 8 relevant medical services providers in-depth. Guided by the Andersen Healthcare Utilisation Model, we managed and analysed the data, using QSR NVivo 10 software and the directed content analysis method. Setting We interviewed participants at Japan Clubs and their offices. Participants 30 Japanese retirees who live in Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh, and 8 medical services providers. Results We identified health beliefs, medical symptoms and health insurance as the 3 most important themes, respectively, representing the 3 dimensions within the Andersen Healthcare Utilisation Model. Additionally, language barriers, voluntary health repatriation to Japan and psychological support were unique themes that influence healthcare service utilisation among Japanese retirees. Conclusions The healthcare service utilisation among Japanese retirees in Malaysia could be partially explained by the Andersen Healthcare Utilisation Model, together with some factors that were unique findings to this study. Healthcare service utilisation among Japanese retirees in Malaysia could be improved by alleviating negative health beliefs through awareness programmes for Japanese retirees about the healthcare systems and cultural aspects of medical care in Malaysia. PMID:27006344

  8. EIMS Fragmentation Pathways and MRM Quantification of 7α/β-Hydroxy-Dehydroabietic Acid TMS Derivatives.

    PubMed

    Rontani, Jean-François; Aubert, Claude; Belt, Simon T

    2015-09-01

    EI mass fragmentation pathways of TMS derivatives οf 7α/β-hydroxy-dehydroabietic acids resulting from NaBH(4)-reduction of oxidation products of dehydroabietic acid (a component of conifers) were investigated and deduced by a combination of (1) low energy CID-GC-MS/MS, (2) deuterium labeling, (3) different derivatization methods, and (4) GC-QTOF accurate mass measurements. Having identified the main fragmentation pathways, the TMS-derivatized 7α/β-hydroxy-dehydroabietic acids could be quantified in multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode in sea ice and sediment samples collected from the Arctic. These newly characterized transformation products of dehydroabietic acid constitute potential tracers of biotic and abiotic degradation of terrestrial higher plants in the environment. PMID:26138887

  9. The conifer biomarkers dehydroabietic and abietic acids are widespread in Cyanobacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, Maria Sofia; Rego, Adriana; Ramos, Vitor; Afonso, Tiago B.; Freitas, Sara; Preto, Marco; Lopes, Viviana; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Magalhães, Catarina; Leão, Pedro N.

    2016-03-01

    Terpenes, a large family of natural products with important applications, are commonly associated with plants and fungi. The diterpenoids dehydroabietic and abietic acids are defense metabolites abundant in resin, and are used as biomarkers for conifer plants. We report here for the first time that the two diterpenoid acids are produced by members of several genera of cyanobacteria. Dehydroabietic acid was isolated from two cyanobacterial strains and its identity was confirmed spectroscopically. One or both of the diterpenoids were detected in the cells of phylogenetically diverse cyanobacteria belonging to four cyanobacterial ‘botanical orders’, from marine, estuarine and inland environments. Dehydroabietic acid was additionally found in culture supernatants. We investigated the natural role of the two resin acids in cyanobacteria using ecologically-relevant bioassays and found that the compounds inhibited the growth of a small coccoid cyanobacterium. The unexpected discovery of dehydroabietic and abietic acids in a wide range of cyanobacteria has implications for their use as plant biomarkers.

  10. The conifer biomarkers dehydroabietic and abietic acids are widespread in Cyanobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Maria Sofia; Rego, Adriana; Ramos, Vitor; Afonso, Tiago B.; Freitas, Sara; Preto, Marco; Lopes, Viviana; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Magalhães, Catarina; Leão, Pedro N.

    2016-01-01

    Terpenes, a large family of natural products with important applications, are commonly associated with plants and fungi. The diterpenoids dehydroabietic and abietic acids are defense metabolites abundant in resin, and are used as biomarkers for conifer plants. We report here for the first time that the two diterpenoid acids are produced by members of several genera of cyanobacteria. Dehydroabietic acid was isolated from two cyanobacterial strains and its identity was confirmed spectroscopically. One or both of the diterpenoids were detected in the cells of phylogenetically diverse cyanobacteria belonging to four cyanobacterial ‘botanical orders’, from marine, estuarine and inland environments. Dehydroabietic acid was additionally found in culture supernatants. We investigated the natural role of the two resin acids in cyanobacteria using ecologically-relevant bioassays and found that the compounds inhibited the growth of a small coccoid cyanobacterium. The unexpected discovery of dehydroabietic and abietic acids in a wide range of cyanobacteria has implications for their use as plant biomarkers. PMID:26996104

  11. EIMS Fragmentation Pathways and MRM Quantification of 7α/β-Hydroxy-Dehydroabietic Acid TMS Derivatives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rontani, Jean-François; Aubert, Claude; Belt, Simon T.

    2015-09-01

    EI mass fragmentation pathways of TMS derivatives οf 7α/β-hydroxy-dehydroabietic acids resulting from NaBH4-reduction of oxidation products of dehydroabietic acid (a component of conifers) were investigated and deduced by a combination of (1) low energy CID-GC-MS/MS, (2) deuterium labeling, (3) different derivatization methods, and (4) GC-QTOF accurate mass measurements. Having identified the main fragmentation pathways, the TMS-derivatized 7α/β-hydroxy-dehydroabietic acids could be quantified in multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode in sea ice and sediment samples collected from the Arctic. These newly characterized transformation products of dehydroabietic acid constitute potential tracers of biotic and abiotic degradation of terrestrial higher plants in the environment.

  12. Terpenoid biotransformation in mammals. IV Biotransformation of (+)-longifolene, (-)-caryophyllene, (-)-caryophyllene oxide, (-)-cyclocolorenone, (+)-nootkatone, (-)-elemol, (-)-abietic acid and (+)-dehydroabietic acid in rabbits.

    PubMed

    Asakawa, Y; Ishida, T; Toyota, M; Takemoto, T

    1986-08-01

    The metabolism of (+)-longifolene, (-)-caryophyllene, (-)-caryophyllene oxide, (-)-cyclocolorenone, (+)-nootkatone, (-)-elemol, (-)-abietic acid and (+)-dehydroabietic acid was studied in rabbits. Each of these sesquiterpenoids was converted to primary, secondary or tertiary alcohols, among which the primary alcohol was predominant. A vinylic methyl group and an exomethylene group were easily hydroxylated and converted to a glycol via an epoxide in many cases. Eight new metabolites were determined by chemical and spectroscopic methods. PMID:3765656

  13. Floodwater utilisation values of wetland services - a case study in Northeastern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lü, S. B.; Xu, S. G.; Feng, F.

    2012-02-01

    Water plays a significant role in wetlands. Floodwater utilisation in wetlands brings a wide range of wetland services, from goods production and water regulation to animal protection and aesthetics related to water supply in wetlands. In this study, the floodwater utilisation values of wetland services were estimated within the Momoge wetland and Xianghai wetland in western Jilin province of northeastern China. From 2003 to 2008, the floodwater diverted from the Nenjiang and Tao'er River is 381 million m3, which translates into a monetary value of approximately 1.35 billion RMB in 2008 (RMB: Chinese Currency, RMB 6.80 = US 1), and the ratio of economic value, eco-environmental value, and social value is 1:12:2. Besides the monetary value of the water itself, excessive floodwater utilisation may bring losses to wetlands; the threshold floodwater utilisation volumes in wetlands are discussed. Floodwater utilisation can alleviate water shortages in wetlands, and the evaluation of floodwater utilisation in wetland services in monetary terms is a guide for the effective use of the floodwater resources and for the conservation of wetlands.

  14. Trends of CT utilisation in an emergency department in Taiwan: a 5-year retrospective study

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Sung-Yuan; Hsieh, Ming-Shun; Lin, Meng-Yu; Hsu, Chiann-Yi; Lin, Tzu-Chieh; How, Chorng-Kuang; Wang, Chen-Yu; Tsai, Jeffrey Che-Hung; Wu, Yu-Hui; Chang, Yan-Zin

    2016-01-01

    Objectives To investigate the association between the trends of CT utilisation in an emergency department (ED) and changes in clinical imaging practice and patients' disposition. Setting A hospital-based retrospective observational study of a public 1520-bed referral medical centre in Taiwan. Participants Adult ED visits (aged ≥18 years) during 2009–2013, with or without receiving CT, were enrolled as the study participants. Main outcome measures For all enrolled ED visits, we retrospectively analysed: (1) demographic characteristics, (2) triage categories, (3) whether CT was performed and the type of CT scan, (4) further ED disposition, (5) ED cost and (6) ED length of stay. Results In all, 269 239 adult ED visits (148 613 male patients and 120 626 female patients) were collected during the 5-year study period, comprising 38 609 CT scans. CT utilisation increased from 11.10% in 2009 to 17.70% in 2013 (trend test, p<0.001). Four in 5 types of CT scan (head, chest, abdomen and miscellaneous) were increasingly utilised during the study period. Also, CT was increasingly ordered annually in all age groups. Although ED CT utilisation rates increased markedly, the annual ED visits did not actually increase. Moreover, the subsequent admission rate, after receiving ED CT, declined (59.9% in 2009 to 48.2% in 2013). Conclusions ED CT utilisation rates increased significantly during 2009–2013. Emergency physicians may be using CT for non-emergent studies in the ED. Further investigation is needed to determine whether increasing CT utilisation is efficient and cost-effective. PMID:27279477

  15. Local cerebral glucose utilisation in chronic alcoholics: a positron tomographic study.

    PubMed Central

    Samson, Y; Baron, J C; Feline, A; Bories, J; Crouzel, C

    1986-01-01

    Using positron tomography, a study of regional cerebral glucose utilisation was performed prospectively in a highly selected group of six neurologically unaffected primary chronic alcoholics. In this group, neuropsychological, behavioural and CT scan anomalies were comparable with those previously reported in more extensive studies. With respect to age-matched control values, cerebral metabolic rate was not significantly modified in the selected cortical, subcortical and cerebellar regions of interest. However, the metabolic regional distribution index, which reflects the distribution pattern of glucose utilisation, was selectively and significantly decreased in the medio-frontal area, pointing to a limbic metabolic dysfunction apparently linked to chronic alcoholism. Images PMID:3491181

  16. Factors influencing health care utilisation among Aboriginal cardiac patients in central Australia: a qualitative study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Aboriginal Australians suffer from poorer overall health compared to the general Australian population, particularly in terms of cardiovascular disease and prognosis following a cardiac event. Despite such disparities, Aboriginal Australians utilise health care services at much lower rates than the general population. Improving health care utilisation (HCU) among Aboriginal cardiac patients requires a better understanding of the factors that constrain or facilitate use. The study aimed to identify ecological factors influencing health care utilisation (HCU) for Aboriginal cardiac patients, from the time of their cardiac event to 6–12 months post-event, in central Australia. Methods This qualitative descriptive study was guided by an ecological framework. A culturally-sensitive illness narrative focusing on Aboriginal cardiac patients’ “typical” journey guided focus groups and semi-structured interviews with Aboriginal cardiac patients, non-cardiac community members, health care providers and community researchers. Analysis utilised a thematic conceptual matrix and mixed coding method. Themes were categorised into Predisposing, Enabling, Need and Reinforcing factors and identified at Individual, Interpersonal, Primary Care and Hospital System levels. Results Compelling barriers to HCU identified at the Primary Care and Hospital System levels included communication, organisation and racism. Individual level factors related to HCU included language, knowledge of illness, perceived need and past experiences. Given these individual and health system barriers patients were reliant on utilising alternate family-level supports at the Interpersonal level to enable their journey. Conclusion Aboriginal cardiac patients face significant barriers to HCU, resulting in sub-optimal quality of care, placing them at risk for subsequent cardiovascular events and negative health outcomes. To facilitate HCU amongst Aboriginal people, strategies must be implemented

  17. Impact of continuous Medical Aid utilisation on healthcare utilisation: unique insight using the 2008–2012 Korean Welfare Panel Study (KOWEPS)

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jae-Hyun; Kim, Na Rae; Park, Eun-Cheol; Han, Kyu-Tae; Choi, Young; Lee, Sang Gyu

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Although there has been considerable discussion about the social safety net, few studies related to effect of duration of continuous receipt of Medical Aid on healthcare utilisation have been conducted. Therefore, we investigate whether the duration of receiving Medical Aid affected medical care utilisation. Setting Data were collected from the Korean Welfare Panel Study conducted from 2008 to 2012. Participants We included 11 783 samples. Interventions Estimating changes in their healthcare utilisation during specific time intervals (1, 2 and ≥3 years) after they switched from National Health Insurance to Medical Aid. Primary and secondary outcome measures Number of outpatient visits. Results The number of outpatient visits per year was 0.0.051-fold higher (p value: 0.434) among those who were Medical Aid beneficiaries for a continuous period of 1 year, 0.0.267-fold higher (p value: 0.000) among those who were beneficiaries for a continuous period of 2 years, and 0.0.562-fold higher (p value:<0.0001) among those who were beneficiaries for a continuous period of 3 years than it was among those who were beneficiaries of National Health Insurance. Conclusions Our results reflect an association between the number of consecutive years of receiving Medical Aid and number of outpatient visits. Since duration of dependence is correlated with reduced exit rates, limits on length of benefits should be considered to strengthen the incentive to return to work. PMID:27053265

  18. Ice core records of biomass burning tracers (levoglucosan and dehydroabietic, vanillic and p-hydroxybenzoic acids) and total organic carbon for past 300 years in the Kamchatka Peninsula, Northeast Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawamura, Kimitaka; Izawa, Yusuke; Mochida, Michihiro; Shiraiwa, Takayuki

    2012-12-01

    We successfully detected biomass burning tracers including levoglucosan and vanillic, p-hydroxybenzoic and dehydroabietic acids in an ice core (153 m long, ca. 300 years old) taken from Ushkovsky ice cap (altitude, 3903 m), the Kamchatka Peninsula, Northeast Asia. Concentrations of total organic carbon (TOC) were also determined in the ice core. Levoglucosan, which is produced by pyrolysis of cellulose and hemicellulose and thus is a general tracer of biomass burning, showed sporadic peaks in the years of 1705, 1759, 1883, 1915, 1949 and 1972, with the largest peak in 1949. However, its concentrations did not show a systematic increase in the last century although the concentration peaks seemingly corresponded to the higher ambient temperatures in the northern high latitudes. In contrast, dehydroabietic acid, a specific tracer of the pyrolysis of conifer resin, showed a gradual increase from the early 1900s to 1990s with a significant peak in 1970. Contributions of dehydroabietic acid to TOC also showed an increasing trend for the 20th century. Similarly, vanillic and p-hydroxybenzoic acids presented higher concentrations in the last half-century with sporadic peaks in 1705, 1759 and 1949. This study showed that general biomass burning tracers such as levoglucosan have been sporadically transported over the glacier of the Kamchatka Peninsula. In contrast, the ice core record of dehydroabietic acid indicated that fires of boreal conifer forest have more frequently and increasingly occurred in Far East and Siberia during the last century and transported to the Northwestern Pacific. The present study demonstrates that organic tracers of biomass burning preserved in ice core could provide historical records of biomass burning and boreal forest fires.

  19. Drug utilisation study in a tertiary care center: recommendations for improving hospital drug dispensing policies.

    PubMed

    Mittal, Niti; Mittal, R; Singh, I; Shafiq, Nusrat; Malhotra, S

    2014-07-01

    Drug therapy accounts for a major portion of health expenditure. A useful strategy for achieving cost efficient healthcare is drug utilisation research as it forms the basis for making amendments in drug policies and helps in rational drug use. The present observational study was conducted to generate data on drug utilization in inpatients of our tertiary care hospital to identify potential targets for improving drug prescribing patterns. Data was collected retrospectively from randomly selected 231 medical records of patients admitted in various wards of the hospital. WHO Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical/Defined Daily Dose methodology was used to assess drug utilisation data and drug prescriptions were analysed by WHO core drug indicators. Antibiotics were prescribed most frequently and also accounted for majority of drug costs. The prescribed daily dose for most of the antibiotics corresponded to defined daily dose reflecting adherence to international recommendations. Brand name prescribing and polypharmacy was very common.78% of the total drugs prescribed were from the National List of Essential Medicines 2003. Restricting the use of newer and costlier antibiotics, branded drugs and number of drugs per prescription could be considered as targets to cut down the cost of drug therapysignificantly. PMID:25284928

  20. Prospective study of healthcare utilisation and respiratory morbidity due to RSV infection in prematurely born infants

    PubMed Central

    Broughton, S; Roberts, A; Fox, G; Pollina, E; Zuckerman, M; Chaudhry, S; Greenough, A

    2005-01-01

    Background: A study was undertaken to determine the impact of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, both in hospital and the community, on healthcare utilisation and respiratory morbidity in prematurely born infants and to identify risk factors for symptomatic RSV infection. Methods: A hospital and community follow up study was undertaken of 126 infants born before 32 weeks of gestational age. Healthcare utilisation (hospital admissions and general practitioner attendances) in the first year, respiratory morbidity at follow up (wheeze and cough documented by parent completed diary cards), and RSV positive lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) were documented. Nasopharyngeal aspirates were obtained for immunofluorescence and culture for RSV whenever the infants had an LRTI, either in the community or in hospital. Results: Forty two infants had an RSV positive LRTI (RSV group), 50 had an RSV negative LRTI (RSV negative LRTI group), and 32 infants had no LRTI (no LRTI group). Compared with the RSV negative LRTI and the no LRTI groups, the RSV group required more admissions (p = 0.392, p<0.001) and days in hospital (p = 0.049, p = 0.006) and had more cough (p = 0.05, p = 0.038) and wheeze (p = 0.003, p = 0.003) at follow up. Significant risk factors for symptomatic RSV LRTI were number of siblings (p = 0.035) and maternal smoking in pregnancy (p = 0.005), for cough were number of siblings (p = 0.002) and RSV LRTI (p = 0.02), and for wheeze was RSV LRTI (p = 0.019). Conclusion: RSV infection, even if hospital admission is not required, is associated with increased subsequent respiratory morbidity in prematurely born infants. PMID:16227330

  1. Dehydroabietic acid (DHAA) alters metabolic enzyme activity and the effects of 17β-estradiol in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

    PubMed

    Pandelides, Z; Guchardi, J; Holdway, D

    2014-03-01

    Recent studies have shown that dehydroabietic acid (DHAA), a resin acid present in pulp and paper mill effluent, affects liver energy metabolism and may have anti-estrogenic effects in fish. A chronic-exposure toxicity experiment using immature rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) was conducted in order to assess the endocrine disrupting and liver metabolic effects of the model estrogen 17β-estradiol (E2) and the wood extractives DHAA and β-sitosterol (BS), regularly present in pulp and paper mill effluents. Exposure to 5ppm of E2 significantly increased hepatosomatic index (HSI), vitellogenin (VTG) and plasma sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH). This latter effect was reduced by mixing E2 with DHAA, indicating that DHAA does not cause its endocrine disrupting effects indirectly due to liver damage. Exposure to 0.5ppm of DHAA as well as all the DHAA mixed treatments caused significant increases in liver citrate synthase (CS), activity after 7 days, however, the fish returned to control values by 28 days. Results indicate that DHAA may alter metabolic enzyme activity as well as alter the effects of E2 in juvenile rainbow trout. PMID:24507142

  2. The natural phytochemical dehydroabietic acid is an anti-aging reagent that mediates the direct activation of SIRT1.

    PubMed

    Kim, Juewon; Kang, Young-Gyu; Lee, Jee-young; Choi, Dong-hwa; Cho, Young-uk; Shin, Jae-Min; Park, Jun Seong; Lee, John Hwan; Kim, Wan Gi; Seo, Dae Bang; Lee, Tae Ryong; Miyamoto, Yusei; No, Kyoung Tai

    2015-09-01

    Dehydroabietic acid (DAA) is a naturally occurring diterpene resin acid of confers, such as pinus species (P. densiflora, P. sylvestris) and grand fir (Abies grandis), and it induces various biological actions including antimicrobial, antiulcer, and cardiovascular activities. The cellular targets that mediate these actions are largely unknown yet. In this report, we suggest that DAA is an anti-aging reagent. DAA has lifespan extension effects in Caenorhabditis elegans, prevents lipofuscin accumulation, and prevents collagen secretion in human dermal fibroblasts. We found that these anti-aging effects are primarily mediated by SIRT1 activation. Lifespan extension effects by DAA were ameliorated in sir-2.1 mutants and SIRT1 protein expression was increased, resulting in the deacetylation of SIRT1 target protein PGC-1α. Moreover, DAA binds directly to the SIRT1 protein independent of the SIRT1 substrate NAD(+) levels. Through a molecular docking study, we also propose a binding model for DAA-SIRT1. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the anti-aging effects are the first identified biological property of DAA and that the direct activation of SIRT1 enzymatic activity suggests the potential use of this natural diterpene, or related compounds, in age-related diseases or as a preventive reagent against the aging process. PMID:25976661

  3. Bioavailability of benzo(a)pyrene and dehydroabietic acid from a few lake waters containing varying dissolved organic carbon concentrations to Daphnia magna

    SciTech Connect

    Oikari, A.; Kukkonen, J. )

    1990-07-01

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in natural waters consists of a great variety of organic molecules. Some of these molecules have been identified but most of them cannot be identified. This unidentified group of heterogeneous organic macromolecules is considered as humic substances. The role of humic substances in water chemistry and in aquatic toxicology is receiving increasing attention. The effects of DOC on the bioavailability of organic pollutants have been demonstrated in several studies. A decreased bioavailability has been demonstrated in most cases. Both the quantity and the quality of DOC are suggested determinants of this apparent ecotoxicological buffer of inland waters worldwide. In this study, the authors measured the bioaccumulation of benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) and dehydroabietic acid (DHAA) in Daphnia magna using a wide range of naturally occurring DOC levels. Another objective was to associate the reduced bioavailability with the chemical characteristics of water and DOC.

  4. Formal home-care utilisation by older adults in Ireland: evidence from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA).

    PubMed

    Murphy, Catriona M; Whelan, Brendan J; Normand, Charles

    2015-07-01

    The aim of this study was to provide a population-based estimate of the utilisation of publicly financed formal home care by older adults in Ireland and to identify the principal characteristics of those utilising formal home care. Data were collected through computer-aided personal interviews from a representative sample of community living older adults in Ireland. The interviews were conducted between 2009 and 2011 as part of the first wave of the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA). The study is cross-sectional in design and limited to participants aged 65 years and older (n = 3507). Results reveal that 8.2% (95% CI 7.1%-9.3%) of participants utilised publicly financed formal home care in the form of home help and/or personal care. Key determinants of formal home-care utilisation were Instrumental Activity of Daily Living (IADL) difficulty (Adj OR 3.8, 95% CI 2.7-5.3), older age (Adj OR 3.4, 95% CI 2.4-4.8) and living alone (Adj OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.9-3.8). Almost half of those utilising formal care did not self-report an Activity of Daily Living (ADL) difficulty or an IADL difficulty. Government policy aims to reduce the need for long-term residential care by providing formal home care for older adults with low to moderate levels of dependency. This requires an increasing emphasis on personal care provision in the home. No evidence was found in this study to suggest that a shift in emphasis from formal domestic to personal care is taking place in Ireland. The absence of standardised assessment and eligibility criteria are deemed to be barriers to reorientation of the system. From a health services perspective, the current situation is not sustainable into the future and requires a focused policy response. PMID:25442330

  5. Biotransformation of Dehydroabietic, Abietic, and Isopimaric Acids by Mortierella isabellina Immobilized in Polyurethane Foam

    PubMed Central

    Kutney, James P.; Berset, Jean-Daniel; Hewitt, Gary M.; Singh, Mahatam

    1988-01-01

    Polyurethane foam supports immobilization of Mortierella isabellina ATCC 38063, a zygomycete that hydroxylates and thereby detoxifies resin acids found in certain pulp mill effluents. The fungus becomes entrapped as it threads growing mycelia through the open foam matrix. The tenacity of binding and the amount of biomass bound depend on initial spore numbers and nutrient concentration. Optimal dehydroabietic acid transformation occurs with early-stationary-phase foam-bound mycelia suspended in buffer at pH 6.5 to 8.5 with aeration >0.1 liter liter−1 min−1 and near a temperature maximum of 33°C. Neither a greater number of similarly loaded foam cubes nor a greater surface area for similar amounts of biomass increased transformation rates. Compared to free mycelial cultures, foam presence retards growth and decreases the rate of precursor transformation but does not alter the nature of the metabolites formed from dehydroabietic acid, abietic acid, or isopimaric acid. Diffusional barriers or binding of substrates in an inaccessible manner may cause the observed inhibitions. Overall, foam immobilization stabilizes enzymic activity and is a facile laboratory process with scaleup potential. PMID:16347596

  6. In their own words: qualitative study of high-utilising primary care patients with medically unexplained symptoms

    PubMed Central

    Dwamena, Francesca C; Lyles, Judith S; Frankel, Richard M; Smith, Robert C

    2009-01-01

    Background High utilising primary care patients with medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) often frustrate their primary care providers. Studies that elucidate the attitudes of these patients may help to increase understanding and improve confidence of clinicians who care for them. The objective of this study was to describe and analyze perceptions and lived experiences of high utilising primary care patients with MUS. Methods A purposive sample of 19 high utilising primary care patients for whom at least 50% (69.6% in this sample) of visits for two years could not be explained medically, were encouraged to talk spontaneously about themselves and answer semi-structured questions. Verbatim transcripts of interviews were analyzed using an iterative consensus building process. Results Patients with MUS almost universally described current and/or past family dysfunction and were subjected to excessive testing and ineffective empirical treatments. Three distinct groups emerged from the data. 1) Some patients, who had achieved a significant degree of psychological insight and had success in life, primarily sought explanations for their symptoms. 2) Patients who had less psychological insight were more disabled by their symptoms and felt strongly entitled to be excused from normal social obligations. Typically, these patients primarily sought symptom relief, legitimization, and support. 3) Patients who expressed worry about missed diagnoses demanded excessive care and complained when their demands were resisted. Conclusion High utilising primary care patients are a heterogeneous group with similar experiences and different perceptions, behaviours and needs. Recognizing these differences may be critical to effective treatment and reduction in utilisation. PMID:19772582

  7. Impact of health insurance status changes on healthcare utilisation patterns: a longitudinal cohort study in South Korea

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jae-Hyun; Lee, Sang Gyu; Lee, Kwang-Soo; Jang, Sung-In; Cho, Kyung-Hee; Park, Eun-Cheol

    2016-01-01

    Objectives The study examined medical care utilisation by health insurance status changes. Setting The Korean Welfare Panel Study (KoWePs) was used. Participants This study analysed 14 267 participants at baseline (2006). Interventions The individuals were categorised into four health insurance status groups: continuous health insurance, change from health insurance to Medical Aid, change from Medical Aid to health insurance, or continuous Medical Aid. Primary and secondary outcome measures Three dependent variables were also analysed: days spent in hospital; number of outpatient visits; and hospitalisations per year. Longitudinal data analysis was used to determine whether changes in health insurance status were associated with healthcare utilisation. Results The number of outpatient visits per year was 0.1.363 times higher (p<0.0001) in the continuous Medical Aid than in the continuous health insurance group. The number of hospitalisations per year was 1.560 times higher (p<0.001) in new Medical Aid and −0.636 times lower (p<0.001) in new health insurance than in continuous health insurance group. The number of days spent in hospital per year was −0.567 times lower (p=0.021) in the new health insurance than in the continuous health insurance group. Conclusions Health insurance beneficiaries with a coverage level lower than Medical Aid showed lower healthcare utilisation, as measured by the number of hospitalisations and days spent in hospital per year. PMID:27036140

  8. Impact of headache on sickness absence and utilisation of medical services: a Danish population study.

    PubMed Central

    Rasmussen, B K; Jensen, R; Olesen, J

    1992-01-01

    STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim was to study the extent and type of health service utilisation, medication habits, and sickness absence due to the primary headaches. DESIGN--This was a cross sectional epidemiological survey of headache disorders in a general population. Headache was diagnosed according to a structured interview and a neurological examination using the criteria of the International Headache Society. SETTING--A random sample of 25-64 year-old individuals was drawn from the Danish National Central Person Registry. All subjects were living in the Copenhagen County. PARTICIPANTS--740 subjects participated (76% of the sample); 119 had migraine and 578 had tension type headache. MAIN RESULTS--Among subjects with migraine 56% had, at some time, consulted their general practitioner because of the migraine. The corresponding percentage among subjects with tension type headache was 16. One or more specialists had been consulted by 16% of migraine sufferers and by 4% of subjects with tension type headache. The consultation rates of chiropractors and physiotherapists were 5-8%. Hospital admissions and supplementary laboratory investigations due to headache were rare (< 3%). Half of the migraine sufferers and 83% of subjects with tension type headache in the previous year had managed with at least one type of drug in the current year. Acetylsalicylic acid preparations and paracetamol were the most commonly used analgesics. Prophylaxis of migraine was used by 7%. In the preceding year 43% of employed migraine sufferers and 12% of employed subjects with tension type headache had missed one or more days of work because of headache. Most common was 1-7 days off work. The total loss of workdays per year due to migraine in the general population was estimated at 270 days per 1000 persons. For tension type headache the corresponding figure was 820. Women were more likely to consult a practitioner than men, whereas no significant sex difference emerged as regards absenteeism

  9. Synthesis and antibacterial evaluation of New N-acylhydrazone derivatives from dehydroabietic acid.

    PubMed

    Gu, Wen; Wu, Rongrong; Qi, Shilong; Gu, Chenhai; Si, Fanjunnan; Chen, Zhuhui

    2012-01-01

    A series of new N-acylhydrazone derivatives were synthesized in good yields through the reactions of dehydroabietic acid hydrazide with a variety of substituted arylaldehydes. The structures of the synthesized compounds were confirmed by IR, 1H- and 13C-NMR, ESI-MS, elemental analysis and single crystal X-ray diffraction. From the crystal structure of compound 4l, the C=N double bonds of these N-acylhydrazones showed (E)-configuration, while the NMR data of compounds 4a-q indicated the existence of two rotamers for each compound in solution. The target compounds were evaluated for their antibacterial activities against four microbial strains. The result suggested that several compounds exhibited pronounced antibacterial activities. Particularly, compound 4p exhibited good antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis comparable to positive control. The possible antibacterial metabolism and the strategy for further optimization of this compound were also discussed. PMID:22522394

  10. Low utilisation of diabetes medicines in Iran, despite their affordability (2000–2012): a time-series and benchmarking study

    PubMed Central

    Sarayani, Amir; Rashidian, Arash; Gholami, Kheirollah

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Diabetes is a major public health concern worldwide, particularly in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). Limited data exist on the status of access to diabetes medicines in LMICs. We assessed the utilisation and affordability of diabetes medicines in Iran as a middle-income country. Design We used a retrospective time-series design (2000–2012) and assessed national diabetes medicines’ utilisation using pharmaceuticals wholesale data. Methods We calculated defined daily dose consumptions per population days (DDDs/1000 inhabitants/day; DIDs) indicator. Findings were benchmarked with data from Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. We also employed Drug Utilization-90% (DU-90) method to compare DU-90s with the Essential Medicines List published by the WHO. We measured affordability using number of minimum daily wage required to purchase a treatment course for 1 month. Results Diabetes medicines’ consumption increased from 4.47 to 33.54 DIDs. The benchmarking showed that medicines’ utilisation in Iran in 2011 was only 54% of the median DIDs of 22 OECD countries. Oral hypoglycaemic agents consisted over 80% of use throughout the study period. Regular and isophane insulin (NPH), glibenclamide, metformin and gliclazide were the DU-90 drugs in 2012. Metformin, glibenclamide and regular/NPH insulin combination therapy were affordable throughout the study period (∼0.4, ∼0.1, ∼0.3 of minimum daily wage, respectively). While the affordability of novel insulin preparations improved over time, they were still unaffordable in 2012. Conclusions The utilisation of diabetes medicines was relatively low, perhaps due to underdiagnosis and inadequate management of patients with diabetes. This had occurred despite affordability of essential diabetes medicines in Iran. Appropriate policies are required to address the underutilisation of diabetes medicines in Iran. PMID:25324322

  11. GP utilisation by education level among adults with COPD or asthma: a cross-sectional register-based study.

    PubMed

    Hetlevik, Øystein; Melbye, Hasse; Gjesdal, Sturla

    2016-01-01

    There is a marked socioeconomic gradient in the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, but a large proportion of patients remain undiagnosed. It is a challenge for general practitioners (GPs) to both identify patients and contribute to equity and high quality in services delivered. The aim of this study was to identify patients with COPD and asthma diagnoses recorded by GPs and explore their utilisation of GP services by education level. This was a cross-sectional, national, register-based study from Norwegian general practice in the period 2009-2011. Based on claims from GPs, the number of patients aged ⩾40 years with a diagnosis of COPD or asthma and their GP services utilisation were estimated and linked to the national education database. Multivariate Poisson and logistic regression models were used to explore the variations in GP utilisation. In the population aged ⩾40 years, 2.8% had COPD and 3.8% had asthma according to GPs' diagnoses. COPD was four times more prevalent in patients with basic education than higher education; this increase was ⩽80% for asthma. Consultation rates were 12% higher (P<0.001) for COPD and 25% higher (P<0.001) for asthma in patients with low versus high education in the age group of 40-59 years after adjusting for comorbidity, and patient and GP characteristics. Approximately 25% of COPD patients and 20% of asthma patients had ⩾1 spirometry test in general practice in 2011, with no significant education differences in adjusted models. The higher consultation rate in lower-education groups indicates that GPs contribute to fair distribution of healthcare. PMID:27279354

  12. GP utilisation by education level among adults with COPD or asthma: a cross-sectional register-based study

    PubMed Central

    Hetlevik, Øystein; Melbye, Hasse; Gjesdal, Sturla

    2016-01-01

    There is a marked socioeconomic gradient in the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, but a large proportion of patients remain undiagnosed. It is a challenge for general practitioners (GPs) to both identify patients and contribute to equity and high quality in services delivered. The aim of this study was to identify patients with COPD and asthma diagnoses recorded by GPs and explore their utilisation of GP services by education level. This was a cross-sectional, national, register-based study from Norwegian general practice in the period 2009–2011. Based on claims from GPs, the number of patients aged ⩾40 years with a diagnosis of COPD or asthma and their GP services utilisation were estimated and linked to the national education database. Multivariate Poisson and logistic regression models were used to explore the variations in GP utilisation. In the population aged ⩾40 years, 2.8% had COPD and 3.8% had asthma according to GPs’ diagnoses. COPD was four times more prevalent in patients with basic education than higher education; this increase was ⩽80% for asthma. Consultation rates were 12% higher (P<0.001) for COPD and 25% higher (P<0.001) for asthma in patients with low versus high education in the age group of 40–59 years after adjusting for comorbidity, and patient and GP characteristics. Approximately 25% of COPD patients and 20% of asthma patients had ⩾1 spirometry test in general practice in 2011, with no significant education differences in adjusted models. The higher consultation rate in lower-education groups indicates that GPs contribute to fair distribution of healthcare. PMID:27279354

  13. Under-reporting of inpatient services utilisation in household surveys – a population-based study in Hong Kong

    PubMed Central

    Tsui, Eva LH; Leung, Gabriel M; Woo, Pauline PS; Choi, Sarah; Lo, Su-Vui

    2005-01-01

    Background Recognising that household interviews may produce biased estimates of health services utilisation, we examined for under- and over-reporting of hospitalisation episodes in three recent, consecutive population-based household surveys in Hong Kong. Methods Territory-wide inpatient service utilisation volumes as estimated from the 1999, 2001 and 2002 Thematic Household Surveys (THS) were benchmarked against corresponding statistics derived from routine administrative databases. Between-year differences on net under-reporting were quantified by Cohen's d effect size. To assess the potential for systematic biases in under-reporting, age- and sex-specific net under-reporting rates within each survey year were computed and the F-test was performed to evaluate differences between demographic subgroups. We modelled the effects of age and sex on the likelihood of ever hospitalisation through logistic regression to compare the odds ratios respectively derived from survey and administrative data. Results The extent of net under-reporting was moderately large in all three years amounting to about one-third of all inpatient episodes. However, there did not appear to be significant systematic biases in the degree of under-reporting by age or sex on stratified analyses and logistic regression modelling. Conclusion Under-reporting was substantial in Hong Kong's THS. Recall bias was likely most responsible for such reporting inaccuracies. A proper full-design record-check study should be carried out to confirm the present findings. PMID:15860127

  14. Dehydroabietic Acid Derivative QC4 Induces Gastric Cancer Cell Death via Oncosis and Apoptosis

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Dongjun; Ni, Qing; Ji, Anlai; Gu, Wen; Wu, Junhua

    2016-01-01

    Aim. QC4 is the derivative of rosin's main components dehydroabietic acid (DHA). We investigated the cytotoxic effect of QC4 on gastric cancer cells and revealed the mechanisms beneath the induction of cell death. Methods. The cytotoxic effect of QC4 on gastric cancer cells was evaluated by CCK-8 assay and flow cytometry. The underlying mechanisms were tested by administration of cell death related inhibitors and detection of apoptotic and oncosis related proteins. Cytomembrane integrity and organelles damage were confirmed by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage assay, mitochondrial function test, and cytosolic free Ca2+ concentration detection. Results. QC4 inhibited cell proliferation dose- and time-dependently and destroyed cell membrane integrity, activated calpain-1 autolysis, and induced apoptotic protein cleavage in gastric cancer cells. The detection of decreased ATP and mitochondrial membrane potential, ROS accumulation, and cytosolic free Ca2+ elevation confirmed organelles damage in QC4-treated gastric cancer cells. Conclusions. DHA derivative QC4 induced the damage of cytomembrane and organelles which finally lead to oncosis and apoptosis in gastric cancer cells. Therefore, as a derivative of plant derived small molecule DHA, QC4 might become a promising agent in gastric cancer therapy. PMID:27057539

  15. Access to and utilisation of GP services among Burmese migrants in London: a cross-sectional descriptive study

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background An estimated 10,000 Burmese migrants are currently living in London. No studies have been conducted on their access to health services. Furthermore, most studies on migrants in the United Kingdom (UK) have been conducted at the point of service provision, carrying the risk of selection bias. Our cross-sectional study explored access to and utilisation of General Practice (GP) services by Burmese migrants residing in London. Methods We used a mixed-method approach: a quantitative survey using self-administered questionnaires was complemented by qualitative in-depth interviews for developing the questionnaire and triangulating the findings of the survey. Overall, 137 questionnaires were received (a response rate of 57%) and 11 in-depth interviews conducted. The main outcome variables of the study included GP registration, barriers towards registration, GP consultations, barriers towards consultations, and knowledge on entitlements to health care. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics, association tests, and a multivariate analysis using logistic regression. The qualitative information was analysed using content analysis. Results The respondents were young, of roughly equal gender (51.5% female), well educated, and had a fair level of knowledge on health services in the UK. Although the GP registration rate was relatively high (80%, 109 out of 136), GP service utilisation during the last episode of illness, at 56.8% (54 out of 95), was low. The statistical analysis showed that age being younger than 35 years, lacking prior overseas experience, having an unstable immigration status, having a shorter duration of stay, and resorting to self-medication were the main barriers hindering Burmese migrants from accessing primary health care services. These findings were corroborated by the in-depth interviews. Conclusions Our study found that having formal access to primary health care was not sufficient to ensure GP registration and health

  16. Bacteria obtained from a sequencing batch reactor that are capable of growth on dehydroabietic acid.

    PubMed Central

    Mohn, W W

    1995-01-01

    Eleven isolates capable of growth on the resin acid dehydroabietic acid (DhA) were obtained from a sequencing batch reactor designed to treat a high-strength process stream from a paper mill. The isolates belonged to two groups, represented by strains DhA-33 and DhA-35, which were characterized. In the bioreactor, bacteria like DhA-35 were more abundant than those like DhA-33. The population in the bioreactor of organisms capable of growth on DhA was estimated to be 1.1 x 10(6) propagules per ml, based on a most-probable-number determination. Analysis of small-subunit rRNA partial sequences indicated that DhA-33 was most closely related to Sphingomonas yanoikuyae (Sab = 0.875) and that DhA-35 was most closely related to Zoogloea ramigera (Sab = 0.849). Both isolates additionally grew on other abietanes, i.e., abietic and palustric acids, but not on the pimaranes, pimaric and isopimaric acids. For DhA-33 and DhA-35 with DhA as the sole organic substrate, doubling times were 2.7 and 2.2 h, respectively, and growth yields were 0.30 and 0.25 g of protein per g of DhA, respectively. Glucose as a cosubstrate stimulated growth of DhA-33 on DhA and stimulated DhA degradation by the culture. Pyruvate as a cosubstrate did not stimulate growth of DhA-35 on DhA and reduced the specific rate of DhA degradation of the culture. DhA induced DhA and abietic acid degradation activities in both strains, and these activities were heat labile. Cell suspensions of both strains consumed DhA at a rate of 6 mumol mg of protein-1 h-1.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7793937

  17. Stroke patients’ utilisation of extrinsic feedback from computer-based technology in the home: a multiple case study realistic evaluation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Evidence indicates that post − stroke rehabilitation improves function, independence and quality of life. A key aspect of rehabilitation is the provision of appropriate information and feedback to the learner. Advances in information and communications technology (ICT) have allowed for the development of various systems to complement stroke rehabilitation that could be used in the home setting. These systems may increase the provision of rehabilitation a stroke survivor receives and carries out, as well as providing a learning platform that facilitates long-term self-managed rehabilitation and behaviour change. This paper describes the application of an innovative evaluative methodology to explore the utilisation of feedback for post-stroke upper-limb rehabilitation in the home. Methods Using the principles of realistic evaluation, this study aimed to test and refine intervention theories by exploring the complex interactions of contexts, mechanisms and outcomes that arise from technology deployment in the home. Methods included focus groups followed by multi-method case studies (n = 5) before, during and after the use of computer-based equipment. Data were analysed in relation to the context-mechanism-outcome hypotheses case by case. This was followed by a synthesis of the findings to answer the question, ‘what works for whom and in what circumstances and respects?’ Results Data analysis reveals that to achieve desired outcomes through the use of ICT, key elements of computer feedback, such as accuracy, measurability, rewarding feedback, adaptability, and knowledge of results feedback, are required to trigger the theory-driven mechanisms underpinning the intervention. In addition, the pre-existing context and the personal and environmental contexts, such as previous experience of service delivery, personal goals, trust in the technology, and social circumstances may also enable or constrain the underpinning theory-driven mechanisms

  18. School Reform for Positive Behaviour Support through Collaborative Learning: Utilising Lesson Study for a Learning Community

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saito, Eisuke; Watanabe, Miki; Gillies, Robyn; Someya, Ikuo; Nagashima, Takashi; Sato, Masaaki; Murase, Masatsugu

    2015-01-01

    Recent research has emphasised educating children about positive behaviours to overcome delinquency issues, but there is little clarification of what factors lead to positive behaviours. This study analyses factors that led to children's positive behaviours at a junior high school in Japan, which experienced a dramatic turnaround after…

  19. Study of calcification formation and disease diagnostics utilising advanced vibrational spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerssens, Marleen Maartje

    The accurate and safe diagnosis of breast cancer is a significant societal issue, with annual disease incidence of 48,000 women and around 370 men in the UK. Early diagnosis of the disease allows more conservative treatments and better patient outcomes. Microcalcifications in breast tissue are an important indicator for breast cancers, and often the only sign of their presence. Several studies have suggested that the type of calcification formed may act as a marker for malignancy and its presence may be of biological significance. In this work, breast calcifications are studied with FTIR, synchrotron FTIR, ATR FTIR, and Raman mapping to explore their disease specific composition. From a comparison between vibrational spectroscopy and routine staining procedures it becomes clear that calcium builds up prior to calcification formation. Raman and FTIR indicate the same size for calcifications and are in agreement with routine staining techniques. From the synchrotron FTIR measurements it can be proven that amide is present in the centre of the calcifications and the intensity of the bands depends on the pathology. Special attention is paid to the type of carbonate substitution in the calcifications relating to different pathology grades. In contrast to mammography, Raman spectroscopy has the capability to distinguish calcifications based on their chemical composition. The ultimate goal is to turn the acquired knowledge from the mapping studies into a clinical tool based on deep Raman spectroscopy. Deep Raman techniques have a considerable potential to reduce large numbers of normal biopsies, reduce the time delay between screening and diagnosis and therefore diminish patient anxiety. In order to achieve this, a deep Raman system is designed and after evaluation of its performance tested on buried calcification standards in porcine soft tissue and human mammary tissue. It is shown that, when the calcification is probed through tissue, the strong 960 cm-1 phosphate band

  20. An observational study of comorbidity and healthcare utilisation among HIV-positive patients aged 50 years and over.

    PubMed

    Patel, Roshani; Moore, Thomas; Cooper, Vanessa; McArdle, Conor; Perry, Nicky; Cheek, Elizabeth; Gainsborough, Nicola; Fisher, Martin

    2016-07-01

    The number of HIV-positive people aged ≥50 years is rising each year. We measured the prevalence of non-infectious illnesses and their risk factors and described healthcare use in this UK population. A cross-sectional, observational study was conducted at an outpatient HIV specialist clinic in south east England. Patients age ≥50 years were invited to complete questionnaires measuring demographics, non-infectious illnesses, medication use, lifestyle and healthcare utilisation. The response rate was 67%. Of 299 participants, 84% reported ≥1 comorbid condition and 61% reported ≥2 (multimorbidity). Most commonly reported were high cholesterol, sexual dysfunction, hypertension and depression. In multivariate analyses, age, number of years HIV-positive and duration of antiretroviral therapy remained significant predictors of comorbidity when controlling for lifestyle factors (exercise, smoking and use of recreational drugs and alcohol). Use of non-HIV healthcare services was associated with increasing comorbidity, a longer duration of HIV and recreational drug use. The majority of HIV-patients aged ≥50 years reported multiple comorbidities and this was associated with polypharmacy and increased use of non-HIV services. Further research examining the quality, safety and patient experience of healthcare is needed to inform development of services to optimally meet the needs of older HIV-positive patients. PMID:26068965

  1. Counsellors contact dementia caregivers - predictors of utilisation in a longitudinal study

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Counselling of family members is an established procedure in the support of dementia patients' relatives. In absence of widespread specialised dementia care services in most countries, however, counselling services are often not taken up or only very late in the course of the disease. Object In order to promote acceptance of this service, a new counselling concept was implemented where general practitioners recommended family counsellors, who then actively contacted the family caregivers to offer counselling ("Counsellors Contact Caregivers", CCC). The research questions were: To what extent can the rate of family counselling be increased by CCC? What are the predictors for usage of this form of family counselling? Methods The study started in June 2006 in Middle Franconia for patients with mild to moderate dementia. At baseline, 110 family caregivers were offered counselling based on the CCC guideline. Data was analysed from 97 patient-caregiver dyads who received counselling for one year. The mean age of the patients with dementia (67 women and 30 men) was 80.7 years (SD = 6.2). The mean age of their primary family caregivers (68 women, 23 men) was 60.8 years (SD = 13.8). Results 35 family members (36%) made use of more extensive counselling (more than one personal contact). By contrast, 29 family members (30%) had no personal contact or only one personal contact (33 cases, 34%). The factors "spouse" (p = .001) and "degree of care" (p = .005) were identified as significant predictors for acceptance of extensive counselling. Conclusions Actively contacting patients and their caregivers is a successful means of establishing early and frequent contact with family members of patients with mild to moderate dementia. Use of extensive counselling is made especially by spouses of patients requiring intensified care. Trial Registration ISRCTN68329593 PMID:20470365

  2. Association between secure patient–clinician email and clinical services utilisation in a US integrated health system: a retrospective cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Di; Palen, Ted E; Tsai, Joanne; McLeod, Melanie; Garrido, Terhilda; Qian, Heather

    2015-01-01

    Objective To assess associations between secure patient–clinician email use and clinical services utilisation over time. Design Retrospective cohort study between July 2010 and December 2013. Controlling for a utilisation surge around first secure email use, we analysed difference of differences between propensity score-matched groups of secure patient–clinician email users and non-users for utilisation 1–12 months before and 7–18 months after first email (users) or a randomly assigned index date (non-users). Setting US integrated healthcare delivery system. Participants 9345 adults with first secure email use between July 2011 and July 2012 and continuous enrolment for ≥30 months and 9345 adults without secure email use between July 2010 and July 2012 matched to users on demographics, health status, and baseline utilisation. Primary Outcome Measures Rates of office visits, patient-initiated phone calls, scheduled telephone visits, after-hours clinic visits, emergency department visits, and hospitalisations. Results After controlling for multiple factors, no statistically significant differences in utilisation between secure email users and non-users occurred. Utilisation transiently increased by 88–237% around first email use. Annual rates of patient-initiated phone calls decreased among secure email users, 0.2 fewer calls per person (95% CI −0.3 to −0.1), from a mean of 4.1 calls per person 1–12 months before first use to a mean of 3.8 calls per person 7–18 months after first use. Rates of patient-initiated phone calls also decreased among non-users, 0.1 fewer calls per person (95% CI −0.2 to 0.0), from a mean of 4.2 calls per person 1–12 months before the index date to mean of 4.1 calls per person 7–18 months after the index date. Conclusions Compared with non-users, patient use of secure email with clinicians was not associated with statistically significant differences in clinical services utilisation 7–18

  3. Effects of immigrant status on Emergency Room (ER) utilisation by children under age one: a population-based study in the province of Reggio Emilia (Italy)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The primary aim of this study was to assess the effect of immigrant status on Emergency Room (ER) utilisation by children under age one, considering all, non-urgent, very urgent, and followed by hospitalisation visits. The second aim was to investigate the role played by mother’s educational level in the relationship between citizenship and ER utilisation. Methods The cohort study included all healthy singleton live births in the years 2008–2009 and residing in the province of Reggio Emilia, followed for the first year of life in order to study their ER visits. The outcomes were the ER utilisation rate for all, non-urgent, very urgent, and followed by hospitalisation visits. The main explanatory variable was mother’s citizenship. Other covariates were mother’s educational level, maternal age, parity, and child gender. Multivariate analyses (negative binomial regression and zero inflated when appropriate) were performed. Adjusted utilisation Rate Ratios (RR) and their 95% Confidence Intervals (95% CI) were calculated. Trend for age in months by citizenship is depicted. Results There were 3,191 children (36.4%) with at least one ER visit in the first year of life. Adjusted RR show a significantly greater risk of ER visit for immigrants than for Italians: (RR 1.51; 95% CI 1.39-1.63). Immigrants also had a higher risk of non-urgent visits (RR 1.72; 95% CI 1.48-2.00) and for visits followed by hospitalizations (RR 1.58; 95% CI 1.33-1.89). For very urgent visits, the immigrants had a slightly higher risk compared to Italians (RR 1.25; 95% CI 0.98-1.59). The risk of ER visits is higher in the first two months of life (RR1stvs 3rd-12th 2.08; 95% CI 1.93-2.24 and RR 2ndvs 3rd-12th 1.45; 95% CI 1.33-1.58, respectively). Considering all visits, the ER utilisation rate was inversely related with maternal education only for Italians (low educational level 44.0 and high educational level 73.9 for 100 children; p value for trend test < 0.001). Conclusions

  4. Early primary care physician contact and health service utilisation in a large sample of recently released ex-prisoners in Australia: prospective cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Arnold-Reed, Diane; Preen, David; Bulsara, Max; Lennox, Nick; Kinner, Stuart A

    2015-01-01

    Objective To describe the association between ex-prisoner primary care physician contact within 1 month of prison release and health service utilisation in the 6 months following release. Design A cohort from the Passports study with a mean follow-up of 219 (±44) days postrelease. Associations were assessed using a multivariate Andersen-Gill model, controlling for a range of other factors. Setting Face-to-face, baseline interviews were conducted in a sample of prisoners within 6 weeks of expected release from seven prisons in Queensland, Australia, from 2008 to 2010, with telephone follow-up interviews 1, 3 and 6 months postrelease. Participants From an original population-based sample of 1325 sentenced adult (≥18 years) prisoners, 478 participants were excluded due to not being released from prison during follow-up (n=7, 0.5%), loss to follow-up (n=257, 19.4%), or lacking exposure data (n=214, 16.2%). A total of 847 (63.9%) participants were included in the analyses. Exposure Primary care physician contact within 1 month of follow-up as a dichotomous measure. Main outcome measures Adjusted time-to-event hazard rates for hospital, mental health, alcohol and other drug and subsequent primary care physician service utilisations assessed as multiple failure time-interval data. Results Primary care physician contact prevalence within 1 month of follow-up was 46.5%. One-month primary care physician contact was positively associated with hospital (adjusted HR (AHR)=2.07; 95% CI 1.39 to 3.09), mental health (AHR=1.65; 95% CI 1.24 to 2.19), alcohol and other drug (AHR=1.48; 95% CI 1.15 to 1.90) and subsequent primary care physician service utilisation (AHR=1.47; 95% CI 1.26 to 1.72) over 6 months of follow-up. Conclusions Engagement with primary care physician services soon after prison release increases health service utilisation during the critical community transition period for ex-prisoners. Trial registration number Australian New Zealand Clinical

  5. Health service utilisation for anogenital warts in Ontario, Canada prior to the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine programme introduction: a retrospective longitudinal population-based study

    PubMed Central

    Guerra, Fiona M; Rosella, Laura C; Dunn, Sheila; Wilson, Sarah E; Chen, Cynthia; Deeks, Shelley L

    2016-01-01

    Objective Trends in occurrence of anogenital warts (AGWs) can provide early evidence of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme impact on preventing HPV infection and HPV-induced lesions. The objective of this study was to provide a baseline of AGW epidemiology in Ontario prior to the introduction of the publicly-funded school-based HPV vaccination programme in September 2007. Setting and participants As a retrospective longitudinal population-based study, we used health administrative data as a proxy to estimate incident AGWs and total health service utilisation (HSU) for AGWs for all Ontario residents 15 years and older with valid health cards between 1 April 2003 and 31 March 2007. Outcome measures The outcome of interest was AGW healthcare utilisation identified using the International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10) diagnostic code for AGWs, as well as an algorithm for identifying AGW physician office visits in a database with a unique system of diagnostic and procedural codes. An AGW case was considered incident if preceded by 12 months without HSU for AGWs. Time trends by age group and sex were analysed. Results Between fiscal years 2003 and 2006, we identified 123 247 health service visits for AGWs by 51 436 Ontario residents 15 years and older. Incident AGWs peaked in females and males in the 21–23 year age group, at 3.74 per 1000 and 2.81 per 1000, respectively. HSU for AGWs peaked in females and males within the 21–23 year age group, at 9.34 per 1000 and 7.22 per 1000, respectively. Conclusions To the best of our knowledge, this is the first population-based study of AGW incidence and HSU in Ontario. The sex and age distribution of individuals with incident and prevalent AGWs in Ontario was similar to that of other provinces before HPV vaccine programme implementation in Canada. PMID:26966057

  6. Impact Evaluation of a System-Wide Chronic Disease Management Program on Health Service Utilisation: A Propensity-Matched Cohort Study

    PubMed Central

    Billot, Laurent; Corcoran, Kate; Feyer, Anne-Marie

    2016-01-01

    Background The New South Wales Health (NSW Health) Chronic Disease Management Program (CDMP) delivers interventions to adults at risk of hospitalisation for five target chronic conditions that respond well to ambulatory care: diabetes, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, and coronary artery disease. The intervention consists of two main components: (1) care coordination across sectors (acute, ambulatory, and community care from both public and private sectors) and clinical specialties, facilitated by program care coordinators, and (2) health coaching including management of lifestyle risk factors and medications and self-management. These components were broadly prescribed by the head office of NSW Health, which funded the program, and were implemented by regional health services (local health districts) in ways that best suited their own history, environment, workforce, and patient need. We used a propensity-matched cohort study to evaluate health service utilisation after enrolment in the CDMP. Methods and Findings The evaluation cohort included 41,303 CDMP participants enrolled between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2013 who experienced at least one hospital admission or emergency department (ED) presentation for a target condition in the 12 mo preceding enrolment. Potential controls were selected from patients not enrolled in the CDMP but experiencing at least one hospital admission or ED presentation over the same period. Each CDMP patient in the evaluation cohort was matched to one control using 1:1 propensity score matching. The primary outcome was avoidable hospitalisations. Secondary outcomes included avoidable readmissions, avoidable bed days, unplanned hospitalisations, unplanned readmissions, unplanned bed days, ED presentations, and all-cause death. The primary analysis consisted of 30,057 CDMP participants and 30,057 matched controls with a median follow-up of 15 mo. Of those, 25,638 (85.3%) and 25,597 (85

  7. Increased utilisation of primary healthcare in persons exposed to severe stress in prenatal life: a national population-based study in Denmark

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jiong; Yang, Hu; Guldin, Mai-Britt; Vedsted, Peter; Vestergaard, Mogens

    2015-01-01

    Objective Recent studies have suggested that stress in a pregnant mother may affect the future health of the unborn child negatively. An excellent proxy for health problems is the use of healthcare resources. Using nationwide data, we examined whether persons born to mothers who lost a close relative during pregnancy have more contacts to general practice. Design Population-based cohort study. Setting Denmark. Participants We included all children born in Denmark from 1973 to 2002 (N=2 032 528). Exposure of prenatal stress was defined as maternal bereavement by the death of a close relative during the antenatal period. The outcome of interest was contact with general practice between 2003 and 2009 when the participants were between 1 and 35 years of age. Poisson regression was used to assess the association between exposure and outcome. Outcome measures Contacts to general practitioner. Results Overall, persons exposed to prenatal stress had 2% more GP contacts than those not exposed, primarily due to increased utilisation of healthcare services during late adolescence and early adulthood. The exposed persons born to mothers who had lost a spouse had a higher risk (relative risk (RR) 1.12, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.14) and so did those born to mothers who had lost a close relative due to unexpected death (RR 1.06, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.06). Exposed persons had more contacts to general practice in daytime and more psychometric tests, talk therapies and C reactive protein tests than unexposed persons. Conclusions Prenatal stress following maternal bereavement was associated with a slightly increased utilisation of primary healthcare, mainly due to increased healthcare needs related to mental health and infections. Understanding how stress during pregnancy influences the future health of the child is an important aspect of prenatal care. PMID:25573520

  8. The experience of palliative patients and their families of a family meeting utilised as an instrument for spiritual and psychosocial care: A qualitative study

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background This study explores the experience of palliative patients and their family members of a family meeting model, utilised as an instrument for the provision of spiritual and psychosocial care. In doing so the study embraces a broad understanding of spirituality which may or may not include formal religious practice and a concept of psychosocial care that includes: social and emotional well-being, communication, self esteem, mental health and adaptation to illness. The meeting of spiritual and psychosocial needs is considered to be an important aspect of palliative care. Methods This qualitative study, philosophically underpinned by hermeneutic phenomenology, investigates the participatory experience of palliative care patients and their significant family members of such a family meeting. People registered with two large metropolitan palliative care services, who met selection criteria, were referred by medical staff. Twelve of the 66 referred took part in family meetings which also included significant others invited by the patient. A total of 36 family members participated. The number of participants of individual family meetings ranged from two to eleven. After the family meeting every participant was invited to take part in an individual in-depth interview about their experience of the meeting. Forty seven interviews were conducted. These were audio recorded and transcribed. Results Data analysis, utilising Ricoeur's theory of interpretation, revealed seven main themes: personal experience of the meeting, personal outcomes, observation of others' experience, observation of experience and outcomes for the family unit, meeting facilitation, how it could have been different and general applicability of the family meeting. Throughout these themes were numerous references to aspects of the web of relationships which describe the concept of spirituality as it is defined for the purpose of this study. Conclusions The findings indicate the potential of the type

  9. Synthesis and biological evaluation of novel N-substituted 1H-dibenzo[a,c]carbazole derivatives of dehydroabietic acid as potential antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Gu, Wen; Qiao, Chao; Wang, Shi-Fa; Hao, Yun; Miao, Ting-Ting

    2014-01-01

    A series of new N-substituted 1H-dibenzo[a,c]carbazole derivatives were synthesized from dehydroabietic acid, and their structures were characterized by IR, (1)H NMR and HRMS spectral data. All compounds were evaluated for their antibacterial and antifungal activities against four bacteria (Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas fluorescens) and three fungi (Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis and Aspergillus niger) by serial dilution technique. Some of the synthesized compounds displayed pronounced antimicrobial activity against tested strains with low MIC values ranging from 0.9 to 15.6μg/ml. Among them, compounds 6j and 6r exhibited potent inhibitory activity comparable to reference drugs amikacin and ketoconazole. PMID:24300736

  10. Crew time utilisation and Habitat interface investigations for future planetary habitat definition studies: field tests at MDRS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pletser, Vladimir

    To prepare future Lunar and Martian planetary exploration definition studies, the European Space Agency (ESA) has interests in gathering data on human aspects during long term space and planetary exploration missions, namely limited resources, limited social interactions, long term living and working in confined and isolated areas. To assess their impact on long term space missions and to attempt a general quantification, the environmental and technical condi-tions to which astronauts may be confronted need to be reproduced as closely as possible. Used since 2001 to conduct various types of simulation campaigns of planetary exploration missions, The Mars Society's `Mars Desert Research Station' (MDRS) in the Desert of Utah is one of the analogue facilities suited for this kind of human aspect investigations. In this frame, the ESA's Directorate of Human Space Flight was associated to the EuroGeoMars campaign conducted in February 2009 by the MDRS Crews 76 and 77. The EuroGeoMars campaign lasted five weeks and encompassed two groups of experiments, on human crew related aspects and field experiments in geology, biology and astronomy/astrophysics. The human crew related aspects covered evaluations of (a) the different functions and interfaces of a planetary habitat, (b) the crew time organization, (c) man-machine interfaces of science and technical equipment. The paper recalls the objectives of the human crew related experiments of the EuroGeoMars cam-paign and presents the results of these field investigations. Some recommendations and lessons learnt are presented and used as first inputs for future planetary habitat definition studies.

  11. Influence of CT utilisation on patient flow in the emergency department: a retrospective 1-year cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chao-Jui; Syue, Yuan-Jhen; Lin, Yan-Ren; Cheng, Hsien-Hung; Cheng, Fu-Jen; Tsai, Tsung-Cheng; Chen, Kuan-Fu; Lee, Chien-Hung

    2016-01-01

    Objective CT, an important diagnostic tool in the emergency department (ED), might increase the ED length of stay (LOS). Considering the issue of ED overcrowding, it is important to evaluate whether CT use delays or facilitates patient disposition in the ED. Design A retrospective 1-year cohort study. Setting 5 EDs within the same healthcare system dispersed nationwide in Taiwan. Participants All adult non-trauma patients who visited the 5 EDs from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012. Interventions Patients were grouped by whether or not they underwent a CT scan (CT and non-CT groups, respectively). Primary and secondary outcome measures The ED LOS and hospital LOS between patients who had and had not undergone CT scans were compared by stratifying different dispositions and diagnoses. Results CT use prolonged patient ED LOS among those who were directly discharged from the ED. Among patients admitted to the observation unit and then discharged, patients diagnosed with nervous system disease had shorter ED LOS if they underwent a CT scan. CT use facilitated patient admission to the general ward. CT use also accelerated patients' admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) for patients with nervous system disease, neoplasm and digestive disease. Finally, patients admitted to the general wards had shorter hospital LOS if they underwent CT scans in the ED. Conclusions CT use did not seem to have delayed patient disposition in ED. While CT use facilitated patient disposition if they were finally hospitalised, it mildly prolonged ED LOS in cases of patients discharged from the ED. PMID:27147387

  12. Portrait of rural emergency departments in Quebec and utilisation of the Quebec Emergency Department Management Guide: a study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Fleet, Richard; Archambault, Patrick; Légaré, France; Chauny, Jean-Marc; Lévesque, Jean-Frédéric; Ouimet, Mathieu; Dupuis, Gilles; Haggerty, Jeannie; Poitras, Julien; Tanguay, Alain; Simard-Racine, Geneviève; Gauthier, Josée

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Emergency departments are important safety nets for people who live in rural areas. Moreover, a serious problem in access to healthcare services has emerged in these regions. The challenges of providing access to quality rural emergency care include recruitment and retention issues, lack of advanced imagery technology, lack of specialist support and the heavy reliance on ambulance transport over great distances. The Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services published a new version of the Emergency Department Management Guide, a document designed to improve the emergency department management and to humanise emergency department care and services. In particular, the Guide recommends solutions to problems that plague rural emergency departments. Unfortunately, no studies have evaluated the implementation of the proposed recommendations. Methods and analysis To develop a comprehensive portrait of all rural emergency departments in Quebec, data will be gathered from databases at the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Quebec Trauma Registry and from emergency departments and ambulance services managers. Statistics Canada data will be used to describe populations and rural regions. To evaluate the use of the 2006 Emergency Department Management Guide and the implementation of its various recommendations, an online survey and a phone interview will be administered to emergency department managers. Two online surveys will evaluate quality of work life among physicians and nurses working at rural emergency departments. Quality-of-care indicators will be collected from databases and patient medical files. Data will be analysed using statistical (descriptive and inferential) procedures. Ethics and dissemination This protocol has been approved by the CSSS Alphonse–Desjardins research ethics committee (Project MP-HDL-1213-011). The results will be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presented at one or more scientific

  13. Estimation of the real population and its impact on the utilisation of healthcare services in Mediterranean resort regions: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Perea-Milla, Emilio; Pons, Sergi Mari; Rivas-Ruiz, Francisco; Gallofre, Anna; Jurado, Enrique Navarro; Ales, Marco A Navarro; Jimenez-Puente, Alberto; Fernandez-Nieto, Fidel; Cerda, Joan C March; Carrasco, Manuel; Martin, Lydia; Cano, Damian Lopez; Gutierrez, Gonzalo E; Macías, Rafael Cortes; Garcia-Ruiz, Jose A

    2007-01-01

    Background The demographic structure has a significant influence on the use of healthcare services, as does the size of the population denominators. Very few studies have been published on methods for estimating the real population such as tourist resorts. The lack of information about these problems means there is a corresponding lack of information about the behaviour of populational denominators (the floating population or tourist load) and the effect of this on the use of healthcare services. The objectives of the study were: a) To determine the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) ratio, per person per day, among populations of known size; b) to estimate, by means of this ratio, the real population in an area where tourist numbers are very significant; and c) to determine the impact on the utilisation of hospital emergency healthcare services of the registered population, in comparison to the non-resident population, in two areas where tourist numbers are very significant. Methods An ecological study design was employed. We analysed the Healthcare Districts of the Costa del Sol and the island of Menorca. Both are Spanish territories in the Mediterranean region. Results In the two areas analysed, the correlation coefficient between the MSW ratio and admissions to hospital emergency departments exceeded 0.9, with p < 0.001. On the basis of MSW generation ratios, obtained for a control zone and also measured in neighbouring countries, we estimated the real population. For the summer months, when tourist activity is greatest and demand for emergency healthcare at hospitals is highest, this value was found to be double that of the registered population. Conclusion The MSW indicator, which is both ecological and indirect, can be used to estimate the real population in areas where population levels vary significantly during the year. This parameter is of interest in planning and dimensioning the provision of healthcare services. PMID:17266744

  14. Direct targeting of risk factors significantly increases the detection of liver cirrhosis in primary care: a cross-sectional diagnostic study utilising transient elastography

    PubMed Central

    Harman, David J; Ryder, Stephen D; James, Martin W; Jelpke, Matthew; Ottey, Dominic S; Wilkes, Emilie A; Card, Timothy R; Aithal, Guruprasad P; Guha, Indra Neil

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To assess the feasibility of a novel diagnostic algorithm targeting patients with risk factors for chronic liver disease in a community setting. Design Prospective cross-sectional study. Setting Two primary care practices (adult patient population 10 479) in Nottingham, UK. Participants Adult patients (aged 18 years or over) fulfilling one or more selected risk factors for developing chronic liver disease: (1) hazardous alcohol use, (2) type 2 diabetes or (3) persistently elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) liver function enzyme with negative serology. Interventions A serial biomarker algorithm, using a simple blood-based marker (aspartate aminotransferase:ALT ratio for hazardous alcohol users, BARD score for other risk groups) and subsequently liver stiffness measurement using transient elastography (TE). Main outcome measures Diagnosis of clinically significant liver disease (defined as liver stiffness ≥8 kPa); definitive diagnosis of liver cirrhosis. Results We identified 920 patients with the defined risk factors of whom 504 patients agreed to undergo investigation. A normal blood biomarker was found in 62 patients (12.3%) who required no further investigation. Subsequently, 378 patients agreed to undergo TE, of whom 98 (26.8% of valid scans) had elevated liver stiffness. Importantly, 71/98 (72.4%) patients with elevated liver stiffness had normal liver enzymes and would be missed by traditional investigation algorithms. We identified 11 new patients with definite cirrhosis, representing a 140% increase in the number of diagnosed cases in this population. Conclusions A non-invasive liver investigation algorithm based in a community setting is feasible to implement. Targeting risk factors using a non-invasive biomarker approach identified a substantial number of patients with previously undetected cirrhosis. Trial registration number The diagnostic algorithm utilised for this study can be found on clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02037867), and is

  15. Modelling the Factors that Affect Individuals' Utilisation of Online Learning Systems: An Empirical Study Combining the Task Technology Fit Model with the Theory of Planned Behaviour

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yu, Tai-Kuei; Yu, Tai-Yi

    2010-01-01

    Understanding learners' behaviour, perceptions and influence in terms of learner performance is crucial to predict the use of electronic learning systems. By integrating the task-technology fit (TTF) model and the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), this paper investigates the online learning utilisation of Taiwanese students. This paper provides a…

  16. Generalised anxiety disorder symptoms and utilisation of health care services. A cross-sectional study from the “Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort”

    PubMed Central

    Kujanpää, Tero; Jokelainen, Jari; Auvinen, Juha; Timonen, Markku

    2016-01-01

    Objective To analyse the utilization of health care services of people who tested positive for GAD compared to those who tested negative. Setting A cross-sectional study from the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort. Subjects A total of 10,282 members followed from birth in a longitudinal study were asked to participate in a follow-up survey at the age of 46. As part of this survey they filled in questionnaries concerning health care utilization and their illness history as well as the GAD-7 screening tool. Althogether 5,480 cohort members responded to the questionnaries. Main outcome measures Number of visits in different health care services among people who tested positive for GAD with the GAD-7 screening tool compared to those who tested negative. Results People who tested positive for GAD had 112% more total health care visits, 74% more total physician visits, 115% more visits to health centres, 133% more health centre physician visits, 160% more visits to secondary care, and 775% more mental health care visits than those who tested negative. Conclusion People with GAD symptoms utilize health care services more than other people. Key PointsGeneralised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common but poorly identified mental health problem in primary care.People who tested positive for GAD utilise more health care services than those who tested negative.About 58% of people who tested positive for GAD had visited their primary care physician during the past year.Only 29% of people who tested positive for GAD had used mental health services during the past year. PMID:27054674

  17. Effect of telehealth on hospital utilisation and mortality in routine clinical practice: a matched control cohort study in an early adopter site

    PubMed Central

    Steventon, Adam; Ariti, Cono; Fisher, Elizabeth; Bardsley, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Objectives To assess the effects of a home-based telehealth intervention on the use of secondary healthcare and mortality. Design Observational study of a mainstream telehealth service, using person-level administrative data. Time to event analysis (Cox regression) was performed comparing telehealth patients with controls who were matched using a machine-learning algorithm. Setting A predominantly rural region of England (North Yorkshire). Participants 716 telehealth patients were recruited from community, general practice and specialist acute care, between June 2010 and March 2013. Patients had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure or diabetes, and a history of associated inpatient admission. Patients were matched 1:1 to control patients, also selected from North Yorkshire, with respect to demographics, diagnoses of health conditions, previous hospital use and predictive risk score. Interventions Telehealth involved the remote exchange of medical data between patients and healthcare professionals as part of the ongoing management of the patient's health condition. Monitoring centre staff alerted healthcare professionals if the telemonitored data exceeded preset thresholds. Control patients received usual care, without telehealth. Primary and secondary outcome measures Time to the first emergency (unplanned) hospital admission or death. Secondary metrics included time to death and time to first admission, outpatient attendance and emergency department visit. Results Matched controls and telehealth patients were similar at baseline. Following enrolment, telehealth patients were more likely than matched controls to experience emergency admission or death (adjusted HR 1.34, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.56, p<0.001). They were also more likely to have outpatient attendances (adjusted HR=1.25, 1.11 to 1.40, p<0.001), but mortality rates were similar between groups. Sensitivity analyses showed that we were unlikely to have missed reductions in the

  18. Effect of Paying for Performance on Utilisation, Quality, and User Costs of Health Services in Tanzania: A Controlled Before and After Study

    PubMed Central

    Binyaruka, Peter; Patouillard, Edith; Powell-Jackson, Timothy; Greco, Giulia; Maestad, Ottar; Borghi, Josephine

    2015-01-01

    Background Despite widespread implementation across Africa, there is limited evidence of the effect of payment for performance (P4P) schemes in low income countries on the coverage of quality services and affordability, consistent with universal health coverage objectives. We examined the effect of a government P4P scheme on utilisation, quality, and user costs of health services in Tanzania. Methods We evaluated the effects of a P4P scheme on utilisation of all maternal and child immunization services targeted by the scheme, and non-targeted general outpatient service use. We also evaluated effects on patient satisfaction with care and clinical content of antenatal care, and user costs. The evaluation was done in 150 facilities across all 7 intervention districts and 4 comparison districts with two rounds of data collection over 13-months in January 2012 and February 2013. We sampled 3000 households of women who had delivered in the 12 months prior to interview; 1500 patients attending health facilities for targeted and non-targeted services at each round of data collection. Difference-in-difference regression analysis was employed. Findings We estimated a significant positive effect on two out of eight targeted indicators. There was an 8.2% (95% CI: 3.6% to 12.8%) increase in coverage of institutional deliveries among women in the intervention area, and a 10.3% (95% CI: 4.4% to 16.1%) increase in the provision of anti-malarials during pregnancy. Use of non-targeted services reduced at dispensaries by 57.5 visits per month among children under five (95% CI: -110.2 to -4.9) and by 90.8 visits per month for those aged over five (95% CI: -156.5 to -25.2). There was no evidence of an effect of P4P on patient experience of care for targeted services. There was a 0.05 (95% CI: 0.01 to 0.10) increase in the patient satisfaction score for non-targeted services. P4P was associated with a 5.0% reduction in those paying out of pocket for deliveries (95% CI: -9.3% to -0

  19. Hospital Utilisation in Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Infants under 12 Months of Age in Western Australia, Prospective Population Based Data Linkage Study

    PubMed Central

    McAullay, Daniel; Strobel, Natalie A.; Marriott, Rhonda; Atkinson, David N.; Marley, Julia V.; Stanley, Fiona J.

    2016-01-01

    Background Indigenous infants (infants aged under 12 months) have the highest hospital admission and emergency department presentation risks in Australia. However, there have been no recent reports comparing hospital utilisation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous infants. Methods Our primary objective was to use a large prospective population-based linked dataset to assess the risk of all-cause hospital admission and emergency department presentation in Indigenous compared to non-Indigenous infants in Western Australia (WA). Secondary objectives were to assess the effect of socio-economic status (Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage [IRSD]) on hospital utilisation and to understand the causes of hospital utilisation. Findings There were 3,382 (5.4%) Indigenous and 59,583 (94.6%) non-Indigenous live births in WA from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2011. Indigenous infants had a greater risk of hospital admission (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.90, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.77–2.04, p = <0.001) and emergency department presentation (aOR 2.15, 95% CI 1.98–2.33, p = <0.001) compared to non-Indigenous infants. Fifty nine percent (59.0%) of admissions in Indigenous children were classified as preventable compared to 31.2% of admissions in non-Indigenous infants (aOR 2.12, 95% CI 1.88–2.39). The risk of hospital admission in the most disadvantaged (IRSD 1) infants in the total cohort (35.7%) was similar to the risk in the least disadvantaged (IRSD 5) infants (30.6%) (aOR 1.04, 95% CI 0.96–1.13, p = 0.356). Interpretation WA Indigenous infants have much higher hospital utilisation than non Indigenous infants. WA health services should prioritise Indigenous infants regardless of their socio economic status or where they live. PMID:27120331

  20. Utilisation of thorium in reactors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anantharaman, K.; Shivakumar, V.; Saha, D.

    2008-12-01

    India's nuclear programme envisages a large-scale utilisation of thorium, as it has limited deposits of uranium but vast deposits of thorium. The large-scale utilisation of thorium requires the adoption of closed fuel cycle. The stable nature of thoria and the radiological issues associated with thoria poses challenges in the adoption of a closed fuel cycle. A thorium fuel based Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) is being planned to provide impetus to development of technologies for the closed thorium fuel cycle. Thoria fuel has been loaded in Indian reactors and test irradiations have been carried out with (Th-Pu) MOX fuel. Irradiated thorium assemblies have been reprocessed and the separated 233U fuel has been used for test reactor KAMINI. The paper highlights the Indian experience with the use of thorium and brings out various issues associated with the thorium cycle.

  1. Good Practice Chaplaincy: An Exploratory Study Identifying the Appropriate Skills, Attitudes and Practices for the Selection, Training and Utilisation of Chaplains.

    PubMed

    Carey, Lindsay B; Rumbold, Bruce

    2015-08-01

    This article presents an overview of exploratory research regarding the skills, knowledge, attitudes and practices considered necessary for chaplains to be highly competent in providing holistic care to clients and staff. Utilising a qualitative methodology, two focus groups comprising Salvation Army chaplains and their managers provided data about their expectations of chaplaincy personnel and about the pastoral care interventions undertaken by chaplains. The results indicated that while there were some differences in opinion, nevertheless, in overall terms, there was general agreement between chaplains and their managers about particular personal and professional qualities necessary for chaplains to be considered appropriate and proficient. Evidence was also obtained indicating a need for change with regard to the organisational attitude and culture of The Salvation Army towards chaplaincy. Recommendations are presented concerning (1) the selection criteria for chaplaincy, (2) training and utilisation of chaplains plus (3) issues relating to organizational cultural change necessary to develop a future-ready chaplaincy more suitable for the twenty-first century. PMID:25371346

  2. Utilising inorganic nanocarriers for gene delivery.

    PubMed

    Loh, Xian Jun; Lee, Tung-Chun; Dou, Qingqing; Deen, G Roshan

    2016-01-01

    The delivery of genetic materials into cells to elicit cellular responses has been extensively studied by biomaterials scientists globally. Many materials such as lipids, peptides, viruses, synthetically modified cationic polymers and certain inorganic nanomaterials could be used to complex the negatively charged plasmids and deliver the formed package into cells. The recent literature on the delivery of genetic materials utilising inorganic nanoparticles is carefully examined in this review. We have picked out the most relevant references and concisely summarised the findings with illustrated examples. We further propose alternative approaches and suggest future pathways towards the practical use of multifunctional nanocarriers. PMID:26484365

  3. A cross-sectional study describing factors associated with utilisation of GP services by a cohort of people who inject drugs

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background People who inject drugs (PWID) use healthcare services, including primary care, at a disproportionately high rate. We investigated key correlates of general practitioner (GP) related service utilisation within a cohort of PWID. Methods Using baseline data from a cohort of 645 community-recruited PWID based in Melbourne, Victoria, we conducted a secondary analysis of associations between past month use of GP services unrelated to opioid substitution therapy (OST) and socio-demographic and drug use characteristics and self-reported health using multivariate logistic regression. Results Just under one-third (29%) of PWID had accessed GP services in the month prior to being surveyed. Participants who reported living with children (adjusted odds ratio, AOR 1.97, 95% CI 1.04 - 3.73) or having had contact with a social worker in the past month (AOR 1.92, 95% CI 1.24 - 2.98) were more likely to have seen a GP in the past month. Participants who were injecting daily or more frequently (AOR 0.50, 95% CI 0.30 - 0.83) or had a weekly income of less than $400 (AOR 0.59, 95% CI 0.38 - 0.91) were less likely to report having seen a GP in the past month. Conclusions Our sample frequently attended GP services for health needs unrelated to OST. Findings highlight both the characteristics of PWID accessing GP services and also those potentially missing out on primary care and preventive services. PMID:25030526

  4. Environmental assessment of incinerator residue utilisation.

    PubMed

    Toller, S; Kärrman, E; Gustafsson, J P; Magnusson, Y

    2009-07-01

    Incineration ashes may be treated either as a waste to be dumped in landfill, or as a resource that is suitable for re-use. In order to choose the best management scenario, knowledge is needed on the potential environmental impact that may be expected, including not only local, but also regional and global impact. In this study, A life cycle assessment (LCA) based approach was outlined for environmental assessment of incinerator residue utilisation, in which leaching of trace elements as well as other emissions to air and water and the use of resources were regarded as constituting the potential environmental impact from the system studied. Case studies were performed for two selected ash types, bottom ash from municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) and wood fly ash. The MSWI bottom ash was assumed to be suitable for road construction or as drainage material in landfill, whereas the wood fly ash was assumed to be suitable for road construction or as a nutrient resource to be recycled on forest land after biofuel harvesting. Different types of potential environmental impact predominated in the activities of the system and the use of natural resources and the trace element leaching were identified as being relatively important for the scenarios compared. The scenarios differed in use of resources and energy, whereas there is a potential for trace element leaching regardless of how the material is managed. Utilising MSWI bottom ash in road construction and recycling of wood ash on forest land saved more natural resources and energy than when these materials were managed according to the other scenarios investigated, including dumping in landfill. PMID:19362462

  5. Development of ultrasonic-assisted closed in-syringe extraction and derivatization for the determination of labile abietic acid and dehydroabietic acid in cosmetics.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jianjun; Liu, Mengge; Li, Xiu; Lu, Xiaomin; Chen, Guang; Sun, Zhiwei; Li, Guoliang; Zhao, Xianen; Zhang, Shijuan; Song, Cuihua; Wang, Hua; Suo, Yourui; You, Jinmao

    2014-12-01

    Two resin acids, abietic acid (AA) and dehydroabietic acid (DHAA), in cosmetics may cause allergy or toxicoderma, but remain inaccurately investigated due to their lability. In this work, an accurate, sensitive, efficient and convenient method, utilizing the ultrasonic-assisted closed in-syringe extraction and derivatization (UCSED) prior to high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with fluorescence detection (FLD) and on-line tandem mass spectra (MS/MS), has been developed. Analytes are extracted by acetonitrile (10/1, v/m) in a sealed syringe under safe condition (60°C; 15 min; nitrogen atmosphere) and then in-syringe derivatized by 2-(2-(anthracen-10-yl)-1H-naphtho[2,3-d]imidazol-1-yl) ethyl-p-toluenesulfonate (ANITS) (8-fold, 93°C, 30 min, DMF as co-solvent, K2CO3 as catalyst). In UCSED, derivatization contributes to increase both analytical sensitivity and stability of analytes. Excellent linearity (r2≥0.9991) is achieved in wide range (75-3000 ng/mL (AA); 150-4500 ng/mL (DHAA)). Quite low detection limits (AA: 8.2-10.8 ng/mL; DHAA: 19.4-24.3 ng/mL) and limits of analyte concentration (LOAC) (AA: 30.0-44.5 ng/mL; DHAA: 70.9-86.7 ng/mL) ensure the trace analysis. This method is applied to the analysis of cosmetic samples, including depilatory wax strip, liquid foundation, mascara, eyeliner, eyebrow pencil and lip balm. No additional purification is required and no matrix effect is observed, demonstrating obvious advantages over conventional pretreatment such as solid phase extraction (SPE). Accuracy (RE: -3.2% to 2.51%), precision (RSD: 1.29-2.84%), recovery (95.20-103.63%; 95.51-104.22%) and repeatability (<0.23%; <2.87%) are significantly improved. Furthermore, this work plays a guiding role in developing a reasonable method for labile analytes. PMID:25456583

  6. Evaluating the impact of depression, anxiety & autonomic function on health related quality of life, vocational functioning and health care utilisation in acute coronary syndrome patients: the ADVENT study protocol

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Depression and anxiety are highly prevalent and co-morbid in acute coronary syndrome patients. Somatic and cognitive subtypes of depression and anxiety in acute coronary syndrome have been shown to be associated with mortality although their association with patient outcomes is unknown, as are the mechanisms that underpin these associations. We are conducting a prospective cohort study which aims to examine in acute coronary syndrome patients: (1) the role of somatic subtypes of depression and anxiety as predictors of health related quality of life outcomes; (2) how somatic subtypes of depression and anxiety relate to long term vocational functioning and healthcare utilisation; and (3) the role of the autonomic nervous system assessed by heart rate variability as a moderator of these associations. Methods Patients are being screened after index admission for acute coronary syndrome at a single, high volume centre, MonashHeart, Monash Health, Victoria, Australia. The inclusion criterion is all patients aged > 21 years old and fluent in English admitted to MonashHeart, Monash Health with a diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome. The primary outcome is mean health related quality of life (Short Form-36) Physical and Mental Health Summary scores at 12 and 24 months in subtypes with somatic symptoms of depression and anxiety. Depressive domains are assessed by the Beck Depression Inventory II and the Cardiac Depression Scale. Anxiety is measured using the Speilberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Crown Crisp Phobic Anxiety questionnaire. Secondary outcomes include clinical variables, healthcare service utilisation and vocational functioning. Discussion This manuscript presents the protocol for a prospective cohort study which will investigate the role of somatic subtypes of depression and anxiety as predictors of health related quality of life, long-term vocational functioning and health service use, and the role of the autonomic nervous system in

  7. L'enseignement du francais commercial au niveau elementaire: utilisation du "cas professionnel" (Elementary Level Commercial French Language Instruction: Use of the Professional Case Study).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dany, Max; Noe, Christine

    1985-01-01

    Methodological, pedagogical, and psychological reasons for using professional case studies as a teaching technique in elementary business French are discussed, and specific strategies for teaching specific language functions (referential, phatic, metalinguistic, and expressive) are described. (MSE)

  8. Impact of universal health coverage on urban–rural inequity in psychiatric service utilisation for patients with first admission for psychosis: a 10-year nationwide population-based study in Taiwan

    PubMed Central

    Chiang, Chih-Lin; Chen, Pei-Chun; Huang, Ling-Ya; Kuo, Po-Hsiu; Tung, Yu-Chi; Liu, Chen-Chung; Chen, Wei J

    2016-01-01

    Objective To examine the disparities in psychiatric service utilisation over a 10-year period for patients with first admission for psychosis in relation to urban–rural residence following the implementation of universal health coverage in Taiwan. Design Population-based retrospective cohort study. Setting Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database, which has a population coverage rate of over 99% and contains all medical claim records of a nationwide cohort of patients with at least one psychiatric admission between 1996 and 2007. Participants 69 690 patients aged 15–59 years with first admission between 1998 and 2007 for any psychotic disorder. Main exposure measure Patients’ urban–rural residence at first admissions. Main outcome measures Absolute and relative inequality indexes of the following quality indicators after discharge from the first admission: all-cause psychiatric readmission at 2 and 4 years, dropout of psychiatric outpatient service at 30 days, and emergency department (ED) treat-and-release encounter at 30 days. Results Between 1998 and 2007, the 4-year readmission rate decreased from 65% to 58%, the 30-day dropout rate decreased from 18% to 15%, and the 30-day ED encounter rate increased from 8% to 10%. Risk of readmission has significantly decreased in rural and urban patients, but at a slower speed for the rural patients (p=0.026). The adjusted HR of readmission in rural versus urban patients has increased from 1.00 (95% CI 0.96 to 1.04) in 1998–2000 to 1.08 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.12) in 2005–2007, indicating a mild widening of the urban–rural gap. Urban–rural differences in 30-day dropout and ED encounter rates have been stationary over time. Conclusions The universal health coverage in Taiwan did not narrow urban–rural inequity of psychiatric service utilisation in patients with psychosis. Therefore, other policy interventions on resource allocation, service delivery and quality of care are needed to improve

  9. Comparative assessment of compost and zeolite utilisation for the simultaneous removal of BTEX, Cd and Zn from the aqueous phase: Batch and continuous flow study.

    PubMed

    Simantiraki, Fotini; Gidarakos, Evangelos

    2015-08-15

    The present study focuses on the comparison of two materials, compost from municipal solid waste and natural zeolite for the simultaneous removal of petroleum hydrocarbons (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes - BTEX) and toxic metals from groundwater. First, batch experiments were conducted to identify the optimal removal conditions. All of the kinetic experiments were fitted to the pseudo-second-order kinetic model; equilibrium was reached within approximately 8 h for the zeolite and 12 h for the compost. An increase in the adsorbent dose and the pH value as well as a decrease in the initial concentration enhanced the pollutants' removal. The removal selectivity of both materials with slight differences follows the order Cd > Zn & toluene > ethylbenzene > m- & p-xylene > o-xylene > benzene. According, to the results derived from the continuous flow experiments the maximum adsorption capacity of the compost (90%) referred to Cd (0.88 mmol/g) whereas the minimum refers to benzene (65%) with a capacity up to 0.065 mmol/g. Zeolite had lower efficiencies for the studied pollutants with a higher performance corresponding to Cd (0.26 mmol/g), whereas the minimum zeolite capacity (63%) corresponds to toluene (0.045 mmol/g). Thus, this paper provides evidence that compost, a low cost material produced from waste, is capable for the simultaneous removal of both organic and inorganic pollutants from wastewater, and its performance is superior to zeolite. PMID:26024993

  10. Utilising behavioural family therapy (BFT) to help support the system around a person with intellectual disability and complex mental health needs: a case study.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Keith; Ferris, Jan

    2012-06-01

    There is a higher incidence of mental health problems amongst people with intellectual disabilities. Family members and support staff who provide support to people with intellectual disabilities with mental health difficulties are more likely to experience increased stress. In the mainstream mental health literature it has been demonstrated that psycho-educational family interventions have a positive impact on the person with mental health difficulties and on the family members who support them. This article uses a case study to illustrate the implementation of a family intervention with the support system around someone with intellectual disabilities, autism and chronic mental health difficulties. Following intervention the family member reported a marked decrease in levels of strain. Both the family and team members reported improvement in functioning within the support system. PMID:22496309

  11. Recycling and utilisation of industrial solid waste: an explorative study on gold deposit tailings of ductile shear zone type in China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Rui; Huang, Fei; Du, Runxiang; Zhao, Chunming; Li, Yongli; Yu, Haoran

    2015-06-01

    Tailings are solid waste arising from mineral processing. This type of waste can cause severe damage to the environment during stockpiling as a result of the leaching of something harmful into the ecosystem. Gold deposit of ductile shear zone type is an important type of gold deposit, and the recycling of its tailings has been challenging researchers for a long time. In this article, the characteristics of this type of tailings were systematically studied by using modern technical means. Considering the characteristics of the tailings, clay was selected to make up for the shortcomings of the tailings and improve their performance. Water and raw materials were mixed to produce green bodies, which are subsequently sintered into ceramic bodies at 980 °C~1020 °C (sintering temperature). The results showed that some new kinds of mineral phases, such as mullite, anorthite and orthoclase, appear in ceramic bodies. Furthermore, the ceramic bodies have a surface hardness of 5 to 6 (Mohs scale), and their water absorption and modulus of rupture can meet some technical requirements of ceramic materials described in ISO 13006-2012 and GB 5001-1985. These gold mine tailings can be made into ceramic tiles, domestic ceramic bodies, and other kinds of ceramic bodies for commercial and industrial purposes after further improvements. PMID:26060235

  12. The utilisation of health research in policy-making: concepts, examples and methods of assessment

    PubMed Central

    Hanney, Stephen R; Gonzalez-Block, Miguel A; Buxton, Martin J; Kogan, Maurice

    2003-01-01

    The importance of health research utilisation in policy-making, and of understanding the mechanisms involved, is increasingly recognised. Recent reports calling for more resources to improve health in developing countries, and global pressures for accountability, draw greater attention to research-informed policy-making. Key utilisation issues have been described for at least twenty years, but the growing focus on health research systems creates additional dimensions. The utilisation of health research in policy-making should contribute to policies that may eventually lead to desired outcomes, including health gains. In this article, exploration of these issues is combined with a review of various forms of policy-making. When this is linked to analysis of different types of health research, it assists in building a comprehensive account of the diverse meanings of research utilisation. Previous studies report methods and conceptual frameworks that have been applied, if with varying degrees of success, to record utilisation in policy-making. These studies reveal various examples of research impact within a general picture of underutilisation. Factors potentially enhancing utilisation can be identified by exploration of: priority setting; activities of the health research system at the interface between research and policy-making; and the role of the recipients, or 'receptors', of health research. An interfaces and receptors model provides a framework for analysis. Recommendations about possible methods for assessing health research utilisation follow identification of the purposes of such assessments. Our conclusion is that research utilisation can be better understood, and enhanced, by developing assessment methods informed by conceptual analysis and review of previous studies. PMID:12646071

  13. Utilisation of magnets to enhance gastrointestinal endoscopy

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, Imdadur; Patel, Praful; Boger, Philip; Thomson, Mike; Afzal, Nadeem Ahmad

    2015-01-01

    Methods to assess, access and treat pathology within the gastrointestinal tract continue to evolve with video endoscopy replacing radiology as the gold standard. Whilst endoscope technology develops further with the advent of newer higher resolution chips, an array of adjuncts has been developed to enhance endoscopy in other ways; most notable is the use of magnets. Magnets are utilised in many areas, ranging from endoscopic training, lesion resection, aiding manoeuvrability of capsule endoscopes, to assisting in easy placement of tubes for nutritional feeding. Some of these are still at an experimental stage, whilst others are being increasingly incorporated in our everyday practice. PMID:26722611

  14. Determinants of postnatal service utilisation among mothers in rural settings of Malawi.

    PubMed

    Phiri, Precious William C; Rattanapan, Cheerawit; Mongkolchati, Aroonsri

    2015-09-01

    The aim of this study was to determine significant predictors for the utilisation of postnatal service among mothers. A total of 295 postnatal mothers were enrolled in a cross-sectional study design undertaken in six health facilities of Lilongwe District using two-stage cluster sampling with a response rate of 100%. The data were collected by interview from December 2012 to January 2013 using a structured questionnaire. The result showed that over half of the mothers (56.6%) utilised postnatal service within 6 weeks after delivery. A stepwise multiple logistic regression was used to determine significant determinants of utilisation of postnatal service among mothers. After adjusting for confounding factors, utilisation of an alternative local source of care in home after delivery [adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 7.77, 95% CI: 4.14-14.58], women's perception on performance of health workforce during delivery and postnatal service (aOR: 6.56, 95% CI: 3.09-13.94), health education before hospital discharge of postnatal mothers (aOR: 4.08, 95% CI: 2.11-7.92), place of delivery (aOR: 4.32, 95% CI: 1.32-14.12), family income (aOR: 1.89, 95% CI: 1.03-3.46) and the occurrence of no complications during delivery (aOR: 1.90, 95% CI: 1.03-3.50) were significantly associated with the utilisation of postnatal service. Hence, this study suggests that improved health workforce performance coupled with effective health education may increase the utilisation of postnatal service. Furthermore, the utilisation of postnatal service may also be increased through reducing home deliveries, delivery complications and the use of alternative local care at home after delivery. Integration of postnatal service in outreach clinics might also assist through reducing the cost of accessing postnatal service among mothers. PMID:25319930

  15. Landscape Utilisation, Animal Behaviour and Hendra Virus Risk.

    PubMed

    Field, H E; Smith, C S; de Jong, C E; Melville, D; Broos, A; Kung, N; Thompson, J; Dechmann, D K N

    2016-03-01

    Hendra virus causes sporadic fatal disease in horses and humans in eastern Australia. Pteropid bats (flying-foxes) are the natural host of the virus. The mode of flying-fox to horse transmission remains unclear, but oro-nasal contact with flying-fox urine, faeces or saliva is the most plausible. We used GPS data logger technology to explore the landscape utilisation of black flying-foxes and horses to gain new insight into equine exposure risk. Flying-fox foraging was repetitious, with individuals returning night after night to the same location. There was a preference for fragmented arboreal landscape and non-native plant species, resulting in increased flying-fox activity around rural infrastructure. Our preliminary equine data logger study identified significant variation between diurnal and nocturnal grazing behaviour that, combined with the observed flying-fox foraging behaviour, could contribute to Hendra virus exposure risk. While we found no significant risk-exposing difference in individual horse movement behaviour in this study, the prospect warrants further investigation, as does the broader role of animal behaviour and landscape utilisation on the transmission dynamics of Hendra virus. PMID:26403793

  16. Utilisation of specialist medical manpower in Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Wong, S L; Mohan, A J; Suleiman, A B

    1998-09-01

    One hundred and twenty specialists from the Ministry of Health, the Universities and the private sector provided information on 4,802 patients seen over a total of two hundred and forty working days. This information was used to classify the patients into four categories based on a disease complexity classification. Each specialist's perception on the appropriateness of utilisation of his expertise was obtained. Complex cases requiring specialist expertise in management made up 69.8%, 73.5% and 19.1% of the cases of the Ministry of Health, University and private sector specialists respectively. Underutilisation was most marked with paediatricians and obstetricians in the private sector. The Specialist Register, the Programme for Accreditation of Hospitals and a National Health Financing Plan can be used to influence positively the case-mix of specialists. PMID:10968161

  17. An Integrated Marine Propulsion System Utilising TRIGA{sup TM} Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Manach, G.; Monnez, J-P.; Freeman, M.J.; Newell, A.; Brushwood, J.M.; Thompson, A.; Collins, C.; Scholes, N.; Hamilton, P.J.; Beeley, P.A.

    2004-07-01

    This paper describes the reactor physics, shielding, thermal hydraulics, reactor dynamics and safety studies conducted to develop a proposed Integrated Marine Propulsion System (IMPS) utilising TRIGA{sup TM} type uranium zirconium hydride fuel. The study has demonstrated that the IMPS plant is feasible and meets the design safety principles and safety criteria imposed on the study. (authors)

  18. Perspectives and visions on CO2 capture and utilisation.

    PubMed

    North, M; Styring, P

    2015-01-01

    This article summarises and contextualises the debates which occurred during the Carbon Dioxide Utilisation Faraday Discussion meeting. The utilisation of carbon dioxide is discussed in terms of both conversion to fuel, with a potential impact on atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and conversion to chemicals with a potential impact on sustainability. PMID:26527125

  19. Utilisation of chip thickness models in grinding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singleton, Roger

    Grinding is now a well established process utilised for both stock removal and finish applications. Although significant research is performed in this field, grinding still experiences problems with burn and high forces which can lead to poor quality components and damage to equipment. This generally occurs in grinding when the process deviates from its safe working conditions. In milling, chip thickness parameters are utilised to predict and maintain process outputs leading to improved control of the process. This thesis looks to further the knowledge of the relationship between chip thickness and the grinding process outputs to provide an increased predictive and maintenance modelling capability. Machining trials were undertaken using different chip thickness parameters to understand how these affect the process outputs. The chip thickness parameters were maintained at different grinding wheel diameters for a constant productivity process to determine the impact of chip thickness at a constant material removal rate.. Additional testing using a modified pin on disc test rig was performed to provide further information on process variables. The different chip thickness parameters provide control of different process outputs in the grinding process. These relationships can be described using contact layer theory and heat flux partitioning. The contact layer is defined as the immediate layer beneath the contact arc at the wheel workpiece interface. The size of the layer governs the force experienced during the process. The rate of contact layer removal directly impacts the net power required from the system. It was also found that the specific grinding energy of a process is more dependent on the productivity of a grinding process

  20. Integrated nuclear data utilisation system for innovative reactors.

    PubMed

    Yamano, N; Hasegawa, A; Kato, K; Igashira, M

    2005-01-01

    A five-year research and development project on an integrated nuclear data utilisation system was initiated in 2002, for developing innovative nuclear energy systems such as accelerator-driven systems. The integrated nuclear data utilisation system will be constructed as a modular code system, which consists of two sub-systems: the nuclear data search and plotting sub-system, and the nuclear data processing and utilisation sub-system. The system will be operated with a graphical user interface in order to enable easy utilisation through the Internet by both nuclear design engineers and nuclear data evaluators. This paper presents an overview of the integrated nuclear data utilisation system, describes the development of a prototype system to examine the operability of the user interface and discusses specifications of the two sub-systems. PMID:16381697

  1. Utilising shade to optimize UV exposure for vitamin D

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turnbull, D. J.; Parisi, A. V.

    2008-06-01

    Numerous studies have stated that humans need to utilise full sun radiation, at certain times of the day, to assist the body in synthesising the required levels of vitamin D3. The time needed to be spent in the full sun depends on a number of factors, for example, age, skin type, latitude, solar zenith angle. Current Australian guidelines suggest exposure to approximately 1/6 to 1/3 of a minimum erythemal dose (MED), depending on age, would be appropriate to provide adequate vitamin D3 levels. The aim of the study was to determine the exposure times to diffuse solar UV to receive exposures of 1/6 and 1/3 MED for a changing solar zenith angle in order to assess the possible role that diffuse UV (scattered radiation) may play in vitamin D3 effective UV exposures (UVD3). Diffuse and global erythemal UV measurements were conducted at five minute intervals over a twelve month period for a solar zenith angle range of 4° to 80° at a latitude of 27.6° S. For a diffuse UV exposure of 1/3 MED, solar zenith angles smaller than approximately 50° can be utilised for exposure times of less than 10 min. Spectral measurements showed that, for a solar zenith angle of 40°, the UVA (315-400 nm) in the diffuse component of the solar UV is reduced by approximately 62% compared to the UVA in the global UV, whereas UVD3 wavelengths are only reduced by approximately 43%. At certain latitudes, diffuse UV under shade may play an important role in providing the human body with adequate levels of UVD3 (290-315 nm) radiation without experiencing the high levels of UVA observed in full sun.

  2. Utilising shade to optimize UV exposure for vitamin D

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turnbull, D. J.; Parisi, A. V.

    2008-01-01

    Numerous studies have stated that humans need to utilise full sun radiation, at certain times of the day, to assist the body in synthesising the required levels of vitamin D3. The time needed to be spent in the full sun depends on a number of factors, for example, age, skin type, latitude, solar zenith angle. Current Australian guidelines suggest exposure to approximately 1/6 to 1/3 of a minimum erythemal dose (MED), depending on age, would be appropriate to provide adequate vitamin D3 levels. The aim of the study was to determine the exposure times to diffuse solar UV to receive exposures of 1/6 and 1/3 MED for a changing solar zenith angle in order to assess the possible role that diffuse UV (scattered radiation) may play in vitamin D3 effective UV exposures (UVD3). Diffuse and global erythemal UV measurements were conducted at five minute intervals over a twelve month period for a solar zenith angle range of 4° to 80° at a latitude of 27.6° S. For diffuse UV exposures of 1/6 and 1/3 MED, solar zenith angles smaller than 60° and 50° respectively can be utilised for exposure times of less than 10 min. Spectral measurements showed that, for a solar zenith angle of 40°, the UVA (315-400 nm) in the diffuse component of the solar UV is reduced by approximately 62% compared to the UVA in the global UV, whereas UVD3 wavelengths are only reduced by approximately 43%. At certain latitudes, diffuse UV under shade may play an important role in providing the human body with adequate levels of UVD3 (290-330 nm) radiation without experiencing the high levels of damaging UVA observed in full sun.

  3. Rural/urban differences in the association between deprivation and healthcare utilisation.

    PubMed

    Gilthorpe, Mark S; Wilson, Richard C

    2003-12-01

    Whilst associations between inequalities in healthcare utilisation and socio-economic deprivation are well established in the UK it is argued that deprivation indices, such as the Townsend index, remain insensitive to rural/urban differences. This study examines how Townsend and its components differ in their association with healthcare utilisation across the rural/urban spectrum of a large health region. Our research was carried out in the West Midlands National Health Service region (population 5.3 million), comprising of a similar geographical population diversity to that of the United Kingdom (UK) using Hospital Episode Statistics (1994/5-1998/9) and 1991 census socio-demographic data. Retrospective multilevel multivariate models compare three ward-level healthcare utilisation measures (standardised episode-, admission-, and bed-rates) in relation to the Townsend index of material deprivation, its components, and four rural/urban characteristics (population density, population potential, electoral ward area and perimeter size). The associations between outcomes and Townsend were generally not attenuated by the rural/urban characteristics. The constituent component of car-ownership was similarly unperturbed, whereas population potential significantly perturbed the home-ownership model and overcrowding was significantly perturbed by all four rural/urban characteristics considered. A deprivation index may encapsulate different meanings to that of its components when used to assess variations in healthcare utilisation. Constituent components may yield considerable perturbation in relation to healthcare utilisation across the rural/urban spectrum, whilst the composite measure does not. In particular, and contrary to anecdotal opinion, car-ownership and unemployment (as recorded in the 1991 UK census) exhibited a stable relationship across different rural/urban areas with respect to healthcare utilisation. PMID:14512237

  4. Factors that influence utilisation of HIV/AIDS prevention methods among university students residing at a selected university campus.

    PubMed

    Ndabarora, Eléazar; Mchunu, Gugu

    2014-01-01

    Various studies have reported that university students, who are mostly young people, rarely use existing HIV/AIDS preventive methods. Although studies have shown that young university students have a high degree of knowledge about HIV/AIDS and HIV modes of transmission, they are still not utilising the existing HIV prevention methods and still engage in risky sexual practices favourable to HIV. Some variables, such as awareness of existing HIV/AIDS prevention methods, have been associated with utilisation of such methods. The study aimed to explore factors that influence use of existing HIV/AIDS prevention methods among university students residing in a selected campus, using the Health Belief Model (HBM) as a theoretical framework. A quantitative research approach and an exploratory-descriptive design were used to describe perceived factors that influence utilisation by university students of HIV/AIDS prevention methods. A total of 335 students completed online and manual questionnaires. Study findings showed that the factors which influenced utilisation of HIV/AIDS prevention methods were mainly determined by awareness of the existing university-based HIV/AIDS prevention strategies. Most utilised prevention methods were voluntary counselling and testing services and free condoms. Perceived susceptibility and perceived threat of HIV/AIDS score was also found to correlate with HIV risk index score. Perceived susceptibility and perceived threat of HIV/AIDS showed correlation with self-efficacy on condoms and their utilisation. Most HBM variables were not predictors of utilisation of HIV/AIDS prevention methods among students. Intervention aiming to improve the utilisation of HIV/AIDS prevention methods among students at the selected university should focus on removing identified barriers, promoting HIV/AIDS prevention services and providing appropriate resources to implement such programmes. PMID:25444096

  5. Utilisation trends of rosiglitazone and pioglitazone in Australia before and after safety warnings

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background A see on cardiovascular diseases and bladder cancer. The changes to the patterns of rosiglitazone and pioglitazone utilisation in Australia following the timing of these various health authority warnings such as the Australian Therapeutic Good Administration (TGA), European Medicines Agency (EMA) press releases or U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is unknown. This study investigated the utilisation patterns of rosiglitazone and pioglitazone in Australia before and after warnings of major drug authorities. Methods We evaluated rosiglitazone and pioglitazone dispensing using the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS) subsidised drug dispensing data for the Australian population from February 2004 to July 2012. The World Health Organisation Anatomic Therapeutic Chemical (ATC)/Defined Daily Dose (DDD) system was used to compare the drug utilisation patterns following the announcements of EMA, FDA, and TGA safety warnings, which first occurred in May 2007. The DDD/1000population/day were examined in a series of time-series regression analysis with the drug safety warnings specified as interventions. Results Rosiglitazone utilisation increased steadily from 2004 until reaching a peak at 1.96/1000population/day in January 2007. Then rosiglitazone use decreased significantly after the initial EMA press release and FDA warning on cardiovascular risk in May 2007 (with a 15.04% average monthly decline, p-value <0.001), however use did not significantly decrease after the TGA warning or subsequent EMA and FDA warnings. Pioglitazone utilisation proceeded rosiglitazone in September 2008 and remained above 1.5/1000/day during 2009–2010. However, pioglitazone utilisation has slightly declined after the FDA, EMA, and TGA warnings related to bladder cancer. Conclusions Drug safety warnings were associated with a decrease in rosiglitazone and pioglitazone utilisation in Australia. Rosiglitazone began to decline prior to TGA warnings in December 2007, which suggests

  6. Natural gas development and utilisation pattern in India

    SciTech Connect

    Mulchandani, H.K.; Balakrishnan, M.

    1984-02-01

    In this era of energy consciousness, Natural Gas is destined to play an important role in the economic life of India. The luxury of flaring into atmosphere is over. Rather stocks are being assessed and capital investments are planned for the optimum development and utilisation of gas. In this paper, authors have attempted to tie up various data on different aspects of gas business such as supply, source, production, utilisation pattern and its share in energy and economy. The optimal utilisation plan as discussed here could be of some value to the planners.

  7. To fractionate municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash: Key for utilisation?

    PubMed

    Sormunen, Laura Annika; Rantsi, Riina

    2015-11-01

    For the past decade, the Finnish waste sector has increasingly moved from the landfilling of municipal solid waste towards waste incineration. New challenges are faced with the growing amounts of municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash, which are mainly landfilled at the moment. Since this is not a sustainable or a profitable solution, finding different utilisation applications for the municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash is crucial. This study reports a comprehensive analysis of bottom ash properties from one waste incineration plant in Finland, which was first treated with a Dutch bottom ash recovery technique called advanced dry recovery. This novel process separates non-ferrous and ferrous metals from bottom ash, generating mineral fractions of different grain sizes (0-2 mm, 2-5 mm, 5-12 mm and 12-50 mm). The main aim of the study was to assess, whether the advanced bottom ash treatment technique, producing mineral fractions of different grain sizes and therefore properties, facilitates the utilisation of municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash in Finland. The results were encouraging; the bottom ash mineral fractions have favourable behaviour against the frost action, which is especially useful in the Finnish conditions. In addition, the leaching of most hazardous substances did not restrict the utilisation of bottom ash, especially for the larger fractions (>5 mm). Overall, this study has shown that the advanced bottom ash recovering technique can be one solution to increase the utilisation of bottom ash and furthermore decrease its landfilling in Finland. PMID:26330401

  8. Utilisation of a community-based health facility in a low-income urban community in Ibadan, Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    Asuzu, Michael C.

    2015-01-01

    Background Primary healthcare is established to ensure that people have access to health services through facilities located in their community. However, utilisation of health facilities in Nigeria remains low in many communities. Aim To assess the utilisation of community-based health facility (CBHF) amongst adults in Ibadan, Nigeria Settings A low-income community in Ibadan North West Local Government Area of Oyo State. Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a simple random sampling technique to select one adult per household in all 586 houses in the community. A semi-structured interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect information on respondents' sociodemographic characteristics, knowledge and utilisation of the CBHF. Data analysis included descriptive statistics and association testing using the Chi-square test at p = 0.05. Results The mean age of the respondents was 46.5 ± 16.0 years; 46.0% were men and 81.0% married; 26% had no formal education and 38.0% had secondary-level education and above; traders constituted 52.0% of the sample; and 85.2% were of low socioeconomic standing; 90% had patronised the CBHF. The main reasons for non-utilisation were preference for general hospitals (13.8%) and self-medication (12.1%). Respondents who had secondary education and above, were in a higher socioeconomic class, who had good knowledge of the facility and were satisfied with care, utilised the CBHF three months significantly more than their counterparts prior to the study (p < 0.05). However, only satisfaction with care was found to be a significant predictor of utilisation of the CBHF. Conclusion The utilisation of the CBHF amongst adults in the study setting is high, driven mostly by satisfaction with the care received previously. Self-medication, promoted by uncontrolled access to drugs through pharmacies and patent medicine stores, threatens this high utilisation. PMID:26245600

  9. Barriers to utilisation of maternal health services in a semi-urban community in northern Nigeria: The clients’ perspective

    PubMed Central

    Idris, Suleman Hadejia; Sambo, Mohammed Nasir; Ibrahim, Muhammed Sani

    2013-01-01

    Background: Low level of utilisation of maternal health services is a major factor responsible for high maternal mortality in northwestern region of Nigeria. This study was aimed at determining the barriers to utilisation of maternal health services from the perspective of mothers in northwestern Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study of 150 mothers, selected through multistage technique, was conducted. Data were collected using a structured interviewer-administered questionnaire, and analysed using SPSS statistics 17.0. Results: Only 2.7% utilised preconception service, 98.7% antenatal care service (ANC), 24.0% delivery, 35.3% postnatal care and 14.0% utilised family planning service. Major reasons for non-utilisation of delivery service were not having a delivery complication in the past (57% (CI = 47.4-66.1)) and negative provider attitude (23.7% (CI = 16.4-32.7)). For non-utilisation of postnatal care, the major reasons were also not having a postnatal complication in the past (60.8% (CI = 50.4-70.4)) and negative provider attitude (27.8% (CI = 19.4-38.0)). As for non-utilisation of family planning service, the major reason was desire to have more children (32.6% (CI = 24.7-41.4)). Reasons for non-use of preconception care and ANC were not computed because respondents to these questions were not enough; only 6 (4.0%) were aware of preconception care in the first place and only 2 (1.3%) were not using ANC. Conclusion: Despite living near a health facility, most of the mothers were not using maternal health services. It is recommended that while there is the need to raise awareness on the utilisation of maternal health services, bring it closer to the mothers and make it more affordable, there is a more pressing need to improve its quality, especially through the alleviation of negative attitude of health care providers. PMID:23661896

  10. Utilisation of Riverine Dom By Coastal Bacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rochelle-Newall, E.; Pizay, M.-D.; Gattuso, J.-P.

    % and 69% and was generally highest in the LMW-DOM incubations. These results fur- ther demonstrate the flexibility of bacteria in their ability to utilise different sources of DOM.

  11. Jarosite characteristics and its utilisation potentials.

    PubMed

    Pappu, Asokan; Saxena, Mohini; Asolekar, Shyam R

    2006-04-15

    During metallic zinc extraction from zinc sulphide or sulphide ore, huge quantity of jarosite is being released universally as solid residues. The jarosite mainly contains iron, sulphur, zinc, calcium, lead, cadmium and aluminium. Jarosite released from such industrial process is complex and its quality and quantity make the task more complex for safe disposal. Apart from water contamination, jarosite already accumulated and its increasing annual production is a major source of pollution for surrounding environment including soil, vegetation and aquatic life and hence its disposal leads to major concern because of the stringent environmental protection regulations. An attempt was made to evaluate the characteristics of Indian jarosite with an objectives to understand its potentials for recycling and utilising as raw materials for developing value added products. Sand and Coal Combustion Residues (CCRs) was used as an admixture to attain good workability and detoxify the toxic substance in the jarosite. Result revealed that jarosite is silty clay loam in texture having 63.48% silt sized and 32.35% clay sized particles. The particle size of jarosite (D90=16.21+/-0.20 microm) is finer than the CCRs (D90=19.72+/-0.18 microm). The jarosite is nonuniform in structure and shape as compared to the CCRs having spherical, hollow shaped and some of them are cenosphere in nature. The major mineral phase of jarosite is Potassium Iron Sulphate Hydroxide {KFe3(SO4)2(OH)6}and Iron Sulphate Hydrate {2 Fe2O3SO3 x 5 H2O}. In CCRs the dominant phases are quartz {SiO2}, mullite {3 Al2O3 x 2 SiO2} and hematite {Fe2O3}. The high electrical conductivity of jarosite (13.26+/-0.437 dS/m) indicates that the presence of cations and anions are predominant over CCRs (0.498+/-0.007 dS/m). The major portion of jarosite consists of iron (23.66+/-0.18%), sulphur (12.23+/-0.2%) and zinc (8.243+/-0.075%). But CCRs main constituents are silicon (27.41+/-0.74%), aluminium (15.167+/-0.376%) and iron (4

  12. Antenatal Care Utilisation and Content between Low-Risk and High-Risk Pregnant Women

    PubMed Central

    Yeoh, Ping Ling; Hornetz, Klaus; Dahlui, Maznah

    2016-01-01

    Background The purpose of antenatal care is to monitor and improve the wellbeing of the mother and foetus. The World Health Organization recommends risk-oriented strategy that includes: (i) routine care to all women, (ii) additional care for women with moderately severe diseases and complications, (iii) specialised obstetrical and neonatal care for women with severe diseases and complications. Antenatal care is concerned with adequate care in order to be effective. Measurement for adequacy of antenatal care often applies indexes that assess initiation of care and number of visits. In addition, adequacy of care content should also be assessed. Results of studies in developed settings demonstrate that women without risk factors use antenatal services more frequently than recommended. Such over-utilisation is problematic for low-resourced settings. Moreover, studies show that a substantial proportion of high-risk women had utilisation or content of care below the recommended standard. Yet studies in developing countries have seldom included a comparison between low-risk and high-risk women. The purpose of the study was therefore to assess adequacy of care and pregnancy outcomes for the different risk groups. Methods A retrospective study using a multistage sampling technique, at public-funded primary health care clinics was conducted. Antenatal utilisation level was assessed using a modified Adequacy of Prenatal Care Utilisation index that measures the timing for initiation of care and observed-to-expected visits ratio. Adequacy of antenatal care content assessed compliance to routine care based on the local guidelines. Results Intensive or “adequate-plus” antenatal care utilisation as defined by the modified index was noted in over half of the low-risk women. On the other hand, there were 26% of the high-risk women without the expected intensive utilisation. Primary- or non-educated high-risk women were less likely to have a higher antenatal care utilisation

  13. Eye care services utilisation among pregnant women in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Ibraheem, Waheed A; Ibraheem, Anifat B; Owonikoko, Musliudeen; Tijani, Aramide; Olamoyegun, Michael Adeyemi; AbdSalam, Soliu

    2016-07-01

    One hundred and sixty-five pregnant Nigerian women attending the antenatal clinic of LAUTECH teaching hospital, Ogbomoso, Nigeria between January and April 2014 were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents were obtained. Respondents were also asked: if they had had their eye examined by an eye specialist during the index pregnancy, frequencies of visit to eye care centers and indications for their visitation. A history of previous eye examination by eye care specialist/visit to eye clinic was considered as eye care utilisation. Selection of eligible subjects who consented to participate in the study was done using simple random technique. Logistic regression model was used to control sociodemographic and obstetric factors in order to determine independent covariate factor influencing the use of eye care services. Among the population studied, only 46 (32%) had eye examination during the index pregnancy. Level of education and occupational status of the respondents were found to be statistically significant factors (p = 0.001 and 0.008, respectively). There is a need for a policy that will encourage regular eye care services usage during pregnancy. PMID:27012975

  14. Hospital emergency department utilisation rates among the immigrant population in Barcelona, Spain

    PubMed Central

    Buron, Andrea; Cots, Francesc; Garcia, Oscar; Vall, Oriol; Castells, Xavier

    2008-01-01

    Background The recent increase in the number of immigrants of Barcelona represents a challenge for the public healthcare system, the emergency department being the most used healthcare service by this group. However, utilisation rates in our environment have not yet been studied. We aimed to compare emergency department utilisation rates between Spanish-born and foreign-born residents in a public hospital of Barcelona. Methods The study population included all adults residing in the area of study and visiting the emergency department of Hospital del Mar in 2004. The emergency care episodes were selected from the Emergency Department register, and the population figures from the Statistics Department of Barcelona. Emergency care episodes were classified into five large clinical categories. Adjusted rate ratios (RR) of utilisation among foreign-born vs. Spanish-born residents were assessed through negative binomial regression. Results The overall utilisation rate was 382 emergency contacts per 1,000 persons-years. The RR for foreign-born versus Spanish-born residents was 0.62 (95% CI: 0.52; 0.74%). The RR was also significantly below one in surgery (0.51, 95% CI: 0.42; 0.63), traumatology (0.47, 95% CI: 0.38; 0.59), medicine (0.48, 95% CI: 0.38; 0.59) and psychiatry (0.42, 95% CI: 0.18; 0.97). No differences were found in utilisation of gynaecology and minor emergency services. Conclusion The overall lower utilisation rates obtained for foreign-born residents is consistent with previous studies and is probably due to the "healthy immigrant effect". Thus, the population increase due to immigration does not translate directly into a corresponding increase in the number of emergency contacts. The lack of differences in minor and gynaecological emergency care supports the hypothesis that immigrants overcome certain barriers by using the emergency department to access to health services. The issue of healthcare barriers should therefore be addressed, especially among

  15. Estimation of an optimal chemotherapy utilisation rate for cancer: setting an evidence-based benchmark for quality cancer care.

    PubMed

    Jacob, S A; Ng, W L; Do, V

    2015-02-01

    There is wide variation in the proportion of newly diagnosed cancer patients who receive chemotherapy, indicating the need for a benchmark rate of chemotherapy utilisation. This study describes an evidence-based model that estimates the proportion of new cancer patients in whom chemotherapy is indicated at least once (defined as the optimal chemotherapy utilisation rate). The optimal chemotherapy utilisation rate can act as a benchmark for measuring and improving the quality of care. Models of optimal chemotherapy utilisation were constructed for each cancer site based on indications for chemotherapy identified from evidence-based treatment guidelines. Data on the proportion of patient- and tumour-related attributes for which chemotherapy was indicated were obtained, using population-based data where possible. Treatment indications and epidemiological data were merged to calculate the optimal chemotherapy utilisation rate. Monte Carlo simulations and sensitivity analyses were used to assess the effect of controversial chemotherapy indications and variations in epidemiological data on our model. Chemotherapy is indicated at least once in 49.1% (95% confidence interval 48.8-49.6%) of all new cancer patients in Australia. The optimal chemotherapy utilisation rates for individual tumour sites ranged from a low of 13% in thyroid cancers to a high of 94% in myeloma. The optimal chemotherapy utilisation rate can serve as a benchmark for planning chemotherapy services on a population basis. The model can be used to evaluate service delivery by comparing the benchmark rate with patterns of care data. The overall estimate for other countries can be obtained by substituting the relevant distribution of cancer types. It can also be used to predict future chemotherapy workload and can be easily modified to take into account future changes in cancer incidence, presentation stage or chemotherapy indications. PMID:25455844

  16. Regulation of methanol utilisation pathway genes in yeasts

    PubMed Central

    Hartner, Franz S; Glieder, Anton

    2006-01-01

    Methylotrophic yeasts such as Candida boidinii, Hansenula polymorpha, Pichia methanolica and Pichia pastoris are an emerging group of eukaryotic hosts for recombinant protein production with an ever increasing number of applications during the last 30 years. Their applications are linked to the use of strong methanol-inducible promoters derived from genes of the methanol utilisation pathway. These promoters are tightly regulated, highly repressed in presence of non-limiting concentrations of glucose in the medium and strongly induced if methanol is used as carbon source. Several factors involved in this tight control and their regulatory effects have been described so far. This review summarises available data about the regulation of promoters from methanol utilisation pathway genes. Furthermore, the role of cis and trans acting factors (e.g. transcription factors, glucose processing enzymes) in the expression of methanol utilisation pathway genes is reviewed both in the context of the native cell environment as well as in heterologous hosts. PMID:17169150

  17. HIV counselling and testing utilisation and attitudes of male inmates in a South African prison.

    PubMed

    Motshabi, Lelaka C; Pengpid, Supa; Peltzer, Karl

    2011-01-01

    The Department of Correctional Services Policy on the management of HIV and AIDS for offenders include voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) for HIV as one of the priorities in the rehabilitation of inmates. The aim of this study was to determine factors associated with the utilisation of VCT services in the correctional centres in terms of level of satisfaction, their experiences and expectations, and motivating factors and barriers for VCT utilisation at Losperfontein Correctional Centre, South Africa. This was a case control study (cases being those who underwent testing and controls those who did not) examining predictors of HIV VCT utilisation among 200 male adult sentenced inmates serving medium and maximum sentences. Results indicate that a poor health system (OR=0.34, 95%CI: 0.23 - 0.50) was inversely associated with HIV testing acceptance in prison, while age, educational level, population group, marital status, length of incarceration and access to HIV testing in prison were not associated with HIV testing acceptance in prison. Half of the participants (50%) agreed that VCT services are accessible and are promoted at their correctional centre. Most were satisfied with different components of VCT services, ranging from 79% (fair to very good) for 'the way he/she received you' to 62% 'clarified all your concerns'. This study demonstrated some challenges and benefits to the field of health promotion and HIV prevention in the correctional centres especially with regard to VCT services. PMID:23237725

  18. Utilisation of joint movement range in arboreal primates compared with human subjects: an evolutionary frame for primary osteoarthritis.

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, C J

    1994-01-01

    OBJECTIVE--To determine whether an arboreal lifestyle required full use of movement ranges underutilised in nine joint groups in humans, because under-utilisation of available movement range may be associated with susceptibility to primary osteoarthritis. METHODS--Utilisation of the nine joint groups was studied in two species of primate exercising in a simulated arboreal environment, using 'focal animal' observation techniques supplemented by telephoto photography and by review of archival material from other sources. Fifteen apes were observed over a total observation period of 20.2 man-hours and 152 films were analysed for utilisation of movement range. RESULTS--With one exception, all the movement ranges reported to be under-utilised in humans were fully utilised by the apes in climbing activities. The exception, metacarpophalangeal extension, was an essential component of the chimpanzee ground progression mode of knuckle walking. CONCLUSIONS--The underused movement range in several human joints is explicable as residual capacity from a semiarboreal lifestyle. If the correlation with primary osteoarthritis is confirmed, it suggests that the disease may reflect a disparity between inherited capacity and current need. The significance of the result lies in its implication that primary osteoarthritis may be preventable. Images PMID:7826133

  19. Acceptance and Utilisation of Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine and Insecticide-Treated Nets among Pregnant Women in Oyo State, Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    Adeola, Aderonke A.; Okwilagwe, Eugenia A.

    2015-01-01

    The study is an investigation of the acceptance and utilisation of Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine (Fansidar), the drug of choice for Intermittent Preventive Treatment in pregnancy, and Insecticide-Treated Nets among pregnant women who access different health facilities in Oyo State, Nigeria. Pregnant women (582) attending government primary healthcare antenatal clinics and 50 attending faith clinics purposively selected responded to structured instruments that were analysed using percentages, t-test correlation, and multiple regression. Acceptance and utilisation of RBM tools were higher in government clinics than faith clinics and in rural areas. Pregnant women in government clinics, 60.8% and 66.8%, and faith clinics, 18% and 38.0%, utilised Roll Back Malaria tools, significant at t(630) = 5.81, p ≤ 0.05, and t(630) = 3.99, p ≤ 0.05, respectively. Pregnant women in rural locations who accessed government clinics utilised Roll Back Malaria tools more than those in urban areas, t(580) = −641, p ≤ 0.05. Number of pregnancies, educational qualification of the pregnant women, and marital status significantly and consistently influenced acceptance and utilisation of these tools. To ensure that set targets are met, the utilization of RBM tools among the two categories of pregnant women can be improved by increasing the supply of the tools and ensuring that treatment is free. PMID:26839732

  20. Life cycle assessment of biohydrogen and biomethane production and utilisation as a vehicle fuel.

    PubMed

    Patterson, Tim; Esteves, Sandra; Dinsdale, Richard; Guwy, Alan; Maddy, Jon

    2013-03-01

    Environmental burdens for the production and utilisation of biomethane vehicle fuel or a biohydrogen/biomethane blend produced from food waste or wheat feed, based on data from two different laboratory experiments, have been compared. For food waste treated by batch processes the two stage system gave high hydrogen yields (84.2l H2kg(-1) VS added) but a lower overall energy output than the single stage system. Reduction in environmental burdens compared with diesel was achieved, supported by the diversion of waste from landfill. For wheat feed, the semi continuously fed two stage process gave low hydrogen yields (7.5l H2kg(-1) VS added) but higher overall energy output. The process delivers reduction in fossil fuel burdens, and improvements in process efficiencies will lead to reduction in CO2 burdens compared with diesel. The study highlights the importance of understanding and optimising biofuel production parameters according to the feedstock utilised. PMID:23353037

  1. Redirecting Under-Utilised Computer Laboratories into Cluster Computing Facilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atkinson, John S.; Spenneman, Dirk H. R.; Cornforth, David

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: To provide administrators at an Australian university with data on the feasibility of redirecting under-utilised computer laboratories facilities into a distributed high performance computing facility. Design/methodology/approach: The individual log-in records for each computer located in the computer laboratories at the university were…

  2. Improving the Utilisation of Management Information Systems in Secondary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bosker, R. J.; Branderhorst, E. M.; Visscher, A. J.

    2007-01-01

    Although most secondary schools do use management information systems (MISs), these systems tend not to be used to support higher order managerial activities but are currently primarily used for clerical purposes. This situation is unsatisfactory as MISs fully utilised could offer invaluable support to schools, which are increasingly being granted…

  3. A rapid appraisal of access to and utilisation of psychotropic medicines in Bihar, India

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background A major aspect of providing mental healthcare is access to and use of psychotropic medications. Bihar is a state in northeast India with limited mental healthcare provision; consequently access to and utilisation of psychotropic medications are likely to be limited. However, to date there has been no research assessing the situation. This study therefore aims to analyse the psychotropic medications management cycle (selection, procurement, distribution and use), and identify the barriers to access and utilisation, and their underlying causes. Method A rapid appraisal method was used in which primary and secondary data sources were collected and analysed. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty-two stakeholders and twenty-one service users from the government, non-governmental organisation (NGO) and private sectors. The qualitative data collected was analysed using a comparative thematic approach. The research was supported by the NGOs BasicNeeds and Nav Bharat Jagriti Kendra. Results Availability, distance and cost were the main barriers to access and utilisation. At the medical college hospital level a lack of supply appears to be due to a discrepancy between orders made by the hospital and medications supplied by the manufacturers. At the primary health centre and district hospital level the main barrier is a cycle between lack of demand for treatments for mental illness by doctors and patients. Conclusion Further investigation and monitoring is necessary to ensure the availability of psychotropic medications at the medical college hospital level. In addition, implementation of the District Mental Health Programme is likely to address the access and utilisation barriers due to its potential to break the current cycle of lack of demand. PMID:25053976

  4. Utilisation of Wearable Computing for Space Programmes Test Activities Optimasation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basso, V.; Lazzari, D.; Alemanni, M.

    2004-08-01

    New technologies are assuming a relevant importance in the Space business domain also in the Assembly Integration and Test (AIT) activities allowing process optimization and capability that were unthinkable only few years ago. This paper has the aim to describe Alenia Spazio (ALS) gained experience on the remote interaction techniques as a results of collaborations established both on European Communities (EC) initiatives, with Alenia Aeronautica (ALA) and Politecnico of Torino (POLITO). The H/W and S/W components performances increase and costs reduction due to the home computing massive utilization (especially demanded by the games business) together with the network technology possibility (offered by the web as well as the hi-speed links and the wireless communications) allow today to re-think the traditional AIT process activities in the light of the multimedia data exchange: graphical, voice video and by sure more in the future. Aerospace business confirm its innovation vocation which in the year '80 represents the cradle of the CAD systems and today is oriented to the 3D data visualization/ interaction technologies and remote visualisation/ interaction in collaborative way on a much more user friendly bases (i.e. not for specialists). Fig. 1 collects AIT extended scenario studied and adopted by ALS in these years. ALS experimented two possibilities of remote visualization/interaction: Portable [e.g. Fig.2 Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), Wearable] and walls (e.g.VR-Lab) screens as both 2D/3D visualisation and interaction devices which could support many types of traditional (mainly based on EGSE and PDM/CAD utilisation/reports) company internal AIT applications: 1. design review support 2. facility management 3. storage management 4. personnel training 5. integration sequences definition 6. assembly and test operations follow up 7. documentation review and external access to AIT activities for remote operations (e.g. tele-testing) EGSE Portable Clean room

  5. Utilisation of intensive foraging zones by female Australian fur seals.

    PubMed

    Hoskins, Andrew J; Costa, Daniel P; Arnould, John P Y

    2015-01-01

    Within a heterogeneous environment, animals must efficiently locate and utilise foraging patches. One way animals can achieve this is by increasing residency times in areas where foraging success is highest (area-restricted search). For air-breathing diving predators, increased patch residency times can be achieved by altering both surface movements and diving patterns. The current study aimed to spatially identify the areas where female Australian fur seals allocated the most foraging effort, while simultaneously determining the behavioural changes that occur when they increase their foraging intensity. To achieve this, foraging behaviour was successfully recorded with a FastLoc GPS logger and dive behaviour recorder from 29 individual females provisioning pups. Females travelled an average of 118 ± 50 km from their colony during foraging trips that lasted 7.3 ± 3.4 days. Comparison of two methods for calculating foraging intensity (first-passage time and first-passage time modified to include diving behaviour) determined that, due to extended surface intervals where individuals did not travel, inclusion of diving behaviour into foraging analyses was important for this species. Foraging intensity 'hot spots' were found to exist in a mosaic of patches within the Bass Basin, primarily to the south-west of the colony. However, the composition of benthic habitat being targeted remains unclear. When increasing their foraging intensity, individuals tended to perform dives around 148 s or greater, with descent/ascent rates of approximately 1.9 m•s-1 or greater and reduced postdive durations. This suggests individuals were maximising their time within the benthic foraging zone. Furthermore, individuals increased tortuosity and decreased travel speeds while at the surface to maximise their time within a foraging location. These results suggest Australian fur seals will modify both surface movements and diving behaviour to maximise their time within a foraging patch

  6. Utilisation of Intensive Foraging Zones by Female Australian Fur Seals

    PubMed Central

    Hoskins, Andrew J.; Costa, Daniel P.; Arnould, John P. Y.

    2015-01-01

    Within a heterogeneous environment, animals must efficiently locate and utilise foraging patches. One way animals can achieve this is by increasing residency times in areas where foraging success is highest (area-restricted search). For air-breathing diving predators, increased patch residency times can be achieved by altering both surface movements and diving patterns. The current study aimed to spatially identify the areas where female Australian fur seals allocated the most foraging effort, while simultaneously determining the behavioural changes that occur when they increase their foraging intensity. To achieve this, foraging behaviour was successfully recorded with a FastLoc GPS logger and dive behaviour recorder from 29 individual females provisioning pups. Females travelled an average of 118 ± 50 km from their colony during foraging trips that lasted 7.3 ± 3.4 days. Comparison of two methods for calculating foraging intensity (first-passage time and first-passage time modified to include diving behaviour) determined that, due to extended surface intervals where individuals did not travel, inclusion of diving behaviour into foraging analyses was important for this species. Foraging intensity ‘hot spots’ were found to exist in a mosaic of patches within the Bass Basin, primarily to the south-west of the colony. However, the composition of benthic habitat being targeted remains unclear. When increasing their foraging intensity, individuals tended to perform dives around 148 s or greater, with descent/ascent rates of approximately 1.9 m•s-1 or greater and reduced postdive durations. This suggests individuals were maximising their time within the benthic foraging zone. Furthermore, individuals increased tortuosity and decreased travel speeds while at the surface to maximise their time within a foraging location. These results suggest Australian fur seals will modify both surface movements and diving behaviour to maximise their time within a foraging patch

  7. Microbial utilisation of natural organic wastes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ilyin, V. K.; Smirnov, I. A.; Soldatov, P. E.; Korniushenkova, I. N.; Grinin, A. S.; Lykov, I. N.; Safronova, S. A.

    2004-03-01

    The waste management strategy for the future should meet the benefits of humanity safety, respect principals of planet ecology, and compatibility with other habitability systems. For these purpose the waste management technologies, relevant to application of the biodegradation properties of bacteria are of great value. The biological treatment method is based upon the biodegradation of organic substances by various microorganisms. The advantage of the biodegradation waste management in general: it allows to diminish the volume of organic wastes, the biological hazard of the wastes is controlled and this system may be compatible with the other systems. The objectives of our study were: to evaluate effectiveness of microbial biodegradation of non-pretreated substrate, to construct phneumoautomatic digester for organic wastes biodegradation and to study microbial characteristics of active sludge samples used as inoculi in biodegradation experiment. The technology of vegetable wastes treatment was elaborated in IBMP and BMSTU. For this purpose the special unit was created where the degradation process is activated by enforced reinvention of portions of elaborated biogas into digester. This technology allows to save energy normally used for electromechanical agitation and to create optimal environment for anaerobic bacteria growth. The investigations were performed on waste simulator, which imitates physical and chemical content of food wastes calculated basing on the data on food wastes of moderate Russian city. The volume of created experimental sample of digester is 40 l. The basic system elements of device are digesters, gas receiver, remover of drops and valve monitoring and thermal control system. In our testing we used natural food wastes to measure basic parameters and time of biodegradation process. The diminution rate of organic gained 76% from initial mass taking part within 9 days of fermentation. The biogas production achieved 46 l per 1 kg of substrate

  8. Synthesis, characterisation and microbial utilisation of amorphous polysugars from lactose.

    PubMed

    Daines, Alison M; Smart, Zlatka; Sims, Ian M; Tannock, Gerald W; Hinkley, Simon F R

    2015-03-01

    The melt polymerisations of glucose, galactose, xylose and fucose with citric acid, and mixtures of sugars therein are reported. Characterisation of the citric-acid catalysed reaction products indicated similar degrees of branched polymerisation but differences in the overall molecular weight of the polymers produced. The dairy by-product lactose could not be polymerised in a similar fashion but was shown to be readily hydrolysed using microwave radiation and a polymer generated from the melt condensation of the resultant glucose and galactose monosaccharides. A preliminary assessment of the bifido-bacterial utilisation of the lactose-derived polymerised products demonstrated a significantly different growth profile compared to commercially utilised galactooligosaccharides (GOS). PMID:25498629

  9. Improved sugar co-utilisation by encapsulation of a recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain in alginate-chitosan capsules

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Two major hurdles for successful production of second-generation bioethanol are the presence of inhibitory compounds in lignocellulosic media, and the fact that Saccharomyces cerevisiae cannot naturally utilise pentoses. There are recombinant yeast strains that address both of these issues, but co-utilisation of glucose and xylose is still an issue that needs to be resolved. A non-recombinant way to increase yeast tolerance to hydrolysates is by encapsulation of the yeast. This can be explained by concentration gradients occuring in the cell pellet inside the capsule. In the current study, we hypothesised that encapsulation might also lead to improved simultaneous utilisation of hexoses and pentoses because of such sugar concentration gradients. Results In silico simulations of encapsulated yeast showed that the presence of concentration gradients of inhibitors can explain the improved inhibitor tolerance of encapsulated yeast. Simulations also showed pronounced concentration gradients of sugars, which resulted in simultaneous xylose and glucose consumption and a steady state xylose consumption rate up to 220-fold higher than that found in suspension culture. To validate the results experimentally, a xylose-utilising S. cerevisiae strain, CEN.PK XXX, was constructed and encapsulated in semi-permeable alginate-chitosan liquid core gel capsules. In defined media, encapsulation not only increased the tolerance of the yeast to inhibitors, but also promoted simultaneous utilisation of glucose and xylose. Encapsulation of the yeast resulted in consumption of at least 50% more xylose compared with suspended cells over 96-hour fermentations in medium containing both sugars. The higher consumption of xylose led to final ethanol titres that were approximately 15% higher. In an inhibitory dilute acid spruce hydrolysate, freely suspended yeast cells consumed the sugars in a sequential manner after a long lag phase, whereas no lag phase was observed for the

  10. Utilisation and Impact of the Essential Electronic Agricultural Database (TEEAL) on Library Services in a Nigerian University of Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oduwole, A. A.; Sowole, A. O.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: This study examined the utilisation of the Essential Electronic Agricultural Library database (TEEAL) at the University of Agriculture Library, Abeokuta, Nigeria. Design/methodology/approach: Data collection was by questionnaire following a purposive sampling technique. A total of 104 out 150 (69.3 per cent) responses were received and…

  11. Motivational Strategies and Utilisation of Internet Resources as Determinants of Research Productivity of Lecturers in Universities of Agriculture in Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ajegbomogun, Fredrick Olatunji; Popoola, Sunday Olarenwaju

    2013-01-01

    This study examined motivational strategies and utilisation of Internet resources as determinants of research productivity of lecturers in universities of agriculture in Nigeria. One thousand, one hundred and thirty two (1,132) copies of the questionnaire were administered on the lecturers in universities of agriculture in Nigeria. Eight hundred…

  12. Impediments to Effective Utilisation of Information and Communication Technology Tools in Selected Universities in the North-Eastern Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Momoh, Mustapha

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the impediments to effective use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools in Nigerian universities. Series of research conducted on the factors militating against computerisation indicated that, there were impediments to effective utilisation of ICT tools in most developing countries. In the light of this, the…

  13. Skill Formation and Utilisation in the Post-Soviet Transition: Higher Education Planning in Post-Soviet Georgia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gvaramadze, Irakli

    2010-01-01

    Changes in the former Soviet system had a dramatic influence on higher education in Georgia. The main objective of the current article is to analyse implications of the post-Soviet transition for the skill formation and skill utilisation system in Georgia. In particular, the study analyses recent trends in Georgian higher education including…

  14. A Qualitative Case Study Approach To Examine Information Resources Management. (Utilisation d'une Approche Qualitative par Methode de cas pour Etudier la Gestion des Ressources D'information).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bergeron, Pierrette

    1997-01-01

    Illustrates how a qualitative approach was used to study the complex and poorly defined concept of information resources management. Explains the general approach to data collection, its advantages and limitations, and the process used to analyze the data. Presents results, along with lessons learned through using method. (Author/AEF)

  15. The European Space Agency standard for space packet utilisation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaufeler, J.-F.; Parkes, A.; Pidgeon, A.

    1993-01-01

    This paper presents the ESA concept for the use of CCSDS defined Telemetry and Telecommand Packets at the application level. These Packets are used to monitor and control remotely a space born application. This concept is defined in a Packet Utilisation Standard (PUS) which should become applicable for all ESA missions using Packets. The production of this standard is under the responsibility of an ESA standardization group called 'COES'.

  16. Health insurance determines antenatal, delivery and postnatal care utilisation: evidence from the Ghana Demographic and Health Surveillance data

    PubMed Central

    Browne, Joyce L; Kayode, Gbenga A; Arhinful, Daniel; Fidder, Samuel A J; Grobbee, Diederick E; Klipstein-Grobusch, Kerstin

    2016-01-01

    Objective This study aims to evaluate the effect of maternal health insurance status on the utilisation of antenatal, skilled delivery and postnatal care. Design A population-based cross-sectional study. Setting and participants We utilised the 2008 Demographic and Health Survey data of Ghana, which included 2987 women who provided information on maternal health insurance status. Primary outcomes Utilisation of antenatal, skilled delivery and postnatal care. Statistical analyses Multivariable logistic regression was applied to determine the independent association between maternal health insurance and utilisation of antenatal, skilled delivery and postnatal care. Results After adjusting for socioeconomic, demographic and obstetric factors, we observed that among insured women the likelihood of having antenatal care increased by 96% (OR 1.96; 95% CI 1.52 to 2.52; p value<0.001) and of skilled delivery by 129% (OR 2.29; 95% CI 1.92 to 2.74; p value<0.001), while postnatal care among insured women increased by 61% (OR 1.61; 95% CI 1.17 to 2.21; p value<0.01). Conclusions This study demonstrated that maternal health insurance status plays a significant role in the uptake of the maternal, neonatal and child health continuum of care service. PMID:26993621

  17. An international review of the patterns and determinants of health service utilisation by adult cancer survivors

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background There is a need to review factors related to health service utilisation by the increasing number of cancer survivors in order to inform care planning and the organisation and delivery of services. Methods Studies were identified via systematic searches of Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Social Science Citation Index and the SEER-MEDICARE library. Methodological quality was assessed using STROBE; and the Andersen Behavioural Model was used as a framework to structure, organise and analyse the results of the review. Results Younger, white cancer survivors were most likely to receive follow-up screening, preventive care, visit their physician, utilise professional mental health services and least likely to be hospitalised. Utilisation rates of other health professionals such as physiotherapists were low. Only studies of health service use conducted in the USA investigated the role of type of health insurance and ethnicity. There appeared to be disparate service use among US samples in terms of ethnicity and socio-demographic status, regardless of type of health insurance provision s- this may be explained by underlying differences in health-seeking behaviours. Overall, use of follow-up care appeared to be lower than expected and barriers existed for particular groups of cancer survivors. Conclusions Studies focussed on the use of a specific type of service rather than adopting a whole-system approach and future health services research should address this shortcoming. Overall, there is a need to improve access to care for all cancer survivors. Studies were predominantly US-based focussing mainly on breast or colorectal cancer. Thus, the generalisability of findings to other health-care systems and cancer sites is unclear. The Andersen Behavioural Model provided an appropriate framework for studying and understanding health service use among cancer survivors. The active involvement of physicians and use of personalised care plans are required in order to ensure

  18. Factors affecting the utilisation of improved ventilated latrines among communities in Mtwara Rural District, Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Kema, Koronel; Semali, Innocent; Mkuwa, Serafina; Kagonji, Ignatio; Temu, Florence; Ilako, Festus; Mkuye, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Introduction The Tanzania government, working in partnership with other stakeholders implemented a community-based project aimed at increasing access to clean and safe water basic sanitation and promotion of personal hygiene in Mtwara Rural District. Mid-term evaluation revealed that progress had been made towards improved ventilated latrines; however, there was no adequate information on utilisation of these latrines and associated factors. This study was therefore conducted to establish the factors influencing the utilisation of these latrines. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted among 375 randomly selected households using a pre-tested questionnaire to determine whether the households owned improved ventilated latrines and how they utilised them. Resuls About half (50.5%) of the households had an improved ventilated latrine and households with earnings of more than 50,000 Tanzanian Shillings were two times more likely to own an improved latrine than those that earned less (AOR 2.1, 95% CI=1.1-4.0, p= 0.034). The likelihood of owning an improved latrine was reduced by more than 60 percent for female-headed households (AOR=0.38; 95% CI=0.20-0.71; p=0.002). Furthermore, it was established that all members of a household were more likely to use a latrine if it was an improved ventilated latrine (AOR=2.4; 95% CI=1.1-5.1; p= 0.024). Conclusion Findings suggest adoption of strategies to improve the wellbeing of households and deploying those who had acquired improved ventilated latrines as resource persons to help train others. Furthermore, efforts are needed to increase access to soft loans for disadvantaged members and increasing community participation. PMID:23467697

  19. Fish Utilisation of Wetland Nurseries with Complex Hydrological Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Ben; Johnston, Ross; Baker, Ronald; Sheaves, Marcus

    2012-01-01

    The physical and faunal characteristics of coastal wetlands are driven by dynamics of hydrological connectivity to adjacent habitats. Wetlands on estuary floodplains are particularly dynamic, driven by a complex interplay of tidal marine connections and seasonal freshwater flooding, often with unknown consequences for fish using these habitats. To understand the patterns and subsequent processes driving fish assemblage structure in such wetlands, we examined the nature and diversity of temporal utilisation patterns at a species or genus level over three annual cycles in a tropical Australian estuarine wetland system. Four general patterns of utilisation were apparent based on CPUE and size-structure dynamics: (i) classic nursery utlisation (use by recently settled recruits for their first year) (ii) interrupted peristence (iii) delayed recruitment (iv) facultative wetland residence. Despite the small self-recruiting ‘facultative wetland resident’ group, wetland occupancy seems largely driven by connectivity to the subtidal estuary channel. Variable connection regimes (i.e. frequency and timing of connections) within and between different wetland units (e.g. individual pools, lagoons, swamps) will therefore interact with the diversity of species recruitment schedules to generate variable wetland assemblages in time and space. In addition, the assemblage structure is heavily modified by freshwater flow, through simultaneously curtailing persistence of the ’interrupted persistence’ group, establishing connectivity for freshwater spawned members of both the ‘facultative wetland resident’ and ‘delayed recruitment group’, and apparently mediating use of intermediate nursery habitats for marine-spawned members of the ‘delayed recruitment’ group. The diversity of utilisation pattern and the complexity of associated drivers means assemblage compositions, and therefore ecosystem functioning, is likely to vary among years depending on variations in

  20. Self-Assembled Hydrogels Utilising Polymer-Nanoparticle Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Appel, Eric A.; Tibbitt, Mark W.; Webber, Matthew J.; Mattix, Bradley A.; Veiseh, Omid

    2015-01-01

    Mouldable hydrogels that flow upon applied stress and rapidly self-heal are increasingly utilised as they afford minimally invasive delivery and conformal application. Here we report a new paradigm for the fabrication of self-assembled hydrogels with shear-thinning and self-healing properties employing rationally engineered polymer-nanoparticle interactions. Biopolymer derivatives are linked together by selective adsorption to nanoparticles. The transient and reversible interactions between biopolymers and nanoparticles enable flow under applied shear stress, followed by rapid self-healing when the stress is relaxed. We develop a physical description of polymer-nanoparticle gel formation that is utilised to design biocompatible gels for minimally-invasive drug delivery. Owing to the hierarchical structure of the gel, both hydrophilic and hydrophobic drugs can be entrapped and delivered with differential release profiles, both in vitro and in vivo. The work introduces a facile and generalizable class of mouldable hydrogels amenable to a range of biomedical and industrial applications. PMID:25695516

  1. Health Services Utilisation in Breast Cancer Survivors in Taiwan

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yong A.; Feng, An-Chen; Ganz, Patricia A.

    2014-01-01

    Surveillance guidelines for breast cancer survivors recommend regular history and physical and mammography, and against routine imaging for detecting distant metastasis. Stage 0, I, II breast cancer cases treated at a major cancer center were identified from the Taiwan Cancer Registry. We used multivariable negative binomial and logistic regression analyses on institutional claims data to examine factors contributing to utilisation patterns of surveillance visits and tests in disease-free survivors. The mean number of surveillance visits during months 13 to 60 after cancer treatment initiation was 18.5 (SD 8.2) among the 2,090 breast cancer survivors followed for at least five years. After adjusting for patient and disease factors, the number of visits was the highest among patients mainly followed by medical oncologists compared to surgeons and radiation oncologists. Patient cohorts treated in more recent years had lower number of visits associated with care coordination effort, the adjusted mean being 19.2 visits for the 2002 cohort, and 16.3 visits for the 2008 cohort (p < 0.0001). Although imaging tests were highly utilised, there was a significant decrease in tumor marker testing from the 2002 to the 2008 treatment cohort (adjusted rate 99.4% to 35.1% respectively, p < 0.0001) in association with an institutional guideline change. PMID:25502076

  2. Carbon substrate utilisation profile of a high concentration effluent degrading microbial consortium.

    PubMed

    Jena, S; Jeanmeure, L F C; Wichukorn, S D; Wright, P C

    2006-08-01

    This paper presents the carbon substrate utilisation profile of a group of microorganisms responsible for the biodegradation of a highly concentrated industrial effluent. A 1 litre bioreactor was used to study this consortium's biodegradation potential, with the chemical oxygen demand (COD) of the waste being reduced by 90% from 24000 mg l(-1) within 456 hours. This study also demonstrates that the consortium is capable of degrading organic solvents, such as isopropanol, at concentrations of 260 mg l(-1). The population distribution and biochemical behaviour were also characterised using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and Biolog Eco Plates at various stages of bioreactor operation. The DGGE results indicated that the dominant bands of the microbial population profile were stable at various operational stages, and that only a few bands varied with time. Moreover, four Biolog Eco plates were inoculated with samples drawn from the bioreactor at 0, 24, 72 and 120 hours after inoculation. Based on this Biolog Eco Plate profiling, a carbon source utilisation analysis was conducted to group the substrates according to their colour development patterns. Patterns were quantified via measurement of well optical density. Subsequently, cross-correlation statistical techniques were used to establish the existence of recurrent behavioural responses from each carbon source to the various wastewater samples. From the cross correlation, an attempt was made to classify the metabolic potential for future biodegradation processes. Carbohydrates, amino acids and carboxylic acids were the most predominant groups of sole carbon substrates showing similar growth behaviour in the consortium. PMID:16972382

  3. Quality of life, resource utilisation and health economics assessment in advanced neuroendocrine tumours: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Chau, I; Casciano, R; Willet, J; Wang, X; Yao, J C

    2013-11-01

    Neuroendocrine tumours (NET) are often diagnosed at an advanced stage when the prognosis is poor for patients, who often experience diminished quality of life (QoL). As new treatments for NET become available, it is important to characterise the associated outcomes, costs and QoL. A comprehensive search was performed to systematically review available data in advanced NET regarding cost of illness/resource utilisation, economic studies/health technology assessment and QoL. Four rounds of sequential review narrowed the search results to 22 relevant studies. Most focused on surgical procedures and diagnostic tools and contained limited information on the costs and consequences of medical therapies. Multiple tools are used to assess health-related QoL in NET, but few analyses have been conducted to assess the comparative impact of available treatment alternatives on QoL. Limitations include English language and the focus on advanced NET; ongoing terminology and classification changes prevented pooled statistical analyses. This systematic review suggests a lack of comparative economic and outcomes data associated with NET treatments. Further research on disease costs, resource utilisation and QoL for patients with advanced NET is warranted. PMID:23895457

  4. Quality of life, resource utilisation and health economics assessment in advanced neuroendocrine tumours: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Chau, I; Casciano, R; Willet, J; Wang, X; Yao, JC

    2013-01-01

    Neuroendocrine tumours (NET) are often diagnosed at an advanced stage when the prognosis is poor for patients, who often experience diminished quality of life (QoL). As new treatments for NET become available, it is important to characterise the associated outcomes, costs and QoL. A comprehensive search was performed to systematically review available data in advanced NET regarding cost of illness/resource utilisation, economic studies/health technology assessment and QoL. Four rounds of sequential review narrowed the search results to 22 relevant studies. Most focused on surgical procedures and diagnostic tools and contained limited information on the costs and consequences of medical therapies. Multiple tools are used to assess health-related QoL in NET, but few analyses have been conducted to assess the comparative impact of available treatment alternatives on QoL. Limitations include English language and the focus on advanced NET; ongoing terminology and classification changes prevented pooled statistical analyses. This systematic review suggests a lack of comparative economic and outcomes data associated with NET treatments. Further research on disease costs, resource utilisation and QoL for patients with advanced NET is warranted. PMID:23895457

  5. Utilisation of steviol glycosides from Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) by lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in in vitro conditions.

    PubMed

    Kunová, Gabriela; Rada, Vojtěch; Vidaillac, Adrien; Lisova, Ivana

    2014-05-01

    In the current study, eight strains of bifidobacteria and seven strains of lactobacilli were tested for their ability to grow in the presence of rebaudioside A and steviol glycosides from the sweetener Natusweet M001 originating from herb Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni). Stevia is gaining popularity as a natural, non-caloric sugar substitute, and recently, it was allowed as a food additive by European Union too. Utilisation of steviol glycosides by intestinal microbiota suggests that they might have potential prebiotic effect. Based on the evaluation of bacterial density and pH values in our in vitro study, it was found that lactobacilli and bifidobacteria tested were able to utilise steviol glycosides as a carbon source only to a very limited extent. All strains tested showed significantly lower change in the absorbance A540 (P < 0.05) and pH decrease of the growth media as compared with the positive controls (medium containing glucose as a carbon source and de Man Rogosa Sharpe broth). We concluded that a suggested prebiotic effect was not confirmed either in the case of rebaudioside A or in the case of the sweetener Natusweet M001 containing a mixture of steviol glycosides. PMID:24249153

  6. The effects of China’s urban basic medical insurance schemes on the equity of health service utilisation: evidence from Shaanxi Province

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction In order to alleviate the problem of “Kan Bing Nan, Kan Bing Gui” (medical treatment is difficult to access and expensive) and improve the equity of health service utilisation for urban residents in China, the Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance scheme (UEBMI) and Urban Resident Basic Medical Insurance scheme (URBMI) were established in 1999 and 2007, respectively. This study aims to analyse the effects of UEBMI and URBMI on the equity of outpatient and inpatient utilisation in Shaanxi Province, China. Methods Using the data from the fourth National Health Services Survey in Shaanxi Province, the method of Propensity Score Matching was employed to generate comparable samples between the insured and uninsured residents, through a one-to-one match algorithm. Next, based on the matched data, the method of decomposition of the concentration index was employed to compare the horizontal inequity indexes of health service utilisation between the UEBMI/URBMI insured and the matched uninsured residents. Results For the UEBMI insured and matched uninsured residents, the horizontal inequity indexes of outpatient visits are 0.1256 and -0.0511 respectively, and the horizontal inequity indexes of inpatient visits are 0.1222 and 0.2746 respectively. Meanwhile, the horizontal inequity indexes of outpatient visits are -0.1593 and 0.0967 for the URBMI insured and matched uninsured residents, and the horizontal inequity indexes of inpatient visits are 0.1931 and 0.3199 respectively. Conclusions The implementation of UEBMI increased the pro-rich inequity of outpatient utilisation (rich people utilise outpatient facilities more than the poor people) and the implementation of URBMI increased the pro-poor inequity of outpatient utilisation. Both of these two health insurance schemes reduced the pro-rich inequity of inpatient utilisation. PMID:24606592

  7. Clean coal technology. Coal utilisation by-products

    SciTech Connect

    2006-08-15

    The need to remove the bulk of ash contained in flue gas from coal-fired power plants coupled with increasingly strict environmental regulations in the USA result in increased generation of solid materials referred to as coal utilisation by-products, or CUBs. More than 40% of CUBs were sold or reused in the USA in 2004 compared to less than 25% in 1996. A goal of 50% utilization has been established for 2010. The American Coal Ash Association (ACCA) together with the US Department of Energy's Power Plant Improvement Initiative (PPPI) and Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI) sponsor a number of projects that promote CUB utilization. Several are mentioned in this report. Report sections are: Executive summary; Introduction; Where do CUBs come from?; Market analysis; DOE-sponsored CUB demonstrations; Examples of best-practice utilization of CUB materials; Factors limiting the use of CUBs; and Conclusions. 14 refs., 1 fig., 5 tabs., 14 photos.

  8. Technologies for the utilisation of biogenic waste in the bioeconomy.

    PubMed

    O'Callaghan, Kenneth

    2016-05-01

    A brief review has been done of technologies involved in the exploitation of biogenic wastes, in order to provide an introduction to the subject from the technological perspective. Biogenic waste materials and biomass have historically been utilised for thousands of years, but a new conversation is emerging on the role of these materials in modern bioeconomies. Due to the nature of the products and commodities now required, a modern bioeconomy is not simply a rerun of former ones. This new dialogue needs to help us understand how technologies for managing and processing biogenic wastes--both established and novel--should be deployed and integrated (or not) to meet the requirements of the sustainability, closed-loop and resource-security agendas that evidently sit behind the bioeconomy aspirations now being voiced in many countries and regions of the world. PMID:26769498

  9. Changes in health care utilisation following a reform involving choice and privatisation in Swedish primary care: a five-year follow-up of GP-visits

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The organisation of Swedish primary health care has changed following introduction of free choice of provider for the population in combination with freedom of establishment for private primary care providers. Our aim was to investigate changes in individual health care utilisation following choice and privatisation in Swedish primary care from an equity perspective, in subgroups defined by age, gender and family income. Methods The study is based on register data years 2007 – 2011 from the Skåne Regional Council (population 1.2 million) regarding individual health care utilisation in the form of visits to general practitioner (GP). Health utilisation data was matched with data about individual’s age, gender and family income provided by Statistics Sweden. Multilevel, logistic regression models were constructed to analyse changes in health utilisation in different subgroups and the probability of a GP-visit before and after reform. Results Health care utilisation in terms of both number of individuals that had visited a GP and number of GP-visits per capita increased in all defined subgroups, but to a varying degree. Multilevel logistic regression showed that individuals of both genders aged above 64 and belonging to a family with an income above median had more advantage of the reform, OR 1.25-1.29. Conclusions Reforms involving choice and privatisation in Swedish primary health care improved access to GP-visits generally, but more so for individuals belonging to a family with income above the median. PMID:24171894

  10. The Effect of Urban Basic Medical Insurance on Health Service Utilisation in Shaanxi Province, China: A Comparison of Two Schemes

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Jianmin; Yang, Xiaowei; Yan, Ju'e; Xue, Qinxiang; Chen, Gang

    2014-01-01

    Background Urban population in China is mainly covered by two medical insurance schemes: the Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance (UEBMI) for urban employees in formal sector and the Urban Resident Basic Medical Insurance (URBMI) for the left urban residents, mainly the unemployed, the elderly and children. This paper studies the effects of UEBMI and URBMI on health services utilisation in Shaanxi Province, Western China. Methods Cross-sectional data from the 4th National Health Services Survey - Shaanxi Province was studied. The propensity score matching and the coarsened exact matching methods have been used to estimate the average medical insurance effect on the insured. Results Compared to the uninsured, robust results suggest that UEBMI had significantly increased the outpatient health services utilisation in the last two weeks (p<0.10), whilst the significant effect on hospitalisation was evident in the CEM method (p<0.10). The effect of URBMI was limited in that although being insured was associated with higher health services utilisation, compared with the uninsured, none of the improvement was statistically significant (p>0.10). It was also found that compared with the uninsured, basic medical insurance enrollees were more likely to purchase inpatient treatments in lower levels of hospitals, consistent with the incentive of the benefit package design. Conclusion Basic Medical insurance schemes have shown a positive but limited effect on increasing health services utilisation in Shaanxi Province. The benefit package design of higher reimbursement rates for lower level hospitals has induced the insured to use medical services in lower level hospitals for inpatient services. PMID:24740282

  11. Human papilloma virus strain detection utilising custom-designed oligonucleotide microarrays.

    PubMed

    Ayers, Duncan; Platt, Mark; Javad, Farzad; Day, Philip J R

    2011-01-01

    Within the past 15 years, the utilisation of microarray technology for the detection of specific pathogen strains has increased rapidly. Presently, it is possible to simply purchase a pre-manufactured "off the shelf " oligonucleotide microarray bearing a wide variety of known signature DNA sequences previously identified in the organism being studied. Consequently, a hybridisation analysis may be used to pinpoint which strain/s is present in any given clinical sample. However, there exists a problem if the study necessitates the identification of novel sequences which are not represented in commercially available microarray chips. Ideally, such investigations require an in situ oligonucleotide microarray platform with the capacity to synthesise microarrays bearing probe sequences designed solely by the researcher. This chapter will focus on the employment of the Combimatrix® B3 CustomArray™ for the synthesis of reusable, bespoke microarrays for the purpose of discerning multiple Human Papilloma Virus strains. PMID:20938834

  12. A community-based intervention programme on hormonal contraceptives: The utilisation of social networks.

    PubMed

    Hidiroglu, S; Topuzoglu, A; Onsuz, M F

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the study was to determine the effects of an intervention programme based on the utilisation of the social learning concept which is practised through social networks among adult women in a suburban population in Turkey. The study was performed in two disadvantaged neighbourhoods of Umraniye, Istanbul. One of the neighbourhoods served as the intervention while the other as the control group. In order to document the efficacy of the intervention, baseline and evaluation surveys were carried out in both neighbourhoods. The most widely known hormonal contraceptive method was oral contraceptives, while emergency contraceptives were determined as the least known methods. The improvement was higher for the least known methods. Education with peer groups is shown to be effective in improving the knowledge of women about contraception. Information transfer through peer groups should be used more frequently particularly for emergency contraception. PMID:26472349

  13. Utilisation and costs of nursing agencies in the South African public health sector, 2005–2010

    PubMed Central

    Rispel, Laetitia C.; Angelides, George

    2014-01-01

    Background Globally, insufficient information exists on the costs of nursing agencies, which are temporary employment service providers that supply nurses to health establishments and/or private individuals. Objective The aim of the study was to determine the utilisation and direct costs of nursing agencies in the South African public health sector. Design A survey of all nine provincial health departments was conducted to determine utilisation and management of nursing agencies. The costs of nursing agencies were assumed to be equivalent to expenditure. Provincial health expenditure was obtained for five financial years (2005/6–2009/10) from the national Basic Accounting System database, and analysed using Microsoft Excel. Each of the 166,466 expenditure line items was coded. The total personnel and nursing agency expenditure was calculated for each financial year and for each province. Nursing agency expenditure as a percentage of the total personnel expenditure was then calculated. The nursing agency expenditure for South Africa is the total of all provincial expenditure. The 2009/10 annual government salary scales for different categories of nurses were used to calculate the number of permanent nurses who could have been employed in lieu of agency expenditure. All expenditure is expressed in South African rands (R; US$1 ∼ R7, 2010 prices). Results Only five provinces reported utilisation of nursing agencies, but all provinces showed agency expenditure. In the 2009/10 financial year, R1.49 billion (US$212.64 million) was spent on nursing agencies in the public health sector. In the same year, agency expenditure ranged from a low of R36.45 million (US$5.20 million) in Mpumalanga Province (mixed urban-rural) to a high of R356.43 million (US$50.92 million) in the Eastern Cape Province (mixed urban-rural). Agency expenditure as a percentage of personnel expenditure ranged from 0.96% in KwaZulu-Natal Province (mixed urban-rural) to 11.96% in the Northern Cape

  14. Spatial modelling of healthcare utilisation for treatment of fever in Namibia

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Health care utilization is affected by several factors including geographic accessibility. Empirical data on utilization of health facilities is important to understanding geographic accessibility and defining health facility catchments at a national level. Accurately defining catchment population improves the analysis of gaps in access, commodity needs and interpretation of disease incidence. Here, empirical household survey data on treatment seeking for fever were used to model the utilisation of public health facilities and define their catchment areas and populations in northern Namibia. Method This study uses data from the Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS) of 2009 on treatment seeking for fever among children under the age of five years to characterize facility utilisation. Probability of attendance of public health facilities for fever treatment was modelled against a theoretical surface of travel times using a three parameter logistic model. The fitted model was then applied to a population surface to predict the number of children likely to use a public health facility during an episode of fever in northern Namibia. Results Overall, from the MIS survey, the prevalence of fever among children was 17.6% CI [16.0-19.1] (401 of 2,283 children) while public health facility attendance for fever was 51.1%, [95%CI: 46.2-56.0]. The coefficients of the logistic model of travel time against fever treatment at public health facilities were all significant (p < 0.001). From this model, probability of facility attendance remained relatively high up to 180 minutes (3 hours) and thereafter decreased steadily. Total public health facility catchment population of children under the age five was estimated to be 162,286 in northern Namibia with an estimated fever burden of 24,830 children. Of the estimated fevers, 8,021 (32.3%) were within 30 minutes of travel time to the nearest health facility while 14,902 (60.0%) were within 1 hour. Conclusion This study

  15. The Effect of Children's Rights Training on Primary School Students' Utilisation and Knowledge Level about Children's Rights

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozmen, Suna Kaymak; Ocal, Tugba; Ozmen, Ahmet

    2014-01-01

    Recently, children's rights issue has taken attention. In this study, main purpose was to investigate the utilisation and knowledge level of 4th and 5th grade primary school students after children's rights training. The participants of this survey study were selected randomly from 10 schools. Results indicated that students had the…

  16. Utilisation of sexual health services by female sex workers in Nepal

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The Nepal Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) in 2006 showed that more than half (56%) of the women with sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, in Nepal sought sexual health services. There is no such data for female sex workers (FSWs) and the limited studies on this group suggest they do not even use routine health services. This study explores FSWs use of sexual health services and the factors associated with their use and non-use of services. Methods This study aimed to explore the factors associated with utilisation of sexual health services by FSWs in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, and it used a mixed-method approach consisting of an interviewer administered questionnaire-based survey and in-depth interviews. Results The questionnaire survey, completed with 425 FSWs, showed that 90% FSWs self-reported sickness, and (30.8%) reported symptoms of STIs. A quarter (25%) of those reporting STIs had never visited any health facilities especially for sexual health services preferring to use non-governmental clinics (72%), private clinics (50%), hospital (27%) and health centres (13%). Multiple regression analysis showed that separated, married and street- based FSWs were more likely to seek health services from the clinics or hospitals. In- depth interviews with 15 FSWs revealed that FSWs perceived that personal, structural and socio-cultural barriers, such as inappropriate clinic opening hours, discrimination, the judgemental attitude of the service providers, lack of confidentiality, fear of public exposure, and higher fees for the services as barriers to their access and utilisation of sexual health services. Conclusion FSWs have limited access to information and to health services, and operate under personal, structural and socio-cultural constraints. The 'education' to change individual behaviour, health worker and community perceptions, as well as the training of the health workers, is necessary. PMID:21501473

  17. Possibilities for the efficient utilisation of spent geothermal waters.

    PubMed

    Tomaszewska, Barbara; Szczepański, Andrzej

    2014-10-01

    Waters located at greater depths usually exhibit high mineral content, which necessitates the use of closed systems, i.e. re-injecting them into the formation after recovering the heat. This significantly reduces investment efficiency owing to the need to drill absorption wells and to perform anti-corrosion and anti-clogging procedures. In this paper, possibilities for the efficient utilisation of cooled geothermal waters are considered, particularly with respect to open or mixed geothermal water installations. Where cooled water desalination technologies are used, this allows the water to be demineralised and used to meet local needs (as drinking water and for leisure purposes). The retentate left as a by-product of the process contains valuable ingredients that can be used for balneological and/or leisure purposes. Thus, the technology for desalinating spent geothermal waters with high mineral content allows improved water management on a local scale and makes it possible to minimise the environmental threat resulting from the need to dump these waters into waterways or surface water bodies and/or inject them into the formation. The paper is concerned with Polish geothermal system and provides information about the parameters of Polish geothermal waters. PMID:24903247

  18. Primary care utilisation patterns among an urban immigrant population in the Spanish National Health System

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background There is evidence suggesting that the use of health services is lower among immigrants after adjusting for age and sex. This study takes a step forward to compare primary care (PC) utilisation patterns between immigrants and the native population with regard to their morbidity burden. Methods This retrospective, observational study looked at 69,067 individuals representing the entire population assigned to three urban PC centres in the city of Zaragoza (Aragon, Spain). Poisson models were applied to determine the number of annual PC consultations per individual based on immigration status. All models were first adjusted for age and sex and then for age, sex and case mix (ACG System®). Results The age and sex adjusted mean number of total annual consultations was lower among the immigrant population (children: IRR = 0.79, p < 0.05; adults: IRR = 0.73, p < 0.05). After adjusting for morbidity burden, this difference decreased among children (IRR = 0.94, p < 0.05) and disappeared among adults (IRR = 1.00). Further analysis considering the PC health service and type of visit revealed higher usage of routine diagnostic tests among immigrant children (IRR = 1.77, p < 0.05) and a higher usage of emergency services among the immigrant adult population (IRR = 1.2, p < 0.05) after adjusting for age, sex and case mix. Conclusions Although immigrants make lower use of PC services than the native population after adjusting the consultation rate for age and sex, these differences decrease significantly when considering their morbidity burden. These results reinforce the 'healthy migration effect' and discount the existence of differences in PC utilisation patterns between the immigrant and native populations in Spain. PMID:21645335

  19. Impact of caprock permeability on vertical ground surface displacements in geological underground utilisation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kempka, Thomas; Tillner, Elena

    2015-04-01

    Geological underground utilisation inducing pore pressure changes in underground reservoirs is generally accompanied by hydro-mechanical processes. Thereby, pore pressure increase due to fluid injection may trigger ground surface uplift, while a decrease in pore pressure due to reservoir fluid production is known to induce ground subsidence. Different coupled hydro-mechanical simulation studies (e.g. Klimkowski et al., 2015, Kempka et al., 2014, Tillner et al., 2014) indicate that ground surface displacements can achieve a magnitude of several decimetres, if storage or production operations are being carried out at an industrial scale. Consequently, detailed knowledge on the parameters impacting ground surface uplift or subsidence is of major interest for the success of any geological underground utilisation in order to avoid surface infrastructure damage by spatially varying deformations. Furthermore, ground subsidence may result increased groundwater levels as experienced in different underground coal mining districts. In the present study, we carried out coupled hydro-mechanical simulations to account for the impact of caprock permeability on ground surface displacements resulting from geological underground utilisation. Thereto, different simulation scenarios were investigated using a synthetic 3D coupled numerical simulation model with varying caprock permeability and vertical location of the open well section in the target reservoir. Material property ranges were derived from available literature, while a normal faulting stress state was applied in all simulation scenarios. Our simulation results demonstrate that caprock permeability has a significant impact on the pressure development, and thus on vertical displacements at the ground surface as well as at the reservoir top. An increase in caprock permeability from 1 x 10-20 m2 by two orders of magnitude doubles vertical displacements at the ground surface, whereas vertical displacements at the reservoir top

  20. Utilisation of Pangolin (Manis sps) in traditional Yorubic medicine in Ijebu province, Ogun State, Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Concern about the use of endangered and threatened species in traditional medicine escalated as populations of many species plummeted because of poaching for the medicinal trade. Nigeria is known for a long and valued tradition of using wild animals and plants for medicinal purposes. Despite this, studies on medicinal animals are still scarce when compared to those focusing on medicinal plants. Utilisation of wild animals in traditional Yorubic medical practices was indiscriminate as it involved threatened species. By touting the medicinal properties of these species, traditional medicine fuel continuing demand, thereby subjecting such species to further threats. This paper examined the use and commercialisation of pangolins for traditional medicinal purposes amongst the Ijebus, South-western Nigeria, and the implications of this utilisation for the conservation of this species. Methods Traditional Yorubic medical practitioners (tymps) (16) and dealers in traditional medicinal ingredients (56) in public markets in Ijebu province, Nigeria, were interviewed using open-ended questionnaires. The dynamic stock movement of pangolins in the stalls of dealers was also monitored to determine quantity of pangolins sold into the traditional Yorubic medicinal practices. Specific conditions treated and the parts required were also documented. Results A total of 178 whole pangolin carcasses were sold into traditional medical practices. Above 55% of respondents had just primary education, over 90% of respondents were not aware of either the conservation status of this species or the existence of any legal machinery regulating its trade and utilisation, while 14% admitted to giving contracts to hunters for deliberate search for this animal when needed. More than 98% of respondents have no other means of livelihood. The trade was female dominated while the healing practice had more males. Pangolins were used in various preparations to treat a total of 42 conditions

  1. A compilation of research working groups on drug utilisation across Europe

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The assessment of the benefit-risk of medicines needs careful consideration concerning their patterns of utilization. Systems for the monitoring of medicines consumption have been established in many European countries, and several international groups have identified and described them. No other compilation of European working groups has been published. As part of the PROTECT project, as a first step in searching for European data sources on the consumption of five selected groups of medicines, we aimed to identify and describe the main characteristics of the existing collaborative European working groups. Findings Google and bibliographic searches (PubMed) of articles containing information on databases and other sources of drug consumption data were conducted. For each working group the main characteristics were recorded. Nineteen selected groups were identified, focusing on: a) general drug utilisation (DU) research (EuroDURG, CNC, ISPE’S SIG-DUR, EURO-MED-STAT, PIPERSKA Group, NorPEN, ENCePP, DURQUIM), b) specific DU research: b.1) antimicrobial drugs (ARPAC, ESAC, ARPEC, ESGAP, HAPPY AUDIT), b.2) cardiovascular disease (ARITMO, EUROASPIRE), b.3) paediatrics (TEDDY), and b.4) mental health/central nervous system effects (ESEMeD, DRUID, TUPP/EUPoMMe). Information on their aims, methods and activities is presented. Conclusions We assembled and updated information on European working groups in DU research and in the utilisation of five selected groups of drugs for the PROTECT project. This information should be useful for academic researchers, regulatory and health authorities, and pharmaceutical companies conducting and interpreting post-authorisation and safety studies. European health authorities should encourage national research and collaborations in this important field for public health. PMID:24625054

  2. Articulating Injustice: An Exploration of Young People's Experiences of Participation in a Conflict Transformation Programme That Utilises the Arts as a Form of Dialogue

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knight, Heather

    2014-01-01

    This paper reflects on a study that explores young people's engagement with the Art: a Resource for Reconciliation Over the World (ARROW) programme. The programme utilises the arts to promote critical dialogue amongst young people growing up in divided communities around the world. Dialogue has been criticised for its inability to tackle…

  3. The Utilisation of the Internet by Palestinian English Language Teachers Focusing on Uses, Practices and Barriers and Overall Contribution to Professional Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kabilan, Muhammad Kamarul; Rajab, Belal Mousa

    2010-01-01

    The paper describes a study designed to investigate the utilisation of the Internet by English Language teachers in Gaza focusing on uses, practices and barriers. A questionnaire was developed based on literature (Kabilan 2003; Kabilan & Mohamed Amin 2002) and was administered to 274 English language teachers in Gaza schools. Data reveal that…

  4. Impact of technology on the utilisation of positron emission tomography in lymphoma: current and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    Visvikis, D; Ell, P J

    2003-06-01

    Positron emission tomography (PET) has now gained a place in the management of patients with cancer, including those with Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Restaging studies and those addressing the monitoring of response to treatment are especially in focus. Most of the knowledge gained has been achieved with dedicated BGO-based PET technology, but there are a number of developments that will impact on the use of this metabolic imaging technique in the investigation of patients with lymphoma. The challenges ahead are determined by the need for high-quality whole-body imaging associated with increased patient throughput and the need to investigate the role of new labelled ligands. The latter are likely to yield new insights into tumour cell characterisation, tumour behaviour and tumour outcome assessment. The study of new radiolabelled ligands will impose further demands for rapid dynamic data acquisition and accurate tracer quantification. Current and future developments in PET technology range from the use of new detector materials to different detector geometries and data acquisition modes. The search for alternatives to BGO scintillation materials for PET has led to the development of PET instruments utilising new crystals such as LSO and GSO. The use of these new detectors and the increased sensitivity achieved with 3D data acquisitions represent the most significant current developments in the field. With the increasing demands imposed on the clinical utilisation of PET, issues such as study cost and patient throughput will emerge as significant future factors. As a consequence, low-cost units are being offered by the manufacturers through the utilisation of gamma camera-based SPET systems for PET coincidence imaging. Unfortunately, clinical studies in lymphoma and other cancers have already demonstrated the limitations of this technology, with 20% of lesions <15 mm in size escaping detection. On the other hand, the recent development of combined

  5. Out-of-Pocket Payments, Health Care Access and Utilisation in South-Eastern Nigeria: A Gender Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Onah, Michael N.; Govender, Veloshnee

    2014-01-01

    Out-of-pocket (OOP) payments have severe consequences for health care access and utilisation and are especially catastrophic for the poor. Although women comprise the majority of the poor in Nigeria and globally, the implications of OOP payments for health care access from a gender perspective have received little attention. This study seeks to fill this gap by using a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis to investigate the gendered impact of OOPs on healthcare utilisation in south-eastern Nigeria. 411 households were surveyed and six single-sex Focus Group Discussions conducted. This study confirmed the socioeconomic and demographic vulnerability of female-headed households (FHHs), which contributed to gender-based inter-household differences in healthcare access, cost burden, choices of healthcare providers, methods of funding healthcare and coping strategies. FHHs had higher cost burdens from seeking care and untreated morbidity than male-headed households (MHHs) with affordability as a reason for not seeking care. There is also a high utilisation of patent medicine vendors (PMVs) by both households (PMVs are drug vendors that are unregulated, likely to offer very low-quality treatment and do not have trained personnel). OOP payment was predominantly the means of healthcare payment for both households, and households spoke of the difficulties associated with repaying health-related debt with implications for the medical poverty trap. It is recommended that the removal of user fees, introduction of prepayment schemes, and regulating PMVs be considered to improve access and provide protection against debt for FHHs and MHHs. The vulnerability of widows is of special concern and efforts to improve their healthcare access and broader efforts to empower should be encouraged for them and other poor households. PMID:24728103

  6. High-throughput genotyping of hop (Humulus lupulus L.) utilising diversity arrays technology (DArT).

    PubMed

    Howard, E L; Whittock, S P; Jakše, J; Carling, J; Matthews, P D; Probasco, G; Henning, J A; Darby, P; Cerenak, A; Javornik, B; Kilian, A; Koutoulis, A

    2011-05-01

    Implementation of molecular methods in hop (Humulus lupulus L.) breeding is dependent on the availability of sizeable numbers of polymorphic markers and a comprehensive understanding of genetic variation. However, use of molecular marker technology is limited due to expense, time inefficiency, laborious methodology and dependence on DNA sequence information. Diversity arrays technology (DArT) is a high-throughput cost-effective method for the discovery of large numbers of quality polymorphic markers without reliance on DNA sequence information. This study is the first to utilise DArT for hop genotyping, identifying 730 polymorphic markers from 92 hop accessions. The marker quality was high and similar to the quality of DArT markers previously generated for other species; although percentage polymorphism and polymorphism information content (PIC) were lower than in previous studies deploying other marker systems in hop. Genetic relationships in hop illustrated by DArT in this study coincide with knowledge generated using alternate methods. Several statistical analyses separated the hop accessions into genetically differentiated North American and European groupings, with hybrids between the two groups clearly distinguishable. Levels of genetic diversity were similar in the North American and European groups, but higher in the hybrid group. The markers produced from this time and cost-efficient genotyping tool will be a valuable resource for numerous applications in hop breeding and genetics studies, such as mapping, marker-assisted selection, genetic identity testing, guidance in the maintenance of genetic diversity and the directed breeding of superior cultivars. PMID:21243330

  7. Utilisation of helicopter emergency medical services in the early medical response to major incidents: a systematic literature review

    PubMed Central

    Johnsen, Anne Siri; Fattah, Sabina; Sollid, Stephen J M; Rehn, Marius

    2016-01-01

    Objective This systematic review identifies, describes and appraises the literature describing the utilisation of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) in the early medical response to major incidents. Setting Early prehospital phase of a major incident. Design Systematic literature review performed according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, the Web of Science, PsycINFO, Scopus, Cinahl, Bibsys Ask, Norart, Svemed and UpToDate were searched using phrases that combined HEMS and ‘major incidents’ to identify when and how HEMS was utilised. The identified studies were subjected to data extraction and appraisal. Results The database search identified 4948 articles. Based on the title and abstract, the full text of 96 articles was obtained; of these, 37 articles were included in the review, and an additional five were identified by searching the reference lists of the 37 articles. HEMS was used to transport medical and rescue personnel to the incident and to transport patients to the hospital, especially when the infrastructure was damaged. Insufficient air traffic control, weather conditions, inadequate landing sites and failing communication were described as challenging in some incidents. Conclusions HEMS was used mainly for patient treatment and to transport patients, personnel and equipment in the early medical management of major incidents, but the optimal utilisation of this specialised resource remains unclear. This review identified operational areas with improvement potential. A lack of systematic indexing, heterogeneous data reporting and weak methodological design, complicated the identification and comparison of incidents, and more systematic reporting is needed. Trial registration number CRD42013004473. PMID:26861938

  8. Multimorbidity and healthcare utilisation among high-cost patients in the US Veterans Affairs Health Care System

    PubMed Central

    Zulman, Donna M; Pal Chee, Christine; Wagner, Todd H; Yoon, Jean; Cohen, Danielle M; Holmes, Tyson H; Ritchie, Christine; Asch, Steven M

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To investigate the relationship between multimorbidity and healthcare utilisation patterns among the highest cost patients in a large, integrated healthcare system. Design In this retrospective cross-sectional study of all patients in the U.S. Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System, we aggregated costs of individuals’ outpatient and inpatient care, pharmacy services and VA-sponsored contract care received in 2010. We assessed chronic condition prevalence, multimorbidity as measured by comorbidity count, and multisystem multimorbidity (number of body systems affected by chronic conditions) among the 5% highest cost patients. Using multivariate regression, we examined the association between multimorbidity and healthcare utilisation and costs, adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, marital status, homelessness and health insurance status. Setting USA VA Health Care System. Participants 5.2 million VA patients. Measures Annual total costs; absolute and share of costs generated through outpatient, inpatient, pharmacy and VA-sponsored contract care; number of visits to primary, specialty and mental healthcare; number of emergency department visits and hospitalisations. Results The 5% highest cost patients (n=261 699) accounted for 47% of total VA costs. Approximately two-thirds of these patients had chronic conditions affecting ≥3 body systems. Patients with cancer and schizophrenia were less likely to have documented comorbid conditions than other high-cost patients. Multimorbidity was generally associated with greater outpatient and inpatient utilisation. However, increased multisystem multimorbidity was associated with a higher outpatient share of total costs (1.6 percentage points per affected body system, p<0.01) but a lower inpatient share of total costs (−0.6 percentage points per affected body system, p<0.01). Conclusions Multisystem multimorbidity is common among high-cost VA patients. While some patients might benefit from disease

  9. Analysis of the Diversity of Substrate Utilisation of Soil Bacteria Exposed to Cd and Earthworm Activity Using Generalised Additive Models

    PubMed Central

    Muñiz, Selene; Lacarta, Juan; Pata, María P.; Jiménez, Juan José; Navarro, Enrique

    2014-01-01

    Biolog EcoPlates™ can be used to measure the carbon substrate utilisation patterns of microbial communities. This method results in a community-level physiological profile (CLPP), which yields a very large amount of data that may be difficult to interpret. In this work, we explore a combination of statistical techniques (particularly the use of generalised additive models [GAMs]) to improve the exploitation of CLPP data. The strength of GAMs lies in their ability to address highly non-linear relationships between the response and the set of explanatory variables. We studied the impact of earthworms (Aporrectodea caliginosa Savigny 1826) and cadmium (Cd) on the CLPP of soil bacteria. The results indicated that both Cd and earthworms modified the CLPP. GAMs were used to assess time-course changes in the diversity of substrate utilisation (DSU) using the Shannon-Wiener index. GAMs revealed significant differences for all treatments (compared to control -S-). The Cd exposed microbial community presented very high metabolic capacities on a few substrata, resulting in an initial acute decrease of DSU (i.e. intense utilization of a few carbon substrata). After 54 h, and over the next 43 h the increase of the DSU suggest that other taxa, less dominant, reached high numbers in the wells containing sources that are less suitable for the Cd-tolerant taxa. Earthworms were a much more determining factor in explaining time course changes in DSU than Cd. Accordingly, Ew and EwCd soils presented similar trends, regardless the presence of Cd. Moreover, both treatments presented similar number of bacteria and higher than Cd-treated soils. This experimental approach, based on the use of DSU and GAMs allowed for a global and statistically relevant interpretation of the changes in carbon source utilisation, highlighting the key role of earthworms on the protection of microbial communities against the Cd. PMID:24416339

  10. Utilisation of biomass gasification by-products for onsite energy production.

    PubMed

    Vakalis, S; Sotiropoulos, A; Moustakas, K; Malamis, D; Baratieri, M

    2016-06-01

    Small scale biomass gasification is a sector with growth and increasing applications owing to the environmental goals of the European Union and the incentivised policies of most European countries. This study addresses two aspects, which are at the centre of attention concerning the operation and development of small scale gasifiers; reuse of waste and increase of energy efficiency. Several authors have denoted that the low electrical efficiency of these systems is the main barrier for further commercial development. In addition, gasification has several by-products that have no further use and are discarded as waste. In the framework of this manuscript, a secondary reactor is introduced and modelled. The main operating principle is the utilisation of char and flue gases for further energy production. These by-products are reformed into secondary producer gas by means of a secondary reactor. In addition, a set of heat exchangers capture the waste heat and optimise the process. This case study is modelled in a MATLAB-Cantera environment. The model is non-stoichiometric and applies the Gibbs minimisation principle. The simulations show that some of the thermal energy is depleted during the process owing to the preheating of flue gases. Nonetheless, the addition of a secondary reactor results in an increase of the electrical power production efficiency and the combined heat and power (CHP) efficiency. PMID:27118736

  11. Space resource utilisation: a novel indicator to quantify species competitive ability for light

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Pengfei; Zhou, Xiaolong; Li, Junyong; Guo, Zhi; Du, Guozhen

    2015-01-01

    Species richness and productivity are two fundamental aspects of ecosystems. As a result, the relationship between species richness and productivity has been widely studied. A series of fertilisation experiments in an alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau were performed to study the relationship between species richness and productivity. In this paper, we present a novel indicator, i.e., space resource utilisation (SRU), which is calculated by a volume formula (Vi  =  hi · Si; hi = plant height of species i, Si = quadrat area × percent cover of species i). SRU more fully reflected species competitive ability for light in both horizontal and vertical dimensions compared with plant height and cover. We used this novel indicator to investigate the effects of SRU on the changes in species richness and productivity following fertilisation. We found that the SRU of the community was correlated with increasing productivity and decreasing species richness following fertilisation and was a better predictor of species richness than productivity. The changes in SRU following fertilisation vary among species. These results demonstrate that SRU can be a more useful tool in explaining plant biodiversity loss and predicting the fate of different species than each of height, cover and productivity. PMID:26593068

  12. Comparisons of pastoralists perceptions about rangeland resource utilisation in the Middle Awash Valley of Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Abule, E; Snyman, H A; Smit, G N

    2005-04-01

    Pastoralism is the most dominant land use form in the arid rangelands of Sub-Saharan Africa, but this rangeland-based lifestyle is under threat. As a consequence a study was conducted in the Middle Awash Valley of Ethiopia with the main objectives of assessing and comparing the broad perceptions of two pastoral groups (the Oromo ethnic group living in Kereyu-Fantale and the Afar ethnic group living in Awash-Fantale) on the usage of the existing rangeland resources, and their views on constraints and possible solutions. Data were collected from 90 Oromo and 55 Afar households. Despite the difference in ethnicity both of these groups share common problems. They derive their main income from the sale of animals and animal products, but with the difference that milk products rank first in the case of the Afar and last in the case of the Oromo. Both pastoral groups depend heavily on native grasses for animal feed and to a lesser extent on woody plants as a source of browse. The majority of respondents were of the opinion that the condition of the rangelands is poor, mainly due to overgrazing, droughts and increases in the human population. Availability of water is also regarded as a problem, mainly by the Oromo. Migration is the first measure taken to solve shortages of livestock feed, but many of the pastoralists replied that migration is an undesirable practise which is mostly done out of necessity. Because of the limited resources most respondents of both groups still prefer communal land tenure where resources are shared. It is concluded that the problems facing the pastoralists in the Middle Awash Valley have been created over many years and the solutions will also require time. With the current approach of the communal grazing systems, sustainable utilisation of the rangeland ecosystem is not possible. Solutions to the poor condition of the existing rangelands will require a definite commitment and full participation not only of the pastoralists, but also of

  13. Generation and utilisation of quality indicators for satellite-derived atmospheric motion vectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmlund, Kenneth

    The extraction of Atmospheric Motion Vectors (AMVs) from cloud and moisture features from successive geostationary satellite images is an established and important part of the global observing system. One of the main problems in the utilisation of this data is the variable quality of the derived displacement vectors. Furthermore the AMVs are still currently used as single point measurements, even though they are generally based on targets that represent large areas and the height that is assigned to the vectors often represents a layer mean. In the early AMV derivation schemes the derived vector fields were quality controlled by experienced meteorologists and poor vectors were removed. Furthermore any suspect vector showing any kind of deviations in time and space was rejected and hence only about 17% of all possible vectors were disseminated. Today the high production frequency and the increased resolution make manual quality control unfeasible. Furthermore the new assimilation schemes utilised in Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) require qualitative information on the errors of the individual AMVs. This Thesis describes an Automatic Quality Control (AQC) scheme that is based on the statistical properties of the derived AMVs. The properties of the AMVs, i.e. their consistency in time and space, are interpreted with a number of tests. The outcome of each test is normalised such that they can be combined to a Quality Indicator (QI) that gives an estimation of the expected quality of every individual vector as is shown by statistics against radiosondes and verified by the positive impact in data assimilation schemes. The QIs are currently derived and disseminated together with the derived AMVs by several operational AMV derivation centres. Only a small number of vectors are now removed before dissemination. The QIs are used operationally for data selection at various NWT centres and have alleviated some of the problems related to the assimilation of this data in NWT

  14. Relationship between Health Insurance Status and the Pattern of Traditional Medicine Utilisation in Ghana

    PubMed Central

    Gyasi, Razak Mohammed

    2015-01-01

    This paper examines the relationship between national health insurance status and the pattern of traditional medicine (TRM) use among the general population in Ghana. A retrospective cross-sectional survey of randomly sampled adults, aged ≥18 years (N = 324), was conducted. The results indicate that TRM use was high with prevalence of over 86%. The study found no statistically significant association between national health insurance status and TRM utilisation (P > 0.05). Paradoxically, major sources of TRM, frequency of TRM use, comedical administration, and disclosure of TRM use to health care professionals differed significantly between the insured and uninsured subgroups (P < 0.001). Whereas effectiveness of TRM predicted its use for both insured [odds ratio (OR) = 4.374 (confidence interval (CI): 1.753–10.913; P = 0.002)] and uninsured [OR = 3.383 CI: 0.869–13.170; P = 0.039)], work experience predicted TRM use for the insured [OR = 1.528 (95% CI: 1.309–1.900; P = 0.019)]. Cultural specific variables and health philosophies rather than health insurance status may influence health care-seeking behaviour and TRM use. The enrollment of herbal-based therapies on the national health insurance medicine plan is exigent to ensure monitoring and rational use of TRM towards intercultural health care system in Ghana. PMID:26347791

  15. Utilisation of single added fatty acids by consortia of digester sludge in batch culture

    SciTech Connect

    Wagner, Andreas Otto; Gstrauntaler, Gudrun; Illmer, Paul

    2010-10-15

    Inocula derived from an anaerobic digester were used to study (i) their potential for methane production and (ii) the utilisation rates of different short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) by the microbial community in defined media with mono-carbon sources (formic-, acetetic-, propionic-, butyric acid) in batch culture. It could be demonstrated that the microbial reactor population could be transferred successfully to the lab, and its ability to build up methane was present even with deteriorating biogas plant performance. Therefore, this reduction in performance of the biogas plant was not due to a decrease in abundance, but due to an inactivity of the microbial community. Generally, the physico-chemical properties of the biogas plant seemed to favour hydrogenotrophic methanogens, as seen by the high metabolisation rates of formate compared with all other carbon sources. In contrast, acetoclastic methanogenesis could be shown to play a minor role in the methane production of the investigated biogas plant, although the origin of up to 66% of methane is generally suggested to be generated through acetoclastic pathway.

  16. Learning preferences of first year nursing and midwifery students: utilising VARK.

    PubMed

    James, Santhamma; D'Amore, Angelo; Thomas, Theda

    2011-05-01

    The diversity of first year students is increasing with new schemes promoting access to higher education courses. It is important to assess the learning styles of students in order to cater for their differing learning needs. The aim of this study was to profile first year nursing/midwifery students at two campuses of Australian Catholic University, to investigate their learning preferences and the effect demographic background has on these preferences. We designed a survey to collect demographic data and incorporated the VARK (visual, aural, read-write and kinaesthetic) questionnaire to investigate the students' preferred learning modes. The kinaesthetic score of our students was the highest (7.34 ± 2.67), significantly differing from the other three modes (p<0.001). Demographic factors such as gender and age group did not influence mean scores of each sensory modality. The predominant preference was quadmodal utilising all four learning styles. The distribution of students preferring to learn by unimodal, bimodal, trimodal and quadmodal styles varied between demographic groupings. The rural students had significantly higher visual and kinaesthetic scores compared to their metropolitan counterparts. Students attending the rural campus had higher visual and read-write scores. Visual and aural scores were significantly lower for students from non-English speaking backgrounds. These findings have significant teaching and research implications. PMID:20826044

  17. Effects of thermal treatments on the characterisation and utilisation of red mud with sawdust additive.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yanju; Naidu, Ravi; Ming, Hui; Dharmarajan, Rajarathnam; Du, Jianhua

    2016-06-01

    Extremely large amounts of red mud (bauxite residue) are generated globally every year from alumina refining industries, which are being disposed of on engineered landfills. The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of thermal treatments on red mud for development of utilisation strategies. Thermal treatments of red mud samples and their characterisations were investigated under inert (N2) and oxidative (air) conditions with and without sawdust addition at 200-600°C. After calcination, the resulting samples were analysed using thermogravimetric-infrared spectroscopy (TG-IR) for functional group transformations, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) for thermal loss profiles and X-ray diffraction (XRD) for mineral transformations. The characterisation results showed that in N2 environment, boehmite in red mud was transferred to transition alumina at around 400°C while losing water from structural components. The addition of sawdust for incubation and calcination of red mud in air increased the surface area, whereas that in nitrogen atmosphere lead to reduction of hematite to magnetite at around 500°C. The incorporated carbon materials played a major role in increasing the surface area especially for pore size less than 2.5 nm. This treated red mud with altered mineral composition and improved properties for binding contaminants can be used for environmental remediation and in the process of metal recovery such as iron. PMID:26951343

  18. Determinants of healthcare utilisation and predictors of outcome in colorectal cancer patients from Northern Iran.

    PubMed

    Semnani, S; Noorafkan, Z; Aryaie, M; Sedaghat, S-M; Moghaddami, A; Kazemnejhad, V; Khorasaninejhad, R; Ghasemi-Kebria, F; Roshandel, G

    2016-03-01

    We aimed to assess healthcare utilisation (HU), its determinants, as well as its relationship with survival in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. This study was conducted on incident CRC cases from Northern Iran. Information on HU was collected using a valid questionnaire, considering eight diagnostic and four therapeutic services. The results were categorised as good and poor HU. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to assess the relationship between HU and other variables. Cox regression analysis was performed to determine major predictors of survival. In total, 227 new cases of CRC were enrolled. HU could be assessed in 218 subjects (96%). Living in rural areas was the strongest variable related to poor HU (adjusted OR, odds ratio = 2.65; CI, confidence interval: 1.30-5.40). The median survival time was 40.5 months. The 1-, 3- and 5-year survival rates were 71%, 52% and 44% respectively. Cox regression analysis showed a significant lower survival rate in patients with poor HU (HR = 2.3; CI: 1.46-3.64). HU was an independent predictor of survival in our CRC patients. Patients' place of residence was a significant determinant of HU. Regarding its effects on patients' outcome, HU and its determinants should be considered in designing CRC controlling programmes in our region and similar high-risk populations. PMID:25801407

  19. Computerised 3-D anatomical modelling using plastinates: an example utilising the human heart.

    PubMed

    Tunali, S; Kawamoto, K; Farrell, M L; Labrash, S; Tamura, K; Lozanoff, S

    2011-08-01

    Computerised modelling methods have become highly useful for generating electronic representations of anatomical structures. These methods rely on crosssectional tissue slices in databases such as the Visible Human Male and Female, the Visible Korean Human, and the Visible Chinese Human. However, these databases are time consuming to generate and require labour-intensive manual digitisation while the number of specimens is very limited. Plastinated anatomical material could provide a possible alternative to data collection, requiring less time to prepare and enabling the use of virtually any anatomical or pathological structure routinely obtained in a gross anatomy laboratory. The purpose of this study was to establish an approach utilising plastinated anatomical material, specifically human hearts, for the purpose computerised 3-D modelling. Human hearts were collected following gross anatomical dissection and subjected to routine plastination procedures including dehydration (-25(o)C), defatting, forced impregnation, and curing at room temperature. A graphics pipeline was established comprising data collection with a hand-held scanner, 3-D modelling, model polishing, file conversion, and final rendering. Representative models were viewed and qualitatively assessed for accuracy and detail. The results showed that the heart model provided detailed surface information necessary for gross anatomical instructional purposes. Rendering tools facilitated optional model manipulation for further structural clarification if selected by the user. The use of plastinated material for generating 3-D computerised models has distinct advantages compared to cross-sectional tissue images. PMID:21866531

  20. Carbon dioxide utilisation of Dunaliella tertiolecta for carbon bio-mitigation in a semicontinuous photobioreactor.

    PubMed

    Farrelly, Damien J; Brennan, Liam; Everard, Colm D; McDonnell, Kevin P

    2014-04-01

    Bio-fixation of carbon dioxide (CO2) by microalgae has been recognised as an attractive approach to offset anthropogenic emissions. Biological carbon mitigation is the process whereby autotrophic organisms, such as microalgae, convert CO2 into organic carbon and O2 through photosynthesis; this process through respiration produces biomass. In this study Dunaliella tertiolecta was cultivated in a semicontinuous culture to investigate the carbon mitigation rate of the system. The algae were produced in 1.2-L Roux bottles with a working volume of 1 L while semicontinuous production commenced on day 4 of cultivation when the carbon mitigation rate was found to be at a maximum for D. tertiolecta. The reduction in CO2 between input and output gases was monitored to predict carbon fixation rates while biomass production and microalgal carbon content are used to calculate the actual carbon mitigation potential of D. tertiolecta. A renewal rate of 45 % of flask volume was utilised to maintain the culture in exponential growth with an average daily productivity of 0.07 g L(-1) day(-1). The results showed that 0.74 g L(-1) of biomass could be achieved after 7 days of semicontinuous production while a total carbon mitigation of 0.37 g L(-1) was achieved. This represented an increase of 0.18 g L(-1) in carbon mitigation rate compared to batch production of D. tertiolecta over the same cultivation period. PMID:24162085

  1. Measurement of labile copper in wine by medium exchange stripping potentiometry utilising screen printed carbon electrodes.

    PubMed

    Clark, Andrew C; Kontoudakis, Nikolaos; Barril, Celia; Schmidtke, Leigh M; Scollary, Geoffrey R

    2016-07-01

    The presence of copper in wine is known to impact the reductive, oxidative and colloidal stability of wine, and techniques enabling measurement of different forms of copper in wine are of particular interest in understanding these spoilage processes. Electrochemical stripping techniques developed to date require significant pretreatment of wine, potentially disturbing the copper binding equilibria. A thin mercury film on a screen printed carbon electrode was utilised in a flow system for the direct analysis of labile copper in red and white wine by constant current stripping potentiometry with medium exchange. Under the optimised conditions, including an enrichment time of 500s and constant current of 1.0μA, the response range was linear from 0.015 to 0.200mg/L. The analysis of 52 red and white wines showed that this technique generally provided lower labile copper concentrations than reported for batch measurement by related techniques. Studies in a model system and in finished wines showed that the copper sulfide was not measured as labile copper, and that loss of hydrogen sulfide via volatilisation induced an increase in labile copper within the model wine system. PMID:27154696

  2. Acute fasting decreases the expression of GLUT1 and glucose utilisation involved in mouse oocyte maturation and cumulus cell expansion.

    PubMed

    Han, Yingying; Yan, Jun; Zhou, Jinlian; Teng, Zhen; Bian, Fenghua; Guo, Meng; Mao, Guankun; Li, Junxia; Wang, Jianwei; Zhang, Meijia; Xia, Guoliang

    2012-01-01

    Acute fasting impairs meiotic resumption and glucose consumption in mouse cumulus cell and oocyte complexes (COCs). This study examines the effects of acute fasting on the regulation of glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) expression and glucose consumption in oocyte maturation. Our results indicate that the restriction of glucose utilisation by 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG) mimicked the inhibitory effects of acute fasting on oocyte meiotic resumption and cumulus cell expansion, effects that were rescued by high glucose concentrations in the culture medium. GLUT1 protein levels were higher in cumulus cells compared with oocytes, and GLUT1 expression in COCs increased with FSH treatment in vitro. However, under acute fasting conditions, GLUT1 expression in COCs decreased and the response to FSH disappeared. Exposure to high glucose conditions (27.5mM and 55mM), significantly increased both glucose consumption and GLUT1 levels in COCs. Inhibition of GLUT1 function using an anti-GLUT1 antibody significantly inhibited FSH-induced oocyte meiotic resumption. Taken together, these results suggest that acute fasting decreases GLUT1 expression and glucose utilisation, inhibiting the processes of oocyte maturation and cumulus cell expansion. PMID:22697123

  3. Challenges in generating costs and utilisation rates associated with castration-resistant prostate cancer

    PubMed Central

    Bourke, Siobhan; Burns, Richéal Maria; Gaynor, Caroline

    2014-01-01

    Background Prostate cancer (PCa), the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men in the United States and Europe, is an escalating resource allocation issue across healthcare systems in the Western world. The impact of skeletal-related events, associated with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), is considerable with many new therapies being sought to treat these events in a cost-effective manner. Aims The aim of this paper is to provide insight into the level of constraints associated with devising cost frameworks for economic analysis of CRPC in the Irish healthcare setting. Methods An informal questionnaire was devised to obtain estimates of utilisation to populate a decision tree model; existing parameters from the literature were also employed. Cost parameters included Irish reference costs, and a costs literature review was undertaken; a healthcare payer perspective was adopted. Pharmacy dosages used for modelling costs were calculated for an average 75 kg male. Results The estimated average cost of care associated with adverse events in CRPC was €23,264. Approximately 40% of the costs of CRPC are attributed to skeletal-related events; therefore, reducing the number of skeletal-related events could significantly reduce the cost of care. In attempting to generate accurate and reliable cost parameters, this study highlights the challenges of conducting economic analysis in the Irish healthcare setting. Conclusion This study presents leading treatments and associated costs for CRPC patients in the Republic of Ireland (RoI), which are expected to steadily increase with demographic shifts. Further research is warranted in this area due to the limitations encountered in the study.

  4. The potential and limitations of utilising head impact injury models to assess the likelihood of significant head injury in infants after a fall.

    PubMed

    Cory, C Z; Jones, M D; James, D S; Leadbeatter, S; Nokes, L D

    2001-12-01

    The use of engineering principles in assessing head injury scenarios is of increasing significance in investigations into suspected child abuse. A fall scenario is often given as the history for a head injury to an infant. This paper addresses the basic engineering principles and factors to be considered when calculating the severity of a head impact after free-fall. The application of head injury models (HIMs) to ascertain the forces involved in childhood head injuries from impact is also discussed. Previous studies including Duhaime et al. [J. Neurosurg. 66 (1987) 409] and Nokes et al. [Forensic Sci. Int. 79 (1995) 85] have utilised HIMs for this purpose: this paper reviews those models most widely documented.The HIM currently considered the 'state-of-the-art' is the head injury criterion (HIC) and it is suggested that this model should be utilised for assessing head impact injury in child abuse cases where appropriate. PMID:11728733

  5. Counselling Services Utilisation in a Malaysia Private University

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yin-Fah, Benjamin Chan; Sok-Foon, Yeoh; Migin, Melissa W.

    2016-01-01

    University can be an exciting yet challenging transition for students. Many universities provide counselling services to students who need it during their tertiary studies but many students tend to avoid counselling. This study was conducted to identify the counselling service experience among undergraduate students. The emphasis was on the past…

  6. Utilisation of Local Inputs in the Funding and Administration of Education in Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akiri, Agharuwhe A.

    2014-01-01

    The article discussed how, why and who is in charge of administering and funding schools in Nigeria. The author utilised the relevant statistical approach which examined and discussed various political and historical trends affecting education. Besides this, relevant documented statistical data were used to both buttress and substantiate related…

  7. Utilising Year Three NAPLAN Results to Improve Queensland Teachers' Mathematical Pedagogical Content Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Klinken, Eduarda

    2010-01-01

    Poor results in Queensland Year Three NAPLAN Numeracy tests have provided a focus to critically review the classroom practices of lower primary mathematics teachers. This paper outlines how pedagogical content knowledge can be strengthened by emphasising conceptual understanding, by utilising dynamic classroom discourse, by an awareness of…

  8. Closing the Gap between Research Evidence and Clinical Practice: Jordanian Nurses' Perceived Barriers to Research Utilisation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al Khalaileh, Murad; Al Qadire, Mohammad; Musa, Ahmad S.; Al-Khawaldeh, Omar A.; Al Qudah, Hani; Alhabahbeh, Atalla

    2016-01-01

    Background: The nursing profession is a combination of theory and practical skill, and nurses are required to generate and develop knowledge through implementing research into clinical practice. Considerable number of barriers could hind implementing research findings into practice. Barriers to research utilisation are not identified in the…

  9. Utilising Benchmarking to Inform Decision-Making at the Institutional Level: A Research-Informed Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Booth, Sara

    2013-01-01

    Benchmarking has traditionally been viewed as a way to compare data only; however, its utilisation as a more investigative, research-informed process to add rigor to decision-making processes at the institutional level is gaining momentum in the higher education sector. Indeed, with recent changes in the Australian quality environment from the…

  10. Long-term care and hospital utilisation by older people: an analysis of substitution rates.

    PubMed

    Forder, Julien

    2009-11-01

    Older people are intensive users of hospital and long-term care services. This paper explores the extent to which these services are substitutes. A small area analysis was used with both care home and (tariff cost-weighted) hospital utilisation for older people aggregated to electoral wards in England.Health and social-care structural equations were specified using a theoretical model. The estimation accounted for the skewed and censored nature of the data. For health utilisation, both a fixed effects instrumental variables GMM model and a generalised estimating equations (GEE) model were fitted, the later on a log dependent variable with predicted values of social care utilisation used to account for endogeneity (bootstrapping was used to derive standard errors). In addition to a GMM model, the social-care estimation used both two-part and tobit models (also with predicted health utilisation and bootstrapping).The results indicate that for each additional pound1 spent on care homes, hospital expenditure falls by pound0.35. Also, pound1 additional hospital spend corresponds to just over pound0.35 reduction on care home spend. With these cost substitution effects offsetting, a transfer of resources to care homes is efficient if the resultant outcome gain is greater than the outcome loss from reduced hospital use. PMID:19206085

  11. Healthcare Resource Utilisation Associated with Herpes Zoster in a Prospective Cohort of Older Australian Adults

    PubMed Central

    Karki, Surendra; Newall, Anthony T.; MacIntyre, C. Raina; Heywood, Anita E.; McIntyre, Peter; Banks, Emily; Liu, Bette

    2016-01-01

    Background Herpes zoster (HZ) is a common condition that increases in incidence with older age but vaccines are available to prevent the disease. However, there are limited data estimating the health system burden attributable to herpes zoster by age. Methods In this study, we quantified excess healthcare resource usage associated with HZ during the acute/sub-acute period of disease (21days before to 90 days after onset) in 5952 cases and an equal number of controls matched on age, sex, and prior healthcare resource usage. Estimates were adjusted for potential confounders in multivariable regression models. Using population-based estimates of HZ incidence, we calculated the age-specific excess number of health service usage events attributable to HZ in the population. Results Per HZ case, there was an average of 0.06 (95% CI 0.04–0.08) excess hospitalisations, 1.61 (95% CI 1.51–1.69) excess general practitioner visits, 1.96 (95% CI 1.86–2.15) excess prescriptions filled and 0.11 (95% CI 0.09–0.13) excess emergency department visits. The average number of healthcare resource use events, and the estimated excess per 100,000 population increased with increasing age but were similar for men and women, except for higher rates of hospitalisation in men. The excess annual HZ associated burden of hospitalisations was highest in adults ≥80 years (N = 2244, 95%CI 1719–2767); GP visits was highest in those 60–69 years (N = 50567, 95%CI 39958–61105), prescriptions and ED visits were highest in 70–79 years (N = 50524, 95%CI 40634–60471 and N = 2891, 95%CI 2319–3449 respectively). Conclusions This study provides important data to establish the healthcare utilisation associated with HZ against which detailed cost-effectiveness analyses of HZ immunisation in older adults can be conducted. PMID:27483007

  12. Variabilities in the mortality-related resource utilisation for congenital heart disease

    PubMed Central

    Danford, David A; Karels, Quentin; Kutty, Shelby

    2016-01-01

    Objective Our objective was to characterise the divergence of effort from outcome in congenital heart disease (CHD) care by measuring mortality-related resource utilisation fraction (MRRUF) for various CHD lesions across institutions of differing volumes. Methods Study design was observational analysis of an administrative database, the Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS). The setting was inpatient; 2004–2013. Patients were ≤21 years old with atrial septal defect (ASD), ventricular septal defect (VSD), tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) or other single ventricle (SV). There were no interventions but diagnosis, institution (and volume), age, length of hospitalisation, billed charges and deaths were recorded. The main outcome measure was MRRUF, the ratio of investments during hospitalisations ending in fatality to investments during all hospitalisations. Results There were 50 939 admissions, 1711 deaths, 703 383 inpatient days, and $10 182 000 000 billed charges. MRRUF varied widely by diagnosis: highest in HLHS (21%), but present in ASD (2%) and VSD (4%). Highest among the very young, MRRUF also increased in HLHS and SV during adolescence. MRRUF increased with hospitalisation duration. MRRUF had no relation to institutional volume, and was static over the decade studied. Conclusions Even in the modern era we invest heavily in inpatient CHD care that does not produce the desired outcome. Although its magnitude varies by lesion and age, MRRUF is not limited to complex disease in the very young. MRRUF is not decreasing, and is not isolated to high or low volume institutions. PMID:27175289

  13. Accuracy analysis of direct georeferenced UAV images utilising low-cost navigation sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briese, Christian; Wieser, Martin; Verhoeven, Geert; Glira, Philipp; Doneus, Michael; Pfeifer, Norbert

    2014-05-01

    control points should be used to improve the estimated values, especially to decrease the amount of systematic errors. For the bundle block adjustment the calibration of the camera and their temporal stability must be determined additionally. This contribution presents next to the theory a practical study on the accuracy analysis of direct georeferenced UAV imagery by low-cost navigation sensors. The analysis was carried out within the research project ARAP (automated (ortho)rectification of archaeological aerial photographs). The utilized UAS consists of the airplane "MAJA", manufactured by "Bormatec" (length: 1.2 m, wingspan: 2.2 m) equipped with the autopilot "ArduPilot Mega 2.5". For image acquisition the camera "Ricoh GR Digital IV" is utilised. The autopilot includes a GNSS receiver capable of DGPS (EGNOS), an inertial measurement system (INS), a barometer, and a magnetometer. In the study the achieved accuracies for the estimated position and orientation of the images are presented. The paper concludes with a summary of the remaining error sources and their possible corrections by applying further improvements on the utilised equipment and the direct georeferencing process.

  14. Utilising PEARL to Teach Indigenous Art History: A Canadian Example

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Carmen

    2012-01-01

    This article explores the concepts advanced from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC)-funded project, "Exploring Problem-Based Learning pedagogy as transformative education in Indigenous Australian Studies". As an Indigenous art historian teaching at a mainstream university in Canada, I am constantly reflecting on how to better…

  15. The Utilisation of a School Self-Evaluation Instrument

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schildkamp, Kim; Visscher, Adrie

    2010-01-01

    School quality care has become important in many Western countries. Expectations are high, but little is known about the nature and extent of the use of self-evaluation instruments within schools. From this longitudinal study into the use of a Dutch school self-evaluation instrument, it became clear that schools vary in the extent to which they…

  16. Catalytic dehydrogenation of propane by carbon dioxide: a medium-temperature thermochemical process for carbon dioxide utilisation.

    PubMed

    Du, X; Yao, B; Gonzalez-Cortes, S; Kuznetsov, V L; AlMegren, Hamid; Xiao, T; Edwards, P P

    2015-01-01

    The dehydrogenation of C3H8 in the presence of CO2 is an attractive catalytic route for C3H6 production. In studying the various possibilities to utilise CO2 to convert hydrocarbons using the sustainable energy source of solar thermal energy, thermodynamic calculations were carried out for the dehydrogenation of C3H8 using CO2for the process operating in the temperature range of 300-500 °C. Importantly, the results highlight the enhanced potential of C3H8 as compared to its lighter and heavier homologues (C2H6 and C4H10, respectively). To be utilised in this CO2 utilisation reaction the Gibbs free energy (ΔrGθm) of each reaction in the modelled, complete reacting system of the dehydrogenation of C3H8 in the presence of CO2 also indicate that further cracking of C3H6 will affect the ultimate yield and selectivity of the final products. In a parallel experimental study, catalytic tests of the dehydrogenation of C3H8 in the presence of CO2 over 5 wt%-Cr2O3/ZrO2 catalysts operating at 500 °C, atmospheric pressure, and for various C3H8 partial pressures and various overall GHSV (Gas Hourly Space Velocity) values. The results showed that an increase in the C3H8 partial pressure produced an inhibition of C3H8 conversion but, importantly, a promising enhancement of C3H6 selectivity. This phenomenon can be attributed to competitive adsorption on the catalyst between the generated C3H6 and inactivated C3H8, which inhibits any further cracking effect on C3H6 to produce by-products. As a comparison, the increase of the overall GHSV can also decrease the C3H8 conversion to a similar extent, but the further cracking of C3H6 cannot be limited. PMID:26392020

  17. Unlimited access to health care - impact of psychosomatic co-morbidity on utilisation in German general practices

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The effect of psychosomatic co-morbidity on resource use for systems with unlimited access remains unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact on practice visits, referrals and periods of disability in German general practices and to identify predictors of health care utilisation. Methods Cross sectional observational study in 13 practices in Upper Bavaria. Patients were included consecutively and filled in the Patients Health Questionnaire (PHQ). Numbers of practice visits, referrals and periods of disability within the last twelve months and permanent mental and somatic diagnoses were extracted manually by review of the computerised charts. Physicians in Germany are obliged to document repetitive reasons of encounter as permanent diagnoses in terms of ICD-10-codes. These ICD-10-codes are used for legitimisation of reimbursement in German general practices. Results 1005 patients were included (58.6% female). On average, patients had 15.3 (sd 16.3) practice contacts, 3.8 (sd 4.2) referrals and 7.5 (sd 23.1) days of disability per year. The mean number of coded permanent diagnoses was 0.4 (sd 0.7) for mental and 4.0 (sd 4.0) for somatic diagnoses. Patients with mental diagnoses scored higher in depression, anxiety, panic and somatoform disorder scales of PHQ. Frequent practice visits were associated stronger with coded permanent mental diagnoses (OR 20.0; 95%CI 7.5-53.9) than with coded permanent somatic diagnoses (OR 14.4; 95%CI 5.9-35.4). Frequent referrals were associated stronger with somatic diagnoses (OR 4.9; 95%CI 2.0-11.9) than with mental diagnoses (OR 3.6; 95%CI 1.4-9.8). Periods of disability were predicted by mental diagnoses (OR 5.0; 95%CI 1.6-15.8) but not by somatic diagnoses (OR 2.5; 95%CI 0.7-8.1). Conclusions Psychosomatic co-morbidity has a stronger impact on health care utilisation in German general practices with respect to practice visits and periods of disability whereas somatic disorders play a stronger role for

  18. Sociodemographic and health behavioural factors associated with access to and utilisation of eye care in Korea: Korea Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2008–2012

    PubMed Central

    Rim, Tyler Hyungtaek; Choi, Moonjung; Yoon, Jin Sook; Kim, Sung Soo

    2015-01-01

    Objective To determine the sociodemographic and health behavioural factors associated with access to and utilisation of eye care in Korea. Design Nationwide cross-sectional study Methods 25 752 Koreans over the age of 30 were assessed from a national representative survey. We analysed independent variables of self-reporting eye clinic visits through multivariable analyses of sociodemographic factors. The time since the last visit to an eye clinic was used to assess access to and utilisation of eye care. Results Of the 25 752 respondents, 8237 (32.0%) visited an eye clinic in the past year, 11 028 (42.8%) were seen more than 1 year ago, while 6487 (25.2%) had never seen an ophthalmologist. Eye clinic utilisation was statistically associated with older age, female sex, higher household income, higher education levels, living in an urban area, and having comorbidities including diabetes and hypertension. Middle-aged men between 30 and 49 years were found to be less likely to receive eye care compared to the rest of the population, and the proportion that did plummeted after the financial crisis of 2007. Conclusions There is a substantial sociodemographic disparity in eye care utilisation in Korea, and men with low financial income and education level are especially at risk. Use of eye care among middle-aged men has decreased since the global financial crisis that began in 2007, and therefore healthcare policies and public interventions should be targeted at vulnerable groups to promote access to medical care. PMID:26185177

  19. Agricultural waste utilisation strategies and demand for urban waste compost: Evidence from smallholder farmers in Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Nigussie, Abebe; Kuyper, Thomas W; de Neergaard, Andreas

    2015-10-01

    The use of agricultural waste for soil amendment is limited in developing countries. Competition between fuel and feed is the major cause for the insufficient application of agricultural waste on cropland. The aims of this study were therefore (i) to investigate variation in agricultural waste allocation between groups of farmers with different livelihood strategies and link this allocation with the nutrient balances of their production systems, (ii) to identify farm characteristics that influence utilisation of agricultural waste for soil amendment, and (iii) to assess demand for urban waste compost. A total of 220 farmers were selected randomly and interviewed using standardised semi-structured questionnaires. Four groups of farmers, namely (i) field crop farmers, (ii) vegetable producers, (iii) ornamental-plant growers, and (iv) farmers practising mixed farming, were identified using categorical principal component and two-step cluster analyses. Field crop farmers produced the largest quantity of agricultural waste, but they allocated 80% of manure to fuel and 85% of crop residues to feed. Only <10% of manure and crop residues were applied on soils. Farmers also sold manure and crop residues, and this generated 5-10% of their annual income. Vegetable and ornamental-plant growers allocated over 40% of manure and crop residues to soil amendment. Hence, nutrient balances were less negative in vegetable production systems. Education, farm size, land tenure and access to extension services were the variables that impeded allocation of agricultural waste to soil amendment. Replacement of fuel and feed through sustainable means is a viable option for soil fertility management. Urban waste compost should also be used as alternative option for soil amendment. Our results showed variation in compost demand between farmers. Education, landownership, experience with compost and access to extension services explained variation in compost demand. We also demonstrated that

  20. The POPPY Research Programme protocol: investigating opioid utilisation, costs and patterns of extramedical use in Australia

    PubMed Central

    Degenhardt, Louisa; Blanch, Bianca; Gisev, Natasa; Larance, Briony; Pearson, Sallie

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Opioid prescribing is increasing in many countries. In Australia, there is limited research on patterns of prescribing and access, or the outcomes associated with this use. The aim of this research programme is to use national dispensing data to estimate opioid use and costs, including problematic or extramedical use in the Australian population. Methods and analysis In a cohort of persons dispensed at least one opioid in 2013, we will estimate monthly utilisation and costs of prescribed opioids, overall and according to individual opioid formulations and strengths. In a cohort of new opioid users, commencing therapy between 1 July 2009 and 31 December 2013, we will examine patterns of opioid use including initiation of therapy, duration of treatment and concomitant use of opioids and other prescribed medicines. We will also examine patterns of extramedical opioid use based on indicators including excess dosing, use of more than one opioid concomitantly, doctor/pharmacy shopping and accelerated time to prescription refill. Ethics and dissemination This protocol was approved by the NSW Population and Health Services Ethics Committee (March 2014) and data access approved by the Department of Human Services External Review Evaluation Committee (June 2014). This will be one of the first comprehensive Australian studies with the capability to investigate individual patterns of use and track extramedical use. In the first instance our analysis will be based on 5 years of dispensing data but will be expanded with ongoing annual data updates. This research has the capability to contribute significantly to pharmaceutical policy within Australia and globally. In particular, the trajectory of extramedical prescription-opioid use has been the subject of limited research to date. The results of this research will be published widely in general medical, pharmacoepidemiology, addiction and psychiatry journals. PMID:25631315

  1. Waste generation and utilisation in micro-sized furniture-manufacturing enterprises in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Top, Y

    2015-01-01

    The number of small-scale businesses within most national economies is generally high, especially in developing countries. Often these businesses have a weak economic status and limited environmental awareness. The type and amount of waste produced, and the recycling methods adopted by these businesses during their operation can have negative effects on the environment. This study investigated the types of waste generated and the recycling methods adopted in micro-sized enterprises engaged in the manufacture of furniture. An assessment was also made of whether the characteristics of the enterprise had any effect on the waste recycling methods that were practised. A survey was conducted of 31 enterprises in the furniture industry in Gumushane province, Turkey, which is considered a developing economy. Surveys were undertaken via face-to-face interviews. It was found that medium-density fibreboard (MDF), and to a lesser extent, chipboard, were used in the manufacture of furniture, and two major types of waste in the form of fine dust and small fragments of board are generated during the cutting of these boards. Of the resulting composite board waste, 96.9% was used for heating homes and workplaces, where it was burnt under conditions of incomplete combustion. Enterprises were found to have adopted other methods to utilise their wastes in addition to using them as fuel. Such enterprises include those operating from a basement or first floor of a building in the cities, those continuing production throughout the year, those in need for capital and those enterprises not operating a dust-collection system. PMID:25453314

  2. Diagnostic testing during pregnancy: a descriptive analysis of utilisation data.

    PubMed

    Rushworth, R L; Bell, S M; Rob, M I; Taylor, P T

    1994-12-01

    To describe patterns of diagnostic testing during the antenatal period and to assess the potential benefit of using Medicare claims data in monitoring testing practice, we examined the matched claims data (with identifying details removed) on approximately 10,000 women having a confinement for which a Medicare benefit was claimed between 1 July and 30 September 1990. The results showed that almost all the women included in the study sample had an ultrasound and blood group and antibody examination. A smaller proportion had serological tests for syphilis (77 per cent), rubella (51 per cent) and hepatitis B carriage (73 per cent). Two-thirds had urine microscopy and culture, and under half (40 per cent) had serum alpha-fetoprotein estimation. Few (18 per cent) had a claim processed for microscopy and culture of a genital swab and fewer than 8 per cent claimed for any other pathology tests. There were differences in the proportions having tests, depending on whether the clinician managing the confinement was a specialist obstetrician or a general practitioner, and depending on geographic area and age group. While the data do not represent all women having a confinement in New South Wales, the selective use of antenatal diagnostic tests found in this study is of considerable public health importance and analysis of claims data can provide useful information for health professionals. PMID:7536479

  3. Differences between mono-generic and mixed diatom silicon isotope compositions trace present and past nutrient utilisation off Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doering, Kristin; Ehlert, Claudia; Grasse, Patricia; Crosta, Xavier; Fleury, Sophie; Frank, Martin; Schneider, Ralph

    2016-03-01

    In this study we combine for the first time silicon (Si) isotope compositions of small mixed diatom species (δ30SibSiO2) and of large handpicked mono-generic (i.e. genus = Coscinodiscus) diatom samples (δ30SiCoscino) with diatom assemblages extracted from marine sediments in the Peruvian upwelling region in order to constrain present and past silicate utilisation. The extension of a previous core-top data set from the Peruvian shelf demonstrates that δ30SiCoscino values record near-complete Si utilisation, as these are similar to the isotopic composition of the subsurface source waters feeding the upwelling. In contrast, the δ30SibSiO2 of small mixed diatom species increase southward along the shelf as well as towards the shore. We attribute highest δ30SibSiO2 values partly to transient iron limitation but primarily to the gradual increase of Si isotope fractionation within the seasonal diatom succession, which are mainly recorded by small diatom species during intense bloom events. In contrast, lower δ30SibSiO2 values are related to initial Si isotope utilisation during periods of weak upwelling, when low Si(OH)4 concentrations do not permit intense blooms and small diatom species record substantially lower δ30Si signatures. As such, we propose that the intensity of the upwelling can be deduced from the offset between δ30SibSiO2 and δ30SiCoscino (Δ30Sicoscino-bSiO2), which is low for strong upwelling conditions and high for prevailing weak upwelling. We apply the information extracted from surface sediments to generate a record of the present-day main upwelling region covering the past 17,700 years and find that this location has also been characterized by a persistent offset (Δ30Sicoscino-bSiO2). By comparison with the diatom assemblages we show that the coastal upwelling system changed markedly between weak and strong upwelling conditions. In addition, our model calculations to quantify species-specific Si isotope fractionation effects based on the

  4. Utilising proteomic approaches to understand oncogenic human herpesviruses (Review)

    PubMed Central

    OWEN, CHRISTOPHER B.; HUGHES, DAVID J.; BAQUERO-PEREZ, BELINDA; BERNDT, ANJA; SCHUMANN, SOPHIE; JACKSON, BRIAN R.; WHITEHOUSE, ADRIAN

    2014-01-01

    The γ-herpesviruses Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus are successful pathogens, each infecting a large proportion of the human population. These viruses persist for the life of the host and may each contribute to a number of malignancies, for which there are currently no cures. Large-scale proteomic-based approaches provide an excellent means of increasing the collective understanding of the proteomes of these complex viruses and elucidating their numerous interactions within the infected host cell. These large-scale studies are important for the identification of the intricacies of viral infection and the development of novel therapeutics against these two important pathogens. PMID:25279171

  5. Possibilities of municipal solid waste incinerator fly ash utilisation.

    PubMed

    Hartmann, Silvie; Koval, Lukáš; Škrobánková, Hana; Matýsek, Dalibor; Winter, Franz; Purgar, Amon

    2015-08-01

    Properties of the waste treatment residual fly ash generated from municipal solid waste incinerator fly ash were investigated in this study. Six different mortar blends with the addition of the municipal solid waste incinerator fly ash were evaluated. The Portland cement replacement levels of the municipal solid waste incinerator fly ash used were 25%, 30% and 50%. Both, raw and washed municipal solid waste incinerator fly ash samples were examined. According to the mineralogical composition measurements, a 22.6% increase in the pozzolanic/hydraulic properties was observed for the washed municipal solid waste incinerator fly ash sample. The maximum replacement level of 25% for the washed municipal solid waste incinerator fly ash in mortar blends was established in order to preserve the compressive strength properties. Moreover, the leaching characteristics of the crushed mortar blend was analysed in order to examine the immobilisation of its hazardous contents. PMID:26060198

  6. Performance of biofuel processes utilising separate lignin and carbohydrate processing.

    PubMed

    Melin, Kristian; Kohl, Thomas; Koskinen, Jukka; Hurme, Markku

    2015-09-01

    Novel biofuel pathways with increased product yields are evaluated against conventional lignocellulosic biofuel production processes: methanol or methane production via gasification and ethanol production via steam-explosion pre-treatment. The novel processes studied are ethanol production combined with methanol production by gasification, hydrocarbon fuel production with additional hydrogen produced from lignin residue gasification, methanol or methane synthesis using synthesis gas from lignin residue gasification and additional hydrogen obtained by aqueous phase reforming in synthesis gas production. The material and energy balances of the processes were calculated by Aspen flow sheet models and add on excel calculations applicable at the conceptual design stage to evaluate the pre-feasibility of the alternatives. The processes were compared using the following criteria: energy efficiency from biomass to products, primary energy efficiency, GHG reduction potential and economy (expressed as net present value: NPV). Several novel biorefinery concepts gave higher energy yields, GHG reduction potential and NPV. PMID:26056782

  7. Computational Prediction of One-Step Synthesis of Seven-membered Fused Rings by (5+2) Cycloaddition Utilising Cycloalkenes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Chen-Chen; Ke, Xiao-Na; Xu, Xiu-Fang

    2015-07-01

    The (5+2) cycloaddition reaction utilising cycloalkenes is rare, although it is one of the most efficient methods of constructing seven-membered fused rings because of its high atom- and step-economy. In this study, we used quantum mechanical calculations to predict the plausibility of using the Rh-catalysed intermolecular (5+2) cycloaddition of 3-acyloxy-1,4-enynes and cycloalkenes to produce fused seven-membered carbocycles. The calculation results suggest a convenient, highly efficient and energetically practical approach. Strained cycloalkenes, such as cyclopropene, have been predicted to be active, and the desired bicyclic product should be favoured, accompanied by the formation of byproducts from rearrangement reactions. The energy barriers of the alkene insertion step were analysed by the distortion/interaction model to disclose the origins of the different reactivities of cycloalkenes with different ring sizes.

  8. Charcoal from a prehistoric copper mine in the Austrian Alps: dendrochronological and dendrological data, demand for wood and forest utilisation.

    PubMed

    Pichler, Thomas; Nicolussi, Kurt; Goldenberg, Gert; Hanke, Klaus; Kovács, Kristóf; Thurner, Andrea

    2013-02-01

    During prehistory fire-setting was the most appropriate technique for exploiting ore deposits. Charcoal fragments found in the course of archaeological excavations in a small mine called Mauk E in the area of Schwaz/Brixlegg (Tyrol, Austria) are argued to be evidence for the use of this technology. Dendrochronological analyses of the charcoal samples yielded calendar dates for the mining activities showing that the exploitation of the Mauk E mine lasted approximately one decade in the late 8th century BC. Dendrological studies show that the miners utilised stem wood of spruce and fir from forests with high stand density for fire-setting and that the exploitation of the Mauk E mine had only a limited impact on the local forests. PMID:23565025

  9. Charcoal from a prehistoric copper mine in the Austrian Alps: dendrochronological and dendrological data, demand for wood and forest utilisation

    PubMed Central

    Pichler, Thomas; Nicolussi, Kurt; Goldenberg, Gert; Hanke, Klaus; Kovács, Kristóf; Thurner, Andrea

    2013-01-01

    During prehistory fire-setting was the most appropriate technique for exploiting ore deposits. Charcoal fragments found in the course of archaeological excavations in a small mine called Mauk E in the area of Schwaz/Brixlegg (Tyrol, Austria) are argued to be evidence for the use of this technology. Dendrochronological analyses of the charcoal samples yielded calendar dates for the mining activities showing that the exploitation of the Mauk E mine lasted approximately one decade in the late 8th century BC. Dendrological studies show that the miners utilised stem wood of spruce and fir from forests with high stand density for fire-setting and that the exploitation of the Mauk E mine had only a limited impact on the local forests. PMID:23565025

  10. An early deployment strategy for carbon capture, utilisation, and storage

    SciTech Connect

    Carter, L.D.

    2012-11-01

    This report describes the current use of CO2 for EOR, and discusses potential expansion of EOR using CO2 from power plants. Analysis of potential EOR development in the USA, where most current CO2-based EOR production takes place, indicates that relatively low cost, traditional sources of CO2 for EOR (CO2 domes and CO2 from natural gas processing plants) are insufficient to exploit the full potential of EOR. To achieve that full potential will require use of CO2 from combustion and gasification systems, such as fossil fuel power plants, where capture of CO2 is more costly. The cost of current CCUS systems, even with the revenue stream for sale of the CO2 for EOR, is too high to result in broad deployment of the technology in the near term. In the longer term, research and development may be sufficient to reduce CO2 capture costs to a point where CCUS would be broadly deployed. This report describes a case study of conditions in the USA to explore a financial incentive to promote early deployment of CCUS, providing a range of immediate benefits to society, greater likelihood of reducing the long-term cost of CCUS, and greater likelihood of broad deployment of CCUS and CCS in the long term. Additionally, it may be possible to craft such an incentive in a manner that its cost is more than offset by taxes flowing from increased domestic oil production. An example of such an incentive is included in this report.

  11. [Prevalence and utilisation of health promotion in German enterprises].

    PubMed

    Beck, D; Schnabel, P-E

    2010-04-01

    The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of health promotion in German enterprises, differentiated by size, sector, and the companies' business situations. Representative data were analysed from the survey of working conditions in Germany (n=20,000) that was conducted by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) and the Federal Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA). Thirty-eight percent of interviewed employees confirmed that health promotion activities had been carried out in their company during the last two years. The prevalence varied significantly, depending on the company's size, sector, and business situation. In cases of implementation, a higher percentage of employees participated in micro and small companies than in medium-sized or large companies. With respect to the implementation of health promotion, more advice and support are needed, particularly in micro and small enterprises. There is still a need for health promotion activities which meet the special needs of micro and small enterprises. Furthermore there is still a need to invest in an infrastructure which allows their adequate supply. PMID:19551626

  12. The resource utilisation of medically unexplained physical symptoms

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Kimberley; Johnson, Malcolm H; Harris, Julie; Sundram, Frederick

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: As patients with medically unexplained physical symptoms may present frequently to hospital settings and receive potentially unnecessary investigations and treatments, we aimed to assess the frequency and type of medically unexplained physical symptoms presentations to clinical services and estimate the associated direct healthcare costs. Methods: This study was undertaken at the largest district health board in New Zealand. All patients with a diagnosed presentation of medically unexplained physical symptoms in 2013 were identified using the district health board’s clinical coding system. The clinical records (medical and psychiatric) of 49 patients were examined in detail to extricate all medically unexplained physical symptoms–related secondary care activity within 6 months before or after their medically unexplained physical symptoms presentation. Standardised national costing methodology was used to calculate the associated healthcare costs. Results: In all, 49% of patients attended hospital settings at least twice during 2013. The majority of presentations were for neurological or respiratory concerns. The total cost for the sample was GBP89,636 (median: GBP1,221). Costs were most significant in the areas of inpatient admissions and emergency care. Conclusion: Medically unexplained physical symptoms result in frequent presentations to hospital settings. The costs incurred are substantial and comparable to the costs of chronic medical conditions with identifiable pathology. Improving recognition and management of medically unexplained physical symptoms has potential to offer more appropriate and cost-effective healthcare outcomes.

  13. Paediatric emergency department utilisation: is it necessary an educational intervention?

    PubMed

    De Tina, Annalisa; Quattrin, Rosanna; Montina, Laura; Brusaferro, Silvio

    2014-01-01

    Over the past ten years there has been a progressive increase in accesses to services for paediatric emergency room, documented in Italy and abroad. The aim of the study is describe the sociodemographic, cultural, subjective and objective factors for non-urgent access to paediatric emergency service in an Italian region. It was adopted a descriptive survey of a sample of non-urgent accesses to two paediatric emergency room services in an Italian region during the period from February-March 2009, through the administration of questionnaires and the consultation of facilities databases. Half of the accesses to the paediatric emergency room are not urgent and are to be referred to the paediatric primary care. 80% of the users do not call for advice before coming to the emergency room. The convenience of the service, which accounts for more than 50% of the case, and the proximity from home are reasons to go to the emergency room. Approximately half of the accesses to the paediatric emergency department could be managed by primary care services. The convenience of the service, the self-referred and the proximity to home are emerging as the only influential factors reported by literature. In the future it should become crucial providing strategies for education/health information focused on non-urgent paediatric problems and offering people a call center phone service in order to filter and prevent the inappropriate accesses. PMID:25008221

  14. Economic and environmental benefits of landfill gas utilisation in Oman.

    PubMed

    Abushammala, Mohammed Fm; Qazi, Wajeeha A; Azam, Mohammed-Hasham; Mehmood, Umais A; Al-Mufragi, Ghithaa A; Alrawahi, Noor-Alhuda

    2016-08-01

    Municipal solid waste disposed in landfill sites decomposes under anaerobic conditions and produces so-called landfill-gas, which contains 30%-40% of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 50%-60% of methane (CH4). Methane has the potential of causing global warming 25 times more than CO2 Therefore, migration of landfill-gas from landfills to the surrounding environment can potentially affect human life and environment. Thus, this research aims to determine municipal solid waste generation in Oman over the years 1971-2030, to quantify annual CH4 emissions inventory that resulted from this waste over the same period of time, and to determine the economic and environmental benefits of capturing the CH4 gas for energy production. It is found that cumulative municipal solid waste landfilled in Oman reaches 3089 Giga gram (Gg) in the year 2030, of which approximately 85 Gg of CH4 emissions are produced in the year 2030. The study also found that capturing CH4 emissions between the years 2016 and 2030 could attract revenues of up to US$333 million and US$291 million from the carbon reduction and electricity generation, simultaneously. It is concluded that CH4 emissions from solid waste in Oman increases enormously with time, and capture of this gas for energy production could provide a sustainable waste management solution in Oman. PMID:26922087

  15. Utilisation of biochar and superabsorbent polymers for soil amendment.

    PubMed

    Ekebafe, M O; Ekebafe, L O; Maliki, M

    2013-01-01

    The application of superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) and/or biochars to stressed lands offer solutions to several critical ecological, energy and economic challenges posed by degraded lands due to human activities. These substances are like, 'artificial humus' as they are hydrophilic and contain carboxylic groups (SAPs) which enable them to bind cations and water and sequester carbon from air to reverse global warming (biochars). Several research studies using these substances point to their ability to increase the plant-available water in the soil which enables the plants to survive longer with water shortage, increase soil fertility and agricultural yields, improve soil structure, aeration and water penetration, reduce use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, reduce nitrous oxide and methane emission from soil, reduce nitrate and farm chemicals leaching into watersheds, convert green and brown wastes into valuable resources, and reduce the evapotranspiration rate of the plants. SAPs and biochars induce a significantly higher growth rate in plants; they bind heavy metals and mitigate their action on plants as well as mitigate the effects of salinity. This paper reviews what is known about these claims and considers the wider environmental implications of the adoption of these processess. The intention is not just to summarise the current knowledge but also to identify gaps that require further research. PMID:23738439

  16. Utilising social media contents for flood inundation mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schröter, Kai; Dransch, Doris; Fohringer, Joachim; Kreibich, Heidi

    2016-04-01

    Data about the hazard and its consequences are scarce and not readily available during and shortly after a disaster. An information source which should be explored in a more efficient way is eyewitness accounts via social media. This research presents a methodology that leverages social media content to support rapid inundation mapping, including inundation extent and water depth in the case of floods. It uses quantitative data that are estimated from photos extracted from social media posts and their integration with established data. Due to the rapid availability of these posts compared to traditional data sources such as remote sensing data, areas affected by a flood, for example, can be determined quickly. Key challenges are to filter the large number of posts to a manageable amount of potentially useful inundation-related information, and to interpret and integrate the posts into mapping procedures in a timely manner. We present a methodology and a tool ("PostDistiller") to filter geo-located posts from social media services which include links to photos and to further explore this spatial distributed contextualized in situ information for inundation mapping. The June 2013 flood in Dresden is used as an application case study in which we evaluate the utilization of this approach and compare the resulting spatial flood patterns and inundation depths to 'traditional' data sources and mapping approaches like water level observations and remote sensing flood masks. The outcomes of the application case are encouraging. Strengths of the proposed procedure are that information for the estimation of inundation depth is rapidly available, particularly in urban areas where it is of high interest and of great value because alternative information sources like remote sensing data analysis do not perform very well. The uncertainty of derived inundation depth data and the uncontrollable availability of the information sources are major threats to the utility of the approach.

  17. Factors associated with non-utilisation of health service for childbirth in Timor-Leste: evidence from the 2009-2010 Demographic and Health Survey

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Timor-Leste is a young developing country in Asia. Most of its infrastructure was destroyed after a long armed conflict for independence. Despite recent expansion of health facilities and investment in healthcare, maternal mortality remains high with most mothers still giving birth at home. This study investigated factors affecting the non-utilisation of health service for childbirth in the aftermath of the independence conflict. Methods The Timor-Leste Demographic and Health Survey 2009-2010 was the latest two-stage national survey, which used validated questionnaires to obtain information from 26 clusters derived from 13 districts of the country. Factors influencing non-utilisation of health facility for childbirth were investigated using univariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses, accounting for the cluster sampling and sample weight of the survey. Results Of the total 5986 participants included in the study, 4472 (74.8%) did not deliver their last child at a health facility. Lack of education for the mother (adjusted odds ratio (OR): 2.04; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.56 to 2.66) and her partner (OR: 1.45; 95% CI 1.14 to 1.84), low household wealth status (OR: 5.20; 95% CI 3.93 to 6.90), and rural residence (OR: 2.83; 95% CI 2.22 to 3.66), were associated with increased likelihood of non-utilisation of health facility for childbirth. Working mothers (OR: 1.55; 95% CI 1.32 to 1.81), who had high parity (OR: 1.78; 95% CI 1.36 to 2.32) and did not attend antenatal care service (OR: 4.68; 95% CI 2.65 to 8.28) were also vulnerable for not delivering at a health facility. Conversely, the prevalence of non-utilisation of health facility for childbirth reduced with increasing number of service components received during antenatal care visits (OR: 0.72; 95% CI 0.64 to 0.80). Conclusions Only a quarter of Timorese women delivered at a health facility. In order to reduce maternal mortality, future interventions should target disadvantaged

  18. Pella vilya: Near earth objects—Planetary defence through the regulation of resource utilisation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goh, Gérardine Meishan

    2010-07-01

    Reactions to near earth objects (NEOs) in the past decade have run the gamut from expectations of Armageddon-type scenarios to Eureka moments of revolutionary scientific ideas. Concerns over the potentially devastating effects of an unmitigated collision jostle with forecasts of untold economic returns from the utilisation of NEO resources. Drawing from recent analogies and examples from the field of international environmental law, this paper proposes the development of a legal framework for the regulation of NEO resource utilisation. The proposed legal framework also includes a mechanism to ensure the political will and economic investment necessary for technological advances in planetary defence. By twinning the threats and opportunities presented by NEOs, this paper also analyses the position of theme-specific space law development in the overall legal framework of space exploration and traffic management.

  19. Utilising copper screen-printed electrodes (CuSPE) for the electroanalytical sensing of sulfide.

    PubMed

    Thakur, Bhawana; Bernalte, Elena; Smith, Jamie P; Foster, Christopher W; Linton, Patricia E; Sawant, Shilpa N; Banks, Craig E

    2016-02-21

    A mediatorless sulfide electrochemical sensing platform utilising a novel nanocopper-oxide screen-printed electrodes (CuSPE) is reported for the first time. The state-of-the-art screen-printed electrochemical sensors demonstrate their capability to quantify sulfide within both the presence and absence of an array of interferents with good levels of sensitivity and repeatability. The direct sensing (using linear sweep voltammetry) of sulfide utilising the CuSPEs provides a mediatorless approach for the detection of sulfide, yielding useful analytical signatures that can be successfully quantified. The proposed novel protocol using the CuSPEs is successfully applied to the sensing of sulfide within drinking water exhibiting a high level of recovery. PMID:26815001

  20. Nitrogen supply in cattle coupled with appropriate supply of utilisable crude protein at the duodenum, a precursor to metabolisable protein.

    PubMed

    Pfeffer, Ernst; Schuba, Jan; Südekum, Karl-Heinz

    2016-08-01

    The overall objective of this study was to calculate the amount of nitrogen (N) that cattle feed must contain in order to utilise the potential supply of utilisable crude protein at the duodenum provided by their energy intake without incurring a negative N balance, that is, without having to break down body protein. For this purpose, the literature was screened for measurements of net degradation and renal excretion of urea as well as N balances (N intake, faecal N and urinary N) in ruminants (cattle, sheep and goats) fed diets with varying N concentrations. Irreversible loss of N from the body urea pool increased with increasing N intake, but net degradation of urea as a proportion of irreversible loss decreased concurrently. Faecal N appeared not to be influenced by N intake and exceeded 11 g/kg dry matter intake (DMI) only in 7% of the data sets available. Urinary non-urea-N rarely exceeded 4 g/kg DMI and appeared independent of N intake. Urinary urea-N showed a clear dependence of N intake, and it is concluded that 1 g N/kg DMI is sufficient for compensating inevitable N losses in the form of urinary urea. In conclusion, ruminant rations should contain the following N concentrations (per kg DM) to account for obligatory losses: 11 g for compensating losses as faecal N, 4 g for compensating losses as urinary non-urea-N and 1 g for compensating inevitable losses as urinary urea-N. The derived recommendations should be helpful for limiting N excretion where this is desirable for ecological reasons. PMID:27216556

  1. Utilisation and Off-Label Prescriptions of Respiratory Drugs in Children

    PubMed Central

    Schmiedl, Sven; Fischer, Rainald; Ibáñez, Luisa; Fortuny, Joan; Klungel, Olaf H.; Reynolds, Robert; Gerlach, Roman; Tauscher, Martin; Thürmann, Petra; Hasford, Joerg; Rottenkolber, Marietta

    2014-01-01

    Respiratory drugs are widely used in children to treat labeled and non-labeled indications but only some data are available quantifying comprehensively off-label usage. Thus, we aim to analyse drug utilisation and off-label prescribing of respiratory drugs focusing on age- and indication-related off-label use. Patients aged ≤18 years documented in the Bavarian Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians database (approx. 2 million children) between 2004 and 2008 were included in our study. Annual period prevalence rates (PPRs) per 10,000 children and the proportion of age- and indication-related off-label prescriptions were calculated and stratified by age and gender. Within the study period, highest PPRs were found for the fixed combination of clenbuterol/ambroxol (between 374–575 per 10,000 children) and the inhaled short acting beta-2-agonist salbutamol (between 378–527 per 10,000 children). Highest relative PPR increase was found for oral salbutamol (approx. 39-fold) whereas the most distinct decrease was found for oral long-acting beta-2-agonist clenbuterol (−97%). Compound classes most frequently involved in off-label prescribing were inhaled bronchodilative compounds (91,402; 37.3%) and oral beta-2-agonists (26,850; 22.5%). The highest absolute number of off-label prescriptions were found for inhaled salbutamol (n = 67,084; 42.0%) and oral clenbuterol/ambroxol (fixed combination, n = 18,897; 20.7%). Off-label prescribing due to indication was of much greater relevance than age-related off-label use. Most frequently, bronchodilative compounds were used off-label to treat respiratory tract infections. Highest off-label prescription rates were found in the youngest patients without relevant gender-related differences. Off-label prescribing of respiratory drugs is common especially in young children. Bronchodilative drugs were most frequently used off-label for treating acute bronchitis or upper respiratory tract infections underlining

  2. Effects of demand-side financing on utilisation, experiences and outcomes of maternity care in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Demand-side financing, where funds for specific services are channelled through, or to, prospective users, is now employed in health and education sectors in many low- and middle-income countries. This systematic review aimed to critically examine the evidence on application of this approach to promote maternal health in these settings. Five modes were considered: unconditional cash transfers, conditional cash transfers, short-term payments to offset costs of accessing maternity services, vouchers for maternity services, and vouchers for merit goods. We sought to assess the effects of these interventions on utilisation of maternity services and on maternal health outcomes and infant health, the situation of underprivileged women and the healthcare system. Methods The protocol aimed for collection and synthesis of a broad range of evidence from quantitative, qualitative and economic studies. Nineteen health and social policy databases, seven unpublished research databases and 27 websites were searched; with additional searches of Indian journals and websites. Studies were included if they examined demand-side financing interventions to increase consumption of services or goods intended to impact on maternal health, and met relevant quality criteria. Quality assessment, data extraction and analysis used Joanna Briggs Institute standardised tools and software. Outcomes of interest included maternal and infant mortality and morbidity, service utilisation, factors required for successful implementation, recipient and provider experiences, ethical issues, and cost-effectiveness. Findings on Effectiveness, Feasibility, Appropriateness and Meaningfulness were presented by narrative synthesis. Results Thirty-three quantitative studies, 46 qualitative studies, and four economic studies from 17 countries met the inclusion criteria. Evidence on unconditional cash transfers was scanty. Other demand-side financing modes were found to increase utilisation of maternal

  3. Integrating payload design, planning, and control in the Dutch Utilisation Centre

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grant, T. J.

    1993-01-01

    Spacecraft payload design, experiment planning and scheduling, and payload control are traditionally separate areas of activity. This paper describes the development of a prototype software tool--the Activity Scheduling System (ASS)--which integrates these activity areas. ASS is part of a larger project to build a Dutch Utilisation Centre (DUC), intended eventually to support all space utilization activities in The Netherlands. ASS has been tested on the High Performance Capillary Electrophoresis payload. The paper outlines the integrated preparation and operations concept embodied in ASS. It describes the ASS prototype, including a typical session. The results of testing are summarized. Possible enhancement of ASS, including integration into DUC, is sketched.

  4. Effects of Pre-Natal Vitamin D Supplementation with Partial Correction of Vitamin D Deficiency on Early Life Healthcare Utilisation: A Randomised Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Griffiths, Chris; Shaheen, Seif O.; Martineau, Adrian; Cross, Louise; Robinson, Stephen; Warner, John O.; Devine, Angela

    2015-01-01

    Background Some observational studies have suggested that higher prenatal Vitamin D intake may be associated with improved health outcomes in childhood. However there have been mixed results in this area with some negative studies, especially for effects on atopic and respiratory outcomes. We examined the effect of prenatal Vitamin D on healthcare utilisation in the first three years of life. Methods In an ethnically stratified randomised controlled trial conducted at St Mary’s Hospital London, 180 women at 27 weeks gestation were allocated to no Vitamin D, 800 IU ergocalciferol daily until delivery, or a single oral bolus of 200,000 IU cholecalciferol. Participants were randomised in blocks of 15 using computer-generated numbers and investigators were blinded to group assignment. Supplementation increased maternal and cord blood 25(OH) vitamin D concentrations, but levels remained lower than current recommendations. Primary health economic outcome was overall cost of unscheduled healthcare utilisation in the first three years of life as documented in the child’s electronic health record. Secondary outcomes included cost attributable to: primary and secondary healthcare visits, respiratory and atopic complaints, cost in years 1, 2 and 3 of life and cost and frequency of prescribed medication. All costs were calculated as pounds sterling. Differences between groups were analysed using unpaired t-test or Mann-Whitney U test, and analysis of variance for adjusted analyses. Results We assessed 99/180 (55%) complete electronic health records, control (n = 31), daily (n = 36) and bolus (n = 32). We found no difference in total healthcare utilisation costs between the control and daily (mean difference in costs in pounds sterling 1.02, 95%CI -1.60, 1.65; adjusted 1.07, 95%CI -1.62, 1.86) or control and bolus groups (mean difference -1.58, 95%CI -2.63, 1.06; adjusted –1.40, 95%CI -2.45, 1.24). There were no adverse effects of supplementation reported during the trial

  5. Anthelmintic utilisation practices and prevalence of gastrointestinal helminth infections in sheep kept in the urban and peri-urban areas of Bishoftu Town.

    PubMed

    Datiko, Jallale; Terefe, Getachew; Bekele, Jemere

    2013-02-01

    Assessment of the anthelmintic (AH) utilisation practices and estimation of the prevalence of gastrointestinal helminth infections in sheep were carried out from November 2010 to April 2011 in urban and peri-urban areas of Bishoftu Town, central Ethiopia. A structured questionnaire was employed to assess the AH utilisation practices in sheep of 310 owners/households, while floatation and sedimentation techniques were used to study the prevalence of helminth infections. Faecal examinations revealed that 53.9 % of sheep harboured gastrointestinal helminth infections with a high frequency due to strongyles (77.3 %). The questionnaire survey revealed that sources of AH for sheep were government and private veterinary clinics for 98.5 % of urban and 65.4 % peri-urban respondents. In peri-urban areas, AH were also purchased from open markets and illegal dealers. Albendazole was the most common (75.5 %) drug used in sheep followed by ivermectin (18.7 %) and tetramisole (5.8 %). The criteria for selecting AH were: prescription by veterinarians (51.6 %), efficacy (31.9 %), price (12.3 %) and arbitrary reasons (4.2 %). Treatment frequency was minimal with 51.3, 32.3 and 15.8 % of the owners treating their sheep once, twice and less than once per year, respectively. Treatments mainly depended on manifestations of general (45.8 %) and digestive (23.3 %) symptoms. Irrespective of the body weight of the sheep, albendazole was the only drug reported to be given at half bolus/sheep (14.1 %). Owing to this practice, albendazole faces the risk of reduced efficacy or AH resistance due to its wide spread utilisation, handling by untrained personnel and suspected underdosage, which altogether support the perception of sheep owners on its lower effect on the performance of treated sheep. PMID:23015354

  6. The utilisation of two detectors for the determination of water in honey using headspace gas chromatography.

    PubMed

    Frink, Lillian A; Armstrong, Daniel W

    2016-08-15

    A headspace gas chromatography (HSGC) method was developed for the determination of water content in honey. This method was shown to work with five different honey varieties which had a range of water from 14-16%. It also utilised two different detectors, the thermal conductivity detector (TCD) and the barrier discharge ionisation detector (BID). This method needs no heating pretreatment step as in the current leading method, (i.e. the measurement of refractive index). The solvent-free procedure negates the possibility of solvent-compound interactions as well as solubility limitations, as is common with Karl Fischer titrations. It was also apparent that the classic loss on drying method consistently and substantially produced results that were lower than the correct values. This approach is shown to be rapid, with an analysis time of 4 min when using the TCD detector and under 3 min when utilising the BID detector. HSGC is feasible for the determination of water due to the new PEG-linked geminal dicationic ionic-liquid-coated GC capillary column. In addition it provides accurate and precise determinations of the water content in honey. When using the sensitive BID detector, other trace volatile compounds are observed as well. PMID:27006209

  7. Cumulative metal leaching from utilisation of secondary building materials in river engineering.

    PubMed

    Leuven, R S E W; Willems, F H G

    2004-01-01

    The present paper estimates the utilisation of bulky wastes (minestone, steel slag, phosphorus slag and demolition waste) in hydraulic engineering structures in Dutch parts of the rivers Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt over the period 1980-2025. Although they offer several economic, technical and environmental benefits, these secondary building materials contain various metals that may leach into river water. A leaching model was used to predict annual emissions of arsenic, cadmium, copper, chromium, lead, mercury, nickel and zinc. Under the current utilisation and model assumptions, the contribution of secondary building materials to metal pollution in Dutch surface waters is expected to be relatively low compared to other sources (less than 0.1% and 0.2% in the years 2000 and 2025, respectively). However, continued and widespread large-scale applications of secondary building materials will increase pollutant leaching and may require further cuts to be made in emissions from other sources to meet emission reduction targets and water quality standards. It is recommended to validate available leaching models under various field conditions. Complete registration of secondary building materials will be required to improve input data for leaching models. PMID:15053116

  8. Utilisation of short rotation forestry for on-site boiler fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Sims, R.E.H.; Lowe, H.T.

    1995-11-01

    A New Zealand meat processing company has planted 100 ha of land adjacent to its plant in short rotation coppice eucalyptus trees for land treatment of the effluent stream (5000+ m{sup 3}/day). To be effective this necessitates removal of the accumulate biomass from the site at regular intervals (every 3-4 years). Using the biomass for fuelwood on site could offset the cost of effluent treatment if it could substitute for the existing energy supplies bought into the plant. A wide range of harvesting, drying, processing, storage and conversion options were identified with the objective of using the biomass produced on site to partly displace the coal currently fuelling a 4.2 MW boiler to provide process steam. A computer model was developed to identify the optimum biomass utilisation system from the variety of combinations of options possible including use of contractors. The objective was to match the work capacity of the various equipment components and to minimise the investment payback period for the company. Boiler options to convert or replace the current boiler or to purchase an additional wood-fired boiler were also included. The model was based around the specific requirements of this particular meat plant but it could be adapted to suit other similar short rotation forestry, biomass utilisation schemes.

  9. Utilisation of Mucin Glycans by the Human Gut Symbiont Ruminococcus gnavus Is Strain-Dependent

    PubMed Central

    Crost, Emmanuelle H.; Tailford, Louise E.; Le Gall, Gwenaelle; Fons, Michel; Henrissat, Bernard; Juge, Nathalie

    2013-01-01

    Commensal bacteria often have an especially rich source of glycan-degrading enzymes which allow them to utilize undigested carbohydrates from the food or the host. The species Ruminococcus gnavus is present in the digestive tract of ≥90% of humans and has been implicated in gut-related diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Here we analysed the ability of two R. gnavus human strains, E1 and ATCC 29149, to utilize host glycans. We showed that although both strains could assimilate mucin monosaccharides, only R. gnavus ATCC 29149 was able to grow on mucin as a sole carbon source. Comparative genomic analysis of the two R. gnavus strains highlighted potential clusters and glycoside hydrolases (GHs) responsible for the breakdown and utilization of mucin-derived glycans. Transcriptomic and functional activity assays confirmed the importance of specific GH33 sialidase, and GH29 and GH95 fucosidases in the mucin utilisation pathway. Notably, we uncovered a novel pathway by which R. gnavus ATCC 29149 utilises sialic acid from sialylated substrates. Our results also demonstrated the ability of R. gnavus ATCC 29149 to produce propanol and propionate as the end products of metabolism when grown on mucin and fucosylated glycans. These new findings provide molecular insights into the strain-specificity of R. gnavus adaptation to the gut environment advancing our understanding of the role of gut commensals in health and disease. PMID:24204617

  10. Evaluation of methane-utilising bacteria products as feed ingredients for monogastric animals.

    PubMed

    Øverland, Margareth; Tauson, Anne-Helene; Shearer, Karl; Skrede, Anders

    2010-06-01

    Bacterial proteins represent a potential future nutrient source for monogastric animal production because they can be grown rapidly on substrates with minimum dependence on soil, water, and climate conditions. This review summarises the current knowledge on methane-utilising bacteria as feed ingredients for animals. We present results from earlier work and recent findings concerning bacterial protein, including the production process, chemical composition, effects on nutrient digestibility, metabolism, and growth performance in several monogastric species, including pigs, broiler chickens, mink (Mustela vison), fox (Alopex lagopus), Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus). It is concluded that bacterial meal (BM) derived from natural gas fermentation, utilising a bacteria culture containing mainly the methanotroph Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath), is a promising source of protein based on criteria such as amino acid composition, digestibility, and animal performance and health. Future research challenges include modified downstream processing to produce value-added products, and improved understanding of factors contributing to nutrient availability and animal performance. PMID:20578647

  11. General health care service utilisation: where, when and by whom in a socioeconomically disadvantaged population.

    PubMed

    Achat, Helen M; Thomas, Paul; Close, Glenn R; Moerkerken, Leendert R; Harris, Mark F

    2010-01-01

    This paper aimed to examine the utilisation of and preferences related to health care services by residents of a disadvantaged area and to identify factors associated with levels of current and future use. Data were collected from face-to-face structured interviews of randomly selected residents of a disadvantaged local government area in 2003-04. Information about respondents' health and socioeconomic status and patterns of use and preferred features of health care was analysed in PASW Statistic 17. Chi-square statistics were used to examine differences in utilisation by sex and simple logistic regression provided sex specific age-adjusted odds ratios about frequent visits. Most respondents (95%) attended a 'usual' general practitioner (GP) service and about two-fifths had obtained other health care in the last 12 months. The median number of visits was four and most providers offered bulk billing (83%). Less common were visits to the dentist (32%), emergency department (14%), specialists (29%) and the hospital (5%). Providers' skills and traits, physical access and bulk billing were key considerations for men and women when choosing a health care provider. Disadvantaged communities want skilled practitioners who reflect their demographic mix and are located at convenient and accessible clinics, which preferably bulk bill. Apart from GP visits, this group appears to make only moderate use of specialists and emergency departments, and little routine use of other primary health services. PMID:21128574

  12. Minimisation and utilisation of waste mineral sludge from sodium perborate production.

    PubMed

    Grilc, Viktor; Jersan, Rok

    2002-10-01

    Various approaches to waste minimisation, waste treatment and recycling or safe disposal of the waste mineral sludge from sodium perborate production are presented and critically discussed. Some most promising actions for waste (or its harmful potential) reduction on the production level are identified. These include: a) use of better raw materials (richer boron ore), b) improvement of the ore leaching process, and c) intensification of sludge washing and dewatering. These source reduction measures have already resulted in 50% reduction of boron content in the sludge. Utilisation of the raw or treated (e.g. dried, compacted) waste sludge could be found in agriculture, civil engineering and construction material production. Agricultural use (as a lime substitute) is based on favourable content of calcium-magnesium minerals and alkali pH value of the sludge, and simultaneous absence of heavy metals. Application in civil engineering (as an aggregate) is possible after calcination, which is costly, or as a cement kiln additive. Stabilisation of sludge before disposal, when no utilisation is available, is possible by small addition of commercial binders (e.g. Portland cement) or larger amounts of pozzolanic wastes (e.g. coal fly ash). PMID:12498478

  13. Are racist attitudes related to experiences of racial discrimination? Within sample testing utilising nationally representative survey data.

    PubMed

    Habtegiorgis, Amanuel E; Paradies, Yin C; Dunn, Kevin M

    2014-09-01

    Although the relationship between an individual's racist attitudes and discriminatory behaviours has been widely studied, the association between racist attitudes among perpetrators and experiences of racism among targets has been under-examined. Based on data from the 2001-8 Australian Challenging Racism Project survey, this paper details a novel method to investigate the link between racist attitudes and experiences of discrimination utilising two separate models linked by nomination of cultural or ethnic groups who do not fit into Australian society (i.e., out-groups). Those identified as out-groups were more likely to report experiences of discrimination than those who were not nominated as out-groups. Overall, out-group nomination by those with racist attitudes strongly predict experiences of discrimination among these same target out-groups, OR=2.2, F(6, 12,348)=78.61, p<.001. Racist attitudes are related to racist behaviours among perpetrators that are, in turn, related to experiences of racial discrimination among targets. This study demonstrates that attitudes not only affect majority group behaviour but also drive the resulting experiences of discrimination for minority group members. PMID:24913953

  14. The significance of the host inflammatory response on the therapeutic efficacy of cell therapies utilising human adult stem cells

    SciTech Connect

    Navarro, Melba; Pu, Fanrong; Hunt, John A.

    2012-02-15

    Controlling the fate of implanted hMSCs is one of the major drawbacks to be overcome to realize tissue engineering strategies. In particular, the effect of the inflammatory environment on hMSCs behaviour is poorly understood. Studying and mimicking the inflammatory process in vitro is a very complex and challenging task that involves multiple variables. This research addressed the questions using in vitro co-cultures of primary derived hMSCs together with human peripheral blood mononucleated cells (PBMCs); the latter are key agents in the inflammatory process. This work explored the in vitro phenotypic changes of hMSCs in co-culture direct contact with monocytes and lymphocytes isolated from blood using both basal and osteogenic medium. Our findings indicated that hMSCs maintained their undifferentiated phenotype and pluripotency despite the contact with PBMCs. Moreover, hMSCs demonstrated increased proliferation and were able to differentiate specifically down the osteogenic lineage pathway. Providing significant crucial evidence to support the hypothesis that inflammation and host defence mechanisms could be utilised rather than avoided and combated to provide for the successful therapeutic application of stem cell therapies.

  15. Detection of Sialic Acid-Utilising Bacteria in a Caecal Community Batch Culture Using RNA-Based Stable Isotope Probing

    PubMed Central

    Young, Wayne; Egert, Markus; Bassett, Shalome A.; Bibiloni, Rodrigo

    2015-01-01

    Sialic acids are monosaccharides typically found on cell surfaces and attached to soluble proteins, or as essential components of ganglioside structures that play a critical role in brain development and neural transmission. Human milk also contains sialic acid conjugated to oligosaccharides, glycolipids, and glycoproteins. These nutrients can reach the large bowel where they may be metabolised by the microbiota. However, little is known about the members of the microbiota involved in this function. To identify intestinal bacteria that utilise sialic acid within a complex intestinal community, we cultured the caecal microbiota from piglets in the presence of 13C-labelled sialic acid. Using RNA-based stable isotope probing, we identified bacteria that consumed 13C-sialic acid by fractionating total RNA in isopycnic buoyant density gradients followed by 16S rRNA gene analysis. Addition of sialic acid caused significant microbial community changes. A relative rise in Prevotella and Lactobacillus species was accompanied by a corresponding reduction in the genera Escherichia/Shigella, Ruminococcus and Eubacterium. Inspection of isotopically labelled RNA sequences suggests that the labelled sialic acid was consumed by a wide range of bacteria. However, species affiliated with the genus Prevotella were clearly identified as the most prolific users, as solely their RNA showed significantly higher relative shares among the most labelled RNA species. Given the relevance of sialic acid in nutrition, this study contributes to a better understanding of their microbial transformation in the intestinal tract with potential implications for human health. PMID:25816158

  16. A systematic review of the predictors of health service utilisation by adults with mental disorders in the UK

    PubMed Central

    Twomey, Conal D; Baldwin, David S; Hopfe, Maren; Cieza, Alarcos

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To identify variables that predict health service utilisation (HSU) by adults with mental disorders in the UK, and to determine the evidence level for these predictors. Design A narrative synthesis of peer-reviewed studies published after the year 2000. The search was conducted using four databases (ie, PsycINFO, CINAHL Plus with full text, MEDLINE and EMBASE) and completed on 25 March 2014. Setting The majority of included studies were set in health services across primary, secondary, specialist and inpatient care. Some studies used data from household and postal surveys. Participants Included were UK-based studies that predicted HSU by adults with mental disorders. Participants had a range of mental disorders including psychotic disorders, personality disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and dementia. Primary outcome A wide range of HSU outcomes were examined, including general practitioner (GP) contacts, medication usage, psychiatrist contacts, psychotherapy attendances, inpatient days, accident and emergency admissions and ‘total HSU’. Results Taking into account study quality, 28 studies identified a range of variables with good preliminary evidence supporting their ability to predict HSU. Of these variables, comorbidity, personality disorder, age (heterogeneous age ranges), neurotic symptoms, female gender, a marital status of divorced, separated or widowed, non-white ethnicity, high previous HSU and activities of daily living, were associated with increased HSU. Moreover, good preliminary evidence was found for associations of accessing a primary care psychological treatment service and medication use with decreased HSU. Conclusions The findings can inform decisions about which variables might be used to derive mental health clusters in ‘payment by results’ systems in the UK. The findings also support the need to investigate whether combining broad diagnoses with care pathways is an effective method for mental health

  17. Effect of graded levels of rapeseed oil in isonitrogenous diets on the development of the gastrointestinal tract, and utilisation of protein, fat and energy in broiler chickens.

    PubMed

    Jørgensen, Henry; Zhao, Xin Quan; Theil, Peter Kappel; Jakobsen, Kirsten

    2008-08-01

    The effect of feeding 0, 4, 8 and 16% rapeseed oil from 12-42 days of age was studied in broiler chickens on performance, digestibility of nutrients, and development of gastrointestinal tract, protein and energy metabolism. Thirty six female chickens (Ross 208) with initial body weight average 246 g were allocated to the four groups and kept pair-wise in metabolism cages. The chickens were fed similar amounts of metabolisable energy (ME) per day and similar amounts of essential amino acids relative to ME by adjusting with crystalline amino acids. The chickens were subjected to four balance periods each of five days with two 24 h measurements of gas exchange in two open-air-circuit respiration chambers inserted on the second and third day of each period. The addition of rapeseed oil increased the amount of gutfill indicating a reduced rate of passage and causing a hypertrophy of the gastrointestinal tract. There was a positive effect on feed utilisation as well as on digestibility especially of dietary fat together with higher utilisation of protein with addition of rapeseed oil. The partial fat digestibility of rapeseed oil estimated by regression was 91.1% and the partial metabolisability (ME/GE) of the rapeseed oil was estimated to 85% yielding an apparent metabolisable energy value of 34.30 MJ/kg. PMID:18763627

  18. Access and utilisation of healthcare services in rural Tanzania: A comparison of public and non-public facilities using quality, equity, and trust dimensions.

    PubMed

    Shayo, Elizabeth H; Senkoro, Kesheni P; Momburi, Romanus; Olsen, Øystein E; Byskov, Jens; Makundi, Emmanuel A; Kamuzora, Peter; Mboera, Leonard E G

    2016-01-01

    This study compared the access and utilisation of health services in public and non-public health facilities in terms of quality, equity and trust in the Mbarali district, Tanzania. Interviews, focus group discussions, and informal discussions were used to generate data. Of the 1836 respondents, 1157 and 679 respondents sought healthcare services on their last visit at public or non-public health facilities, respectively. While 45.5% rated the quality of services to be good in both types of facilities, reported medicine shortages were more pronounced among those who visited public rather than non-public health facilities (OR = 1.7, 95% CI 1.4, 2.1). Respondents who visited public facilities were 4.9 times less likely than those who visited non-public facilities to emphasise the influence of cost in accessing and utilising health care (OR = 4.9, CI 3.9-6.1). A significant difference was also found in the provider-client relationship satisfaction level between non-public (89.1%) and public facilities (74.7%) (OR = 2.8, CI: 1.5-5.0), indicating a level of lower trust in the later. Revised strategies are needed to ensure availability of medicines in public facilities, which are used by the majority of the population, while strengthening private-public partnerships to harmonise healthcare costs. PMID:26883021

  19. Interprofessional orientation for health professionals utilising simulated learning: Findings from a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Will, Kristen Kaye; Stepanek, Jan; Brewer, Kathryn K; Colquist, Julie A; Cruz, Jade Ethel S; Donald, Carrlene B; Hartsell, Zachary C; Hust, Steven J; Lowell, Amelia A; Markiewicz, Katherine A; Panchmatia, Bella; Shelton, A Travis; Novais, Barbara S; Wilson, Rebecca

    2016-01-01

    We describe a novel, interprofessional educational intervention pilot used to orient new health profession employees through the simulation laboratory. Health profession employees were recruited to engage in a simulation training session that focused on communication, collaboration, and healthcare roles and responsibilities. Learners (N = 11) were divided into two groups with representation from various health disciplines. Each group participated in a simulated patient scenario while the other group actively observed in another classroom. At the end of both sessions, the group reconvened for a debriefing session. Participants were given a survey before and after the training session, to evaluate the content, experience, and value to their practice. The pre- and post-evaluation survey analysis showed improvement in all objectives with a mean (SD) pre-evaluation score of 4.10 (0.40-1.01) and mean (SD) post-evaluation score of 4.73 (0.30-0.81). Results were favourable, and plans to expand this project are under way. PMID:26930557

  20. Utilising Social Networking Sites to Improve Writing: A Case Study with Chinese Students in Malaysia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vikneswaran, Thulasi; Krish, Pramela

    2016-01-01

    With the advancement of technology, writing in English is no longer confined to the classroom as nowadays students are exposed to various forms of writing on the Internet. Specifically with Generation Y in mind, online writing is a new method that needs to be implemented to enhance Malaysian students' writing skills. This article aims at…

  1. A Study Exploring the Strategies Utilised by Indian Middle-School Students in Identifying Unfamiliar Artefacts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ara, Farhat; Natarajan, Chitra; Chunawala, Sugra

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents the strategies employed by Indian middle-school students working in groups to identify three unfamiliar artefacts. The activity described in this paper was aimed at sensitising students to the close link between form and function and to bring a certain amount of uncertainty in the tasks before the actual design task. It was…

  2. Utilising Six Sigma for Improving Pass Percentage of Students: A Technical Institute Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaushik, Prabhakar; Khanduja, Dinesh

    2010-01-01

    Service sector accounts for a substantial share in Indian economy and among the service industries, education sector is emerging as a major commercial activity in the nation. Globalization, growing competition among institutions, emergence of new technologies, changing socio-economic profiles of nations and knowledge driven economies have created…

  3. Intranet-Based Learning: A One-Year Study of Student Utilisation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herson, Katie; Sosabowski, M. H.; Lloyd, A. W.

    1999-01-01

    Reports on the undergraduate utilization and evaluation of an Intranet learning resource developed at the School of Pharmacy of the University of Brighton (United Kingdom). Topics include advantages of Intranets over the Internet, including software licensing and confidentiality; barriers to implementation; and future proposals. (LRW)

  4. The possibilities of utilisation of heat from Tattapani Geothermal field, India

    SciTech Connect

    Sarolkar, P.B.; Pitale, U.L.

    1996-12-31

    The Tattapani Geothermal field produces + 1800 1pm thermal water of 100{degrees}C from five production wells. The hot water production can sustain electricity production of 300 kWe by using a binary cycle power plant. The heat energy of effluent water from power plant can be utilized for direct heat utilization on horticulture, aquaculture, cold storage, silviculture etc; to augment the economics of the power plant be spot can be developed as a centre for tourist attraction by constructing botanical park, greenhouse, geyser show and crocodile farm. The direct heat utilization shemes can be planned in cascading order to achieve maximum utility of thermal water. Additional deep drilling is essential for optimum commercial utilization of the Geothermal energy. The direct heat utilisation shemes along with binary cycle power plant may help in development of the geothermal energy and boosting the economy of this region.

  5. Inter-comparison of safety culture within selected practices in Ghana utilising ionising radiation.

    PubMed

    Faanu, A; Schandorf, C; Darko, E O; Boadu, M; Emi-Reynolds, G; Awudu, A R; Gyekye, P K; Kpeglo, D O

    2010-12-01

    The safety culture of selected practices and facilities in Ghana utilising radiation sources or radiation emitting devices has been assessed using a performance indicator, which provided status information on management and operating staff commitment to safety. The questionnaire was based on the following broad areas: general safety considerations, safety policy at the facility level, safety practices at the facility level, definition of responsibility, staff training, safety of the physical structure of the facility and the emergency plans. The analysis showed that the percentage levels of commitment to safety for the respective practices are as follows: conventional radiography, 23.3-90.0%; research reactor, 73.3%; gamma irradiation facility, 53.3%; radiotherapy, 76.7%; X-ray scanner, 80.0%; gamma scanner, 76.7%; industrial radiography 86.7% and nuclear density practice, 78%. None of the practices or facilities was able to satisfy all the requirements that will ensure a 100% level of safety culture. PMID:20699247

  6. Numerical system utilising a Monte Carlo calculation method for accurate dose assessment in radiation accidents.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, F; Endo, A

    2007-01-01

    A system utilising radiation transport codes has been developed to derive accurate dose distributions in a human body for radiological accidents. A suitable model is quite essential for a numerical analysis. Therefore, two tools were developed to setup a 'problem-dependent' input file, defining a radiation source and an exposed person to simulate the radiation transport in an accident with the Monte Carlo calculation codes-MCNP and MCNPX. Necessary resources are defined by a dialogue method with a generally used personal computer for both the tools. The tools prepare human body and source models described in the input file format of the employed Monte Carlo codes. The tools were validated for dose assessment in comparison with a past criticality accident and a hypothesized exposure. PMID:17510203

  7. Utilising Medicare annual wellness visits to implement interprofessional education in the primary care setting.

    PubMed

    Irons, Brian; Evans, Lance; Bogschutz, Renee; Panasci, Kathryn; Sun, Grace

    2016-07-01

    Interprofessional education (IPE) is an important component of healthcare professional curriculum in order to optimally prepare students for their roles as part of the healthcare team. Integrating IPE activities into direct patient care in the primary care clinic setting can help improve perceptions and student understanding of other healthcare professionals' responsibilities in this ever-evolving practice setting. This report describes the implementation of an interprofessional clinic including a variety of healthcare professionals and students in the context of the Medicare Annual Wellness Visits (AWV). Design of the clinic and general roles of the professionals in optimising preventive care are described. Student perceptions of IPE and their knowledge of other healthcare professionals were also surveyed. Student knowledge of other professionals mildly improved. Student perception of actual cooperation and interprofessional interaction statistically improved, while perception of interprofessional learning slightly worsened. Utilising Medicare AWVs can be a way for various professionals to improve IPE in the primary care setting. PMID:27219719

  8. Wildlife resource utilisation at Moremi Game Reserve and Khwai community area in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.

    PubMed

    Mbaiwa, Joseph E

    2005-10-01

    This paper uses the concept of sustainable development to examine the utilisation of wildlife resources at Moremi Game Reserve (MGR) and Khwai community area (NG 18/19) in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Using both secondary and primary data sources, results show that the establishment of MGR in 1963 led to the displacement of Khwai residents from their land; affected Basarwa's hunting and gathering economy; marked the beginning of resource conflicts between Khwai residents and wildlife managers; and, led to the development of negative attitudes of Khwai residents towards wildlife conservation. Since the late 1980s, a predominantly foreign owned tourism industry developed in and around MGR, however, Khwai residents derive insignificant benefits from it and hence resource conflicts increased. In an attempt to address problems of resource conflicts and promote sustainable wildlife utilisation, the Botswana Government adopted the Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) programme, which started operating at Khwai village in 2000. The CBNRM programme promotes local participation in natural resource management and rural development through tourism. It is beginning to have benefits to Khwai residents such as income generation, employment opportunities and local participation in wildlife management. These benefits from CBNRM are thus having an impact in the development of positive attitudes of Khwai residents towards wildlife conservation and tourism development. This paper argues that if extended to MGR, CBNRM has the potential of minimising wildlife conflicts between Khwai residents and the wildlife-tourism sectors. This approach may in the process promote the sustainable wildlife use in and around MGR. PMID:16115724

  9. Experiences in the Dissemination and Utilisation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Research Findings from Three Southern African Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaino, Luckson M.; Mtetwa, David; Kasanda, Choshi

    2014-01-01

    The dissemination and utilisation of research knowledge produced at universities has been debated in recent times. Recent changes and developments at universities suggest an entrepreneurial model of academic research production in which universities have the responsibility not only to carry out research and teaching but also to disseminate…

  10. Teaching arms and screens for microscope and fibreoptic nasendoscope: are they effective teaching devices and are we utilising them?

    PubMed

    Ho, Eu Chin; Baker, Lucy Jane; Savage, Hugh; Simmons, Mark

    2010-04-01

    With training time for junior doctors now reduced, it is crucial to optimise training opportunities during elective clinical activities. Teaching ENT examination skills presents unique challenges as often, only the examiner can observe what's going on. We set out to explore the utilisation of microscope and nasendoscope teaching devices for ENT junior doctors. Telephonic survey of 102 English ENT units. ENT junior doctors spent an average of 7 h per week in elective ENT outpatient clinics. 92% of them felt that spending time in outpatient clinics helped improve their confidence in patients' management. 81% of ENT junior doctors stated that being able to observe others or being observed themselves would help to improve their clinical abilities. The availability and utilisation of nasendoscopy and microscopy teaching tools are currently suboptimal. Doctors working in departments that utilised the teaching tools stated that their educational needs were more likely to be met. Most ENT junior doctors found it beneficial to attend elective outpatient clinics although their learning needs were more likely to be met should ENT teaching devices be available. The availability and utilisation of ENT teaching devices are currently suboptimal and needs addressing. PMID:19690879

  11. UTILISATION ANALYSIS OF ANTIHYPERTENSIVE DRUGS IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA FOR THE TIME-PERIOD 2013–2015

    PubMed Central

    Selmanovic, Kenan; Zec, Svjetlana Loga; Vanis, Nenad; Zecevic, Lamija; Setkic, Manja; Rasic, Azra; Zerem, Enver

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Expenditures for drugs are increasingly burdening already insufficient funds for health protection. This is especially evident in less developed European countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina. The question is whether such analyses can help save funds for financing treatment for diseases, with an emphasis on a more rational choice of drug for appropriate indication, whereby clinical complications of hypertension would be prevented and patients would have quality of their lives improved. Aim: Focus of research has been set on analysis of use of antihypertensive drugs in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the time-period January 2013–March 2015. Use of all drugs for treatment of hypertension in that time-period in the country has been shown in an unbiased manner. Methods: The study is designed as retrospective-prospective comparative research of use of antihypertensive drugs in BiH in a certain time-period. Data are collected from relevant drug utilisation database which has been established in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2013. Results: We have calculated financial expenditure for prescribed antihypertensives in the time- period of 2013, 2014 and Q1 2015. Use of antihypertensives at the country level for this time-period is BAM 200,242,218. At the country level, physicians are most often opting for combination therapy: ACE inhibitors + diuretics (20.2%) and ACE inhibitors + Ca channel antagonists (18.0%). Conclusion: In this research, it has been shown that modern drugs are used for treatment of hypertension in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These drugs are used in the same order as they are prescribed in developed countries. PMID:27147917

  12. Effect of N fertilisation rate, energy supplementation and supplementation strategy on efficiency of N utilisation in the sheep rumen.

    PubMed

    Fievez, V; Vandeweghe, A; Vlaeminck, B; Mbanzamihigo, L; Carlier, L; Demeyer, D

    2001-01-01

    The effect of nitrogen (N) fertilisation (200 vs. 400 kg N ha-1 year-1) of pasture cut in the beginning (end of May) and the end (end of August) of the grazing season and of simultaneous or separated feeding of maize and grass (400 kg N ha-1 year-1) on efficiency of N utilisation in the rumen has been studied using four rumen cannulated wethers. Doubling N fertiliser rate increased grass CP production by about 60%, but induced extensive excess of rumen degradable N, reflected in high urinary urea excretion (rpearson = 0.747). The latter was lower (74% at the maximum) when feeding less fertilised or older grass or when supplementing with maize silage. Although simultaneous feeding of maize silage with grass changed patterns of rumen ammonia concentrations, no change in urinary excretion of purine derivatives was observed. Hence, faecal or urinary N excretion was unaffected by the supplementation strategy. Microbial growth efficiency was estimated from urinary excretion of purine derivatives and fermented OM. The latter was calculated from total rumen CH4 production, based on rumen fermentation stoichiometry and taking into account proportional concentrations of individual volatile fatty acids. Higher levels of intake tended to improve rumen microbial growth efficiency slightly (rpearson = 0.406), which, however, could not compensate for the reduced effective rumen DM degradability (rpearson = -0.442). The latter was apparently associated with a partial shift of the fermentation from the rumen to the hindgut, as suggested from the negative correlation (rpearson = -0.745) between faecal RNA concentrations and rumen effective degradability. PMID:12098834

  13. A mathematical model of microbial folate biosynthesis and utilisation: implications for antifolate development.

    PubMed

    Salcedo-Sora, J Enrique; Mc Auley, Mark T

    2016-03-01

    The metabolic biochemistry of folate biosynthesis and utilisation has evolved into a complex network of reactions. Although this complexity represents challenges to the field of folate research it has also provided a renewed source for antimetabolite targets. A range of improved folate chemotherapy continues to be developed and applied particularly to cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases. However, new or better antifolates against infectious diseases remain much more elusive. In this paper we describe the assembly of a generic deterministic mathematical model of microbial folate metabolism. Our aim is to explore how a mathematical model could be used to explore the dynamics of this inherently complex set of biochemical reactions. Using the model it was found that: (1) a particular small set of folate intermediates are overrepresented, (2) inhibitory profiles can be quantified by the level of key folate products, (3) using the model to scan for the most effective combinatorial inhibitions of folate enzymes we identified specific targets which could complement current antifolates, and (4) the model substantiates the case for a substrate cycle in the folinic acid biosynthesis reaction. Our model is coded in the systems biology markup language and has been deposited in the BioModels Database (MODEL1511020000), this makes it accessible to the community as a whole. PMID:26794619

  14. Utilisation of CryoSat-2 SAR altimeter in operational ice charting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rinne, E.; Similä, M.

    2016-01-01

    We present methods to utilise CryoSat-2 (CS-2) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mode data in operational ice charting. We compare CS-2 data qualitatively to SAR mosaics over the Barents and Kara seas. Furthermore, we compare the CS-2 to archived operational ice charts. We present distributions of four CS-2 waveform parameters for different ice types as presented in the ice charts. We go on to present an automatic classification method for CS-2 data which, after training with operational ice charts, is capable of determining open ocean from ice with a hit rate of > 90 %. The training data are dynamically updated every 5 days using the most recent 15 days of CS-2 data and operative ice charts. This helps the adaption of the classifier to the evolving ice/snow conditions throughout winter. The classifier is also capable of detecting three different ice classes (thin and thick first-year ice as well as old ice) with success rates good enough for the output to be usable to support operational ice charting. Finally, we present a near-real-time CS-2 product just plotting the waveform characteristics and conclude that even such a simple product is usable for some of the needs of ice charting.

  15. Passively cooled 405 W ytterbium fibre laser utilising a novel metal coated active fibre

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniel, Jae M. O.; Simakov, Nikita; Hemming, Alexander; Clarkson, W. Andrew; Haub, John

    2016-03-01

    We present a novel metal coated triple clad active fibre design, utilising an all glass inner cladding structure and aluminium outer coating. This metal coated active fibre enables a number of benefits to high power laser design, such as increase robustness and extended operating temperature range. As a demonstration of the advantages of this design a passively cooled ytterbium fibre laser is presented. A 20 m length of active fibre was coiled into a planar arrangement and mounted onto a high emissivity heatsink. Up to 405 W of output power was achieved without the need for active water or forced air cooling. The slope efficiency of this source was 74 % and maximum outer heat sink temperature was ~140°C. This arrangement allowed for significant weight and size savings to be achieved with the active fibre laser head weighing less than 100 g. We will discuss the design choices and trade-offs of metal coated active fibre on high power fibre laser systems as well as the prospects for further power scaling to the kW level.

  16. Analysis of glyphosate and glufosinate by capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry utilising a sheathless microelectrospray interface.

    PubMed

    Goodwin, Lee; Startin, James R; Keely, Brendan J; Goodall, David M

    2003-07-01

    The potential of capillary electrophoresis combined with mass spectrometry for the simultaneous determination of two herbicides (glyphosate and glufosinate) and their metabolites (aminomethylphosphonic acid and methylphosphinicopropionic acid) as the native species is demonstrated utilising a simple microelectrospray interface. The interface uses the voltage applied to the CE capillary to drive separation and generate the electrospray, avoiding sample dilution associated with the use of a sheath liquid interface. The chemistry of the internal walls of the capillary has a marked influence on peak shape, and appropriate choice is essential to successful operation of the interface. A linear polyacrylamide coated capillary, which has no electroosmotic flow, gave best reproducibility, with precision of migration time and peak area in the range 1-2 and 7-12% RSD, respectively, for the four analytes. Limits of detection, low-pg on-column, are substantially better than for previous methods and calibration curves over the range 1-100 microM have R2 values greater than 0.97. The observed concentration limit of detection for glyphosate in water is 1 microM and for a water-acetone extract of wheat is 2.5 microM, allowing the underivatised herbicide to be detected at 10% of the maximum residue limit in wheat. PMID:12929967

  17. Tolerance of pentose utilising yeast to hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Bioethanol fermentations follow traditional beverage fermentations where the yeast is exposed to adverse conditions such as oxidative stress. Lignocellulosic bioethanol fermentations involve the conversion of pentose and hexose sugars into ethanol. Environmental stress conditions such as osmotic stress and ethanol stress may affect the fermentation performance; however, oxidative stress as a consequence of metabolic output can also occur. However, the effect of oxidative stress on yeast with pentose utilising capabilities has yet to be investigated. Results Assaying for the effect of hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress on Candida, Pichia and Scheffersomyces spp. has demonstrated that these yeast tolerate hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress in a manner consistent with that demonstrated by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Pichia guillermondii appears to be more tolerant to hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress when compared to Candida shehatae, Candida succiphila or Scheffersomyces stipitis. Conclusions Sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress increased in the presence of minimal media; however, addition of amino acids and nucleobases was observed to increase tolerance. In particular adenine increased tolerance and methionine reduced tolerance to hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress. PMID:24636079

  18. Towards zero industrial waste: Utilisation of brick dust waste in sustainable construction.

    PubMed

    Kinuthia, J M; Nidzam, R M

    2011-08-01

    Laboratory investigations were carried out to establish the potential utilisation of brick dust (BD) in construction. The dust is a waste material from the cutting of fired clay bricks. Currently, the disposal of the dust is a problem to the brick fabrication company, and hence an environmental pollution concern. The dust was stabilised either used on its own or in combination with Pulverised Fuel Ash (PFA), a by-product material from coal combustion. The traditional stabilisers of lime and/or Portland Cement (PC) were used as controls. The main aim was to use a sustainable stabiliser material, where these stabilisers were partially replaced with Ground Granulated Blastfurnace Slag (GGBS), a by-product material from steel manufacture. Compacted cylinder test specimens were made at typical stabiliser contents and moist cured for up to 56 days prior to testing for compressive and California Bearing Ratio (CBR) strength tests, and to linear expansion during moist curing and subsequent soaking in water. The results obtained showed that partial substitution of the dust with PFA resulted in stronger material compared to using it on its own. The blended stabilisers achieved better performance. These results suggest technological, economic as well as environmental advantages of using the brick dust and similar industrial by-products to achieve sustainable infrastructure development with near zero industrial waste. PMID:21550223

  19. How Specific Microbial Communities Benefit the Oil Industry: Significant Contribution of Methyl/Methanol-Utilising Methanogenic Pathway in a Subsurface Biogas Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strąpoć, Dariusz; Ashby, Matt; Wood, Ladonna; Levinson, Rick; Huizinga, Bradley

    Methanogenesis is considered the main terminal process of subsurface anaerobic organic-matter degradation. Previous geochemical studies have reported CO2-reducing and acetoclastic methanogenesis as the predominant subsurface methanogenic pathways for primary and secondary biogenic gas generation (i.e. in oil biodegradation or coalbed methane settings). In lab-scale experiments and microbiology literature, however, methanogens have been shown to be able to utilise a wider variety of substrates, typically containing methyl groups, i.e. dimethyl sulphide (DMS), methyl amines (e.g. TMA), formate, and methanol. Additional methanogenic substrates include CO and other primary alcohols and secondary alcohols (Whitman et al., 2006; Fig. 25.1). Here, we describe a volumetrically important natural biogenic gas field in which these methylotrophic pathways have contributed significantly to biomethane formation.

  20. 'Sometimes they fail to keep their faith in us': community health worker perceptions of structural barriers to quality of care and community utilisation of services in Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Puett, Chloe; Alderman, Harold; Sadler, Kate; Coates, Jennifer

    2015-10-01

    Community health workers (CHWs) have strong potential to extend health and nutrition services to underserved populations. However, CHWs face complex challenges when working within weak health systems and among communities with limited abilities to access and utilise CHW services. It is crucial to understand these challenges to improve programme support mechanisms. This study describes the results of qualitative investigations into CHW perceptions of barriers to quality of care among two groups of workers implementing community case management of acute respiratory infection, diarrhoea and severe acute malnutrition in southern Bangladesh. We explored systemic barriers to service delivery, pertaining to communities and health systems, which limited the usefulness and effectiveness of CHW services. Focus group discussions (n = 10) were conducted in March 2010. Discussions were analysed for themes related to CHWs' work challenges. Findings highlight several perceived barriers to effective service provision, including community poverty constraining uptake of recommended practices, irregular supplies of medicine from the health facility and poor quality of care for CHW referrals sent there. This study further documents interactions between demand-side and supply-side constraints including the influence of health system resource constraints on community trust in CHW services, and the influence of community resource constraints on the utilisation and effectiveness of CHW services. By documenting service delivery challenges from the perspective of the frontline workers themselves, this article contributes evidence to help identify appropriate support mechanisms for these workers, in order to develop scalable and sustainable CHW programmes in countries with under-resourced public health care infrastructure. PMID:23941290

  1. In vitro fermentation characteristics and effective utilisable crude protein in leaves and green pods of Moringa stenopetala and Moringa oleifera cultivated at low and mid-altitudes.

    PubMed

    Melesse, A; Steingass, H; Boguhn, J; Rodehutscord, M

    2013-06-01

    This study was conducted to assess the in vitro nutrient digestibility and utilisation of leaves and green pods of two Moringa species in supplementing the feed of ruminant animals during the dry season. Samples were analysed for proximate nutrients using official methods. The metabolisable energy (ME), organic matter digestibility (OMD) and effective utilisable crude protein (uCP) were estimated using the Hohenheim in vitro gas test method. Gas volume in Moringa stenopetala leaves and green pods was generally higher than those of Moringa oleifera. Gas volume for leaves was similar between low and mid-altitudes but was higher for green pods at mid-altitude. M. stenopetala leaves contained significantly higher ME (9.8 MJ/kg DM) and OMD (75%) than those of M. oleifera. Similarly, M. stenopetala green pods had higher ME and OMD values than those of M. oleifera. For green pods, the ME and OMD values were significantly higher at mid-altitude than those at low altitude although these values for leaves were similar between both altitudes. Moringa oleifera leaves had higher effective uCP than those of M. stenopetala. Nevertheless, the effective uCP was higher for green pods of M. stenopetala than those of M. oleifera. The effective uCP for leaves cultivated at mid-altitude was slightly higher than those at low altitude. This study suggested that leaves and green pods could be used as alternative energy and protein supplements for tropical ruminants, particularly during dry periods. It was further concluded that leaves were generally better in nutrient compositions and in vitro nutrient digestibility characteristics than green pods. PMID:22497540

  2. Preliminary observations on accessibility and utilisation of water in selected villages in Dodoma Rural and Bagamoyo Districts, Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusiluka, L. J. M.; Mlozi, M. R. S.; Munishi, P. K. T.; Karimuribo, E. D.; Luoga, E. J.; Mdegela, R. H.; Kambarage, D. M.

    A study was carried out to establish the availability and utilisation of water in eight villages in Dodoma Rural and Bagamoyo districts, Tanzania. A total of 128 respondents were interviewed, involving 64 people in each district. The study revealed that the main sources of water for domestic and animal uses in Dodoma district were wells and dams, while in Bagamoyo district; the main sources were dams and ponds. Nine percent of the respondents reported water to be ‘readily available’, whereas 50% and 41% reported water to be ‘not easily available’ and ‘problematic’, respectively. Distances travelled to the nearest water source were in the range of 0.5-2.0, 0.25-15.00 and 0.5-14.40 km for the respondents who reported water as “readily available”, “not easily available” and “problematic”, respectively and, the corresponding time taken to the nearest water source was 0.17-2.00; 0.10-6.00 and 0.17-5.00 hours for the three categories of respondents respectively. More than two-thirds of the respondents reported that water sources were shared between households and also 71.9% reported sharing of water sources with animals, particularly cattle, sheep and goats. The proportions of respondents that reported occurrence of enteric or diarrhoeic cases amongst household members within the past three months before the study were 35.9% and 37.5% in Dodoma and Bagamoyo districts, respectively. All respondents in Dodoma district had latrines whereas 84% in Bagamoyo district had these facilities. All except one of the respondents who had no latrines in Bagamoyo district were based in Chamakweza, a village dominated by a Maasai pastoral community. Interestingly, a significantly higher proportion of diarrhoeic cases were reported in this village compared to the other three villages in Bagamoyo district ( p = 0.029). These findings show that availability of safe water is a serious problem in the study areas and that this may have serious consequences on public

  3. Utilisation of oral health services, oral health needs and oral health status in a peri-urban informal settlement.

    PubMed

    Westaway, M S; Viljoen, E; Rudolph, M J

    1999-04-01

    Interviews were conducted with 294 black residents (155 females and 138 males) of a peri-urban informal settlement in Gauteng to ascertain utilisation of oral health services, oral health needs and oral health status. Only 37 per cent of the sample had consulted a dentist or medical practitioner, usually for extractions. Teenagers and employed persons were significantly less likely to utilise dentists than the older age groups and unemployed persons. Forty per cent were currently experiencing oral health problems such as a sore mouth, tooth decay and bleeding/painful gums. Two hundred and twelve (73 per cent) interviewees wanted dental treatment or advice. Residents who rated their oral health status as fair or poor appeared to have the greatest need for oral health services. The use of interviews appears to be a cost-effective method of determining oral morbidity. PMID:10518916

  4. Investigation of Matlab® as Platform in Navigation and Control of an Automatic Guided Vehicle Utilising an Omnivision Sensor

    PubMed Central

    Kotze, Ben; Jordaan, Gerrit

    2014-01-01

    Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are navigated utilising multiple types of sensors for detecting the environment. In this investigation such sensors are replaced and/or minimized by the use of a single omnidirectional camera picture stream. An area of interest is extracted, and by using image processing the vehicle is navigated on a set path. Reconfigurability is added to the route layout by signs incorporated in the navigation process. The result is the possible manipulation of a number of AGVs, each on its own designated colour-signed path. This route is reconfigurable by the operator with no programming alteration or intervention. A low resolution camera and a Matlab® software development platform are utilised. The use of Matlab® lends itself to speedy evaluation and implementation of image processing options on the AGV, but its functioning in such an environment needs to be assessed. PMID:25157548

  5. Feed utilisation of Ethiopian Highland lambs on a basal diet of Eleucine coracana straw and supplemented with variously sourced protein mixed with wheat bran.

    PubMed

    Alem, Mulat; Tamir, Berhan; Kurtu, Mohammed Y

    2011-01-01

    The study investigated the effect of supplementation of a basal diet of Eleucine coracana (finger millet) straw with different protein sources mixed with wheat bran on feed utilisation in Ethiopian Highland lambs. Twenty yearling intact male lambs (14.9 ± 0.30 kg; mean ± SD) were used in a randomised complete block design. Dietary treatments included a basal diet of E. coracana straw ad libitum (T1); basal diet supplemented with a mixture of 222 g noug seed (Guizotia abyssinica) cake (NSC) and 78 g wheat bran (WB) (T2); basal diet with a mixture of 234 g cotton seedcake (CSC) and 66 g WB (T3); and basal diet with a mixture of 5.4 g urea (U) and 294.6 g WB (T4). The supplements were offered at the daily rate of 300 g dry matter (DM) per lamb in two equal portions at 0800 and 1600 hours. Supplementation of Ethiopian Highland lambs on E. coracana straw basal diet with varied protein sources increased (P < 0.01) the total DM, OM and CP intake and improved (P < 0.01) the daily body weight gain and feed conversion efficiency. Lambs in T2, T3 and T4 gained weight at the rate of 22.7, 21.9 and 14.1 g/day, respectively, while lambs on the control diet lost weight at a rate of -24.9 g/day. Supplementation also improved (P < 0.01) the digestibility of DM, OM, CP and NDF of the total diet. It was concluded that supplementation of E. coracana straw with NSC, CSC and U mixed with WB improves feed utilisation, body weight gain and digestibility in Ethiopian Highland lambs. PMID:20661642

  6. Utilisation of MSWI bottom ash as sub-base in road construction: first results from a large-scale test site.

    PubMed

    Hjelmar, Ole; Holm, Jesper; Crillesen, Kim

    2007-01-31

    The preferred management option for municipal solid waste incinerator (MSWI) bottom ash in Denmark is utilisation rather than landfilling, but the current environmental quality criteria for bottom ash to be utilised in bulk quantities are rather strict. To evaluate the impact and risk assessments, upon which those criteria are based, a large-scale test site has been established. Three different MSWI bottom ashes have been used as sub-base in six test units ranging from 100 to 200 m2 with top covers of asphalt, flagstones and pebbles, respectively. All units, except one, are equipped with bottom liners and leachate collection equipment. The test site provides information on the leachate quality and quantity as a function of time under different conditions and on the flow pattern in asphalt and flagstone covered roads and squares with MSWI bottom ash sub-base. In addition, the leaching behaviour of the bottom ashes has been studied in the laboratory. The test site was established in October 2002 and the project is still ongoing. Water balance results indicate that the water flow distribution is strongly influenced by lateral flow on or in the upper part of the bottom ash layer and possibly by preferential flow. Comparisons between eluates from laboratory leaching tests on the bottom ashes and observations of the leachate from the site as a function of L/S show fairly good agreement for salts but less agreement for some trace elements. Most likely, this is partly due to the fact that the pH observed in the leachate from the field sites is lower than that observed in the eluates from the laboratory leaching tests. PMID:16621249

  7. Utilising reinforcement learning to develop strategies for driving auditory neural implants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Geoffrey W.; Zambetta, Fabio; Li, Xiaodong; Paolini, Antonio G.

    2016-08-01

    Objective. In this paper we propose a novel application of reinforcement learning to the area of auditory neural stimulation. We aim to develop a simulation environment which is based off real neurological responses to auditory and electrical stimulation in the cochlear nucleus (CN) and inferior colliculus (IC) of an animal model. Using this simulator we implement closed loop reinforcement learning algorithms to determine which methods are most effective at learning effective acoustic neural stimulation strategies. Approach. By recording a comprehensive set of acoustic frequency presentations and neural responses from a set of animals we created a large database of neural responses to acoustic stimulation. Extensive electrical stimulation in the CN and the recording of neural responses in the IC provides a mapping of how the auditory system responds to electrical stimuli. The combined dataset is used as the foundation for the simulator, which is used to implement and test learning algorithms. Main results. Reinforcement learning, utilising a modified n-Armed Bandit solution, is implemented to demonstrate the model’s function. We show the ability to effectively learn stimulation patterns which mimic the cochlea’s ability to covert acoustic frequencies to neural activity. Time taken to learn effective replication using neural stimulation takes less than 20 min under continuous testing. Significance. These results show the utility of reinforcement learning in the field of neural stimulation. These results can be coupled with existing sound processing technologies to develop new auditory prosthetics that are adaptable to the recipients current auditory pathway. The same process can theoretically be abstracted to other sensory and motor systems to develop similar electrical replication of neural signals.

  8. Can silicon isotopes be used to assess anthropogenic impacts and nutrient utilisation in Lake Baikal, Siberia?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swann, G. E. A.; Panizzo, V. N.; Mackay, A. W.; Roberts, S.; Vologina, E.; Horstwood, M. S.

    2014-12-01

    Silicon isotope geochemistry (28Si, 29Si, 30Si) represents a growing field in Earth Sciences providing information to constrain and understand biogeochemical cycling on land and in oceans. Here we present records of δ30Si (30Si/28Si) from the Lake Baikal drainage basin in central Siberia to understand silicon cycling through the dominant river tributaries and into Lake Baikal itself, the world's deepest and most voluminous lake containing one fifth of all freshwater not stored in glaciers and ice caps.Waters were collected along an upstream transect for the five dominant Lake Baikal inflows as well as from the Selenga Delta which account for >50% of the annual riverine flow to the lake. Samples for dissolved silicon (DSi) concentrations and silicon isotopic signatures (δ30SiDSi) were filtered and acidified in the field with isotopic analyses conducted on a Neptune + Multi-Collector ICP-MS using wet plasma mode with Mg doping of samples and standard-sample-standard bracketing. Analytical reproducibility is 0.11‰ (2σ) and blanks are <1% of signal intensity. The DSi concentration of all river inflow samples varies from c. 2.5-6.3 ppm, which contrasts with concentrations of < 1ppm from the Angara River, the lake's only outflow. Combined with river δ30SiDSi values of c. + 0.94 to +1.52‰ and lake water and outflow values of c. +2.50‰, the results show significant (up to 60%) biological utilisation of silicon entering the lake.With the Lake Baikal having been designated a World Heritage Site since 1996, due to its high level of biological endemicity, the work in combination with sediment cores from the lake provides an insight into the transportation and fate of silicon in the basin and an assessment of how climate change and expanding anthropogenic activities in the region including urbanisation, deforestation, agriculture and mining have impacted biogeochemical cycling.

  9. Increased utilisation of PEPFAR-supported laboratory services by non-HIV patents in Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    McNairy, Margaret L.; Gwynn, Charon; Rabkin, Miriam; Antelman, Gretchen; Wu, Yingfeng; Alemayehu, Bereket; Lim, Travis; Imtiaz, Rubina; Mosha, Fausta; Mwasekaga, Michael; Othman, Asha A.; Justman, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    Background It is unknown to what extent the non-HIV population utilises laboratories supported by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Objectives We aimed to describe the number and proportion of laboratory tests performed in 2009 and 2011 for patients referred from HIV and non-HIV services (NHSs) in a convenience sample collected from 127 laboratories supported by PEPFAR in Tanzania. We then compared changes in the proportions of tests performed for patients referred from NHSs in 2009 vs 2011. Methods Haematology, chemistry, tuberculosis and syphilis test data were collected from available laboratory registers. Referral sources, including HIV services, NHSs, or lack of a documented referral source, were recorded. A generalised linear mixed model reported the odds that a test was from a NHS. Results A total of 94 132 tests from 94 laboratories in 2009 and 157 343 tests from 101 laboratories in 2011 were recorded. Half of all tests lacked a documented referral source. Tests from NHSs constituted 42% (66 084) of all tests in 2011, compared with 31% (29 181) in 2009. A test in 2011 was twice as likely to have been referred from a NHS as in 2009 (adjusted odds ratio: 2.0 [95% confidence interval: 2.0–2.1]). Conclusion Between 2009 and 2011, the number and proportion of tests from NHSs increased across all types of test. This finding may reflect increased documentation of NHS referrals or that the laboratory scale-up originally intended to service the HIV-positive population in Tanzania may be associated with a ‘spillover effect’ amongst the general population. PMID:26962475

  10. Light Levels Affect Carbon Utilisation in Tropical Seagrass under Ocean Acidification

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Under future ocean acidification (OA), increased availability of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in seawater may enhance seagrass productivity. However, the ability to utilise additional DIC could be regulated by light availability, often reduced through land runoff. To test this, two tropical seagrass species, Cymodocea serrulata and Halodule uninervis were exposed to two DIC concentrations (447 μatm and 1077 μatm pCO2), and three light treatments (35, 100, 380 μmol m-2 s-1) for two weeks. DIC uptake mechanisms were separately examined by measuring net photosynthetic rates while subjecting C. serrulata and H. uninervis to changes in light and addition of bicarbonate (HCO3-) use inhibitors (carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, acetazolamide) and TRIS buffer (pH 8.0). We observed a strong dependence on energy driven H+-HCO3- co-transport (TRIS, which disrupts H+ extrusion) in C. serrulata under all light levels, indicating greater CO2 dependence in low light. This was confirmed when, after two weeks exposure, DIC enrichment stimulated maximum photosynthetic rates (Pmax) and efficiency (α) more in C. serrulata grown under lower light levels (36–60% increase) than for those in high light (4% increase). However, C. serrulata growth increased with both DIC enrichment and light levels. Growth, NPP and photosynthetic responses in H. uninervis increased with higher light treatments and were independent of DIC availability. Furthermore, H. uninervis was found to be more flexible in HCO3- uptake pathways. Here, light availability influenced productivity responses to DIC enrichment, via both carbon fixation and acquisition processes, highlighting the role of water quality in future responses to OA. PMID:26938454