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    Effectiveness of brief nutrition interventions on dietary behaviours in adults: a systematic review

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    Brief interventions are effective in improving health behaviours including alcohol intake, however the effectiveness of brief interventions targeting nutrition outcomes has not been determined. The aim of this systematic review was to determine the effectiveness of brief nutrition interventions in adults. Seven databases were searched for RCT/pseudo RCT studies published in English to April 2016, and evaluating brief interventions (i.e. single point of contact) designed to promote change in eating behaviours in healthy adults (=18 years). Of 4849 articles identified, 45 studies met inclusion criteria. Most studies targeted fruit and/or vegetable intake (n = 21) or fat intake (n = 10), and few targeted diet quality (n = 2). Median follow-up was 3.5 months, with few studies (n = 4) measuring longer-term outcomes (=12 months). Studies aimed to determine whether a brief intervention was more effective than another brief intervention (n = 30), and/or more effective than no intervention (n = 20), with 17 and 11 studies, respectively, reporting findings to that effect. Interventions providing education plus tailored or instructional components (e.g. feedback) were more effective than education alone or non-tailored advice. This review suggests that brief interventions, which are tailored and instructional, can improve short-term dietary behaviours, however evidence for longer-term behaviour change maintenance is limited

    An evaluation of discharge documentation for people with dementia discharged home from hospital – A cross-sectional pilot study

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    This study evaluated discharge documentation for people with dementia who were discharged home, against expected discharge criteria and determined relationships between compliance scores and outcomes. This cross-sectional study audited discharge documentation and conducted a post discharge survey of carers. There were 73 eligible discharges and clinically significant documentation deficits for people with dementia included: risk assessments of confusion (48%), falls and pressure injury (56%); provision of medication dose-decision aids (53%), provision of contact information for patient support groups (6%) and advance care planning (9%). There was no significant relationship between compliance scores and outcomes. Carer strain was reported to be high for many carers. People with dementia and their carers are more vulnerable and at higher risk of poor outcomes after discharge. There are opportunities for improved provision of medications and risk assessment for people with dementia, provision of information for patient support groups and advanced care planning

    The qua-problem and meaning scepticism

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    When considering potential solutions to meaning-scepticism, Kripke (1982) did not consider a causal-theoretic approach. Kusch (2006) has argued that this is due to the qua-problem. I consider Kusch’s criticism of Maddy (1984) and McGinn (1984) before offering a different way to solve the qua-problem, one that is not susceptible to sceptical attack. If this solution is successful, at least one barrier to using a causal theory to refute Kripke’s scepticism is removed

    Evaluation of discharge documentation after hospitalization for stroke patients discharged home in Australia: a cross-sectional, pilot study

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    In this cross-sectional study, we evaluated the quality of discharge documentation for stroke patients discharged home. Participants were stroke patients discharged from a regional tertiary acute and rehabilitation hospital in Australia from 2014 to 2015. Compliance with expected discharge documentation and its relationship with readmission was measured using an audit instrument for stroke patients (n = 54), and a post-discharge survey of carers was conducted. There were deficits in the documentation of the mechanism of stroke (70%), functional assessments (58%), pending test results (39%), types of support services required after discharge (35%), and patient/carer meetings with the multi-disciplinary stroke team (20%). Readmission was associated with lower compliance scores for information provided to patients or their carer. The survey results suggested that carer burden was high for carers of stroke patients discharged home. Documentation of carer/family meetings with the stroke team, functional assessments, medications, and adequate support services needs to be improved. General practitioners and carers need this information, so that they can address the post-discharge needs of these vulnerable patients

    Smartphone app-based/portable sensor for the detection of fluoro-surfactant PFOA

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    We developed a smartphone app-based monitoring tool for the detection of anionic surfactants (AS), including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). Akin to the methylene blue active substances (MBAS), liquid-phase extraction (LPE) is employed to extract the hydrophobic ion-pair of dye (ethyl violet)-AS to an organic phase (ethyl acetate). The colour (RGB) of the organic phase is read using a smartphone camera with the help of a reading kit. The value of RGB is carefully corrected and linked to the concentration of ASs with a standard deviation of <10% in the 10–1000 ppb (part per billion) range. In order to avoid the interference arising from inorganic anions (such as those found in tap water and groundwater), the water sample is pre-treated either by solid-phase extraction (SPE), which takes ∼30 min, or by dual liquid-phase extraction (dual-LPE, developed by us), which takes ∼5 min. In the latter case, the organic phase of the first LPE (equilibrium with water sample) is transferred and subjected to a second LPE (equilibrium with Milli-Q water) to remove any potential background interference. In the meantime, SPE can also pre-concentrate ASs at 100–1000 times (in volume) to benefit the sensitivity. Consequently, our smartphone app can detect PFOA spiked in tap/groundwater with an LOD of 10 ppb (∼12 nM, dual-LPE of ∼5 min), or 0.5 ppb (∼1.2 nM, SPE of ∼3 h), suggesting that it has the potential to succeed as a pre-screening tool for on-site application and in common laboratory tests

    The expansion of developmental social work in Southern and East Africa: opportunities and challenges for social work field programmes

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    This article reports on a study that examined how fieldwork education in Southern and East Africa was responding to the developmental social work agenda. The study used semi-structured qualitative interviews with key informants from 15 social work programmes in 11 different Southern and East African countries. It investigated whether the social work fieldwork placements on offer provided practical experience of a developmental approach to social work practice. The study showed the creativity and enthusiasm with which social work educators were embracing the goals of developmental social work education, despite the pitfalls and limitations of doing this within fieldwork resource constraints

    Effect of resistance training on liver fat and visceral adiposity in adults with obesity: a randomized controlled trial

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    Aim: Regular aerobic exercise reduces visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and liver fat, however, not all individuals are able to adopt and adhere to such programs. Progressive resistance training (PRT) may be an alternative therapy, but there is limited available evidence. We examined the efficacy of PRT as per current exercise guidelines, compared with sham exercise placebo on liver fat and VAT. Methods: Twenty-nine inactive and overweight/obese (body mass index ≥25 kg/m²) adults (age 29–59) were randomized to receive 8 weeks of PRT (n = 15, 10 exercises per session, 8–12 repetitions, 2–3 sets per exercise at 80–85% of one-repetition maximum, 3 days per week) or a sham exercise placebo control (CON) (n = 14). Change in liver fat, VAT, and abdominal s.c. adipose tissue (SAT) were assessed by magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging). Results: There were no significant group by time interactions for change in liver fat in PRT versus CON groups (−0.07 ± 0.31% vs. 0.55 ± 0.77%, respectively, P = 0.19), VAT (−175 ± 85 cm³ vs. 10 ± 64 cm³, respectively, P = 0.11), or abdominal SAT (−436 ± 245 cm³ vs. 127.29 ± 182 cm³, respectively, P = 0.10) despite a significant increase in muscle volume (55 ± 78 cm³ vs. −0.04 ± 8 cm³, respectively, P = 0.03). Conclusion: Traditional PRT is not effective for reducing liver fat in overweight/obese adults compared with placebo control. Although PRT has known metabolic benefits, an adequate volume of aerobic exercise should be promoted if liver fat is the therapeutic target

    In-culture cross-linking of bacterial cells reveals large-scale dynamic protein-protein interactions at the peptide level

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    Identification of dynamic protein–protein interactions at the peptide level on a proteomic scale is a challenging approach that is still in its infancy. We have developed a system to cross-link cells directly in culture with the special lysine cross-linker bis(succinimidyl)-3-azidomethyl-glutarate (BAMG). We used the Gram-positive model bacterium Bacillus subtilis as an exemplar system. Within 5 min extensive intracellular cross-linking was detected, while intracellular cross-linking in a Gram-negative species, Escherichia coli, was still undetectable after 30 min, in agreement with the low permeability in this organism for lipophilic compounds like BAMG. We were able to identify 82 unique interprotein cross-linked peptides with <1% false discovery rate by mass spectrometry and genome-wide database searching. Nearly 60% of the interprotein cross-links occur in assemblies involved in transcription and translation. Several of these interactions are new, and we identified a binding site between the δ and β′ subunit of RNA polymerase close to the downstream DNA channel, providing a clue into how δ might regulate promoter selectivity and promote RNA polymerase recycling. Our methodology opens new avenues to investigate the functional dynamic organization of complex protein assemblies involved in bacterial growth

    Assessing employee work health and safety in the Bangladesh ready-made garment industry

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    Professional Doctorate - Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) is an integral part of employment industries. Employers are responsible for providing a safe and working environment for their staff, where hazards are clearly outlined and procedures are put in place to minimise the risk of harm or death. In recent decades, the Bangladesh Ready Made Garment Industry (RMG) has seen some tragic accidents in their factories leading to hundreds of fatalities. These accidents have drawn global attention to the industry. The RMG industry is highly competitive on a global scale and it is crucial to the Bangladesh economy. However, as is obvious from the magnitude of the accidents that have unfolded in the industry, there is a lot to be said for the current WHS standards. In my research, I have attempted to assess the current 'Work Health and Safety' issues and employees’ safety preferences irrespective to the gender to suggest a reasonably practicable way to deal with them. These issues can be found in any public or private ventures. This issue is further linked to the individual or organisation that is conducting the business. Private entrepreneurs own the majority of garments factories. Their top-level business performance has contributed to the image of country to the outside world, especially in clothing export. The operators need to ensure control over safe manufacturing operations, proper management of plant and substances, monitor and record health and safety issues, offer adequate facilities (i.e. washrooms, shower place, toilets, lockers, dining areas, first aid), arrange training, ensure participation in the consultation and arrange extra supervision if required. At the same time, both temporary and full time employees need assurance and commitment from management for the planned and continuous improvement in health and safety approaches. All workers should be entitled to have protection from any workplace risks, actively use the personal protective equipment (PPE), be proactive and become actively involved in reporting hazards, and have more engagement and participation in workplace training and communication to improve health and safety. While WHS risks can never be eliminated, hazards can be controlled and precautions can be put in place to reduce the risks associated with working in RMG factories. In my proposed framework, I have asked many questions related to the current health and safety program in terms of planning, implementing and reviewing to assess the common practice. I have also attempted to explore the current capacity building context from the employee awareness, workplace culture and training needs analysis. This conceptual framework from the above two perspectives provides a positive contribution to WHS improvement in the garments sector. The sample comprised 315 RMG employees and supervisors from Bangladesh. Respondents were interviewed using a questionnaire with closed-ended questions. Descriptive research was adopted in one part to determine the gender-based responses under each category. Simple random sampling is used as the sampling technique. At the same time, SPSS ANOVA test, Pearson Correlation test were used to select the significant correlation within each heading. Owing to force completion, data was free from missing value. At the same time, for the treatment for outliers, we tried to ensure that the relationships were not attributable to one or a few outliers, the scatter plots and box plot were used to examine presence of any outliers and to check for normality. For the examination for normality, normal Q-Q Plots have been used. Preliminary analysis revealed that data was normally distributed. All the constructs form a normal distribution, mostly negatively skewed and cases fall more or less in a straight line. Cronbach's Alpha was used to test reliability of the statistics. All those analyses were used to identify hazards as a source of damage, harm or adverse health effects on something or someone under certain conditions at work. The entire work environment runs on meeting the foreign buyers’ fashion cycle times. It is almost impossible to check the WHS in the floor area, where hundreds, if not thousands of workers are in action. During this research, I found employees to be careful in their workplace. Female employees were far more attentive than males due to their family dependency issues. Both male and female employees brought up the importance of training. However, employers were in a dilemma on training design and training cost arrangements with their foreign buyers. International pressure coming from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), accord and diverse lobbyist groups on meeting compliance at one side, and the continuous push from the buyers to rein in costs misaligned the drive to improve training safety and raising safety costs. Thus, the study’s findings showed that WHS issues and non-compliance are widespread and extra attention is necessary to control risks and prevent further tragedies like those of Rana Plaza and Tazreen Fashions. Furthermore, such issues cannot be disregarded in Bangladesh, owing to the massive dependency of the country on garment export earnings

    Increasing farmer's income and reducing soil erosion using intercropping in rainfed maize-wheat rotation of Himalaya, India

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    Humankind faces the need to achieve sustainable agriculture production, meanwhile increasing crop yields and reducing soil and water losses. Soil conservation through intercropping or crop canopy management is widely accepted as one of the ways of diversifying crop yields in rainfed agriculture in sloping landscapes. Field experiments were conducted between 2009 and 2014 to evaluate the effects of one or two rows of cowpea/okra intercropped with maize (planted either in 90 or 150 cm row spacing) on productivity, profitability, and resource conservation on 4% sloping crop land in the Himalayas. During five years of experimentation, a total of 110 runoff events were observed in the maize crop grown in rainy months of June to September. The results showed that by growing one row of cowpea in between two rows of maize (90 × 20 cm), no effect was observed on the productivity of rainfed maize. Productivity of the succeeding wheat crop was enhanced by 13% which resulted in a higher net return (117 US$ ha<sup>−1</sup>) than in a maize-wheat system. This system also reduced runoff and soil loss by 26% and 43%, respectively, compared to only a maize cropping system. Regression analysis revealed as runoff in maize crop increases, grain yield of succeeding rainfed wheat crop decreases due to the less availability of soil moisture


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