Utrecht University Repository

    Road traffic noise frequency and prevalent hypertension in Taichung, Taiwan : a cross-sectional study

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    Epidemiological studies have reported the association between hypertension and exposure to road traffic noise, but the association between noise frequency characteristics is not clear. This study investigated the association between exposure to different frequency components of road traffic noise and the prevalence of hypertension in central Taiwan. We recruited 820 residents living near main roads for more than 3 years. Frequency components of traffic noise and traffic flow rates during 0900-1700 on weekdays were measured simultaneously in 2008. Multiple logistic regressions were conducted to estimate odds ratios (ORs) for diagnosed hypertension, adjusting for potential confounders and the total traffic flow rate. The high-exposure group (≥ the median of noise levels [decibels, dB]) at 63 Hz, 125 Hz and 1000 Hz had ORs for hypertension of 2.77 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.17-6.52), 4.08 (95% CI: 1.57-10.63) and 1.98 (1.00-3.92) (95% CI: 1.00-3.92), respectively, compared to the low-exposure group (< the median of noise levels [dB]). There was an increasing trend in the prevalence of hypertension by exposure to road traffic noise at 63, 125 and 1000 Hz in all subjects and in men. Total subjects exposed to ≥ 51 dB at 125 Hz had an OR of 4.65 (95% CI = 1.46-14.83) compared to those exposed to < 47 dB. With the possible bias of exposure misclassification and a bias from using diagnosed hypertension, these results suggest that exposure to road traffic noise at low and hearing-sensitive frequencies may be associated with hypertension and exposure to noise at 125 Hz may have the greatest risk for hypertension

    Charting the trajectory of domestic violence policy change in the Republic of Ireland since the mid-1990s – a path towards integration?

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    Introduction: This paper assesses the policy developments pertaining to the implementation of an integrated approach to domestic violence over the past 15 years. The contextual setting is outlined in terms of the international policy response to the problem of domestic violence based on an ecological perspective.Description of policy and case: Periods of core strategic policy and related structural developments are considered illustrating the Irish experience of domestic violence policy-making and service provision. The value of adopting an integrated approach to domestic violence based on the rationale of improving strategic policy formulation, coordinating service provision and facilitating joined-up governance is set out. The core facilitators and challenges associated with such an approach are described.Analysis and conclusion: The policy framework and restructured landscape of domestic violence in Ireland has undergone significant change over the past decade and a half. The paper uses a three-dimensional matrix of domestic violence policy development and service integration as a means of addressing horizontal, vertical and resource aspects of collaboration and integration. While the changes have been characterised by significant phases of fluctuation in terms of coordinated action and the situation currently appears promising, however it is too early to judge the outcomes of the most recent reforms

    Boekbespreking van J.H. Pestalozzi / D. Th. Thoomes, Neuhof-geschriften

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    In ons land verscheen in het Pestalozzi-herdenkingsjaar 1996, met Zwitserse financiële steun, een klein fraai boekje waarvan de kern is een verzameling brieven van Pestalozzi rond het vraagstuk van de opvang en opvoeding van arme kinderen. Dit werkje maakt in al zijn beknoptheid en toegankelijkheid goed duidelijk waarom Pestalozzi nog steeds een grote naam heeft onder pedagogen

    The effect of mood congruence music in mood change.

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    This study was set out to assess the importance of listening to mood congruent songs versus mood incongruent songs in terms of mood change. Forty-eight participants were divided into four groups (1) participants with a happy pretest score and who received a happy song (mood congruent), (2) participants with a sad pretest mood and who received a happy song (mood incongruent) (3) participants with a happy pretest score who received a sad song and (mood incongruent)(4) participants with a sad pretest score who received a sad song (mood congruent). It was assessed whether there is a relationship between change in mood and listening to the preferred mood of the music piece opposed to not listening to the preferred mood of the music. The results of this study show that participants who received their happy song showed a significant happier mood compared to participants who received their sad song, who showed a sadder mood state after listening to the music piece. It was also found that the effect of the mood of the song on mood change is significantly larger if the mood of the song is incongruent with the participants’ mood. Whether receiving the song of preference or not, most participants cherished the feeling the piece had offered them (76.60%), the percentage increases for the participants who did receive their preference into 86.20%

    Intention-mining: A solution to process participant support in process aware information systems

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    While the advantages of flexible business processes have been highly recognized by the academia and organizations, the research focus has recently shifted to its trade-offs and how the negative consequences could be minimized. This research addressed the problem consisting of the difficulties encountered by process participants when interacting with flexible process aware information systems. In order to overcome these difficulties, several approaches for guiding or supporting the process participants during enactment based on process mining have been proposed. However, these solutions lacked the suitable semantics for human’s reasoning and decision making during enactment as they provided recommendations at a low granularity level. Consequently, the objective of this research was twofold. First, the implications of integrating flexible processes into process aware information systems for agents (process participant and process administrator) were analyzed through a systematic literature study. Secondly, in the settings of design science research, two artifacts were created to solve the problematic situation: an innovative process mining technique aimed at discovering the intentional model of the executable process in an unsupervised manner, and a recommendation tool formulating recommendations as intentions and confidence factors, based on partial traces and probabilistic calculus. The artifacts were evaluated in a case study with a Childcare application supporting flexible process enactment with a data-driven approach. The experiments revealed that the intention mining technique had a precision of 0.7 in discovering the correct intentions. Regarding the recommendation tool, the majority of the participants agreed on the improved support for decision making, offered by the recommendations given as intentions in comparison to recommendations given as activities, while a majority disagreed on the utility of the confidence factors attached to each recommendation

    Vibrissae of the horse, a pilot study on how to assess the effect of manipulation.

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    Abstract Introduction: The horse' s vibrissae are often trimmed for cosmetic purposes in the Netherlands. The function of vibrissae has been studied in certain rodents and sea mammals, but not in horses. To assess the effect of trimming vibrissae on the welfare of horses, the vibrissae' s function in the horse must first be studied. However, no standardized test is available. The primary aim of this pilot study was to find parameters that could both measure the function of the horse' s vibrissae as well as the effects of trimming them. The secondary aim was to create a standardized test, which would allow their function to become apparent. To this end, two tests were performed. Test 1: Materials and method: Five stimuli were applied to the vibrissae of 14 horses: heat, cold, electricity, damage and traction. All stimuli and their control (i.e. ' sham' ) stimuli were applied for 5 seconds each, in a randomized order. Behavior and heart rate were analyzed. Results: No significant heart rate results were seen. Results on behavior are not yet available. Conclusion: These results could indicate that horses do not sense the applied stimuli with their vibrissae. However, heart rate might not be the right outcome measure. Test 2: Materials and method: Multiple devices were designed and evaluated for usability. The best device was a design that was adjustable to the circumference of the horse' s muzzle plus 1 cm. Horses were randomly divided into three groups. Group 0: vibrissae trimmed to 0 cm (N=16), group 1: vibrissae trimmed to 1 cm (N=13), group 2: vibrissae kept at natural length (N=14). All horses were asked to move their nose through the device. Behavior, nose-bumps, heart rate, heart rate variability and latency time were investigated. Results: Results on behavior and latency time are not yet available. Available data showed a large within group variation. There was no significant difference between the means of the three groups. Conclusion: Due to a small power of our test, no conclusions can be drawn from these results regarding the effect of trimming vibrissae on the used parameters. Analyzed parameters do not appear to be useful outcome measures. Because not all results are available yet, the usability of the designed device is still under debate
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