1,301 research outputs found

    Regulation of labour market intermediaries and the role of social partners in preventing trafficking of labour

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    This report aims to contribute to the development of a best practice guide for public authorities on monitoring and enforcing rules and regulations relevant to labour market intermediaries to prevent trafficking for labour exploitation. The report brings together research findings on two main areas: how labour market intermediaries are regulated by public authorities in the different Member States, and to what extent social partnersÔÇÖ activities contribute to preventing trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation. The main focus of the report is on trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation and does not cover trafficking for sexual exploitation. The report is based on information provided by EurofoundÔÇÖs network of European correspondents across all 28 EU Member States and Norwa

    Information Effects and Mass Support for EU Policy Control

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    The European Union, it is often noted, suffers from a democracy deficit. Most critiques of EU democracy focus on problems of institutional design, such as the distance between the European public and the EU policy-making bodies, or behavioral factors like participation in European Parliament elections. However, democracy also requires an active and informed citizenry. In this paper, we examine the impact of an informed public on support for European-level policy competencies. Is public skepticism of EU authority shaped by a lack of knowledge, or are preferences over the locus of policy control unbiased by information? Our analysis of mass preferences for policy control over 27 issue areas reveals that, in every case, a paucity of knowledge about the EU depresses popular support for European policy jurisdiction. Further analyses show that possessing of information about Europe affects supports for EU control in issue areas clearly involving cross-border or regional problems rather than areas associated with the Single Marke

    Role of COX-1 and COX-2 in the release of prostanoids in murine lung and isolated lung fibroblasts

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    Cyclooxygenase (COX) is the first enzyme in the conversion of arachidonic acid to prostanoids. There are two isoforms of COX; COX-1, which is constitutively expressed with a homeostatic role in most tissues, and COX-2, which while constitutively expressed in some discreet sites is generally inducible by growth factors and during inflammation. In the current study, we have used tissues and cells from knock-out mice to investigate the relative contributions of COX-1 and COX-2 to PGE2 production by lung tissue ex vivo and by proliferating lung fibroblasts in vitro. Lung tissues from WT (C57Bl6), COX-1-/- and COX-2-/- mice were immediately dissected (<15 min after death) and incubated (37 ┬░C) for 30 min in DMEM containing 50 ┬ÁM calcium ionophore (A23187). Release of PGE2 was determined by competitive immunoassay. In parallel studies, murine lung fibroblasts from COX-1-/- and COX-2-/- mice were explanted and cultured before being seeded in 96-well plates at sub-confluence (5000-8000/well) and incubated for 24-48 hours in the presence of 10% FCS. Accumulated release of PGE2 was then measured as above. Over 30 min PGE2 was released by lung pieces from wild type (1117 ┬▒ 55 pg/ml) and COX-2-/- (2013 ┬▒ 255 pg/ml) but not from COX-1-/- (<61pg/ml) mice (n=4). In contrast, proliferating lung fibroblasts from COX-1-/- (4978.9 ┬▒ 1392 pg/ml) mice released higher levels of PGE2 than cells from COX-2-/- (1194 ┬▒ 617 ng/ml) mice (n=4 using cells from 2-3 separate mice for each genotype). These results show that COX-1 activity underpins the stimulated release of PGE2 in healthy mouse lung tissue. Conversely, COX-2 activity predominates in proliferating lung fibroblasts, which may be important as COX-derived PGE2 mediates proliferation of lung fibroblasts (Trends Immunol.2004;25(1):40-6). Our results suggest a switch in COX isoform in lung cells during proliferation which could be relevant to our understanding of conditions such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.Non peer reviewedFinal Accepted Versio

    Commissioning for better outcomes in mental health care: testing Alliance Contracting as an enabling framework

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    Purpose Commissioning has been a central plank of health and social are policy in England for many years now, yet there are still debates about how effective it is in delivering improvements in care and outcomes. Social inclusion of people with experience of mental health is one of the goals that commissioners would like to help services to improve but such a complex outcome for people can often be undermined by contractual arrangements that fragment service responses rather than deliver holistic support. In this paper we discuss a form of commissioning, Alliance Contracting, and how it has been allied with a Social Inclusion Outcomes Framework (SIOF)in Stockport to begin to improve services and outcomes. Design/methodology/approach The paper is a conceptual discussion and case description of the use of Alliance Contracts to improve recovery services and social inclusion in mental health care in one locality. Findings The paper finds that the Alliance Contracting approach fits well with the SIOF and is beginning to deliver some promising results in terms of improving services Research limitations/implications This is a case study of one area and, as such, it is hard to generalise beyond that. Practical implications The paper discusses a promising approach for commissioners to develop locally to guide service improvements and better social inclusion outcomes for people. Originality/value This is the first paper to set out the use of alliance contracting and social inclusion measures to help improve services and outcomes for people experiencing mental health problem

    Running up Blueberry Hill: Prototyping whole body interaction in harmony space

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    Musical harmony is considered to be one of the most abstract and technically difficult parts of music. It is generally taught formally via abstract, domain-specific concepts, principles, rules and heuristics. By contrast, when harmony is represented using an existing interactive desktop tool, Harmony Space, a new, parsimonious, but equivalently expressive, unified level of description emerges. This focuses not on abstract concepts, but on concrete locations, objects, areas and trajectories. This paper presents a design study of a prototype version of Harmony Space driven by whole body navigation, and characterizes the new opportunities presented for the principled manipulation of chord sequences and bass lines. These include: deeper engagement and directness; rich physical cues for memory and reflection, embodied engagement with rhythmic time constraints; hands which are free for other simultaneous activities (such as playing a traditional instrument); and qualitatively new possibilities for collaborative use

    'A Better Way to Measure Choices' Discrete Choice Experiment and Conjoint Analysis Studies in Nephrology: A Literature Review

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    Discrete choice experiments (DCE) and conjoint analysis (CA) are increasingly used to address health policy issues. This is because the DCE and CA approaches have theoretical foundations in the characteristics theory of demand, which assumes goods, services, or healthcare provision, can be valued in terms of their characteristics (or attributes). As a result, such analysis is grounded in economic theory, lending theoretical validity to this approach. With DCEs, respondents are also assumed to act in a utility-maximising manner and make choices contingent upon the levels of attributes in DCE scenarios. Therefore, choice data can be analysed using econometric methods compatible with random utility theory (RUT) or random regret minimisation (RRM) theory. This means they have additional foundations in economic theory. In contrast, analyses described as CAs are sometimes compatible with RUT or RRM, but by definition they do not have to be. In this paper we review the CA/DCE evidence relating to nephrology. The CA/DCE approach is then compared with other approaches used to provide either quality of life information or preference information relating to nephrology. We conclude by providing an assessment of the value of undertaking CA or DCE analysis in nephrology, comparing the application of CA/DCEs in nephrology with other methodological approaches.</p
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