1,177 research outputs found

    Von Neumann Regular Cellular Automata

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    For any group GG and any set AA, a cellular automaton (CA) is a transformation of the configuration space AGA^G defined via a finite memory set and a local function. Let CA(G;A)\text{CA}(G;A) be the monoid of all CA over AGA^G. In this paper, we investigate a generalisation of the inverse of a CA from the semigroup-theoretic perspective. An element τCA(G;A)\tau \in \text{CA}(G;A) is von Neumann regular (or simply regular) if there exists σCA(G;A)\sigma \in \text{CA}(G;A) such that τστ=τ\tau \circ \sigma \circ \tau = \tau and στσ=σ\sigma \circ \tau \circ \sigma = \sigma, where \circ is the composition of functions. Such an element σ\sigma is called a generalised inverse of τ\tau. The monoid CA(G;A)\text{CA}(G;A) itself is regular if all its elements are regular. We establish that CA(G;A)\text{CA}(G;A) is regular if and only if G=1\vert G \vert = 1 or A=1\vert A \vert = 1, and we characterise all regular elements in CA(G;A)\text{CA}(G;A) when GG and AA are both finite. Furthermore, we study regular linear CA when A=VA= V is a vector space over a field F\mathbb{F}; in particular, we show that every regular linear CA is invertible when GG is torsion-free elementary amenable (e.g. when G=Zd, dNG=\mathbb{Z}^d, \ d \in \mathbb{N}) and V=FV=\mathbb{F}, and that every linear CA is regular when VV is finite-dimensional and GG is locally finite with Char(F)o(g)\text{Char}(\mathbb{F}) \nmid o(g) for all gGg \in G.Comment: 10 pages. Theorem 5 corrected from previous versions, in A. Dennunzio, E. Formenti, L. Manzoni, A.E. Porreca (Eds.): Cellular Automata and Discrete Complex Systems, AUTOMATA 2017, LNCS 10248, pp. 44-55, Springer, 201

    From Theory-Inspired to Theory-Based Interventions: A Protocol for Developing and Testing a Methodology for Linking Behaviour Change Techniques to Theoretical Mechanisms of Action

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    BACKGROUND: Understanding links between behaviour change techniques (BCTs) and mechanisms of action (the processes through which they affect behaviour) helps inform the systematic development of behaviour change interventions. PURPOSE: This research aims to develop and test a methodology for linking BCTs to their mechanisms of action. METHODS: Study 1 (published explicit links): Hypothesised links between 93 BCTs (from the 93-item BCT taxonomy, BCTTv1) and mechanisms of action will be identified from published interventions and their frequency, explicitness and precision documented. Study 2 (expert-agreed explicit links): Behaviour change experts will identify links between 61 BCTs and 26 mechanisms of action in a formal consensus study. Study 3 (integrated matrix of explicit links): Agreement between studies 1 and 2 will be evaluated and a new group of experts will discuss discrepancies. An integrated matrix of BCT-mechanism of action links, annotated to indicate strength of evidence, will be generated. Study 4 (published implicit links): To determine whether groups of co-occurring BCTs can be linked to theories, we will identify groups of BCTs that are used together from the study 1 literature. A consensus exercise will be used to rate strength of links between groups of BCT and theories. CONCLUSIONS: A formal methodology for linking BCTs to their hypothesised mechanisms of action can contribute to the development and evaluation of behaviour change interventions. This research is a step towards developing a behaviour change 'ontology', specifying relations between BCTs, mechanisms of action, modes of delivery, populations, settings and types of behaviour

    Development of an online tool for linking behavior change techniques and mechanisms of action based on triangulation of findings from literature synthesis and expert consensus)

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    Researchers, practitioners, and policymakers develop interventions to change behavior based on their understanding of how behavior change techniques (BCTs) impact the determinants of behavior. A transparent, systematic, and accessible method of linking BCTs with the processes through which they change behavior (i.e., their mechanisms of action [MoAs]) would advance the understanding of intervention effects and improve theory and intervention development. The purpose of this study is to triangulate evidence for hypothesized BCT-MoA links obtained in two previous studies and present the results in an interactive, online tool. Two previous studies generated evidence on links between 56 BCTs and 26 MoAs based on their frequency in literature synthesis and on expert consensus. Concordance between the findings of the two studies was examined using multilevel modeling. Uncertainties and differences between the two studies were reconciled by 16 behavior change experts using consensus development methods. The resulting evidence was used to generate an online tool. The two studies showed concordance for 25 of the 26 MoAs and agreement for 37 links and for 460 "nonlinks." A further 55 links were resolved by consensus (total of 92 [37 + 55] hypothesized BCT-MoA links). Full data on 1,456 possible links was incorporated into the online interactive Theory and Technique Tool (https://theoryandtechniquetool.humanbehaviourchange.org/). This triangulation of two distinct sources of evidence provides guidance on how BCTs may affect the mechanisms that change behavior and is available as a resource for behavior change intervention designers, researchers and theorists, supporting intervention design, research synthesis, and collaborative research

    Behavior Change Techniques and Their Mechanisms of Action: A Synthesis of Links Described in Published Intervention Literature

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    Background: Despite advances in behavioral science, there is no widely shared understanding of the "mechanisms of action" (MoAs) through which individual behavior change techniques (BCTs) have their effects. Cumulative progress in the development, evaluation, and synthesis of behavioral interventions could be improved by identifying the MoAs through which BCTs are believed to bring about change. Purpose: This study aimed to identify the links between BCTs and MoAs described by authors of a corpus of published literature. Methods: Hypothesized links between BCTs and MoAs were extracted by two coders from 277 behavior change intervention articles. Binomial tests were conducted to provide an indication of the relative frequency of each link. Results: Of 77 BCTs coded, 70 were linked to at least one MoA. Of 26 MoAs, all but one were linked to at least one BCT. We identified 2,636 BCT-MoA links in total (mean number of links per article = 9.56, SD = 13.80). The most frequently linked MoAs were "Beliefs about Capabilities" and "Intention." Binomial test results identified up to five MoAs linked to each of the BCTs (M = 1.71, range: 1-5) and up to eight BCTs for each of the MoAs (M = 3.63, range: 1-8). Conclusions: The BCT-MoA links described by intervention authors and identified in this extensive review present intervention developers and reviewers with a first level of systematically collated evidence. These findings provide a resource for the development of theory-based interventions, and for theoretical understanding of intervention evaluations. The extent to which these links are empirically supported requires systematic investigation

    Links Between Behavior Change Techniques and Mechanisms of Action: An Expert Consensus Study

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    Background: Understanding the mechanisms through which behavior change techniques (BCTs) can modify behavior is important for the development and evaluation of effective behavioral interventions. To advance the field, we require a shared knowledge of the mechanisms of action (MoAs) through which BCTs may operate when influencing behavior. Purpose: To elicit expert consensus on links between BCTs and MoAs. Methods: In a modified Nominal Group Technique study, 105 international behavior change experts rated, discussed, and rerated links between 61 frequently used BCTs and 26 MoAs. The criterion for consensus was that at least 80 per cent of experts reached agreement about a link. Heat maps were used to present the data relating to all possible links. Results: Of 1,586 possible links (61 BCTs × 26 MoAs), 51 of 61 (83.6 per cent) BCTs had a definite link to one or more MoAs (mean [SD] = 1.44 [0.96], range = 1-4), and 20 of 26 (76.9 per cent) MoAs had a definite link to one or more BCTs (mean [SD] = 3.27 [2.91], range = 9). Ninety (5.7 per cent) were identified as "definite" links, 464 (29.2 per cent) as "definitely not" links, and 1,032 (65.1 per cent) as "possible" or "unsure" links. No "definite" links were identified for 10 BCTs (e.g., "Action Planning" and "Behavioural Substitution") and for six MoAs (e.g., "Needs" and "Optimism"). Conclusions: The matrix of links between BCTs and MoAs provides a basis for those developing and synthesizing behavioral interventions. These links also provide a framework for specifying empirical tests in future studies

    Appropriate disclosure of a diagnosis of dementia : identifying the key behaviours of 'best practice'

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    Background: Despite growing evidence that many people with dementia want to know their diagnosis, there is wide variation in attitudes of professionals towards disclosure. The disclosure of the diagnosis of dementia is increasingly recognised as being a process rather than a one-off behaviour. However, the different behaviours that contribute to this process have not been comprehensively defined. No intervention studies to improve diagnostic disclosure in dementia have been reported to date. As part of a larger study to develop an intervention to promote appropriate disclosure, we sought to identify important disclosure behaviours and explore whether supplementing a literature review with other methods would result in the identification of new behaviours. Methods: To identify a comprehensive list of behaviours in disclosure we conducted a literature review, interviewed people with dementia and informal carers, and used a consensus process involving health and social care professionals. Content analysis of the full list of behaviours was carried out. Results: Interviews were conducted with four people with dementia and six informal carers. Eight health and social care professionals took part in the consensus panel. From the interviews, consensus panel and literature review 220 behaviours were elicited, with 109 behaviours over-lapping. The interviews and consensus panel elicited 27 behaviours supplementary to the review. Those from the interviews appeared to be self-evident but highlighted deficiencies in current practice and from the panel focused largely on balancing the needs of people with dementia and family members. Behaviours were grouped into eight categories: preparing for disclosure; integrating family members; exploring the patient's perspective; disclosing the diagnosis; responding to patient reactions; focusing on quality of life and well-being; planning for the future; and communicating effectively. Conclusion: This exercise has highlighted the complexity of the process of disclosing a diagnosis of dementia in an appropriate manner. It confirms that many of the behaviours identified in the literature (often based on professional opinion rather than empirical evidence) also resonate with people with dementia and informal carers. The presence of contradictory behaviours emphasises the need to tailor the process of disclosure to individual patients and carers. Our combined methods may be relevant to other efforts to identify and define complex clinical practices for further study.This project is funded by UK Medical Research Council, Grant reference number G0300999

    Can programme theory be used as a 'translational tool’ to optimise health service delivery in a national early years’ initiative in Scotland: a case study

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    Background Theory-based evaluation (TBE) approaches are heralded as supporting formative evaluation by facilitating increased use of evaluative findings to guide programme improvement. It is essential that learning from programme implementation is better used to improve delivery and to inform other initiatives, if interventions are to be as effective as they have the potential to be. Nonetheless, few studies describe formative feedback methods, or report direct instrumental use of findings resulting from TBE. This paper uses the case of Scotland’s, National Health Service, early years’, oral health improvement initiative (Childsmile) to describe the use of TBE as a framework for providing feedback on delivery to programme staff and to assess its impact on programmatic action.<p></p> Methods In-depth, semi-structured interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders explored perceived deviations between the Childsmile programme 'as delivered’ and its Programme Theory (PT). The data was thematically analysed using constant comparative methods. Findings were shared with key programme stakeholders and discussions around likely impact and necessary actions were facilitated by the authors. Documentary review and ongoing observations of programme meetings were undertaken to assess the extent to which learning was acted upon.<p></p> Results On the whole, the activities documented in Childsmile’s PT were implemented as intended. This paper purposefully focuses on those activities where variation in delivery was evident. Differences resulted from the stage of roll-out reached and the flexibility given to individual NHS boards to tailor local implementation. Some adaptations were thought to have diverged from the central features of Childsmile’s PT, to the extent that there was a risk to achieving outcomes. The methods employed prompted national service improvement action, and proposals for local action by individual NHS boards to address this.<p></p> Conclusions The TBE approach provided a platform, to direct attention to areas of risk within a national health initiative, and to agree which intervention components were 'core’ to its hypothesised success. The study demonstrates that PT can be used as a 'translational tool’ to facilitate instrumental use of evaluative findings to optimise implementation within a complex health improvement programme.<p></p&gt

    Impact of spouse caregiving on health behaviors and physical and mental health status

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    The impact of caring for a spouse with a progressive dementia on caregiver's health behaviors and health status was examined. Data collected from 44 spouse caregivers indicates that: • Providing full-time care interferes with preventive health behaviors (eating nutritiously, exercising) and contributes to high risk behaviors (overeating, alcohol and substance use); • Health behaviors are frequently used as coping strategies; • Caregivers rated their own health as poorer than their spouse's health; and • Disabling (arthritis, cardiac and back problems) and stress-related health problems (migraines, colitis) are a consequence of and interfere with care provision.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/68204/2/10.1177_153331759400900105.pd

    Living biointerfaces based on non-pathogenic bacteria to direct cell differentiation

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    Genetically modified Lactococcus lactis, non-pathogenic bacteria expressing the FNIII7-10 fibronectin fragment as a protein membrane have been used to create a living biointerface between synthetic materials and mammalian cells. This FNIII7-10 fragment comprises the RGD and PHSRN sequences of fibronectin to bind α5β1 integrins and triggers signalling for cell adhesion, spreading and differentiation. We used L. lactis strain to colonize material surfaces and produce stable biofilms presenting the FNIII7-10 fragment readily available to cells. Biofilm density is easily tunable and remains stable for several days. Murine C2C12 myoblasts seeded over mature biofilms undergo bipolar alignment and form differentiated myotubes, a process triggered by the FNIII7-10 fragment. This biointerface based on living bacteria can be further modified to express any desired biochemical signal, establishing a new paradigm in biomaterial surface functionalisation for biomedical applications

    Using a realist approach to evaluate smoking cessation interventions targeting pregnant women and young people

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    Background This paper describes a study protocol designed to evaluate a programme of smoking cessation interventions targeting pregnant women and young people living in urban and rural locations in Northeast Scotland. The study design was developed on so-called 'realist' evaluation principles, which are concerned with the implementation of interventions as well as their outcomes. Methods/design A two-phased study was designed based on the Theory of Change (TOC) using mixed methods to assess both process and outcome factors. The study was designed with input from the relevant stakeholders. The mixed-methods approach consists of semi-structured interviews with planners, service providers, service users and non-users. These qualitative interviews will be analysed using a thematic framework approach. The quantitative element of the study will include the analysis of routinely collected data and specific project monitoring data, such as data on service engagement, service use, quit rates and changes in smoking status. Discussion The process of involving key stakeholders was conducted using logic modelling and TOC tools. Engaging stakeholders, including those responsible for funding, developing and delivering, and those intended to benefit from interventions aimed at them, in their evaluation design, are considered by many to increase the validity and rigour of the subsequent evidence generated. This study is intended to determine not only the components and processes, but also the possible effectiveness of this set of health interventions, and contribute to the evidence base about smoking cessation interventions aimed at priority groups in Scotland. It is also anticipated that this study will contribute to the ongoing debate about the role and challenges of 'realist' evaluation approaches in general, and the utility of logic modelling and TOC approaches in particular, for evaluation of complex health interventions
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