2,670 research outputs found

    A first record of Chara vulgaris var. papillata Wallroth. Ex A. Braun (Charales) in the Maltese Islands (Central Mediterranean)

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    The Maltese list of characeans includes Chara vulgaris of which the most commonly occurring variant is C. vulgaris var. longibracteata. A less common variant, C. vulgaris var. papillata, has been recorded for the first time locally in mats of Chara vulgaris examined from il-Qattara pool and Qawra (Dwejra, Gozo).peer-reviewe

    Dances with disciplines? Practice and performance in multidisciplinary electronic patient record (EPR) research

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    Rather like archetypal stories (such as ‘Dances with Wolves’ or ‘Avatar’) that feature individuals who embark on adventures and are changed by their exposure to natives, social scientists and others have to negotiate new ways of working within the multidisciplinary team. Multidisciplinary research is valued for drawing on multiple knowledge bases to redefine problems and processes and to reach new understandings and solutions. Designing a project so that the practice and performance of various disciplines are truly interactive and interdependent rather than just parallel work-packages should offer maximum benefit but can be challenging to plan and implement successfully. A new research team brings a new set of challenges, potential barriers and facilitating factors to the table, all operating within a technologically dense environment (TDE). In this presentation, we will describe our Patient Record Enhancement Project (PREP) - the overall aim of which is to develop strategies for making available, for research and audit purposes, medical information that is ‘concealed’ in the free text parts of the primary care EPR. The research involves field work studying the creation and use of the primary care EPR to better understand the contexts within which coded data and free text forms are used. We work within a highly multidisciplinary team including social scientists, epidemiologists, doctors, statisticians, computer scientists and human-computer interaction analysts who all work on various aspects of the research in different ways. Drawing on our experiences during analysis of a particular data set- on ovarian cancer- and on insights from the field studies, we will reflect on how team practice and performance is mutually shaped and influenced. We will illustrate some of the slips and some of the successes that have emerged as we strive to function efficiently as a truly interdisciplinary team that crosses traditional boundaries of practice and performance

    Assessment of the Distribution and Abundance of Coastal Sharks in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Seaboard, 1995 and 1996

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    During 1995 and 1996, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), conducted pilot studies to develop survey methodology and a sampling strategy for assessment of coastal shark populations in the Gulf of Mexico and western North Atlantic. Longline gear similar to that used in the commercial shark fishery was deployed at randomly selected stations within three depth strata per 60 nautical mile gridf rom Brownsville, Tex. to Cape Ann, Mass. The survey methodology and gear design used in these surveys proved effective for capturing many of the small and large coastal sharks regulated under the auspices of the 1993 Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) for Sharks oft he Atlantic Ocean. Shark catch rates, species composition, and relative abundance documented in these pilot surveys were similar to those reported from observer programs monitoring commercial activities. During 78 survey days, 269 bottom longline sets were completed with 879 sharks captured

    Ambivalence in digital health: co-designing an mHealth platform for HIV care

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    In reaction to polarised views on the benefits or drawbacks of digital health, the notion of ‘ambivalence’ has recently been proposed as a means to grasp the nuances and complexities at play when digital technologies are embedded within practices of care. This article responds to this proposal by demonstrating how ambivalence can work as a reflexive approach to evaluate the potential implications of digital health. We first outline current theoretical advances in sociology and organisation science and define ambivalence as a relational and multidimensional concept that can increase reflexivity within innovation processes. We then introduce our empirical case and highlight how we engaged with the HIV community to facilitate a co-design space where 97 patients (across five European clinical sites: Antwerp, Barcelona, Brighton, Lisbon, Zagreb) were encouraged to lay out their approaches, imaginations and anticipations towards a prospective mHealth platform for HIV care. Our analysis shows how patients navigated ambivalence within three dimensions of digital health: quantification, connectivity and instantaneity. We provide examples of how potential tensions arising through remote access to quantified data, new connections with care providers or instant health alerts were distinctly approached alongside embodied conditions (e.g. undetectable viral load) and embedded socio-material environments (such as stigma or unemployment). We conclude that ambivalence can counterbalance fatalistic and optimistic accounts of technology and can support social scientists in taking-up their critical role within the configuration of digital health interventions

    New frontiers in QLR: definition, design and display

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    Research that is attentive to temporal processes and durational phenomena is an important tradition within the social sciences internationally with distinct disciplinary trajectories. Qualitative longitudinal research emerged as a distinct methodological paradigm around the turn of the millennium, named within the UK through journal special issues, literature reviews and funding commitments. In 2012-3 the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods funded a network for methodological innovation to map ’New frontiers of QLR’, bringing together a group of scholars who have been actively involved in establishing QLR as a methodological field. The network provided an opportunity to consolidate the learning that has developed in QLR over a sustained period of investment and to engage critically with what QLR might mean in new times. This paper documents the series of discussions staged by the network involving the definition of QLR, the kinds of relationships and practices it involves and the consequences of these in a changing landscape for social research. The series was deliberately interdisciplinary ensuring that we engaged with the temporal perspectives and norms of different academic and practice traditions and this has both enriched and complicated the picture that has emerged from our deliberations. In this paper we argue that QLR is a methodological paradigm that by definition moves with the times, and is an ongoing site of innovation and experiment. Key issues identified for future development in QLR include: intervening in debates of ‘big data’ with visions of deep data that involve following and connecting cases over time; the potential of longitudinal approaches to reframe the ‘sample’ exploring new ways of connecting the particular and the general; new thinking about research ethics that move us beyond anonymity to better explore the meanings of confidentiality and the co-production of research knowledge; and finally the promotion of a QLR sensibility that involves a heightened awareness of the here and now in the making of knowledge, yet which also connects research biographically over a career, enriched by a reflexive understanding of time as a resource in the making of meaning

    Examining mortality among formerly homeless adults enrolled in Housing First: An observational study

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    BACKGROUND: Adults who experience prolonged homelessness have mortality rates 3 to 4 times that of the general population. Housing First (HF) is an evidence-based practice that effectively ends chronic homelessness, yet there has been virtually no research on premature mortality among HF enrollees. In the United States, this gap in the literature exists despite research that has suggested chronically homeless adults constitute an aging cohort, with nearly half aged 50 years old or older. METHODS: This observational study examined mortality among formerly homeless adults in an HF program. We examined death rates and causes of death among HF participants and assessed the timing and predictors of death among HF participants following entry into housing. We also compared mortality rates between HF participants and (a) members of the general population and (b) individuals experiencing homelessness. We supplemented these analyses with a comparison of the causes of death and characteristics of decedents in the HF program with a sample of adults identified as homeless in the same city at the time of death through a formal review process. RESULTS: The majority of decedents in both groups were between the ages of 45 and 64 at their time of death; the average age at death for HF participants was 57, compared to 53 for individuals in the homeless sample. Among those in the HF group, 72 % died from natural causes, compared to 49 % from the homeless group. This included 21 % of HF participants and 7 % from the homeless group who died from cancer. Among homeless adults, 40 % died from an accident, which was significantly more than the 14 % of HF participants who died from an accident. HIV or other infectious diseases contributed to 13 % of homeless deaths compared to only 2 % of HF participants. Hypothermia contributed to 6 % of homeless deaths, which was not a cause of death for HF participants. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest HF participants face excess mortality in comparison to members of the general population and that mortality rates among HF participants are higher than among those reported among members of the general homeless population in prior studies. However, findings also suggest that causes of death may differ between HF participants and their homeless counterparts. Specifically, chronic diseases appear to be more prominent causes of death among HF participants, indicating the potential need for integrating medical support and end-of-life care in HF